This article was written by Viome, the most comprehensive gut microbiome test on the market.

Poor carbs—they get such a bad rap. Diets like Atkins and keto have turned foods like bread and pasta into guilty pleasures, forcing us to replace them with sad substitutes like cauliflower and zoodles. But what if you don’t have to give up your beloved carbs to feel good?

It might all come down to your microbiome—yep, those tiny organisms living in your digestive tract. As the only test on the market that can see exactly what’s going on in your gut, Viome can find out if you have the microbes needed to digest carbohydrates well.

What does my gut have to do with it?

One of the reasons carbs get a lot of flack is because they jack up your blood sugar, causing your body to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose, which comes from carbohydrates, in your blood. Insulin delivers glucose, our bodies' main energy source, as fuel to our cells.

But if you eat carbs (especially simple ones like sugar) too often, you become less sensitive to insulin and your pancreas has to make more and more of it to get the same effect. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and thyroid problems.

But an interesting study shows not everyone reacts to the same meals in the same way. Researchers looked at the blood-sugar levels of 800 people over the course of a week and found they responded to foods in dramatically different ways. For instance, one person’s blood sugar spiked after eating bananas but not cookies (lucky!), whereas someone else experienced the exact opposite (sorry, dude).

Now here’s where things get really interesting: The scientists also looked at the participants’ microbiomes and found there was a strong correlation between their gut bacteria and their blood-sugar spikes. They then took those findings—plus other lifestyle and health factors—and created an algorithm that can pretty successfully predict how people will react to meals. Not only that, but they were also able to use the algorithm to create personalized diets that can help control blood sugar—and some of those plans included booze and chocolate!

TL;DR: Everyone reacts to carbs differently—and the bacteria in your gut might be a major reason why.

So how do you know if your gut can handle carbs?

Consider trying Viome. It’s a gut-health test that will tell you whether you have the microbes to metabolize carbohydrates and give you recommendations on the best foods for your microbiome—plus provide you with appropriate serving sizes. Many of Viome’s customers are shocked—and thrilled!—when they find out they have the right little guys to break down their favorite pizza or pasta.

Viome is the only company using a fancy thing called metatranscriptomic sequencing technology, which means it can see not only what microbes are active but also what they are producing and what food sources they’re using. After Viome finds out what’s going on in your gut, its expertly trained AI machine crunches the numbers and gives you precise, individualized results.

Viome’s goal is to put the power back into the hands of the people by giving you the information you need to supply your body with the nutrients unique to you and your gut microbiome.

For a super-limited time, Greatist readers can get $100 off a Viome kit when they use code GREATIST12 at checkout.*

This is part of Greatist's series with Viome and was reviewed by the Viome experts listed below. Stay tuned to find out what else Viome can show you about your gut and learn more about Viome here.

*Greatist receives an affiliate fee on purchases made. Offer valid through October 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PT.

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