Today you can adjust your diet to fulfill just about any health need: You can eat for energy, for clear skin, for mental health, for a healthy gut—the sky's the limit. Needless to stay, mistakes are inevitable when selecting a food plan based on a health outcome and sticking to the rules that each plan entails. Case in point: the many pitfalls that come with eating for gut health and reducing inflammation in the stomach, which Mindbodygreen recently chronicled. The health and wellness authority recently spoke with various doctors and health experts to identify the most common mistakes that can lead to inflammation—read their responses below.
Snacking All Day
"I'd say snacking throughout the day isn't great for your gut, particularly when it's on foods that cause stress, like dairy or grains. The way you turn on longevity genes is to have windows of not eating. If you can't go four to six hours between meals and at least 12 hours overnight, you probably have a problem with insulin or leptin, or both." — Sara Gottfried, MD, gynecologist, and author of The Hormone Cure
Filling up on yogurt
"Most yogurts have very few live bacteria in them and are packed with sugar and are made from poor-quality, low-fat sources of milk. As a result, the yogurt feeds the sugar-dependent bacteria in the gut, and the quantities of live probiotics are so small as to be inconsequential. If you want to support great gut health it's all about fiber—flax seeds, veggies like broccoli and kale, and whole unprocessed grains like quinoa and oats." — Robin Berzin, M.D., functional medical physician and founder of Parsley Health
Not doing an elimination diet
"A typical mistake I see in people when trying to fight inflammation and heal their gut is still eating certain foods that may be contributing to their problem. Even certain 'healthy' foods may not work for everybody. That's why I suggest an elimination diet to help your gut start to heal and really go back to baseline before reintroducing certain foods to find out what your body really loves and hates." — William Cole, DC, clinical nutritionist
Head over to Mindbodygreen for more doctor insight, and share your approach to gut health below.