Worst Foods for Gut Health

Our gut relies on the right balance of different bacteria to digest the food we eat and also, to prevent infection and inflammation. Gut health also affects your mental health, weight, blood sugar, and liver. Bacteria and other microbes in the gut help the body digest food. These bacteria may also play an important role in helping the body fight harmful bacteria, yeast, and other microbes.

Foods that promote gut health can feed good bacteria or add more helpful bacteria to the gut. Less healthful foods may promote gastrointestinal problems or damage gut bacteria.

The effect of different foods on gut health depends on numerous factors, including a person’s overall diet and food sensitivities. Someone who is sensitive to certain foods, for example, might suffer with gut health issues from a food that would otherwise be gut friendly.

In this article, learn about the worst foods for gut health, why they contribute to gastrointestinal problems, and more.

Red Meat

Red meat can trigger the growth of gut bacteria that lead to clogged arteries. Stick to lean protein sources such as fish or plant protein like beans and tofu. If you can’t give up beef, pork, and lamb completely, choose leaner cuts with names that include round, loin, or sirloin.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are already on the not-good-for-you list. It hasn’t been proven in humans yet, but studies on rats shows that heated oil, which soaks into the fried foods, can damage healthy gut bacteria.

Foods With Antibiotics

Antibiotics can’t really distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria, so they kill them all. Often, farmers treat animals with antibiotics to keep them from getting infections. If you eat these animal products, you can kill the healthy bacteria in your gut. And because some bacteria become antibiotic resistant over time, meaning the drugs no longer affect it, you might end up with a hard-to-kill superbug.


Alcohol, especially if you’re a heavy drinker, can disrupt the balance of bacteria in your gut and help bad bacteria grow. Moderation is key.


Coffee, soda, and even too much chocolate can up the caffeine in your body, which ramps up your intestines. This excitement in your digestive system often causes diarrhea.

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