Great Gut Blog

One Easy Way to Improve Gut Health

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

One Easy Way to Improve Gut Health

While there’s no single fix to give you good gut health, there is one thing you can do right now that will, in a short period of time, make a marked improvement in the health of your gut.

What is it?

Reduce your sugar intake.

Sugar’s Effects on the Gut

Did you know that there can be around 1,000 species of bacteria in any person’s gut? Some are good, some are bad – and one key aspect of gut health is maintaining the balance between the good and bad bacteria. Sugar is a big culprit in disrupting that balance, because it feeds the bad bacteria, tipping the balance in their favor and letting them overwhelm the good bacteria.

Sugar causes a whole host of detrimental effects on the gut, including inflammation throughout the body as a direct result of its imbalancing the bacterial population. Numerous studies have linked sugar consumption (especially all those sugary drinks so many of us like to consume) to chronic inflammation. Studies also found that people with high sugar diets had an increase of uric acid and more of the C-reactive inflammatory markers in their blood and, when people reduced the number of sugary drinks, those markers decreased – and that’s a fantastic thing to know, as it means we can heal sugar’s effects on our bodies.

Sugar is Everywhere

That’s the literal truth – sugar is in almost everything we eat and drink in some quantity. And not all sugars are bad. In fact, it would be unhealthy to completely eliminate all sugar from your diet.

There are two types of sugar: simple sugars, the kind we find naturally in fruits, vegetables, grains and even in milk. These are good sugars, and attempting to eliminate them because you want to reduce your sugar intake would mean eliminating a great deal of nutrition from your diet. The second type of sugar is refined sugar – the kind that is made by processing sugar cane or sugar beets and which is used to sweeten all sorts of foods and drinks. These are the bad sugars; these are the ones you want to look at when it comes to reducing your sugar intake.

The Easiest (and maybe Hardest) Sugar to Eliminate

The number one sugar you can quickly and easily eliminate from your diet is soda. While there’s good news – the per capita soft drink consumption by Americans continues to decrease – the bad news is that Americans are still consuming nearly 40 gallons of soda each year.

We love our soda, don’t we? Which is why I said it might be both the easiest – and the hardest – sugar to eliminate from your diet.

The fact is, there is no nutritional value to soda, and it’s the source for a large percentage of the sugar many of us consume each day. Just eliminating soda and nothing else will drastically reduce your daily sugar intake, and make a huge positive impact on your health.


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