It is a fact that our body determines how it digests the food we eat – but, this is only one side of the coin. The other side is far more interesting: What we eat tells our bodies how to digest it. 

When you eat a cheese cake on your birthday, how you digest and metabolize that dessert is determined by your friends within your belly – your gut microbes. These microbes help with the absorption of dietary fats, allowing your body to extract more calories from the same amount of food.  Ultimately, your gut microbes play a vital role in how you metabolize your diet,

No two people extract the same number of calories from the same food they consume. 

Recent research shows that the abundance of these friendly bacteria in the gut is actually influenced by our body’s diet.  What’s more is that a diet rich in fat promotes the growth of these fat-loving bacteria, resulting in more fat absorption. So, each time you eat a fatty treat, your fat-loving gut microbes* grow in number, which results in more absorption of fat – and often a higher number on the scale. As these fat-loving bacteria establish a firm niche in your gut, all you need is a small amount of fat-rich foods to extract an incredible amount of calories. This new information seems to explain why obese people need to work so much harder to lose weight and to curb fat absorption.

The bottom-line: No two people extract the same number of calories from the same food they consume. The next time you read the calorie-count on packaged food, keep in mind that the calories you extract vary from person to person based on how each of your gut microflora processes the food we eat. Think about it. Each of us is a unique mix of nature’s ingredients!