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New research suggests that the everyday foods you consume could rapidly and significantly change the microbial makeup of your gut—and not necessarily for the better.
food on dinner plate
(Photo: Pinterest)

By Markham Heid for Prevention

PreventionIt’s official: You are what you eat. As scientists learn more about your stomach’s microbiome—the accumulated bacteria and other living organisms that inhabit the lining of your gut—that statement has never been more true. But while most of the research has focused on diet additions (like probiotics) that could boost the health of your microbiome, new research from two American universities suggests that the everyday foods you consume, from burgers to Brussels sprouts, could rapidly and significantly change the microbial makeup of your gut—and not necessarily for the better.

Researchers from Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco asked men and women to stick to one of two specialized diets for 5 days. One diet was “plant-based” and consisted almost entirely of grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. The other “meat-based” diet was animal-centric, and heavy on beef and pork, eggs, and dairy foods like cheese.

Keep reading to see what researchers found about how certain foods can affect your gut….

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