Avoid these 7 foods to decrease bloating
We all know the uncomfortable feeling of a full stomach and tightness of our pants after indulging in comfort foods. This feeling is the misery of bloating.
“There are many factors that contribute to bloating, one being the consumption of certain foods,” says Dr. Henry Govekar, a colorectal surgeon at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “The gas or air that is created from such foods fills the gastrointestinal tract and triggers the feelings of fullness, tightness or swollenness in the stomach area.”
Dr. Govekar says that foods high in fat and sodium make one feel full and bloated. These seven foods, in particular, are known to produce bloating:
1. Salty foods: The American Heart Association warns that on average, adults consume 1,100 milligrams more sodium a day than recommended, but that doesn’t stop the cravings of potato chips and French fries.
“The extra water held by your kidneys when eating excessive amounts of sodium results in symptoms of bloating; however, drinking more water can signal your body to release the excess and help with those symptoms,” says Dr. Govekar.
2. Greasy takeout: To avoid bloating from eating unhealthy delivery foods, eat a home-cooked meal. The higher fat content of takeout foods and the gas build-up from carbohydrates contributes to worsening of bloating, says Dr. Govekar.
3. Sugar-free foods: Those who eat sugar-free foods should be cautious, as these products contain sugar alcohols — for example, xylitol and sorbitol — which are incompletely absorbed into the blood. As they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, sugar alcohols may lead to bloating if eaten in excessive amounts.
4. Carbonated drinks: Avid soda drinkers may need to be wary of their favorite drinks, as bubbles get trapped in the stomach, causing gas. Additionally, the refined carbohydrates in sugary sodas can result in the body retaining water, which aids in the bloating process.
5. Booze: On a hot summer day, enjoying an alcoholic beverage can be refreshing. But be careful – alcohol is high in carbohydrates and has dehydrating effects, which can lead to bloating. This is especially true when drinking excessively.
6. Dairy foods: The 65 percent of the population who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. When these particles are not digested, bacteria feed on them, which causes bloating symptoms. Dr. Govekar suggests finding a substitute such as soy or almond milk products.
7. Beans and cruciferous vegetables: Although beans and cruciferous vegetables are some of the healthiest foods, some people have trouble digesting these foods, which produces gas and bloating. If this becomes a consistent issue, Dr. Govekar advises you see your primary physician, as they can determine the need to see a specialist for testing and help find the cause.
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