This week, we’re concentrating on foods you should avoid. As we’ve mentioned before, and something we’ll stress throughout this journey – this will vary from person to person – but we’re here to guide you in the right direction.

Avoiding an upset stomach

Bosh! Another week completed.

How are you feeling? Any noticeable changes? We hope you’re feeling GREAT!

Last week we encouraged you to diversify what you eat. Hopefully having introduced a little more dietary fibre and variety to your diet you’ll have noticed some changes in your stools – we’re aiming for a 3 or 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart, described as sausage or snake-like and either smooth and soft or with cracks in the surface; that’s good sh*t ????

If you’ve introduced a little too much fibre too quickly you might notice you’ve been a bit more bloated and gassy, a great way to remedy this is with more hydration; this is a marathon, not a sprint and slow and steady wins the race.

Remember this shouldn’t be considered a diet, it is instead a lifestyle change. The difference being, a diet is something you begin and end, whereas a lifestyle change is something you adopt that becomes part of your everyday (give or take) life. These small changes lead to positive habits over time that compound and in turn promote a healthier existence. 

This week… we’re concentrating on foods you should avoid. As we’ve mentioned before, and something we’ll stress throughout this journey – this will vary from person to person – we’re here to guide you in the right direction and show you how to identify foods that cause upset, but it’s up to you to take action in identifying and avoiding these. This is largely therefore dictated by your food diary, so repeat the process of going back through your diary; identifying low points in your mood, gut feeling and spikes in your stress. Read back through the foods you took that day and try removing them.

You are still very much in the early phases of tweaking your consumption to figure out what works for you, the aim here isn’t to reduce the variety of what you eat (it’s actually the opposite!), but to better understand how and what you eat makes you feel, all the while making an effort to diversify your diet.

We also couldn’t stress enough that if you are regularly experiencing diarrhoea, bloating, tummy pain or skin rashes and you’re not certain of the cause, then do go and see your GP. 

At this point it’s important to differentiate between a food allergy and food intolerance. A food allergy is a reaction by your immune system, treating proteins found in your food as a threat. Food intolerance on the other hand does not involve your immune system and there is no allergic reaction. It is often linked to issues digesting the food type.

Generally speaking, and whilst this does vary from person to person, the foods that are typically linked to an upset stomach include;

Artificial sweeteners such as diet fizzy drinks. Artificial sweeteners (like saccharin and sucralose) used in some diet drinks, can influence our gut microbiota population. The carbonation in soda also can cause bloating and feelings of discomfort.

Saturated fats. A diet high in saturated fats (fatty meats, butter and cheese) can affect both the diversity and abundance of your good gut bacteria. 

Red meats. Research suggests that red meat can lower the number of microbes in your gut. 

Processed meats – Diets full of processed meats have been linked to a decrease in the number of bacteria in your gut. 

Added sugar – The microbes in your belly love sugar just as much as you do, but the results aren’t great. Simple sugars feed bacteria and can lead to overgrowths of less beneficial or harmful bacteria and reduce diversity. Check out the ingredient list in breads, sauces, and condiments and keep your daily intake under the recommended limit of 37.5 grams (g) for men and 25 g for women.


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