The way to keeping someone’s heart may really be through their stomach after all, at least according to a recent study. Researchers found that the bacteria in your gut could play a vital role in body weight, fat and good cholesterol levels. They discovered that these microbes have a direct connection to blood level of HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides. In fact, “34 different types of bacteria contributed to differences in body fat (BMI) and blood lipids such as triglycerides and the good cholesterol known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL.”

And oddly enough, the gut bacteria seems to have very little impact on bad cholesterol or cholesterol levels as a whole. So far, only 30 percent of human gut bacteria has been cultured, so there’s a lot still to be discovered about all the ways they affect the body. But these findings definitely shed light on why mindful munching is important (These 10 Easy, Healthy Breakfast Recipes are a perfect way to start your morning and keep your gut’s bacteria happy).

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