Common ailments of the digestive system include:
* Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* Coeliac disease
Below are the worst offenders when it comes to one’s digestive health:
1. 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
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. Related article: All You Need to Know About Antibiotic Resistance
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
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
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.
No surprises here–we’re all pretty on board with the idea that sugar isn’t the best for your body. (And just to be clear, this includes sugar and sweeteners in all of forms: white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, etc.) But why is it so bad for your gut bacteria? It’s all about balance.
Most of the bacteria in your gut help support your body, but about 15% of the bacteria in there can have some negative impacts on your overall health. Most of the time this isn’t a problem, because as long as the good bacteria outweigh the bad by about six times, things tend to work pretty well. But if the balance of bacteria shifts, then that undesirable bacteria can start to have more of an effect, leaving you feeling less than your best.
6. Eggs & Farmed Fish
Eggs aren’t bad in and of themselves, but how they’re produced really matters. While eggs that come from chickens who are fed a healthy diet, allowed to roam, and not dosed up with antibiotics are generally fine for your health, your standard farm raised eggs are not so great. Again, it comes down to the possibility of getting those residual antibiotics through your food.
Conventionally farmed fish are, you guessed it, often kept in conditions and fed a diet that’s not ideal for their health. To compensate, the people raising the fish often give them antibiotics directly or in their food, which can then be passed on to you. Also, farmed fish are often fed growth hormones and genetically modified corn that can deplete your beneficial bacteria.
Another potential issue? Some types of fish have high levels of mercury in their flesh, which isn’t good for your health overall, and is also associated with lowered levels of good gut bacteria. Like so many of the other things on this list, fish are fine as long as you consume them in moderation and get them from a reputable source…otherwise, better give them a miss.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder with symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping and bloating, and researchers from the SUNY Health Science Center in the US found that about 42% of patients “with alcohol abuse or dependence meet the criteria for IBS”. This is in stark contrast to only 2.5% of patients without alcohol issues.
Source: Internet and Others