Great Gut Blog

4 Items In Your Pantry That May Be Harmful To Your Digestive System

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

4 Items In Your Pantry That May Be Harmful To Your Digestive System

Advertising plays an important role when it comes to our diet and the diets of our families. If something is marketed as healthy with detailed studies proving how a certain food may have a positive impact on our health, there’s no reason not to trust them. Only the best for our families, right?

However, those studies often don’t mention quantities. Some foods may be highly beneficial to restoring your digestive health, but only if you prepare them properly. Take a look at the following list of items that you may have in your fridge or pantry right now and get familiar with the pros and cons of each.

Cooking Oils

Cooking oils are marketed to us as a healthy ingredient that should be a part of every meal. Not all oils are created equal. Vegetable, soybean, canola, and corn oils are rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. This fat is a dangerous substance that causes an inflammation in your digestive tract and is incredibly poor for restoring your digestive health. It may increase the risk of heart diseases and other serious illnesses.
A better alternative and my suggestion is to look for extra-virgin oils that are properly processed, perhaps with coconut oil. These oils contain a nice amount of healthy nutrients that won’t do harm to your organs.

Coffee & Soda

If you want for your digestive system to function properly, it is necessary for you to maintain a balanced gut flora. Your gut flora becomes disturbed when you drink sodas which are artificially or naturally sweetened. Not to mention corn syrup, sugar, or synthetic sweeteners in soda that may trigger an inflammatory reaction.

Drinking coffee causes the release of stress hormones, and not only that – your body can make the mistake of recognizing a certain protein in the coffee as the one in found in wheats, and this causes a cross-reaction. When this, let’s call it, “funny” reaction happens, your body has an inflammatory response similar to gluten.

Cereal Grains

Snacks and fast meals you probably prepare frequently, like pasta, bread, or crackers, may be delicious, but they are no friend to your gut. Because these meals contain wheat, corn, and rice, your body isn’t capable of digesting them properly, making them some of the more toxic pantry items out there.

Unlike animals, plants don’t have aggressive defensive mechanisms – instead, they produce various toxins to defend themselves. The substances these plants produce absorb proteins from your digestive system. They also contain toxins that bind to minerals which our digestive tract can’t easily dissolve.


Products that have a milk base are absolutely yummy and it’s very difficult to say no to a comfort food such as grilled cheese. However, many studies indicate just how unhealthy these toxic pantry items are. It’s a misconception dairy products make our bones stronger, it’s Vitamin D that is responsible for ensuring our bones remain strong as we age.
A not-so- fun fact is that over 75% of the world’s population is unable to digest dairy products properly. Excessive amounts of dairy products will decimate the good bacteria in your gut, and because you won’t be able to dissolve it properly, it’s quite common that you’ll feel bloated and the numbers on your scale may begin to creep up.

You may be thinking non-dairy types of milk may be a good alternative, however, many contain carrageenan. With a regular intake of carrageenan, you can increase your chances of ending up with something as serious as a leaky gut.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to prepare truly healthy meals for you and your family, there’s a lot more to learn. Each individual’s gut has different likes and dislikes, so to speak, and you should listen to your body. It’s important to keep yourself updated and check more than few resources when you’re learning about a new ingredient.


The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between
Effects of Caffeine and Coffee on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, & Colitis
Whole Grains: Good or Bad?
How Milk and Dairy Products Will Destroy Your Health


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