Over the course of 3 years, I have studied and learned as much as I possibly could about leaky gut because of how it affected my life. Ever since being diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses (autoimmune diseases like psoriatic arthritis), I’ve made myself more conscious and aware of how my gut affects the rest of my body.
One of the leading causes of leaky gut (which is a condition known as intestinal permeability wherein the lining of the stomach develops small holes allowing food particles and more to seep into your bloodstream) is a bad diet.
It shocks me how uninformed people are about food. We are led to believe that our bodies are capable of consuming and digesting any kind of foods available but that is far from the truth.
Genetic modification has vastly altered the structure of foods we consumed for centuries.
Pesticides and chemicals that are aimed at improving agricultural profits have become rampant and the preservatives used to extend their shelf life in hopes of increasing profit margins for businesses are some of the many contributing factors as to why we are developing a leaky gut.
In my own experience, I have been able to heal from autoimmune diseases by vastly altering my diet and eliminating foods that destroyed my gut.
With that being said, before you can even start to fix a leaky gut, you need to be able to identify the kind of foods that need to be reduced in your diet which is why today’s post will aim to shed some light on the top 10 foods that cause leaky gut.
9 Foods That Cause And Worsen Leaky Gut
Nothing is more unessential and more useless to our diets than sugar. It may not be immediately poisonous to our bodies but make no mistake about it, sugar is toxic and is rapidly becoming known for its ability to blast holes in the lining of the human stomach.
More so than that, sugar causes a spike of insulin which in turn suppresses fat burning hormones.
It also happens to be inflammatory in nature thus speeding up the process of aging amongst other things.
Sugar is simply a no-no in all diets, especially for someone who is battling with leaky gut. You want to avoid both white and brown processed sugar, as well as the unnatural substitutes such as sucralose and aspartame(they’re just as bad for you, if not worse).
2. Conventional Dairy
Dairy can be beneficial, if it is sourced from animals that are not injected with antibiotics their whole life, fed GMO foods instead of grass and plants and the product itself are enriched with the enzyme lactase.
As we get older, we lose our tolerance to digest lactose which is present in typically all animal sourced dairy products.
The enzyme lactase is responsible for breaking down and digesting lactase which is why without it, you’re exposing your body to inflammation and other stomach related issues like bloating, diarrhea and nausea. The inflammation caused by cow’s milk, for example, is due to the presence of a growth hormone that reacts negatively in the human body, thus creating inflammation.
RELATED POST: HOW TO HEAL LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Bear in mind, conventional dairy products contain preservatives to prolong shelf life making it even worse for your body.
Long life milk, sweetened processed yogurts, creams and sweetened creams are bad for your gut.
On a side note, if you suffer from acne, try reducing conventional dairy and make a note of the difference in your skin!
3. Processed Meats
If you haven’t noticed in the last 5 years, meat products have been making the news and not for the right reasons. Recently, we found out that processed meats and red meats can be cancerous in nature.
We also learned that when you grill red meat and it kind of blackens, that portions of the meat are reportedly carcinogenic (cancer-causing)!
The problem with processed meats is that they are sourced from animals that are, once again, injected with many rounds of strong antibiotics, fed horrendous foods, grown up in poor environments, exposed to harmful toxins and chemics as well as even genetically modified.
All these factors negatively affect the quality of the meat. Then they go through the processing stage where they are filled with all sorts of weird unhealthy filling materials and preservatives.
Sausages, burger patties, meatloaf and deli meats are bad for people with a poor gut and poor immune system.
4. Hydrogenated Vegetable Seed Oils
The issue with hydrogenated oils is that they contain trans fat which is known for increasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers good cholesterol at the same time. It goes further than that though. Most of these oils have also been said to block and reduce the production of chemicals that lower inflammation.
Now, imagine deep frying your food in these oils, you’re in for a nasty treat because this stuff is going to make you fat and sick. One of the problems with fried foods is that they mess up your acid/alkaline profile within your body.
So many people suffer from acid reflux and that is a contributing factor as to why they develop leaky gut syndrome (ask me, I would know because I went through years of being diagnosed with gastritis).
You’re safer off with organic cold press oils like coconut and olive oil. They contain healthy fats and can be much easier on your system.
RELATED POST: THE BEST FOODS TO EAT TO HEAL YOUR LEAKY GUT
5. Regular And Diet Soda
okay, okay, I know that soda isn’t actually a food product but bear with me for a bit because this is a big factor. Soda’s are generally high in sugar, right? Those that aren’t, contain replacements that are known to be toxic. But sodas are also acidic in nature so imagine the drastic effects it has on your body when consumed regularly.
Soda’s lack nutrients, are caloric dense, contain phosphoric acid which hinders your ability to absorb calcium, contains caffeine and is dehydrating in nature because of the sugar, caffeine and phosphoric acid.
I want you to do a little science experiment, pour soda over a piece of meat and let it sit.
Make a note of what happens to the meat after time. When you see the end result, I want you to think about whether putting that toxic liquid into your body is worth the risk of damage your gut and body will endure.
I don’t have any experience with Alcohol because I don’t drink but after combing through resources, I’ve come to learn that alcohol is pretty bad for gut health.
Apparently, alcohol inhibits the secretion of digestive enzymes to break down food efficiently.
Now, one of the problems with leaky gut is that you suffer from an inability to digest food properly. Secondly, Alcohol inhibits the production of a compound known as prostaglandins which are known for helping the body deal with inflammation.
One thing we do know is that inflammation and leaky gut go hand in hand. So, it seems like alcohol is damaging to the gut and is something you ought to avoid when your gut is compromised.
This was a hard one for me to accept because I love corn. Whether it’s boiled, sautéed with butter, grilled or popped, corn is one of my favorites. But, I know that it doesn’t digest properly in my body ever since I developed a leaky gut.
It started off with a bit of uneasiness and then developed into bloating, cramps, compromised stool and indigestion.
Corn is not what it used to be because structurally, it has been genetically modified more than any other grain (technically it’s not a grain but that’s a discussion for another day) you can think off. Look at products that are unhealthy, a lot of them contain the synthetic sweetener derived from corn called High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Clearly, the way corn is being grown and processed comes with negative health effects and our guts are paying the price for it.
Candy is not natural, right? it’s not like you can plant a seed into the earth and then grow candy (how I wish that were true).
Candy usually consists of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maize, soya, emulsifiers, preservatives and other chemicals that just aren’t healthy.
Furthermore, 99% of candy is devoid of nutritional benefits and is actually inflammatory!
You’re not doing yourself any favors by overindulging in candy on a regular basis. I’m not saying that you have to completely eliminate candy for the rest of your life but you should eat in super moderation.
9. Wheat And Gluten
Last, but certainly not least, wheat and gluten tend to be a problem for people who have leaky gut because breaking down wheat and gluten can become very difficult for a weakened digestive system.
More so than that, people who suffer from celiac disease and or wheat and/or gluten allergies/intolerances tend to experience an immune reaction when consuming typical wheat products. This immune response results in loads of inflammation which essentially poses a significant threat to your gut health.
Keep in mind that if you are celiac or allergic to it, you should be avoiding these grains at all costs.
What you ought to be eating are substitutes like rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour and coconut flour products. Opt for bread that is made from sprouted grains and eat white and brown rice instead of traditional baked goods.
It all depends on your digestive system and what your body can handle.
If you have leaky gut or perhaps you don’t have it but react negatively to wheat and gluten, then I suggest temporarily reducing or taking it out of your diet until your gut improves from all the natural remedies you implement. Once your digestive system improves, then reintroduce wheat and gluten under the supervision of your doctor.
I know that it can be difficult to cut out these foods, especially with how easy and accessible they are but you have to make an investment in your own health. Decide which of these items affect you, reduce or remove them completely from your diet while you heal, introduce foods that heal leaky gut and give your body the respect it deserves.
I wish you everything of the best and the best gut health in the world.
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