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Fast Foods is Killing Gut Bacteria

Fast foods are often the only option when you’re pressed for time, but eating fast foods can harm your gut bacteria and immune system. Fast foods are cheap and very convenient. They are served hot and can fill you up after a long day, especially when you’re too tired to cook. It's no surprise that many choose to incorporate it into their modern lifestyles.


How fast foods can harm gut bacteria


Your gut microbiome is home to trillions of microorganisms. Most of which are beneficial or probiotics, while others are harmful. Probiotics play a crucial role in promoting immune health, better digestion and absorption, and preventing harmful bacteria from growing.


According to a new study, fast foods can wreak havoc on the gut microbiome. When this happens, it can lead to dysbiosis or imbalances in the gut. A diet that is high in calories and high in fat like fast foods can alter the gut microbiome by increasing the levels of gut bacteria-associated obesity and reducing overall gut bacteria diversity. Aside from altering the gut microbiome, high-fat and high-sugar diets can starve the beneficial bacteria of nutrients.


Having a healthier diet involving plant-based foods is associated with greater diversity while having a low diversity diet is associated with overweight and obesity. When your gut bacteria are primarily nourished by fast food and takeaways, inflammation and metabolic problems may occur, leading to serious chronic diseases.


Is fast food healthy?


Fiber, which is found in foods, nourishes the gut, but your body can’t break them down. Instead, they are broken down by the beneficial bacteria in the gut. The gut bacteria break down this fiber as foods, which produce various health-promoting molecules. For your gut microbiome to thrive, you must consume lots of fiber, as well as a diverse diet.


Fast foods, on the other hand, are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, which are quite harmful to gut bacteria. They are also low in fiber, an essential component of a healthy gut microbiome. High-fiber diets are shown to increase abundance and gut bacteria diversity. They come in different forms, some of which provide fuel for beneficial bacteria that create short-chain fatty acids or SCFAs. Short-chain fatty acids help prevent inflammation and provides energy for the gut cells. They also enhance the production of mucus that lines the gut.


Adding probiotics for a healthier gut


Probiotics are touted as being both healthy and helpful for digestion. They help support a healthy gut, improve immune function, and may help treat digestive problems such as IBS, IBD. You can add probiotics into your diet by consuming fermented foods and drinks with probiotics. Some examples include yogurt, miso, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkrauts. Alternatively, you can consider adding probiotic supplements to your diet. To help the beneficial bacteria thrive in your gut, eat a diverse range of foods, as this can lead to a more diverse microbiome. Consider also eating lots and lots of fruits and vegetables as they serve as foods for probiotics.


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