5 Easy Food Swaps to Boost Your Gut Health
Approximately 38% of New Year’s resolutions are health-related. Have you kept to your 2021 health goals so far? If not, you aren’t alone. The vast majority of New Year Resolutions are broken by February.
Here’s something you may not have been aware of, that could have been working against you… your gut microbiome!
A healthy gut is the first step to weight loss and other health goals.
It’s important to understand that your willpower might not be able to overcome poor gut health, because when you have too many bad gut bugs…they can make you crave the bad foods!
Your gut health is often a product of the foods you’ve been regularly eating, and many of us eat what’s known as the “Standard American Diet (SAD)”. This diet is full of sugar, toxic oils, and additives. Coupled with a lack of fiber and antioxidants from plants, it creates an imbalance in your gut microbiome which leads to leaky gut and inflammation.
Sometimes you might even think you’re eating healthy, only to realize later that some sneaky ingredients have been added in. For example, take a look at the sugar content in a basic marinara sauce at the store… you’ll probably be shocked to find a ton of added sugar!
The SAD leads to inflammation and gut issues, and can ultimately cause weight loss resistance. That’s no good!
Did you know addressing your FOOD quality is one of the simplest ways you can create a massive shift in your health?
Today I’m going to give you 5 easy food swaps you can incorporate into your diet NOW to start healing your gut TODAY. I’ve focused on the swaps that will make the biggest difference for you. Each of these swaps will help you reduce inflammation and restore your gut microbiome so you can release weight, regain energy, and heal digestive issues.
1. Switch from Conventional to Organic Produce
Here’s why this is an important one. Glyphosate is a popular herbicide used to kill certain plants and grasses, and many farmers also use it on genetically-engineered crops like corn and soybeans, as well as on non-GMO crops like wheat, barley, oats, and beans. Glyphosate is known to adversely affect the good microbes in our gut.
To limit your exposure as much as possible, you’ve got to buy organic products (because glyphosate is banned in organic farming).
You may not have access to every item in an organic version at your store. That’s normal. This is where you rely on organizations like the Environmental Working Group and their shopping guide to pesticides in produce. The guide is called “The Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen. This list shows you the 15 common types of produce that you CAN buy conventionally because farmers don’t use as many pesticides on them. The Dirty Dozen are 12 produce items you should ONLY buy organic (skip these if you can’t find an organic option).
Click here to download my free Easy Food Swap Guide, and you’ll get the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen list inside the guide!
2. Skip the Traditional Deli Meat & Go for Organic, Nitrate/Nitrite-free, or Uncured
Traditional deli meats including bacon, hot dogs, sausages, and charcuterie are typically cured with nitrates or nitrites. People often confuse these two, but both aren’t great for your health! When improperly heated, they can be carcinogenic, and there is a link between these preservatives and diabetes.
Instead, opt for fresh, organic, and uncured meats. Look for labels that specifically call out NOT using nitrates or nitrites. Become a label reader while you are at the store. Your gut will thank you for it.
3. Swap Canola, Soy & Vegetable Oil for Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Nut Oils or Ghee
Historically, “health experts” have urged us to swap butter for vegetable oils. However, refined vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fats, which are pro-inflammatory. We already have an overabundance of omega-6 fats in the Standard American Diet, and we don’t need more! Here are 2 simple “rules” I recommend you follow to limit your consumption of refined oils:
- Make your own salad dressing. Use high quality olive oil for this because it’s full anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great to use on no-heat or low-heat recipes.
- Choose an oil with a high smoke-point if you are roasting veggies or using high temps on the stove. My personal go-to is either avocado oil or ghee. Coconut oil is also an option, but I prefer to save it for baking due to the coconut flavor.
For a salad idea, check out my massaged kale and fennel salad recipe here on the blog. It includes a homemade dressing!
4. Choose Dark Chocolate Instead of Milk Chocolate
I’m sharing this swap intentionally for one main reason… I love sweets! I used to be a bit of a sugar addict. When I was working on my own healing, I knew something had to change with my sugar intake, but I couldn’t see a future where I never had dessert! This is where “healthy” chocolate comes in.
If you’ve been eating traditional candy or milk chocolate, start swapping it out for darker low-sugar chocolate. I find 70-80% cacao is my sweet spot. One brand I like is Lily’s because it’s sweetened with Stevia.
Another new favorite of mine is Fx Chocolate by Designs for Health. These are bite-sized pieces of chocolate packed with healthy supplements and superfoods. ZERO Guilt. If you buy HERE with coupon code TENFORYOU, I’ll receive a small commission and you’ll get 10% off automatically, plus free shipping!
5. Upgrade Your Water Source
I know water isn’t technically food, but the water you drink is SO important. I also had to include this tip because I recommend water source upgrades to ALL of my clients when we start working together. It all starts with buying the right water filtration systems. Water filter pitchers don’t cut it! My top recommendation is:
- Get a Berkey Filter for all of your drinking water at home. Berkey doesn’t have an affiliate program, but I love the product so much I recommend it anyway!
- Berkey showerheads: check it out on the link above.
These are just 5 of the many swaps you can make to start healing your gut. I’d love to send you my FULL list of 30 food and beverage swaps, so you can start healing your gut right away. I will also include the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen list to help guide your produce shopping.