Secrets To Banishing Belly Bloat

by: By Carol Cottrill, CNC, Specializes in the Treatment of Disordered Eating

Can the food you eat cause bloating, or worse yet, create a food intolerance that guarantees the dreaded pooch? Could be. Here’s a list of foods you may want to limit or banish to help beat the bloat:

1. Dairy Products Milk, ice cream and cheese can definitely cause bloating in people who are intolerant to the sugars found in milk products, called lactose. These individuals lack enough of the enzyme that helps digest dairy products. Try eliminating dairy products for a week—if you notice flatter abs, you may be lactose intolerant. You can also try a lactase supplement before eating dairy foods.

Related: 5 Foods That Can Flatten Your Belly

2. Bread and Grains You may have noticed all of the gluten free products hitting grocery store shelves. That’s because bread, grains and other foods containing gluten -- a form of protein found in grains like wheat, rye and oats -- have been know to contribute to celiac disease, a condition that disrupts digestion as well as absorption of nutrients. Besides the pooch, celiac sufferers experience cramping and all around unpleasant digestion after eating gluten.

3. Fiber-Rich Foods Fiber may be your friend, but for some, foods high in fiber can produce gas and bloating -- especially if you overdo it. The worst offenders are beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Simply increasing the amount of fiber full foods slowly allows the body to become accustomed to fiber in small portions resulting in less bloating.

4. Fatty Foods The fat in baked goods, fried foods, greasy pizza and other fat-laden snacks can often irritate the lining of the stomach and slow down digestion. Bloating, cramping and heartburn are good signs of intolerance to fatty foods.

Related: "Bad for You" Foods That Fight Fat

5. Carbonated Drinks Carbonated drinks such as sodas and beer can cause bloating due to the extra amount of air that is consumed. Drinking any beverage through a straw may also produce bloating if you swallow additional air. Ok, I admit --  beer through a straw…not so much -- but, try a glass instead of gulping beer straight from the bottle.

Here’s one more tip: You probably don’t realize this, but when you chew gum, or gulp your food, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion. So slow down, spit out the gum and help flatten the gut!

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