Does Sugar Kill Good Gut Bacteria?

Does Sugar Kill Good Gut Bacteria?

Does sugar kill good gut bacteria?’ Our microbiome is a delicately balanced system, aiding in many essential bodily functions - and excessive sugar consumption can throw it completely out of balance. 

We’re not saying that it’s necessary to cut sugar out completely - after all, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few sweet treats in moderation. Instead, it’s important to be mindful of how much sugar you’re consuming and whether you believe it's impacting the well-being of your gut. 

So, does sugar kill good gut bacteria? In this blog post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about sugar and its impact on the microbiome. Find out more below. 

The Microbiome 

Our gut microbiome is one of the most extensive and complex systems in the body - consisting of trillions of live bacteria, with more than 1,000 different species residing within.

The bacteria in the microbiome are essential for promoting good health and well-being as they assist with immune function, nutrient absorption, digestion, and so much more. 

For this system to run smoothly, there’s a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria within the microbiome - though, when we consume higher amounts of sugar, this balance can be thrown off course. 

Does Sugar Kill Good Gut Bacteria?

Let’s answer this popular question - does sugar kill good gut bacteria?

High sugar consumption can harm the microbiome, throwing the system out of balance in favour of non-beneficial bacteria. With an excessive sugar intake, pathogenic bacteria begin to grow and thrive while good bacteria becomes scarious. 

What’s worse is that this imbalance can lead to more sugar cravings - which can cause further damage to the microbiome. To allow the gut time to recover and rebalance, sugar intake should be reduced and monitored. 

How To Consume Less Sugar 

If you think your microbiome is suffering from too much sugar and you’d like to learn how to consume less sugar for your gut health, we’ve listed a few tips below to get you started. Take a look! 

Check The Ingredients List 

Checking the nutritional information panel on your grocery items is a great way to see how much sugar you’re eating. 

After all, sugar can hide in all sorts of unsuspecting items - such as yoghurts, oatmeal, sauces, and more. Luckily, you can see the amount of added sugars that an item contains by reviewing the nutritional information panel - underneath the ‘total carbohydrates.'

Otherwise, you can also review the ingredient list - the higher it is on the list, the more sugar it contains. More often than not, sugar won’t be shown as ‘sugar’. Instead, it could appear as cane sugar, corn syrup, rice syrup, maltose, and more.  

Ditch Sugary Drinks 

One of the best things you can do to cut back your sugar intake is to ditch those sugary soft drinks or processed juices. 

These beverages are packed to the brim with sugar or artificial sweeteners, and offer a very limited nutritional benefit. Instead, switch to a healthier alternative that won’t wreak havoc on the microbiome - such as fruit-infused water, tea, coconut water, or a probiotic drink.

These probiotic drinks from Perkii are a great, healthy alternative to those sugary drinks. Not only are they low in sugar, but they’re also packed with billions of live probiotics to help replenish your microbiome. 

Eat More Fruit 

Especially if you have a sweet tooth, try adding more fresh fruit to your diet to curb any sugar cravings. 

Admittedly, fruit does contain natural sugars, though they’re also a great source of fibre and essential vitamins/ minerals. These additional nutrients are a necessity for our body’s function - and can help feed the good gut bacteria in our microbiome.

Some of the best fruits for gut health include apples, bananas, blueberries, and kiwi fruit. 

High Fibre Foods 

It’s too easy to turn our palate towards those processed, high-sugar snacks when we’re feeling a little peckish. Fortunately, it’s much easier to control our appetite and cravings with a diet full of high-fibre foods. 

High-fibre foods are typically much more filling, which can help to satisfy our appetite and curb the cravings for a post-meal treat. 

The fibre in these foods will also act as a prebiotic - helping to feed the good bacteria in our intestines, which will further improve our gut health. If you’re looking for some high-fibre foods to add to your diet, try eating more lentils, broccoli, whole grains, apples, pears, artichokes, or nuts. 

Moderation Is King 

We’re not saying that you need to go cold turkey with sugar - after all, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat occasionally.

That being said, it’s important not to overindulge in high-sugar foods. Just remember, moderation is king. Otherwise, you may be putting the balance of your microbiome in harm's way.

To keep your gut feeling happy and healthy, try cutting back your sugar intake and only enjoy those sweet treats to mark special occasions. 

*The information in this article is opinion only, and any advice provided is designed for those with no healthcare issues. Before adjusting your diet, speak with your healthcare professional.

October 19, 2022