Pooping Habits

Do you worry because a diet which worked wonders for your friend is not doing anything for you? Blame your gut, or your gut bacteria, to be more precise. A comprehensive study by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark showed that bacterial ratio plays a very important role in losing weight by dieting.

But before you go getting your poop sample tested, understand how this study works.

The research

healthy poopThe International Journal of Obesity published a study by Danish researchers conducted on 62 overweight people. The sample included people from all walks of life who were overweight with a large waist size.

They randomly put half the sample on a new Nordic diet. The diet had low fat and high fiber content and included a liberal amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Others were put on a traditional Danish diet which avoided whole grains and composed of lean meats, eggs, coffee, and lettuce.

The study was conducted after keeping both sample groups on a strict diet pattern for 26 weeks. The results revealed that people who had a higher ratio of Prevotella to Bacteroids were more susceptible to weight loss when kept on a high fiber diet. It adequately demonstrated that gut bacteria had a considerable role in losing weight while on a diet.

How much weight did people lose?

weight-lossThe Study marked a considerable difference in weight loss among people with a high Prevotella and Bacteroid ratio. Prevotella and Bacteroids are both bacteria found in our intestines.

Participants with a high ratio who were on the high fiber diet lost 7 pounds more than people on an average diet. Furthermore, people who had a higher ratio of these bacteria lost 3.5 pounds more than people with lower ratio while on the same diet.

People on the New Nordic diet (high fiber diet) with high bacteria ratio lost almost 10.9 pounds on an average. However, those with low Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio lost roughly the same pound weight in both diets.

There was no considerable difference in weight loss for people with low Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio while on both diets.

Related: Floating Poop: What Does It Mean?

This led the researchers to conclude that Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio has a vital role in deciding your propensity for weight loss.

How does it affect you?

Weight Loss Plan

If you have a low Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio, chances are that the most common form of diet which includes high fiber, low fat, and whole grains might not work for you. According to researchers, no matter how long you stick to such a diet pattern, your weight loss will not be substantial.

In such a situation, rather than blindly following the traditional approach with little to no results, you could try a new type of diet. The first step in this process for you would be to visit your doctor and have a poop sample tested. If you are indeed one with a low Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio, then you could discuss weight loss diet plans with a nutritionist. Studies show that a high protein and low carb diet involving keto can work wonders.

You can also follow these easy lifestyle tips to improve your gut bacteria.

Variety of food

balanced dietA modern nutritionist would tell you that the best diet is to have rainbow colors on your plate. It is certainly true to an extent. Although studies show that a high amount of Prevotella to Bacteroid can aid in weight loss, maintaining other bacteria in the gut are equally important.

Each species of bacteria has a different health benefit and contributes in different ways. By eating a range of nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains, you get the best of both worlds. You get healthy and at the same time, you lose weight. To improve Prevotella in your intestines, researchers believe that whole grains and leeks could help.

Fermented food

Fermented food Related: You Should Poop at This Time Daily

Your gut flora will thank you if you start indulging in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, or sauerkraut. You would also avoid many chronic illnesses related to stomach and intestines.

No artificial sweeteners

artificial sweetenerIn the recent Nordic diet study conducted by Danish researchers, no person from the sample size was allowed to indulge in artificial sweeteners. This means no diet soda or sugar-free gums.

Artificial sweeteners are linked to weight loss in many studies; however, they also result in increased blood sugar and low insulin response. It also affects Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio adversely in your gut.

In case you want to improve gut bacteria in your system, including Prevotella and Bacteroids, these tips will come in very helpful.

However, if you are one with a high Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio and want to lose weight right away, then the New Nordic diet is what you need.

New Nordic Diet

nordic diet

As the name suggests, it was developed by chefs and food professionals from the five Nordic countries. However, it is not really that new as it was developed in 2004 and has been improved upon since.

The diet is rich in plant foods and whole grains, while keeping fat to a minimum. The original rule of this diet was to grow or forage for your food. The logic behind this was to eat food which was local to weather, environment, and place. However, today with the stores brimming with organic and fresh produce, you can take your pick off the racks.

Many studies over the years have shown that weight gain is primarily associated with faulty eating habits. Nordic diet includes plant-based items such as cabbages, root vegetables, and other dark greens. There are many fruits which you snack upon like berries, apples, or pears. You should also add whole grains like rye, barley, and oats to your diet for fuel and energy. If needed, a very small amount of dairy can be included, but preferably, in the form of yogurt as it improves gut bacteria.

Fish and meat in the average Nordic diet should be local; however, in the US, you can opt for low-fat meat products such as salmon, chicken, turkey (without skin), lean beef (sirloin, chuck, round).

The principles of this diet are quite simple:

  • Eat local produce, as it helps your gut bacteria function to its optimum level in that climate and place
  • Including whole grains in your diet
  • No artificial produce or sweeteners
  • Use canola oil for cooking


fecal test

A high Prevotella to Bacteroid ratio can tell you whether a particular diet will work for you or not. You can have your feces tested to better understand as to how your body functions. In case you have a high Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio, a Nordic diet involving high fiber, high protein, and low fat can help you lose weight quickly.

However, if you are someone with a low Prevotella-Bacteroid ratio, then you should focus on losing weight with exercise and wholesome balanced diet rather than a particular set of food items.

Related: 8 Unusually Effective Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips

The vital point to take away from here is that gut bacteria play a pivotal role in keeping your weight balanced. Many studies are currently underway to find the best balance of bacteria. Until a scientific answer is discovered, it is sagacious advice to keep a clean and healthy gut by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fermented items.


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