Junk Food is Harmful to Your Gut, Food Swap Experiment Shows

No surprise: Junk food is harmful to your gut. Switch a junk food diet with a healthy one for two weeks and your gut health will improve and you’ll have less inflammation, a new study shows.

A two-week diet swap experiment hints at just how damaging a Western diet might be to our guts.

A two-week diet swap experiment hints at just how damaging a Western diet might be to our guts.


OVER THE course of two weeks, researchers had 20 American junk food eaters and had them eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet, and they somehow convinced 20 rural Africans to eat junk food.

Guess what happened?

The Americans benefited from less bowel inflammation, while the African volunteers’ bowel health deteriorated, proving once again that junk food is harmful to your gut.

Unsurprising, I say.

Studies with Japanese migrants to Hawaii have shown that it takes only one generation of Westernization to change their low incidence of colon cancer to the high rates seen in native Hawaiians. But we now know that it only takes two weeks of junk food eating to start messing with  your health.

Research shows a high intake of dietary fiber, particularly cereal and whole grains, reduces bowel cancer risk, while eating red and processed meat increases the risk.

That’s the gist of ‘ article, Diet swap experiment reveals junk food’s harm to gut. But before you click over to it and feast your eyes on the details, remember what I’ve been harping on about our microbiome.

Our microbiome is the ecosystem within us, particularly within our gastrointestinal system, that is inhabited by approximately 10 trillion bacteria, ten times the number of our own cells.

These critters have a profound influence over our health, and even how well we age.  Ignore them at your peril.

For instance, it’s now well established by scientists that harmful strains of bacteria can actually influence depression, heart disease, obesity and inflammation.

Read these two articles that I authored:

  1. 100 Trillion Reasons You’re Fat, Sick and Depressed, and
  2. Discover Your Microbiome with the uBiome Test. Update: Some good information about your microbiome at that link, but uBiome is now out of business.

The first article will astound you, and hopefully motivate you to eat cleaner, eat more fiber and supplement with prebiotics and probiotics.

The second article may sway you to test the current health of your microbiota (aka “microbiome”).

Ciao for now.


Last Updated on October 16, 2019 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.