4 Foods That Are the Worst Offenders For Your Gut Health

All of us know we should drink more water and eat more vegetables and fruit, as well as more whole grains and yogurt if want to have a healthier gut. According to recent research, an occasional glass of red wine, too, can benefit your digestive system. But do you know which food types are the most harmful of all, and if so, do you know why they are so harmful? Of course, the types of foods that you tolerate well and don’t tolerate at all will depend on your unique biology, but some foods have a long record of irritating our guts and harming our digestive system, whereas others are much milder and better tolerated.
Below are the 4 worst offenders when it comes to one’s digestive health:

1. Fried Foods

gut health bad foods Fried Foods
There are two issues with fried foods that make them the number one offender on our list. Firstly, fried foods are soaked in oil, and such high quantities of fats are quite difficult for the body to digest and put a heavy workload on the liver. This is why patients suffering from liver disease are often asked to cut out fried foods from their diet completely.
Cutting out oils and fats from your diet is never a good thing, but avoiding fried foods will help you prevent liver disease.
But it’s not only the quantity of oil in fried foods that’s so alarming, the kind of oil you or the restaurant you ordered a meal used to fry the food that matters as well. Oils that contain a lot of saturated and trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils often used in fried foods can by their very nature irritate the stomach lining and be the cause of diarrhea, gas, and abdominal pain.

2. Foods Treated with Antibiotics

gut health bad foods Foods Treated with Antibiotics poultry farm
Large animal farms routinely treat the animals they grow with antibiotics to prevent mass infections, as the animals usually live in crowded facilities where the spread of infections would be inevitable. And while this may be a good business tactic, this practice may be harming your gut health and contributing to the problem of global antibiotic resistance, which is why antibiotic use today is harshly regulated in most European countries.
As of now, scientists aren’t sure what’s causing antibiotic resistance on a global scale and factors other than preventative antibiotics given to farm animals, such as overprescription to patients, may contribute to the cause. Still, the antibiotic residues we consume in our meat and dairy products may affect our gut.
This is because antibiotics, by definition, kill all bacteria they come in contact with, not only the harmful ones, including the good ones you need in your gut. The lack of good gut bacteria, in turn, makes it more difficult for you to digest food and can result in many digestive issues.

3. High FODMAP foods

gut health bad foods High FODMAP foods woman suffering from abdominal pain
The FODMAP diet has been created specifically for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other bowel issues to help them find the trigger foods that are irritating their digestive system. The typical irritants are certain kinds of carbohydrates, for which the diet got its name: Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.
Foods containing these irritants (called high FODMAP foods) are suggested to be eliminated one by one, with the goal of finding the culprit behind the issue. 
Common high FODMAP foods include:
  • Processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners
  • Fruit juices
  • Condiments, e.g. jam, ketchup, and hummus
  • Certain fruits, e.g. mangos, cherries, apricots, etc.
You can learn more about the diet and what foods are beneficial for IBS patients and patients with digestive issues by clicking on the following link: The Low-FODMAP Diet for People with GI Problems.

4. Animal Protein

gut health bad foods animal protein sources
Like most things, animal proteins become harmful when consumed in excess. Studies looking at the effects of high animal protein diets have confirmed countless times that too much red meat, processed meat, and even dairy can affect the gut bacteria, increase the risk of bowel cancer and even heart issues.
One study even showed that as little as 1 strip of bacon a day can increase one’s risk of bowel cancer by 20%. Limit your intake of red meat and cut out processed meats from your diet if possible, but don’t cut out animal proteins altogether, as they offer essential nutrients, particularly proteins, vitamins, and choline.
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