Foods to Avoid When Bloating is a Concern
by Jari Love
There are foods that can cause gas and bloating. For example, dried beans are notorious for this because they break down so slowly and can interact with the natural bacteria in our intestines to create tremendous amounts of gas and bloating. This is too bad because they are so incredibly healthy for us to consume on a regular basis. The same can be said of lentils and the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and cabbage.
Then there are foods that cause us to “bloat” for other reasons. For some of them, it is actually due to a very harmful bodily reaction or response. Though we may want to avoid bloat in order to keep our stomachs lean and trim, it is also good to know how to avoid bloating in order to remain optimally healthy too.
Consider these foods and how they lead to bloating:
Dairy and gluten - Undiagnosed food allergies, intolerance, and diseases are a common cause for bloating. Someone with lactose intolerance is going to experience bloating as a common problem whenever they eat dairy products of almost any kind. The good news is that lactose free versions of many foods are available. The same can be said of gluten, and anyone with a diagnosis of gluten intolerance or celiac disease must not consume foods with this protein.
Sugar substitutes - Whether it is "fake" sugar in your morning coffee, sugarless gum, or diet soda, the use of any artificial sweetener can easily be the biggest cause of your bloating issues. This is due to the sugar alcohols used, but many people are just sensitive to the chemical concoctions known as "artificial sweeteners" and may experience rather extreme reactions that can range from cramps and bloating to diarrhea and worse.
Fiber - We all need and benefit from fiber. It helps us to feel fuller longer, which is good for weight loss or maintenance, and it keeps the digestive system running optimally because it absorbs water and creates bulk that is extremely healthy. However, it can also take a very long time to digest, interacting with healthy bacteria and creating a lot of gas. This leads to bloat as well as other issues.
Naturally there are other foods that can cause bloating (think beer, soda, high carbohydrate foods), but the three groups above are the guiltiest of them all. Reducing or eliminating them from your diet is often the best solution.