Bad Eating Habits That Cause Major Belly Bloat
Some foods and drinks can make you feel like a python that's just swallowed a pig. If you're feeling suddenly gassy and bloated, here are some possible perpetrators of your prodigious protrusion. So to avoid that uncomfortable belly bloat, here are a few bad eating habits to avoid that make you feel bloated. And for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Chewing gum regularly.
Chewing gum may seem like a harmless habit, but one too many sticks can negatively impact your body! Sugarless gums typically contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol known for causing bloating and other gastrointestinal distress. Sorbitol takes a relatively long time to digest, and undigested. Sorbitol in your small intestine acts as a hothouse for the fermentation of bacteria, causing bloating and flatulence.
Eating too many nutrition bars.
You probably don't think of beans when you unwrap a protein bar, but a lot of them include protein isolate derived from soybeans—something many people find just as gas-inducing as the musical fruit. Like other beans, soy contains oligosaccharides, sugar molecules that the body can't break down entirely. With nowhere to go, these oligosaccharides hang out in the digestive tract, where they ferment, causing gas and bloating of the stomach.
Not checking your brand of almond milk.
Almond milk is a better option than cow's milk for those with lactose sensitivity, which is why it's recommended as a great base for smoothies. But you may be undermining your goals if you're buying a brand with the thickening agent carrageenan. Derived from seaweed, carrageenan has been linked to ulcers, inflammation, and other gastrointestinal problems. If you notice bloating after drinking almond milk, consider switching brands. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods 365, and Westsoy make versions without carrageenan.
Snacking on too much dried fruit.
Nature's candy, dried fruit can be a great source of nutrients and fiber. But it can also be a source of gas for those who suffer from fructose malabsorption, which occurs when the body has difficulty absorbing the natural sugar. Dried fruits are particularly high in fructose; fresh stone fruits, citrus fruits, and berries are safer options for those with sensitivity.
Not checking your canned soups.
Good for the soul but potentially bad for the stomach, soup can hide sky-high sodium counts that may lead to water retention and temporary weight gain. When you overload your system with salt, your kidneys can't keep up; salt that would otherwise be flushed away has to sit in your bloodstream, where it attracts water, causing increased blood pressure and bloating.
Instead, choose one of these 14 Best Low-Sodium Canned Soups for Heart Health, Approved by Dietitians.