Inside South Florida


The Importance of Gut Health: Insights from Maya Feller and MyFitnessPal

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 03, 2024

Disclaimer: This Inside South Florida segment is sponsored by MyFitnessPal. All opinions and views are of the advertiser and does not reflect the same of WSFL-TV.

People are increasingly becoming aware of the crucial role gut health plays in overall wellness and the significant impact that diet has on it. To support this growing interest, MyFitnessPal app now provides educational resources about the influence of food and nutrition on gut health, helping users understand the connection between their diet and overall well-being. Registered dietician Maya Feller joined Inside South Florida to delve deeper into this topic.

"Our gut health is really important to our overall well-being because the gut is the largest immune mediator in the body," explained Maya. "About 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut. That means our gut is involved in our brain health, eye health, heart health, bone health, mood, cognition, energy, and so much more." Nourishing the beneficial bacteria in our gut, according to Maya, is key to expressing the best possible health.

When discussing the types of foods that can negatively impact gut health, Maya pointed out that high amounts of added sugars, added salts, and saturated and synthetic fats can reduce the diversity of gut bacteria. "We want a diverse gut bacteria," she emphasized. To promote gut health, Maya recommends including fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds in our diet.

MyFitnessPal has introduced various tools to help users make better food choices. "There's a new feature called Food Group Insights," Maya shared. "It gives you an overview of the number of foods you've logged in a week, categorized by food group." Additionally, MyFitnessPal offers a Gut Health Recipe Collection filled with fiber-rich foods and a Gut Health Nutrition Plan that educates members on the importance of fiber-forward eating patterns.

The Gut Health Nutrition Plan provides a variety of recipes focused on fiber-rich foods. "These recipes offer alternatives that have high fiber sources of food," Maya noted. For example, instead of using ingredients with lots of added sugar, recipes might use lentil flour, chickpea flour, or whole grains, ensuring the meals are still tasty and packed with nutrients.

While changes in diet can take time to manifest, Maya advises patience. "Give yourself at least three months," she recommended. MyFitnessPal can aid in this journey by providing accountability, community support, recipes, and multiple plans to keep users motivated and committed to a gut-friendly diet.

For those interested in exploring these resources, Maya suggests downloading the MyFitnessPal app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, or visiting for more information. For more insights and nutrition tips from Maya, visit

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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