Your Fecal Matter Is A Potential Indicator For Losing Weight

Obesity and overweight are spearheads of public health policies. Weight gain is always a topical issue and not just for nutritionists-dieticians or health / beauty magazines to fill their pockets.

According to the WHO, since 1980, the number of obesity cases has doubled worldwide! In 2014, there were more than 1.9 billion overweight adults and over 600 million obese – 41 million children under 5 were overweight or obese.

Preventing obesity and overweight is therefore of paramount importance.


A little glamorous topic for Blog Nutrition Santé, we must admit it. But something as simple as a sample of fecal matter reveals if you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by high content of fruits, vegetables, fiber and whole grains (whole grains ).

This is a finding of a new study conducted at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen , Denmark. The bacteria that we all have in our intestines can play a decisive role in personalized nutrition and the development of obesity . This is demonstrated by several studies available in the scientific literature.

Human intestinal bacteria have been linked to the growing prevalence of overweight and obesity, and scientists have begun to investigate whether intestinal bacteria can play a role in treating overweight. But it is only now that the researchers seem to have made a breakthrough by demonstrating that certain species of bacteria play a decisive role in regulating weight and weight loss .

30% of cancers in women prevented by food


A relationship between two groups of intestinal bacteria is decisive. It helps to know if overweight people lose weight based on a diet that follows the Danish national dietary guidelines and contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber and whole grains.

In the study, 31 subjects ate a specially elaborated northern diet for 26 weeks and lost an average of 3.5 kg, while the 23 subjects eating a classic Danish diet lost an average of 1.7 kg. Thus, weight loss averaged 1.8 kg more in subjects who ate the diet called “New Nordic Diet”.

Reducing meat consumption and replacing it with fish and crustaceans


This diet was developed in 2004 when food professionals and chefs from five Nordic countries met in Copenhagen to define a new regional cuisine that, contrary to traditional eating habits, would be healthier.

Although the recent trend of northern-inspired restaurants, such as the famous Noma in Copenhagen and Acme in New York, involves incorporating complex cooking methods and charging high prices, the basic diet is simple and affordable, emphasizing seasonality, the durability of ingredients, and avoiding all food additives and minimizing waste.

New Nordic diet

Rich in plant foods , the diet includes a lot of root vegetables, cabbage (and other cruciferous), green leafy vegetables , apples and pears, berries (such as blueberries) and whole grains such as rye and oats). Fish (such as salmon and herring) are also important, as are wild game (such as elk, low fat) and small amounts of dairy products. Other wild foods include moss (varieties of terrestrial bryophytes ), mushrooms, nettles, garlic and even ants. Fresh herbs include dill, chives and fennel.

Benefits of Wild Berries

In many respects, the new Nordic Diet is very similar to a Mediterranean diet , but it is based on rapeseed oil (canola more precisely, a vegetable oil derived from rapeseed and low in erucic acid, opposed to rapeseed oil) instead of olive oil and differs in its product types (few tomatoes ), simply as a reflection of what the climate of the region, soil and water offer naturally, and the best local products.

A high proportion of Prevotella bacteria causes weight loss


Several studies published in the Journal of Internal Medicinein 2013 have found that New Nordic Diet improves cholesterol levels in people with cardiovascular risk factors compared to the usual Nordic diet or a typical Western diet. And some studies have found that this diet lowers blood pressure and improves insulin resistance . Following this diet for only 6 to 18 weeks would bring immediate benefits.

Interestingly, in studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , people who followed this diet lost weight but were not asked to limit calories, indicating that their responses behaviors were in good agreement with the subjective assessment of their satiety. Another study found that people who ate six foods typical of the diet of the “New Nordic Diet” had a lower risk of premature death.

There are no studies comparing the “New Nordic Diet” to a Mediterranean diet. But it is fairly safe to say that both, in their ideal forms, are healthy, as it would be a predominantly vegetable kitchen that includes components such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, fish, lean meats and unsaturated vegetable oils, and eliminate refined grains, added sugars, fatty meats and highly processed foods in general.

Modern Nordic Cuisine
Cod roasted with grapes and cabbage in butter. (photo © Leila Navidi)

Essentially, the “New Nordic Diet” is really only a regional interpretation of the principles of healthy eating. Unless you grow your own wild foods or visit restaurants that specialize in cooking, it’s hard to eat exactly like a “New Nordic Diet” in most other countries of the world. But you can incorporate the basic components of this diet and follow its general philosophy of preparing simple meals using local foods.

Visiting smallholder organic farmers’ markets or being a member of a food cooperative will give you better access to local seasonal foods such as berries, greens and even wild game.

You may be lucky to find jam and other distinctly Nordic specialties, although you can find live ants wherever you live!

A high proportion of Prevotella bacteria causes weight loss
Prevotella melaninogenica


Intestinal bacteria are linked to our diet

When participants in this last Danish study were divided by their level of intestinal bacteria, it was found that people with a high proportion of Prevotella bacteria compared to the bacteria Bacteroides lost 3.5 kg more in 26 weeks, they ate a diet composed of the principles of the “New Nordic Diet” compared to those who consumed a Danish average diet.

Subjects with a low proportion of Prevotella bacteria compared to Bacteroides did not lose any extra weight by following this new Nordic Diet. Overall, about 50% of the population has a high proportion of Prevotella bacteria compared to Bacteroides bacteria.

The study shows that only about half of the population will lose weight if it eats according to the Danish national dietary guidelines – and eats more fruits, vegetables, fiber and whole grains. The other half of the population does not seem to benefit from this change of regime. These people should focus on other feeding recommendations and regular physical activity , until a strategy that works particularly well for them is identified.

The researchers point out that they have already confirmed the results in two independent studies, so they are certain that these results are credible.

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