When I was asked to speak on Channel 4’s documentary all about gut health, I knew I had to do it to make sure the science was represented among the diet cr*p.
Better to make change from the inside than from the sideline right?! Yes they edited out some things I said, but my message was (hopefully) loud and clear:
You do NOT need to go on a restrictive or extreme diet, cut out food groups, ‘purge’ or spend your hard-earned on some expensive ‘detox’ regime to have good gut health.
Here’s why I wouldn’t recommend what they put to the test…
Bone broth: It might ease gut symptoms in the short term, just because it’s giving your gut a rest by removing the fibre. BUT restricting this fibre long-term starves your gut bacteria – a bad idea for your gut health!
Colon cleanses: There’s no scientific evidence to suggest any health benefits and could be dangerous when it’s done in unregulated private clinics.
Sure, it can relieve constipation in the short term (like a laxative would) BUT it could flush out good microbes too. It also doesn’t treat the cause, so stats show you’ll be bunged up again in no time.
Supplements and shakes: Fibre supplements just can’t replace the 100s of different types of fibre from our whole plant-based foods.
A little sugar isn’t ‘bad’ for your gut microbes either – it gets digested further up your tract before it reaches most of them. And I certainly wouldn’t recommend restricting fruits with natural sugars!
Drinking ghee. There’s no scientific evidence to suggest it’s any different than butter overall. Be mindful ghee is ~50% of a type of saturated fat that has been linked with increasing cholesterol.
Vegan diet. Adding in more variety of whole plant foods can only be a good thing but just know a ‘vegan’ label doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you and cutting out all animal foods isn’t necessary (for health).
If there’s one thing you can do right now to look after your gut health, it’s eating more plants. Diversifying your diet and getting as many different types of plant-based foods. Full of flavour, fibre and fun!