(Greatist) Certain foods can wreak havoc with your digestive health, leading to gas, bloating, indegestion, and colonies of bacteria that harm your immunity.
Here’s a look at four of the worst dietary offenders to cut back on – or in the case of #3, eliminate entirely since it has zero nutritional content and can only cause problems.
1. Too Much Booze
We know that too much of the happy juice isn’t a good thing for our health overall, but it turns out it’s really not favoring our guts.
Early research looking at alcoholics suggests that chronic alcohol intake is associated with changes in the bacterial microbiome, which may play a role in alcohol-induced tissue injury and liver disease.
While we need more research done on a healthy population, it’s probably best to throw ’em back in moderation.
2. High Saturated Fat Diet
Despite the popularity of high-fat diets, early research suggests that a diet rich in saturated and trans fat may not be so good for the gut.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in saturated fat (like from butter or fatty cuts of meat) may increase the “bad” gut bacteria population and decrease the “good” bacteria. In contrast, enjoying more unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts may help your gut.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Research also has noted an association between artificial sweeteners, metabolism, and changes in our gut microflora.
Maybe it’s time to try to cut back on the fake stuff in favor of smaller amounts of real sugar.
4. High Animal Protein Diet
Research has linked animal products, especially red meat, to an unfavorable microbiome. Studies suggest that red meat may promote the growth of “bad” bacteria, and potentially increase the risk of irritable bowel disease.
We believe everything fits in moderation, so you don’t need to quit meat cold turkey (pun intended), but we can all likely benefit from eating less of it. Read the full story at Greatist.