How to Improve Your Gut Health by Avoiding These 13 Toxic Foods

    2022-01-2401/24/22   
Cooking  Nutrition  Weight Loss  

We've all heard the phrase "You are what you eat," but there's more truth to it than you can ever imagine! Being aware of what you eat and avoiding toxic foods will improve your gastrointestinal health. Keep reading to learn which foods to avoid for a healthier, happier gut.

A healthy body starts with a healthy gut. Did you know that your immune system begins in your belly?

Throughout the average lifetime, over 60 tonnes of food will pass through the gut. The type of food you put in it plays a significant role in your long-term health.

Why Is Taking Care of Your Gut Health So Important?

There is a lot of research to link our gut health and the balance of the bacteria in the gut and disease.

Did you know that your gut contains thousands of viruses, microorganisms, and bacteria? It's no wonder we should avoid certain foods.

These bacteria collectively make up your gut microbiome and help your body fight any harmful bacteria that enter. A healthy and balanced microbiome can help:

  • Regulate your nervous system
  • Boost your brain health
  • Maintain your metabolism
  • Help you process nutrients 
  • Regulate your immune system
  • Help you fight disease

Healthy, balanced foods can help maintain the balance of bacteria in your gut. Then, if you were to get sick, your body would have a better chance of fighting the illness. 

Here are the Toxic Foods to Avoid to Maintain Gut Health

When you regularly eat processed, low nutrient food, it can play havoc with your microbiome. Eating unhealthy foods may cause inflammation of the gut and may cause issues with your gut health.

Avoid the following 13 foods to keep a healthy gut: 

1. Deep-Fried Foods

Fried food is not only high in fat; it can cause long-term damage to your gut. Oily, fatty foods can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

Have you ever eaten fast food, and it made you feel bloated, too full, and gassy? That's your gut's way of saying it isn't happy.

Avoid or at least minimize eating fast food.

2. Alcohol

We all know alcohol isn't great for us when we drink it too often.

When we drink to excess, it starts to cause problems in the gut. If you drink too much alcohol, it can reduce the number of healthy bacteria in your gut.

Better yet, avoid alcohol completely.

3. Artificial Sweeteners

The clue here is in the name. Anything artificial will not have a positive effect on your gut health! Artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps. Avoid any foods that contain artificial sweeteners!

4. Refined Sugars

Having a sweet treat sometimes is ok. Don't eat refined sugars often if you want to keep your gut bacteria in balance.

Refined sugars can cause inflammation and reduce the effectiveness of your gut lining.

5. Dairy Products

Many people don't have the enzyme in their gut to break down the lactose in dairy products. This can cause gas and bloating.

Avoid eating too many rich dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Your gut will thank you!

6. Citrus Fruits

Although we need citrus fruits as part of our diet for vitamin C, too much can cause issues. They aren't toxic for you, of course, but the acidity of the fruits may give you stomach issues.

7. Processed Meats

We all know that overeating meat isn't good for our overall health. It can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. Processed meats can also harm your gut health.

Leave the bacon and sausages for special occasions only.

8. Coffee

One cup of coffee a day is excellent. When you start to drink three or four cups a day, you may start to get problems with your digestive health.

Drink coffee only in the morning, and don't add chemical sweeteners or creamers to it.

9. Meal Replacement Bars

Cereal bars and protein bars often contain processed sugars in high quantities.

Excess sugar damages your gut health and can mess with your metabolism. If you need a quick snack, check the ingredients and ensure the product is as unrefined and unprocessed as possible. The fewer ingredients, the better!

10. Cereal

Breakfast cereal is an unhealthy choice. They are heavily processed refined carbohydrates filled with sugar. To protect the health of your gut, leave them alone!

Switch out the sugary cereals for oatmeal with fruit for a healthy breakfast alternative.

11. Ready Made Cakes and Cookies

If you want a sweet treat, make it yourself. Anything bought from the store will be full of preservatives and nasty additives; it won't have your best interests at heart!

12. Bread

Bread is another refined carbohydrate high in sugar. It can negatively impact the balance of bacteria in your belly and cause inflammation. Avoid or minimize your exposure to it.

Replace bread with whole grains or legumes.

13. Sodas

Another culprit of poor gut health is high sugar sodas. They disrupt the balance of your microbiome and promote a lower number of healthy bacteria.

Sugar doesn't make your gut happy!

Your Diet Is Key to Your Gut Health

The best way to improve your gut health is to avoid eating these toxic foods regularly. This doesn't mean you should never eat them ever again but be careful to consume them only in moderation.

If you improve your diet to move towards a more whole-food, plant-based diet, you will see many improvements in your gut health. From less gas, bloating and stomach cramps you will feel fuller for longer while consuming fewer calories.

You can also try adding prebiotic supplements and probiotic supplements to your diet. These help keep the balance of the bacteria in your gut.

Supplements aren't magic pills though, you can't take them and still eat cheeseburgers every day! A healthy, balanced diet, combined with the right gut health supplements, will help you get your gut in excellent health.

Our prebiotic supplements are great to get you started to better gut health, so be sure to check them out.

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune diseases, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  Related Content

We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.


chalkboard writing says boost your metabolism accompanies by fruit, dumbbell and measuring tape

7 Supplements to Boost Metabolism

We all know that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are essential for staying healthy. Did you know that supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals can help maintain a healthy weight? Some vitamins and minerals can even help boost our metabolism.


modern grocery store with gluten free and dairy free foods on the outer isles

Help for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Eliminating or minimizing Gluten and Dairy from your diet isn't necessary for everyone but some certainly benefit from making these lifestyle changes. Regardless, we all benefit from eating more natural, whole foods and less processed foods. Learn more about gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition options and take advantage of the educational resources, shopping list, and recipes.


blond woman smiling with lemon halves over her eyes

How to Boost Your Immune System for COVID

Is it possible to boost your immune system naturally? The short answer is yes; there are many simple lifestyle changes we can make to improve the health of our immune system.


How to Grocery Shop and What to Eat

We are what we eat. Studies from reputable health organizations suggest that 40-60% of Americans are living with one or more chronic diseases, which negatively impacts their quality of life, reduces employment productivity, and drives up health care costs.1 Lifestyle choices, in particular, the foods we choose to put into our bodies, are making us sick. However, we do have choices regarding our nutrition.

Learn practical tips for healthy and affordable grocery shopping and consider using a list similar to the recommended natural, whole foods grocery shopping list provided to get you off to a good start!


woman using her hands to illustrate where the gut microbiome is on her body

How to Improve Microbiome Imbalance

How can you ensure you maintain a healthy gut? What daily lifestyle changes can you make to keep stomach upsets and digestive problems at bay? Try these tips and you should see improvements in your digestion in no time.


human with shield in front of gut reflecting objects attacking him

Our Immune System Health & Lifestyle Choices

Most people know that the immune system is responsible for fighting off pathogens and ensuring ongoing good health, but few are aware of the interaction between the immune system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This relationship is mediated by a complex community of gut bacteria, known collectively as the gut microbiome.

Learn more about how our lifestyle choices affect our immune health and practical things we can do to live better today.


healthy and unhealthy foods on four forks show a continuum from healthy to unhealthy depicting the standard American diet

What Is the Standard American Diet (SAD)?

How aware are you of what's going into your body? Are you eating to live or living to eat? In reality, we all have different nutritional needs, but the standard American diet (SAD) doesn't suit most of them (or most people, for that matter). Your diet might be making you sick, sluggish, and at-risk.


quotation saying different people make different choices

Where Does Disease Really Come From?

Chronic disease runs rampant, particularly in Western culture, primarily as a result of poor lifestyle choices. Medical professionals tend to focus more on treating symptoms of sickness and disease rather than promoting greater health and wellbeing through lifestyle behavioral change. Throughout this series of blog posts, you will learn important facts you need to know to preserve and improve your health and wellbeing.


whole foods vegetables on display

Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet

How many times have you jumped on-board the diet train with high hopes of weight loss and improved health, only to discover limited food choices, difficulty staying on-track, and few measurable health benefits? Diet fads come and go, but one - the whole foods, plant-based diet (WFPB)- isn't a fad.

  • Blog Post

    A healthy body starts with a healthy gut. Did you know that your immune system begins in your belly?

    Throughout the average lifetime, over 60 tonnes of food will pass through the gut. The type of food you put in it plays a significant role in your long-term health.

    Why Is Taking Care of Your Gut Health So Important?

    There is a lot of research to link our gut health and the balance of the bacteria in the gut and disease.

    Did you know that your gut contains thousands of viruses, microorganisms, and bacteria? It's no wonder we should avoid certain foods.

    These bacteria collectively make up your gut microbiome and help your body fight any harmful bacteria that enter. A healthy and balanced microbiome can help:

    • Regulate your nervous system
    • Boost your brain health
    • Maintain your metabolism
    • Help you process nutrients 
    • Regulate your immune system
    • Help you fight disease

    Healthy, balanced foods can help maintain the balance of bacteria in your gut. Then, if you were to get sick, your body would have a better chance of fighting the illness. 

    Here are the Toxic Foods to Avoid to Maintain Gut Health

    When you regularly eat processed, low nutrient food, it can play havoc with your microbiome. Eating unhealthy foods may cause inflammation of the gut and may cause issues with your gut health.

    Avoid the following 13 foods to keep a healthy gut: 

    1. Deep-Fried Foods

    Fried food is not only high in fat; it can cause long-term damage to your gut. Oily, fatty foods can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

    Have you ever eaten fast food, and it made you feel bloated, too full, and gassy? That's your gut's way of saying it isn't happy.

    Avoid or at least minimize eating fast food.

    2. Alcohol

    We all know alcohol isn't great for us when we drink it too often.

    When we drink to excess, it starts to cause problems in the gut. If you drink too much alcohol, it can reduce the number of healthy bacteria in your gut.

    Better yet, avoid alcohol completely.

    3. Artificial Sweeteners

    The clue here is in the name. Anything artificial will not have a positive effect on your gut health! Artificial sweeteners can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps. Avoid any foods that contain artificial sweeteners!

    4. Refined Sugars

    Having a sweet treat sometimes is ok. Don't eat refined sugars often if you want to keep your gut bacteria in balance.

    Refined sugars can cause inflammation and reduce the effectiveness of your gut lining.

    5. Dairy Products

    Many people don't have the enzyme in their gut to break down the lactose in dairy products. This can cause gas and bloating.

    Avoid eating too many rich dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Your gut will thank you!

    6. Citrus Fruits

    Although we need citrus fruits as part of our diet for vitamin C, too much can cause issues. They aren't toxic for you, of course, but the acidity of the fruits may give you stomach issues.

    7. Processed Meats

    We all know that overeating meat isn't good for our overall health. It can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease. Processed meats can also harm your gut health.

    Leave the bacon and sausages for special occasions only.

    8. Coffee

    One cup of coffee a day is excellent. When you start to drink three or four cups a day, you may start to get problems with your digestive health.

    Drink coffee only in the morning, and don't add chemical sweeteners or creamers to it.

    9. Meal Replacement Bars

    Cereal bars and protein bars often contain processed sugars in high quantities.

    Excess sugar damages your gut health and can mess with your metabolism. If you need a quick snack, check the ingredients and ensure the product is as unrefined and unprocessed as possible. The fewer ingredients, the better!

    10. Cereal

    Breakfast cereal is an unhealthy choice. They are heavily processed refined carbohydrates filled with sugar. To protect the health of your gut, leave them alone!

    Switch out the sugary cereals for oatmeal with fruit for a healthy breakfast alternative.

    11. Ready Made Cakes and Cookies

    If you want a sweet treat, make it yourself. Anything bought from the store will be full of preservatives and nasty additives; it won't have your best interests at heart!

    12. Bread

    Bread is another refined carbohydrate high in sugar. It can negatively impact the balance of bacteria in your belly and cause inflammation. Avoid or minimize your exposure to it.

    Replace bread with whole grains or legumes.

    13. Sodas

    Another culprit of poor gut health is high sugar sodas. They disrupt the balance of your microbiome and promote a lower number of healthy bacteria.

    Sugar doesn't make your gut happy!

    Your Diet Is Key to Your Gut Health

    The best way to improve your gut health is to avoid eating these toxic foods regularly. This doesn't mean you should never eat them ever again but be careful to consume them only in moderation.

    If you improve your diet to move towards a more whole-food, plant-based diet, you will see many improvements in your gut health. From less gas, bloating and stomach cramps you will feel fuller for longer while consuming fewer calories.

    You can also try adding prebiotic supplements and probiotic supplements to your diet. These help keep the balance of the bacteria in your gut.

    Supplements aren't magic pills though, you can't take them and still eat cheeseburgers every day! A healthy, balanced diet, combined with the right gut health supplements, will help you get your gut in excellent health.

    Our prebiotic supplements are great to get you started to better gut health, so be sure to check them out.

    headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
    Author

    Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune diseases, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

    Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  • Related Content

      Related Content

    We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.


    chalkboard writing says boost your metabolism accompanies by fruit, dumbbell and measuring tape

    7 Supplements to Boost Metabolism

    We all know that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are essential for staying healthy. Did you know that supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals can help maintain a healthy weight? Some vitamins and minerals can even help boost our metabolism.


    modern grocery store with gluten free and dairy free foods on the outer isles

    Help for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living

    Eliminating or minimizing Gluten and Dairy from your diet isn't necessary for everyone but some certainly benefit from making these lifestyle changes. Regardless, we all benefit from eating more natural, whole foods and less processed foods. Learn more about gluten-free and dairy-free nutrition options and take advantage of the educational resources, shopping list, and recipes.


    blond woman smiling with lemon halves over her eyes

    How to Boost Your Immune System for COVID

    Is it possible to boost your immune system naturally? The short answer is yes; there are many simple lifestyle changes we can make to improve the health of our immune system.


    How to Grocery Shop and What to Eat

    We are what we eat. Studies from reputable health organizations suggest that 40-60% of Americans are living with one or more chronic diseases, which negatively impacts their quality of life, reduces employment productivity, and drives up health care costs.1 Lifestyle choices, in particular, the foods we choose to put into our bodies, are making us sick. However, we do have choices regarding our nutrition.

    Learn practical tips for healthy and affordable grocery shopping and consider using a list similar to the recommended natural, whole foods grocery shopping list provided to get you off to a good start!


    woman using her hands to illustrate where the gut microbiome is on her body

    How to Improve Microbiome Imbalance

    How can you ensure you maintain a healthy gut? What daily lifestyle changes can you make to keep stomach upsets and digestive problems at bay? Try these tips and you should see improvements in your digestion in no time.


    human with shield in front of gut reflecting objects attacking him

    Our Immune System Health & Lifestyle Choices

    Most people know that the immune system is responsible for fighting off pathogens and ensuring ongoing good health, but few are aware of the interaction between the immune system and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This relationship is mediated by a complex community of gut bacteria, known collectively as the gut microbiome.

    Learn more about how our lifestyle choices affect our immune health and practical things we can do to live better today.


    healthy and unhealthy foods on four forks show a continuum from healthy to unhealthy depicting the standard American diet

    What Is the Standard American Diet (SAD)?

    How aware are you of what's going into your body? Are you eating to live or living to eat? In reality, we all have different nutritional needs, but the standard American diet (SAD) doesn't suit most of them (or most people, for that matter). Your diet might be making you sick, sluggish, and at-risk.


    quotation saying different people make different choices

    Where Does Disease Really Come From?

    Chronic disease runs rampant, particularly in Western culture, primarily as a result of poor lifestyle choices. Medical professionals tend to focus more on treating symptoms of sickness and disease rather than promoting greater health and wellbeing through lifestyle behavioral change. Throughout this series of blog posts, you will learn important facts you need to know to preserve and improve your health and wellbeing.


    whole foods vegetables on display

    Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet

    How many times have you jumped on-board the diet train with high hopes of weight loss and improved health, only to discover limited food choices, difficulty staying on-track, and few measurable health benefits? Diet fads come and go, but one - the whole foods, plant-based diet (WFPB)- isn't a fad.


The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website is the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. This site and its content is intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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