By Dietitian Jill Place
I promised you a peek into what I recommend for most of my clients who have leaky gut. More than 80% of us do … and leaky gut can be around even if you don’t have blatant symptoms. Like constipation, diarrhea, GERRRRD, and other digestive problems.
I recommend this diet mainly for those who DON’T do FOODStrong™ food sensitivity testing (but I sometimes incorporate parts of it into their regime for clients who do). Mostly those who are are suffering from different autoimmune issues, bacterial overgrowths (SIBO, SIFO, candida) and even parasites.
Basic Reasons for the Heal Your Gut Diet
Tom O’Bryan, one of my favorite wellness gurus because he explains clinical things in such a down-to-earth way that even YOU can understand, explains that things have changed sooo radically in 10 years that we may be on the verge of the 5th extinction. Shades of The Matrix and The Handmaid’s Tale!
I don’t say that to scare you. But the typical American diet consists of high amounts of sugar (an average of 22 teaspoons per day) and many foods that are void of any nutrients. We have become a society of convenience and a society of wanting it right now … and our health is paying a big price! Also … most of our food … especially fast and take-out food … is processed and filled with harmful chemicals and preservatives.
About the chemicals … when I was a young adult, Monsanto promised “better living through chemistry”. Now those chemicals, including glyphosate (the stuff they spray on food) and bisphenol a (in every plastic thing we store it in) … and the companies that make them … are downright poisoning us.
And causing inflammation and subsequent autoimmune disease.
What is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmune disease, according to O’Bryan, is not solely … per classic explanation … the body’s attacking itself. It’s more about the body trying to rid itself of the toxic overload that it faces today.
An overload of toxins (250 pounds per person per day dumped in our environment) plus a poor diet (processed foods loaded with more chemicals and toxins), lack of exercise, and other poor lifestyle choices have created an autoimmune epidemic. Autoimmunity is fast becoming the #1 medical problem in the world!
And most people don’t realize that it’s the cause of most degenerative diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. And other common conditions plaguing us today like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (the biggest reason for doctor’s visits in the U.S.), Lyme disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, thyroid issues and … you name it.Because the reality is that environmental toxicity plus our modern lifestyle cause inflammation … which causes leaky gut … which causes any disease you happen to be genetically predisposed to.Click To Tweet Ponder that profundity for awhile.
What CAN We Do Dietwise?
Many medical problems … up to 70% of them … can be alleviated by changing your diet and doing some moderate exercise. Dietwise you want to give a wide berth to foods with lots of toxins … not only processed foods but those that contain even more chemicals … like regularly processed meats, vegetables, fruits, and the like. My overall advice … BUY ORGANIC!
A much more comprehensive list of stuff to eat can be found here in this Pegan Diet PDF … I’d highly suggest you pick this up as its lays out the whole thing in detail and gives you a sample … simple menu to follow …
But … in brief … here’s what I recommend …
FOODS TO EAT:
- Organic, free-range meats, poultry, and eggs: higher is Omega-3’s than regular meats … and much lower in toxins
- Fish: salmon, tuna, herring, and other Omega-3-rish fish, wild-caught if possible
- Vegetables and fruit: organic (check out the PDF for the best ones)
- Seeds and nuts and their cold-pressed oils
- Good fats: avocado, coconut oil, Ghee (clarified butter), extra-virgin olive oil
- Gluten-free grains: research has shown that gluten rips up the guts of even healthy individuals. Avoid wheat (especially), oats (unless gluten free), barley, and rye
- Herbs and spices: All of them have healing properties
- Cultured dairy: I avoid this altogether myself, but many do OK with yogurt, kefir, and buttermilk … the bacteria CAN feed your gut
- Beverages: Bone broth (very healing to the gut, and available pre-packaged), nut and coconut milks, water (distilled and filtered only), tea, organic coffee, kombucha
- Fermented foods: vegetables like sauerkraut and pickles … we’ll talk more about this in a future article
FOODS TO DITCH:
- Junk and fast food
- Everything with wheat or gluten: including wheat, bread, pasta, some cereals, pastries, seitan, oats … most goodies …
- Snack foods: pretzels, chips, popcorn, snack bars
- Processed meats: hot dogs, luncheon meat, bacon, etc. (there are unprocessed ones like Applegate Farms and Whole Foods)
- Refined oils: canola, sunflower, soybean, safflower
- Dairy products: milk, ice cream (there are non-dairy alternatives), cheese (ditto)
- Artificial sweeteners: aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin (I lOVE stevia)
- Refined sugar and things sweetened with it (just about everything)
- Sauces: many salad dressings, soy, teriyaki, and hoisin (there are gluten and sugar-free alternatives)
- Beverages: alcohol, sugary drinks (NO Big Gulps please!), carbonated beverages
Do you understand now why I recommend this for almost everyone? Including those who are still healthy and just want to get healthier? I’m so sold on this leaky gut way of eating that I do it myself.