We know sugar can make us feel sluggish, slow and stressed, but did you know the dangerous effect it can have on your gut? We’ll be diving into the risks of too much added sugar, plus sharing 3 ultra-processed foods you’ll want to steer clear of if you’re after a healthy gut.
Our gut health is incredibly important for our overall wellbeing – and it’s made up of trillions of bacteria that have the power to make or break our health. It can affect our immunity, mental health and digestion. Luckily, we have some sway over the balance of bacteria in our gut – some foods are inflammatory and feed the bad guys, while other foods allow the good bacteria to thrive. Ultra-processed foods may be a staple of modern convenience, but they come at a high cost. Many of these foods contain sugars, preservatives and artificial ingredients that can wreak havoc on our gut health. Here’s the low-down on what to avoid for a happy gut.
Chips and crackers
Packaged snacks like chips, crisps and crackers are highly convenient and often the first and last things we see on our supermarket trip – but don’t be fooled! The cost to your health overtime is detrimental, and this is because they’re loaded with salt, trans fats and even added sugar! They may not taste sweet, but they’re often one of the most surprising sources of hidden sugar. These ingredients can disrupt the balance of good bacteria in our gut, leading to inflammation and digestive issues. Go for healthier snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables with hummus or home-prepared spiced nuts – they’ve got all the taste, crunch and convenience, and none of the dangers of excess sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Processed meats like salami and hot dogs often contain nitrates and other preservatives that can harm our gut health. These chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, not to mention the number they do on our digestion. Instead, opt for fresh, lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish – or vegetarian and vegan sources of protein like tofu, tempeh, natto and legumes are all loaded with gut-boosting nutrients.
Many breakfast cereals are marketed as healthy, but you’d be surprised at what’s hiding underneath. These are highly-processed and loaded with added sugar and artificial flavours. These ingredients can disrupt the balance of good bacteria in our gut, leading to inflammation and other health problems – and they set us up for a day of unstable moods and low energy. Hello 3 o’clock slump! Instead, try making your own cereal from oats, nuts, buckwheat groats, seeds and yoghurt. Keep in mind, eating a breakfast rich in protein and healthy fats is one of the best ways to ensure a day of stable blood-sugars.
Need a little extra help fighting off a sugar addiction? We know persistent those cravings can be, and many of us struggle to reel in our habit even though we know just how detrimental sugar is to our health. That’s where we come in – don’t fight your addiction alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program, where your whole family can benefit from your progress, recipes and expert content. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining.
We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
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- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.