5 Trending Gut Health Myths, Busted

Gut health is trending—but, unfortunately, so is misinformation. The hashtag #GutTok has more than 1 billion views on TikTok, and topics range from the downsides of drinking water with meals to the benefits of drinking olive oil. We’re breaking down the truth about popular gut health myths to help you scroll past unfounded claims and stick to science-backed facts.

Myth: drinking water with meals dilutes stomach acid

This myth existed long before TikTok, and those promoting it suggest that drinking water during your meal will dilute stomach acid. Proponents also claim that drinking water before or during a meal can stop your body from properly breaking down the food you eat. This is said to promote weight gain, increase symptoms of acid reflux, and decrease energy levels.

Truth: staying hydrated is essential for good health

Drinking water during meals does not dilute stomach acid enough to impact digestion. Staying hydrated, even during meals, helps to break down food, increase nutrient absorption, and aid the digestive tract in functioning effectively. Tuning in to your body’s thirst cues is the best way to stay hydrated, even if it means drinking water with your meals.

Myth: giving up grains will help you lose weight

Several social media sources claim that giving up grains can help boost weight loss by decreasing blood sugar levels and improving gut health. Proponents of this idea suggest that grains promote weight gain because they are high in carbs. Some people even suggest that grains give you a so-called wheat belly.

Truth: eating grains is healthy for many people

Whole grains like rice, quinoa, and oats are a top source of fiber and offer several nutrients that promote total gut health. They also contain prebiotics, which help to feed the good-for-you bacteria in your gut. Higher intake of whole grains has even been found to help regulate weight. Most people in North America are missing out on whole grains, so up your intake with meals such as Farro Breakfast Porridge, Winter Grains Thai Salad, and Chicken Grain Bowls.


A grain of truth

Gluten can cause inflammation and other side effects in those with celiac disease, a wheat allergy, or a gluten sensitivity. Estimates suggest that 1 to 2 percent of Americans have celiac disease, and up to 6 percent have a gluten sensitivity.


Myth: apple cider vinegar provides the same benefits as a probiotic

A new TikTok trend suggests that substituting apple cider vinegar (ACV) for probiotics can help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines and make your gut more acidic. The idea is that because ACV is fermented, it offers gut-healthy bacteria similar to a probiotic supplement.

Truth: there’s no substitute for a good-quality probiotic

ACV has been shown to offer mild benefits, such as lowering spikes in glucose levels after a meal; however, no scientific evidence suggests that taking ACV for gut health is comparable to taking a probiotic. Taking a good-quality probiotic can regulate intestinal flora and, alongside a healthy diet, promote a robust gut microbiome.

Myth: it’s best to eat fruit on an empty stomach

This myth suggests that you should eat fruit on an empty stomach to better absorb its nutrients. This belief originates from a widely circulated email blast claiming that fruit should go directly to the intestines for absorption. The email suggests that other foods need to be broken down in the stomach first and would therefore get in the way of fruit being adequately digested.

Truth: it’s healthy to eat fruit at any time of day

Fruit is packed full of nutrients your body needs, such as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. In general, your digestive system can effectively break down and absorb nutrients from all foods regardless of when and how they’re eaten. Eating fruit on an empty stomach, during meals, or for dessert are all great ways to meet your dietary needs.

Myth: drinking olive oil will heal the gut

This trend has influencers sharing their experiences with drinking a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil daily to heal their gut, lose weight, and aid in a flatter stomach. Some even claim that this practice helps them with bloating, hormonal health, and acne symptoms. It’s possible that this belief arose from a small 2018 study, which found that a compound in extra-virgin olive oil can be absorbed in the small intestine.

Truth: consuming olive oil in moderation is best

Olive oil is a delicious source of healthy fats and offers anti-inflammatory properties; however, there is not enough clinical evidence to suggest that drinking it daily will help gut symptoms or weight management. Experts recommend moderation (for example, no more than 1 1/2 Tbsp daily to reduce the risk of heart disease). Cooking with small amounts of extra-virgin olive oil and including it in your salad dressings are great ways to reap the potential health benefits.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


The Abundance Pub (TAP) is a media source dedicated to all things positive in the world. Focusing on Health, Wealth and Happiness. The Abundance Pub serves as repository of positive news articles, blogs, Podcasts, Masterclasses and tips to help people live their best life!


Message From Founder