Is Your Diet Making You Bloat? Find out Which Foods to Avoid and Their Alternatives!

Is Your Diet Making You Bloat? Find out Which Foods to Avoid and Their Alternatives!

Is Your Diet Making You Bloat? Find out Which Foods to Avoid and Their Alternatives!

Bloating is no laughing matter

While we might find it amusing to refer to our bloated bellies as a "food baby," the reality is it can cause discomfort, pain, and for some, it can even disrupt everyday activities. When you're bloated, you likely feel sluggish, tired, and overall uncomfortable. While various factors contribute to bloating, like eating too quickly or indigestion, the foods you consume play a significant role. But don't worry, we're here to help you identify the usual suspects and offer you healthier alternatives!

First off, let's talk about a beloved treat - ice cream. Who doesn't love a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day, or next to a slice of birthday cake? But did you know that ice cream can often lead to bloating? It's due to a lack of an enzyme called lactase in the small intestine, which helps digest lactose. If you don't have enough lactase, you might experience bloating and, unfortunately, gas. But don't despair, lactose-free alternatives are readily available! Have you tried non-dairy ice creams made with almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk? They're just as creamy and delicious as the real deal!

Next on our list is onions. They're a divisive food - people either love them or hate them. But they're a common ingredient across various cuisines. The problem lies in their content of fructans, large sugar molecules that your small intestine might struggle to digest, resulting in bloating. But if you're thinking, "What can I use instead of onions?", don't worry! Substitutes like celery or fennel, or the green tops of green onions (avoid the white part!) can provide the flavor without the bloat.

Now, let's talk about soda. Who doesn't enjoy a fizzy, sweet drink? But those bubbles and sweeteners could be causing your bloating. Carbon dioxide gas creates the bubbles, and when you drink it, the gas ends up in your digestive tract, causing bloat. If you're having trouble giving up soda, why not try a 5-Day Water Challenge? Or swap soda for a cup of tea or some delicious infused water to keep bloat at bay! You can read more about natural replacements for sugar HERE.

Cheese is another common culprit. Similar to ice cream, cheese contains lactose, which can cause bloating and digestive upset. In fact, it's estimated that up to 75% of people will lose their ability to digest lactose at some point in their lives. But don't worry, there are many delicious lactose-free cheese alternatives available, made from rice milk or almond milk. Brands like Violife and So Delicious offer dairy-free cheese alternatives, and you can even make your own cheese with cashews or use nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor!

Corn is an all-time favorite in many dishes, from chili to cornbread. But, it contains cellulose, an insoluble vegetable fiber that can be difficult to digest for some, leading to bloating. If you're using corn in your cooking, try substituting it with riced cauliflower or broccoli.

Lastly, we have white bread. While it's a staple in many households, it may not be the best choice for avoiding bloat. It contains gluten and fructans, which can contribute to bloating in some people. Instead, consider bread made from alternative grains like spelt or kamut, or try a gluten-free option. For the adventurous, why not try making your own bread using egg whites, a popular choice among those following the keto diet?

Now, you might be wondering, "How can I tell if it's bloating or weight gain?" If your favorite jeans suddenly feel tight, here are some signs it's likely bloating:

  • You've recently eaten, especially something unusual for your diet
  • You're dehydrated
  • You're constipated
  • Your weight normalizes the next day
  • Your belly is noticeably larger, but the rest of your body is unchanged

Remember, bloating is typically occasional, while consistent tightness in your clothes may indicate weight gain.

So, you've identified that you're bloated, what's next? There's no need for despair! You can take control and make lifestyle changes to combat bloating effectively. Adopting natural solutions will help you understand what's causing your body to bloat. Once you start eliminating the sources, you'll feel more energetic, reduce the digestive discomfort, and lead a vibrant life!

Here's an interesting fact to motivate you further - did you know that about 70% of your body's immune system cells are located in your gut? That's enough reason to pay close attention to any bloating-inducing foods. Taking care of your digestive health and addressing bloating promptly is one of the best gifts you can give yourself for a healthier, more vibrant life.

If you've been tolerating bloating as a part of your life, it's time to reconsider. Could these foods be the cause? It's time to find out and make the necessary changes to live bloating-free!