You know that eating processed food is horrible for your health, but have you ever stopped to think about what it is exactly that makes it so bad for you? Of course, preservatives like nitrates are linked to a higher risk of cancer, and all the sugar in these foods can raise your risk of diabetes. However, one aspect of health and is often overlooked is gut bacteria – and eating processed foods essentially destroy it.
The human gut is directly responsible for the health of your immune system, and by extension, your risk of disease and degree of overall health. A British professor, Tim Spector, decided to take a closer look at how consuming processed foods can impact our all-important gut bacteria. His son, Tom, a college student studying genetics, volunteered to eat a diet consisting solely of food from McDonald’s for 10 days in order to determine how the microbiome and gut bacteria in his digestive system were affected.
During the study, he was allowed to eat either chicken nuggets or a Big Mac, along with French fries and a Coke. Beer and potato chips were also permitted. They took fecal samples throughout the study, from the beginning until after it concluded, to examine bacterial composition.