Stop eating EMULSIFIERS... today!!!!

It’s almost impossible to avoid all the chemicals and artificial food additives in the inflammatory and disease-provoking western diet but today you can make one extremely important decision—stop eating EMULSIFIERS. I was surprised to find emulsifiers lurking in my pantry snuck into baked goods that were otherwise  touted as being healthy (low calorie, dairy free, etc). Take this weekend to review the ingredients of food you are eating  and TOSS anything with emulsifiers... to prevent gut inflammation, leaky gut, metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer!

What are emulsifiers?? They are chemicals that are added to processed foods to enhance texture and stabilize processed foods, leading to extended shelf-life. There are many and have unappetizing chemical names like soy lecithin, distilled monoglycerides, and cellulose gum.

Why are they bad??

adapted from  University of Michigan

adapted from University of Michigan

1. Emulsifiers directly influence your microbiome & create inflammation in the gut. Emulsifiers decrease the diversity of the microbiome and directly break down the protective mucosal lining of the gut so that microbes get closer to the cells lining your gut which activates the gut immune system and results in gut inflammation, changes in metabolism and ultimately chronic gut inflammatory diseases, an altered microbiome and leaky gut. Studies have shown that hat administration of emulsifiers resulted in microbiota encroaching into the protective mucus, alterations in microbiota composition, including an increase of bacteria that produced proinflammatory flagellin (FliC) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and development of chronic inflammation. Such inflammation was associated with metabolic disease and increased incidence/severity of overt colitis in susceptible animals.

2. Emulsifiers influence your microbiome to promote metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

3. Emulsifiers create the ideal conditions for triggering colon cancer. A study found that after 3 months of feeding animals emulsifiers they showed changes in their gut microbes that were consistent with promoting tumor growth. The higher levels of inflammation created by the microbial changes are a  perfect cancer-growing environment.

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What can you do to protect yourself from gut inflammation, leaky gut, and chronic GI diseases?


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Food regulations limit the amount of each emulsifier present in a particular food but don't restrict the number of emulsifiers allowed.Luckily, most labels actually have the emulsifier labeled as “emulsifier”. But here are some other scientific names to look out for and avoid: 

  • Bread

    • Dough strengtheners (diacetyl tartaric acid esters and sodium or calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate)

    • Dough softeners (mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids)

  • Chocolate

    • Lecithin

    • Sorbitan tristearate

    • Ammonium phosphatide

  • Ice cream, sorbet, milkshakes, frozen yogurt

    • Mono and diglycerides of fatty acid, lecithin and polysorbates

  • Margarine

    • Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids and lecithin. Citric acid esters of mono and diglycerides,  polyglycerol esters.

  • Processed meat

    • Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids and citric acid esters

  • Baked good

    • Soy lecithin, distilled monoglycerides

In general, these are all processed foods that you should avoid anyway if you're following the #feedyourgut diet to keep obesity, inflammation, and cancer at bay. Toss: processed bread, margarine, mayonnaise, creamy sauces, candy, processed salad dressing, cream cheese, and ALL packaged processed foods

Take home point: #EATREALFOOD. #gutlove