Is Your 'Gut Healing' Diet Actually Hurting You?


Tamara Duker Freuman - US News

Severe elimination diets starve beneficial gut bacteria and may harm our guts – and our health.

After a recent lecture I gave, a woman approached me to share her experience with trying to heal her leaky gut syndrome on a six-month-long elimination diet, during which time she ate only four foods. Four foods. For six months.

Such anecdotes represent the increasingly popular notion that we can heal our guts of whatever ails us by whittling down our diets to a bare minimum – whether it's bone broth fasts, juice cleanses or stark elimination-type diets. Proponents of such regimens claim that constantly processing "hard-to-digest" foods (often defined arbitrarily) cause the gut to fatigue. As a result, the gut needs time to rest and regenerate. Another common claim is that all sorts of health problems result from having too much "bad bacteria," and by starving them of carbs, gluten or other dietary demons, the "good bacteria" can regain a foothold and restore balance.

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