What’s the tried and true method for losing (and keeping off) the pounds? If you guessed a strict diet of vegetables and lean protein coupled with exercise, you’re actually not as accurate as you think.
Tim Spector, a professor at the King’s College in London has hypothesized that a diet with a wide range of foods including indulgent comfort foods like chocolate, wine, and cheese is actually the key to healthier and more efficient weight loss.
“We ingest these microbes and they end up in our gut, where they diversify with the new foods we introduce over the years,” Spector said at the Oxford Literary Festival, according to The Daily Mail. “The more diverse foods we eat, the more varieties of microbes in our bodies, which makes us healthier.”
He used cheese as an example, saying studies have shown that people who eat cheese regularly have fewer heart problems than those who abstain from dairy, like this scientific study published in Advance in Nutrition in 2012, which showed an inverse relationship between milk fat consumption and heart disease.
Foods that are rich in probiotics, such as chocolate and red wine are important to maintain bacteria balance in our guts. But don’t go crazy: Strict junk food like processed candy and chips will do nothing for your health or gut bacteria.