There’s an old saying, “you are what you eat.” And it’s true, of course.
Your diet influences how healthy you are from head to toe. Many health complaints can be traced right back to what’s on the end of your fork. And this is especially true for your digestive health.
Certain foods are simply terrible for your tummy. They can be hard to digest, trigger inflammation or mess with your belly bug balance.
Dump these three foods for better digestive health
Following are three of the worst offenders.
1. Fried foods:
You don’t need me to tell you that fried foods aren’t good for your health. That’s obvious. But it turns out fried foods are especially hard on your stomach.
Fried foods, which are typically filled with unhealthy fats, tend to take far longer for your body to digest. Your body has to put in a lot of extra effort to break them down. And that means they end up sitting around in your intestines.
But the bad news doesn’t end there. Deep fried animal derived foods often contain high levels of inflammatory compounds called Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs. AGEs form when foods are cooked at high temps for a long period.
Repeated exposure to AGE’s can trigger inflammation and oxidative stress. And they’re known to contribute to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
Removing ALL fried foods from your diet is a good idea, but some of the worst offenders—mainly because they’re so common—are French fries, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, hot dogs, potato chips and fried chicken.
Foods that are susceptible to forming more AGEs when fried include red meat, fried eggs, cheese, butter, margarine, cream cheese, mayonnaise and nuts.
2. Carb-heavy foods:
If you’re serious about improving your digestive health, it’s time to kick carb-dense foods out of your diet for good. Foods that have a high number of carbs in relation to what they weigh don’t just cause you to pack on pounds; they’re terrible for your tummy too.
Carb-heavy foods which are high in simple sugars and low in fiber and water can wreak havoc with your gut bug balance and trigger inflammation. Bacteria feed on carbohydrates so a diet high in low-quality carbs can lead to bacterial overgrowth. And that can cause all kinds of belly problems including gas, bloating, constipation and weight gain.
Bagels, crackers, white rice, cereal, pretzels and rice cakes.
Remember not all carbohydrates are bad. Fiber rich and nutrient dense carbs provide your body with important prebiotics to improve your digestive health. Examples of good carbs include onions, leeks, yams, jicama and asparagus.
3. Highly processed meats:
Highly processed, conventionally raised meats are terrible for your tummy. To begin with, they’re often difficult to digest.
That means just like the fried foods we touched on earlier your body has to work extra hard to break them down and process them. And that, of course, means they end up sitting around stewing in your intestines longer.
Diets high in processed meat are linked to a higher risk of cancer in the digestive tract. Many experts believe this may be, at least in part, because of the extra nitrates and nitrites which are added to these foods. Exposing those nitrites in the meats to high heat during their processing can turn them into carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Plus researchers warn, regularly chowing down on those same processed meats can alter your gut flora. Animal studies have found a meat-heavy diet encourages certain types of bacteria to thrive, including at least one which can trigger inflammation and intestinal disease.
And then there are the potential effects of the GMO feed which conventionally raised farm animals eat. Studies have shown that the glyphosate-based herbicides used on feed crops can alter the animal’s gut flora. They can suppress certain belly bugs while allowing others to overgrow. And eating these meats then adds to our own exposure to these belly-bug altering chemicals.
Ditch the highly processed meats and opt for organic, fresh meats instead.
Hot dogs, cold cuts, preformed meatballs and precooked meats.
Don’t let these tummy tyrants threaten your digestive health. Ban them from your diet starting today.