“Sometimes even people who make smart eating choices complain that they feel bloated,” says Ryan Andrews, RD, a nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition and author of A Guide to Plant-Based Eating. Try avoiding these four foods that dietitians agree can cause puffiness.
Sugar alcohols (sorbitol, maltitol, and xylitol) can give your stomach a distended feeling, says Andrews. He recommends sticking with one piece of gum per day. However, pay attention to how your body reacts. If that’s still too much, you may be better off seeking fresh breath from a mint.
While raw veggies are an energizing choice, eating large amounts can cause bloating, says Katzie Guy-Hamilton, food and beverage director at Equinox. Vegetables should always have a starring role on your plate, but limit common bloat-causing culprits like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Be mindful of dressings, too, which can be high in sodium and cause water retention. Instead, try dressing your greens with a splash of olive oil and vinegar.
Foods like low-calorie ice creams may contain more protein and fiber and far fewer calories and fat than the regular kind, but that may also push you to polish off an entire pint. As Claire Shorenstein, RD, a New York City-based dietitian points out, some of these low-cal brands add prebiotic fibers to increase the fiber count. While prebiotic fiber is healthy, eating too much can sometimes lead to bloating and other GI issues, she says. Plus, sugar alcohols can also prompt gas production.
You’ll find it as a hidden ingredient in many foods such as bottled salad dressings. Some people have a histamine reaction to corn, which can cause the body to bloat, explains Haylie Pomroy, RD, LA-based author of Metabolism Revolution.
Photo: Getty Images (broccoli)