Processed Foods and Gut Health

Gut Health and Processed Foods

A recent study suggests that food additives may be interfering with gut health. The study also revealed that the food additives may also be causing intestines to have inflammation and reasons of some chronic diseases. What are these additives? Things like emulsifiers that are added to foods like ice cream and peanut butter. What do emulsifiers do? They lengthen shelf life and improve food texture.
The researchers decided to simulate a healthy human gut in a laboratory environment while adding emulsifiers to it. What they found was it lead a dramatic increase in a marker of gut inflammation. They then took that same gut bacteria from the gut and inserted the bacteria into mice that had no gut bacteria of their own. What they found was the mice developed conditions such obesity, high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
The researchers said that they were now going to start testing this on humans to see how it will impact their guts and if it will affect humans in the same way.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but when I have eaten at various restaurants over long periods of time, it typically causes me to gain weight even though I had been making a conscious effort of eating healthier. Why? At the time, I didn’t realize it, but restaurants also put additives in food to make them taste better in many cases “guilt-free” chicken at a restaurant does not end up being guilt free for that exact reason. The same things can be said for many processed foods. What are the ingredients used to prepare it? A rule of thumb I use is If I have trouble pronouncing them, then more than likely it’s probably not worth eating. Here is another tip, if you are looking to improve your health dramatically then stay away from processed foods altogether. If you need more help with understanding your gut microbiome and how it impacts your health or having issues with gut health do not hesitate to contact my office for an appointment.

Dr. Shah, MD