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Gut Experts Reveal What “Fruits and Fiber” Really Can Do to Your Body

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If you eat too much fruit and take a lot of fiber, your gut bacteria might be singing, but your gut might be screaming.

There is now an almost constant emphasis on eating properly, which is to be welcomed in many ways, as the United States faces an obesity issue that requires immediate attention. However, you might have too much of a good thing, which can lead to unanticipated health issues. Clinical nutritionist Elaine McGowan, a consultant gastroenterologist, and Prof Barbara Ryan, the brains behind The Gut Experts, are pessimistic.

As well-intentioned people make terrible decisions, they’re seeing an extraordinary spike in cases of poor gut health.

Experts estimate that approximately 20% of instances fall into this category.

Wheat and lactose limitations, substantially increased fiber consumption, and vegan diets are among the worst offenders Ms McGowan and Prof Ryan encounter.

The professionals told the Daily Telegraph about one young woman they helped who had never had any intestinal problems before.

The troubles began when she began working out at the gym more frequently and adopting “healthy” dietary adjustments.

After hearing about her new diet, they found out that she was eating a lot of fructans and fructose, like smoothies made with spinach and kale and bowls of prunes and dates.

“It was actually causing her bloating symptoms because she was eating too much fruit and fibre,” says Prof Ryan.

“We’ve all been told to feed our gut bacteria, which is a great thing to do for your overall health, but if you’re taking loads of fibre, your gut bacteria can be singing but your gut can be screaming,” adds Ms. McGowan.

The Gut Experts recommend a low-and-slow approach to increase fiber consumption, starting with a daily intake of 20g.

They also warned about the risks of carefully adhering to dietary guidelines.

As explained by Prof Ryan: “We’re seeing a lot more people eating very rigid diets and yet they are not feeling great. They’re cutting out more and more things because they’re trying to manage their gut symptoms but going about it the wrong way.”

What begins as a desire to eat more healthily can evolve into a desire to remove sweets and consume less saturated fats.

“That moves on quite quickly to more restrictive diet regimes, such as eliminating dairy and wheat,” according to Prof Ryan.

Part of the problem, according to Ms. McGowan, is the growing emphasis on plant-based diets.

“I think if people want to do the plant-based thing for moral or ethical reasons, then OK, but if it’s for perceived health benefits? We personally don’t believe it’s a more healthy approach.”

Ms. McGowan calculated that three bowls of kale, 18 tablespoons of lentils, and 75 almonds per day would be enough to meet your iron and calcium requirements on a strictly vegan diet.

“You have to really try really hard to meet all your nutritional requirements and that’s difficult to do without eating a lot of bloating foods,” adds Prof Ryan.

To re-establish your gut health, the Gut Experts recommend the following:

  • Slow down your eating: Enzymes in the mouth start the digestion process. It is critical to chew your meal thoroughly. You may also swallow air if you eat quickly.
  • Leave the fizzy drinks at home: They might cause stomach gas and distention.
  • Don’t snack: Give your stomach a break in between meals. When you fast for four hours or more, your stomach rumbles with hunger, which is known as the housekeeping wave. This migrating motor complex is critical for removing microbial detritus and assisting bowel movement.
  • Solid foods take two to three hours to pass through your stomach and into your intestines, while liquids take an hour. Until then, avoid lying down.

How can I tell if my gut is sick?

Poor gut health symptoms, according to Bupa, include belly pain, bloating, and headaches.

“Keeping a food and symptom diary is a great tool to help you identify allergies and intolerances to certain foods,” according to the health body.

“It can also help you to understand what makes an existing condition worse, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or migraines.”

Image Credit: Getty

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