Have you noticed the increasing use of the term “leaky gut” in recent years? Have you tried to understand how changes in your diet might help leaky gut? Perhaps, more specifically, you are someone that is experiencing leaky gut and wonder how the ketogenic (often referred to as “keto”) diet might compare to other diets in easing the troubles of leaky gut. We want to assist you in choosing fuel for your body that will help you achieve your goals, be sustainable, and be successful in remedying this issue. Let’s take a closer look at what it is, what causes it, how you can manage it, and the best diet for leaky gut.
In helping you explore the best diet for leaky gut, we will first need to explain what it is. We need to understand how the intestines work in the body. The intestines are part of the digestive system which is responsible for breaking down the food you eat, absorbing nutrients and water to provide nourishment, and removing waste products from the body. The intestines serve as a barrier between the gut and the rest of the body. The intestines have small gaps or tight junctions to allow food and nutrients to move into the bloodstream. Leaky gut occurs when those gaps loosen or get larger. If this occurs your body is considered to have increased intestinal permeability. This means that toxins, bacteria and larger food particles can then pass through and enter the bloodstream. Generally, these things are supposed to move through the intestines and either be processed or excreted, not move into other parts of your body.
It is not entirely clear what causes leaky gut. There is a protein responsible for tight junctions called zonulin. Studies (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/leaky-gut-diet#Causes) show that increased intestinal permeability and loose junctions could be caused by higher levels of zonulin. If it is released within the intestines, the junctions open slightly and this allows larger particles to move through the wall of the intestines. Studies (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-leaky-gut#section4) have been done that show that gluten can activate zonulin and therefore increase permeability of the intestines.
There is a lot of work put into finding a sustainable diet that will produce results. Despite the research and information available to us today, not everyone will have the same results even if they are following the exact same plans. Everyone’s body will respond differently, and it is up to you to make changes until you find the plan that works the best for you. It can be overwhelming and for many people it is, at times, very frustrating. A major factor to evaluate is finding a plan where whole foods, particularly ones that you enjoy consuming, can be incorporated. A lot of focus should be put on the quality of food consumed. Other lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and improving sleep can also contribute and improve overall results. Remember that regardless of your diet choice, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking water. It is also suggested to avoid soda, drinks with added sugars, and alcoholic beverages.
We know that the benefits to finding a healthy, balanced diet are great and that the decision is one that needs to be made based on your health history, overall goals and in consultation with your primary care physician. Our goal with this article is to assess possibilities regarding the best diet for leaky gut so that you can make an educated decision regarding your health journey.
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