Do you often feel gassy or uncomfortable after eating your meals? It’s never fun to get that bloated feeling after you eat a hearty meal.
It’s even less comfortable if you have somewhere to go or someone to see afterward. This guide will teach you about the various foods you need to stay away from to avoid bloating.
Keep reading to learn the common culprits that cause bloating—and what to eat instead.
Why You Feel Bloated From Eating Certain Foods
Bloating is the uncomfortable, gassy feeling you get after eating. This often happens when you have some digestive issues from a distended belly.
The reasons behind bloating often involve increased fiber in your diet. Fiber is a component of plant-derived food that can’t be fully broken down by our bodies.
Another common reason for bloating is food intolerance. If you’ve ever wondered about how lactose intolerant people feel when they eat loads of cheese, it’s feeling bloated. If you don’t have a type of food intolerance, then you may have a sensitivity to foods that cause bloating instead.
Finally, if your diet contains a lot of sodium, it can lead to having your belly bloat or distend. The reason behind this is that sodium binds to water and causes water retention.
How to Avoid Foods that Cause Bloating
If you hate that after-meal bloating feeling, avoid eating foods that cause bloating. We’ve got a list of the foods you want to avoid further down below. Also, you’ll probably want to stop drinking carbonated drinks and opt for water or non-fizzy drinks instead.
Interestingly, talking while eating can also contribute to bloating, as you will tend to swallow more air than necessary. You may also want to slow down when you eat rather than rush.
Stress is another factor that causes bloating. When you’re stressed, you can experience a variety of symptoms, including bloating. Avoiding stressors (or counter-acting them with techniques like mindfulness) can also improve digestions.
Another potential cause of bloating is chewing gum. While you’re probably not aware of it, you swallow air when you chew gum. The air you swallowed travels to your stomach to cause that bloated feeling you experience. Chewing gum is fine to enjoy on occasion, but don’t overdo it.
Since sodium also binds well with water, you’ll also want to reduce the sodium you ingest. Most processed, canned, and frozen foods have a considerable amount of sodium in them.
Read the labels and aim to buy products with at most 500mg of sodium per serving. You can also get “sodium-free” or “low-sodium” products instead.
List of Foods That Cause Bloating
Now, let’s be more specific about the foods to avoid so you don’t experience bloating. Below is a list of the top foods that cause bloating. We begin with the top food that causes a distended belly and bloating: pizza.
What makes pizza so good? Other than the many toppings, cheese, and sauces, pizza contains a lot of salt and fat. That means you’re not only striking one, but two major causes of bloating. Also, the fat, sodium, and cheeses in pizzas can cause weight gain, especially if you consume it often.
Alcohol, in particular, is a substance that instantly makes someone feel bloated. This is because it’s an inflammatory substance. This becomes even worse when you mix alcohol with sugar and carbonated drinks, such as soft drinks.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols are another common cause of bloating. For example, sorbitol is a commonly used artificial sweetener that can’t be digested. When consumed it small quantities, it tends to cause bloating, but when eaten in excess, it can cause gassiness, cramping, and abdominal discomfort.
Xylitol and mannitol are often commonly used sugar substitutes found in gum and candy. While they tend to be better tolerated by the human digestive system than sorbitol, you’ll likely experience bloating if you eat a substantial much of them in a short period time.
4. Select Vegetables
You may already know that cruciferous veggies like kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can make you gassy.
This happens because they contain a complex sugar called raffinose, which humans can’t break down well. This unbroken complex sugar turns into gas instead.
If you have an intolerance to such foods, you can still enjoy them by eating them less than you do.
5. Particular Fruits
After doing workouts to develop your lower body, you may feel the need to eat something to replenish your energy. Although fruit can be effectively leveraged as a post-workout carb source and is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, some types of fruit are common culprits of bloating.
In particular, fresh apples, pears, and dried fruit tend to be more difficult for people to digest. One of the reasons for this is that they contain a large amount of fiber.
Another is that they are high in the natural sugar, fructose. Too much fructose causes flatulence and inflammation. For people with fructose intolerance, fructose can cause further stress to their digestive system.
6. What Else to Avoid?
There are a few other food items that can cause bloating. Try to avoid:
- Raw spinach
- Dairy products and milk alternative
- Protein bars
- Button mushrooms
- Diet soda and other carbonated drinks
- Canned soup
There are many more types of foods you may want to avoid. Look out for ones that have too much salt or fat in them. You may also want to keep away from foods full of fiber and certain complex sugars.
Good Alternative Foods for You to Try
According to a survey, the coronavirus pandemic forced 85% of Americans to start cooking at home. The good thing about this is that you have more control over what you eat. That also means that you can do your best to avoid bloating.
We learned about the foods that cause the most bloating. Below is a list of the best alternatives to them.
For example, if you love drinking milk, you can try dairy alternatives like cashew milk.
If you want to eat cruciferous veggies but often get gassy from them, then consider a food shift. Start fermenting your vegetables more and consider eating kimchi or sauerkraut.
Free Yourself from Foods that Cause Bloating
When it comes to foods that cause bloating, the culprits will often vary from person to person. For this reason, you’ll have to experiment with eliminating particular foods from your diet to determine if you have a food intolerance, such as lactose or fructose intolerance, for example.
What foods have you found that tend to cause bloating? Let me know in the comments below.