BLOG BY Rhiannon Lambert

Why It’s Time To Long Live Live Cultures

#AD. You’ve likely heard the words ‘live cultures’, ‘live bacteria’ and ‘gut friendly foods’ many times, but you’re just as likely to wonder exactly what they are and where can you find them. As with most nutrition, once you understand gut health, your knowledge will empower informed decisions, which may have a significant impact on both your health and happiness too.

Live cultures are your friend

Over the years, academics have identified particular bacteria that we call, ‘good bacteria’. Adding these bacteria to our diet may help restore the balance that we sometimes lose, ensuring our body can work at its best.1 Live cultures are present in fermented foods like sauerkraut or kombucha, but they are also added to other foods too!1 In fact, GoodBelly Cereal is one of the first cereals to be made with live cultures – with each serving containing cereal pieces that are coated with Bifidobacterium Lactis.  Unlike some other foods with live cultures, GoodBelly Cereals don’t need refrigeration for the live cultures to stay dormant, as the moisture content of the cereal is very low.  The live cultures remain dormant until the cereal is ingested, allowing them to survive without cold temperatures. Other foods with live cultures, such as yoghurts, require low temperatures for the cultures to stay dormant. Adding live cultures to your diet is a great addition, as foods containing these bacteria are naturally present in our gut and helps to improve our digestive system.

Make sure you’re having enough fibre

Fibre has been consistently associated with positive gut health, most commonly by increasing faecal mass.2 With many of us struggling to reach our 30g a day recommendation, it is important to find ways of improving our intake for not just our gut health, but overall health too.2 There is also strong evidence that individuals who consume more fibre are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, and have a reduced incidence of stroke and heart disease.2 Non-digestive fibre is the fibre we want to be having more of, and this can be found in high-fibre breakfast cereals, such as the GoodBelly cereal. GoodBelly cereals come in two delicious flavours, both of which contain an impressive 10g of fibre per 100g. For a product to be legally classed as high fibre look for at least 6g of fibre per 100g.3

Try and be more mindful of your refined sugar intake if you’re having too much. As a population we are still eating too much sugar, with Public Health England suggesting it should only contribute to 5% of our daily energy intake.4,5 This equates to 30g of free sugar a day.6 But how does this affect our gut health? Research has suggested that individuals who consume an excess of sugar may have smaller amounts of good bacteria in their large intestine. Whilst sugar in moderation is important for our body to function, it can be easy to have too much! Foods that are high in free sugars will contain more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g.8 For example, GoodBelly cereals contain between 15-19g of sugar per 100g, with 5-9% of the sugar coming from dried fruits. Their cereals are also high in oat fibre, which contributes to an increase in faecal bulk, an aspect of healthy digestion, providing a tasty and convenient way to help you take care of your gut health as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. 

To conclude, live cultures are live microorganisms that we eat in particular foods. These microorganisms are the ‘good’ bacteria that we are aiming to have more of and adding them to your diet may help your overall gut health. Ensuring you have enough fibre in your diet and trying to keep refined sugars and processed food to a minimum is the best way to keep your gut happy!

References

• https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/probiotics.pdf

• https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-get-more-fibre-into-your-diet/

• https://labellingtraining.food.gov.uk/module3/overview_3.html

• http://www.actiononsugar.org/sugar-and-health/sugar-and-obesity/

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445503/SACN_Carbohydrates_and_Health.pdf

• https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/fop-guidance_0.pdf

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