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15 The absolute worst, food for gut health and digestion

by Meghashree Das

The 21st-century humans are ultra men. They are spacewalkers and tech-savvy. They are the fashionistas and the revolutionaries. With the changing world dynamics, our priorities as human beings have also changed. 

We focus on the clothes and not the body inside it. We focus on being active but not fueling the body. In this busy and tormenting daily life, we forgot the fundamental therapy. We have our motto as ‘to not care’.  

Good food is the holy water for the body. Our body has to function day and night to keep us active and disease-free. This requires nutrients. Nutritious food hence is the diesel for the body. In this piece of work, we’ll be discussing the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. Which means our concern would be to chalk out the no-no foods. 

These 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion would affect the body a lot. These 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion are precisely selected. They should be avoided as much as possible. 

Why gut health is important?

As already said, good food is the fuel for the body. And the gut helps to convert the food into fuel. It absorbs all the nutrients from the food in the process of digestion. Hence, when your fuel processing unit is not well, the body cannot function at all. 

Even the most complex organs of our body like the brain and heart are dependent on this fuel. The gut builds the immune system, ensures a good mood and keeps the body functioning. The 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion that we are going to discuss damages the gut. 

These 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion makes the fuel processing difficult. They are complex to convert into fuel. Sometimes nothing can be extracted from these foods as they are so junk. These 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion kills the good bacteria of the gut. These bacteria build immunity in the body. 

The list

Here goes the list of the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. These are extremely harmful to the body and also to your gut health. Following is a brief discussion on these foods which are harmful to gut health- 

Meat-based diet

Meat gives the body protein. It is a good source of animal protein and other minerals. But some research studies show that a diet that has an excess of meat is very harmful to the gut health and digestion process. 

Meat is anyway an animal product. Animal products in the current scenario should be avoided as much as possible. Because whatever is injected into an animal, becomes a part of the human diet too. Another reason to avoid an excess of meat is it is a complex food. It takes a lot of time to churn meat in the stomach. 

Hence meat is very harmful when the consumption is too much. This is one of the most dangerous foods of the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion

Junk food- There’s a reason why this is always on the list of 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. Junk foods are fried foods.

And it is a truth that fried food is not good for the gut at all. It kills the good gut bacteria and promotes the growth of bad gut bacteria. 

It can also lead to irritation, gas and bloating in the stomach. It can lead to serious issues like diarrhea, dysentery and food poisoning as well. Deep-fried food contains an excess of oil that is another complex component. Oil settles around your heart if it’s not burnt. 

Artificial sugar- This is the deadliest in the list of 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. Artificial sugar has sorbitol. Sorbitol’s intake should be limited to a maximum of 50gms a day. 

Sorbitol instigates diarrhea, upsets the stomach and kills the good bacteria. Artificial sugar anyway harms your body in many other ways. If the body is unable to utilize this much sugar, it will lead to obesity. Artificial sugar can be found in chewing gums, coke and confectionaries. 

The cabbage family

These are high fiber foods that are very hard to break. Our gut has to use excessive enzymes and work for long hours to churn these. They also have sugar content in them. Apart from their complexity, they might be unhealthy if the cleaning is not proper. 

Never consume cabbages, broccoli, and other fibrous vegetables without cooking. Raw cabbage and its cousins are hard to deal with. They would take an eternity to break. 

Dairy products

Dairy products rank first in saturated fats and cholesterol. These fats can even clog the arteries of the body. Dairy products again take a lot of time for digestion. Also, there are separate enzymes that break down the sugar found in dairy products. 

If these enzymes are not present in someone’s gut, they may be lactose intolerant. Also, milk has excessive content of urea. It also has blood and puss from the cow. Hence, one should avoid excess dairy products. 


Fructose is a simple sugar component that is a part of the normal sugar we consume daily. Fructose is found in coke, pastries, and candies. Fructose is one of the deadliest foods of the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. 

This is because fructose is hard to break down. It can lead to diarrhea, upset stomach and bloating. Also, this the component that teenagers consume in heavy amounts. This can also make your overall digestion process slower. 


Bean is a surprise on this list. Beans are very healthy. They are filled with good protein and fiber which is important for the body. But the problem with beans is they are hard to digest. It takes time to churn down beans. 

Also, our body doesn’t secrete enzymes that digest beans. It is the bacteria that do this job. These bacteria in return release gas. Hence bloating, gas and dysentery are common problems with beans. The best way to have beans is to boil them first before cooking. 

Spicy food

Spicy food kills the good digestive microbes in your gut. On the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion, spicy food is a very important one. This is because of the trend of spicy food is increasing day by day. Spicy food can also cause ulcers in the gut due to the presence of capsaicin in red chilies. 

These type of foods also leads to stomach irritation and burns. 

Bloating is another common problem associated with it. Hence one should not take an excess of spicy food. If taking any, dilute it with boiled vegetables and soothing components. 

Alcohol- Alcohol should technically top this list of 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. 

Since alcohol is not a part of the food, we are discussing it in a later stage. But now alcohol is a part of most of the meals for people. Hence it is important to discuss its implication on the body. Alcohol consumption, as everyone knows, is harmful to health. In this list of 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion, alcohol is mandatory. Alcohol is anyway harmful to mental and physical health. In terms of gut health, alcohol can lead to dysbiosis. They kill the good gut bacteria and takes a lot of time to be completely out of the body. Hence alcohol consumption is a big no-no.

Artificial ingredients

These are other harmful components on the list of 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. Artificial ingredients should not be a part of your daily meal. These include artificial colorings, preservatives, and flavors. They affect the gut health of a person on many levels. 

Sweeteners and colors can kill good bacteria and can lead to the growth of bad bacteria in the body. According to research, these bad bacteria can work exactly the opposite. They consume the energy out of the body. 

These are not foods and hence the gut doesn’t know how to break it down. 


Gluten is another harmful component of this list. Gluten is a protein found in many types of grains. It is found in wheat and maize. Insulin triggers fatigue, weight gain and bloating. Gluten also leads to bloating and inflammation in the gut. Although this is already present in some organic substances, gluten is deliberately added to many food items. 

Gluten can be found in burgers, pizzas, and confectionaries. Avoid gluten as much as possible. It has long term effects on the body.

Corn- It is a general misconception that corn is very good for the gut. In the 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion, corn is unlikely. But the reason corn is put up here is that it is complex. 

It takes approximately 5 hours for the gut to break down the corn. Also, today’s corn seeds are GMOs. GMOs are genetically modified seeds. These harm your body in the long term. Hence, corn should always be boiled before intake. Also, one should prefer baby corn as these are easy to digest. 


Soy is again unlikely on 15 absolute worst food for gut health and digestion. The biggest reason for its appearance here is processing. Today’s soy is processed with artificial contents and added preservatives. Soy kills the two most important microbes in our gut. These are the Lactobacillus and the Bifidobacteria. 

These microbes are essential to the body for digestion. Excess soy can harm their growth and lower their population. 

Nightshade plants

Nightshade plants include all bell peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes. This is surprising to see them on this list. But the main problem with nightshade plants is the occurrence of glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids are naturally-occurring components in these plants. This induces inflammation in the gut and kills the good bacteria. 

Hence, the heavy consumption of these can be very harmful. Also, a small content of nicotine is also found in eggplants that harms your body.  

Tap water

Water is not food but it is the most important part of all the above foods. The use of tap water in cooking, drinking and washing vegetables can be harmful. Tap water has many chemicals including chlorine. 

Also, the processing and source of tap water are not known many times. Tap water is unhealthy when food is cooked into it. All the chemicals that are in the water, the food absorbs them. Tap water is hence the basic ingredient to be taken care of. 

What is healthy then? 

Avoid all the foods that take time to digest. Also, avoid artificial colorings and ingredients. Eat yogurt. Yogurt soothes your gut and helps in digestion. Eat dry fruits with low calories. Eat fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Particularly bananas. Bananas are the best fruit for your gut health. 

Olive oil is preferable while cooking. Peas are the best little vegetable for your gut health. Hence, try including these in your diet. 


These are the 15 absolute worst foods for gut health and digestion. Their consumption should be minimal in the body. These foods give a life long impact on your gut health. It not only hampers the digestion but also kills the good bacteria in the gut. 

The long term impact of these foods is very dangerous. They can lead to a permanent disability of the gut. The gut will no longer be able to process food and extract nutrients. 

Our gut keeps up our mood. If our gut is not healthy, the entire day seems a waste. Gut health is the most important concern of the body. If the gut is happy, the person is happy. Keep the gut healthy and it will help you stay healthy and active all day. 

Have foods that support your gut health and ensures your well-being. 

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