Having a healthy gut is essential for your overall health and wellness. Your gut boosts and regulates immunity and even has effects on mental health. Due to the importance of gut health, it is important to understand how different foods can have a negative effect on your gut health. One way to do this is by being aware of the foods you put in your body.
Making wise dietary choices is essential for preserving gut health.
Here are a few of the foods you should stay away from if you have gut issues or if you are trying to better your gut biome.
Read the labels
Many food distributors use buzzwords to attract customers to foods they want you to think are healthy. The best thing to do is stay away from these marketing strategies. By knowing what to look for on the label of different foods will help steer you in the right direction when it comes to gut health. Here are a few of the foods you should stay away from if you are having gut issues, or you are wanting to promote better gut health.
Refined sugars are one of the worst things you can put in your body when it comes to gut health. These sugars kill the good bacteria in your gut and feed the bad bacteria which allows it to grow and multiply. Refined sugars mostly come from corn, cane sugar, and beets which are heavily processed to isolate the sugars. It is often difficult to stay away from these sugars because they are often added into many foods to make them taste better. When purchasing groceries read the labels closely. If you see sucrose, or high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients put the item back and find a healthier option. While no sugar is healthy the better options include fructose, found in fruits, galactose which is in dairy and glucose which is found in potatoes, fruit and honey.
Factory farmed meat
You might be asking yourself, “Aren’t all meats factory farmed?” The answer is no. Factory farms churn out mass-produced low-quality meats that can have a major impact on your gut health. These farms may keep costs low on items such as chicken, eggs and dairy but be wary of these products.
The animals on factory farms are often fed cheap grain and feed containing byproducts like corn, and potato waste instead of natural feed like grass and alfalfa. These byproducts get into the animal’s system which results in them getting into your food. The animals bad diet becomes your bad diet. In most cases factory farmed meats result in less nutritious meats and animal products.
When purchasing dairy, eggs, and meats look for anything labeled certified humane and local. Stay away from the buzzwords marketing firms use like “pasture raised,” and “free range.” The word organic is also tossed around freely but be aware that just because organic seems like a good thing, it doesn’t mean that chemicals are not being used in the production process. Instead of these buzzwords look for identifying markers on labels like “grass fed,” “certified humane raised and handled,” and “USDA organic” for beef and dairy products.
Many studies exist, and are ever changing, about the health aspects of alcohol. However, if you tend to overindulge, alcohol can disrupt the balance of the bacteria in your gut leading to digestive issues. Alcohol disrupts the digestion of sugars in your system and leads to a shift in the gut’s fungal levels, causing an overgrowth of a yeast called candida. These changes in your gut, due to alcohol consumption increases gas production and bloating. Furthermore, heavy alcohol use can lead to gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, ulcers, diarrhea, and dehydration. If you consume alcohol do so in moderation to prevent these issues from occurring.
Quick meals are easy to make and less time consuming than traditional cooking. It is easy to come home after a long day and pop a pre-packaged meal in the microwave for dinner. However, when it comes to your gut health, these meals are harming your gut biome. Pre-packaged meals are highly processed with many additives that can change the bacteria in your gut, resulting in poor health. These foods often contain high amounts of sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives to make them shelf friendly. During the processing the structure of the food changes and alters the properties of the ingredients which affects the body. Eating highly processed pre-packaged food often leads to obesity and other health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and heart disease.
When doing your grocery shopping stay away from pre-packaged foods like hot dogs, frozen dinners, cookies, chips, cold cuts, and any microwaveable foods. These items are filled with preservatives, additives, colorings, and sugars that harm your gut. Instead seek out fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and if you have a sweet tooth make your own cookies. Remember, pre-packaged foods offer little nutritional value and do more harm than good in the long run.
If you are noticing your gut is a bit more bubbly than usual or are experiencing bloating, cramps or other issues it may be due to your diet. Staying away from the above foods will help boost your gut health leading to a happier life. As with all diet changes always speak your physician before making any drastic changes.