Soda, chips and other sodium-filled treats may all be culprits of some excess puffiness throughout our tummies and sometimes in our cheeks too. We’ve all read the advice columns and articles divulging which snacks can help cut belly fat and which aisles in the grocery store to steer away from – but are there other items in our kitchen that are giving us extra gas without us even realizing it? Why, yes, there are! And we’re uncovering 15 of them.
No one walks around with a completely flat stomach every minute of every day. After bigger meals or too many bites of a bloat-inducing lunch, your belly may be a bit rounder than it normally is. But what if you could pin-point those ingredients that are the reason behind the swelling and gassiness? Aside from the infamous bout of broccoli or diving into the cheese dip at your favorite Mexican restaurant, let’s check out this list of 15 foods that you didn’t necessarily know could bloat you and see if any of your favorites hit the list!
15 Almond Milk
A lot of people are into the nut milk trend – especially those with a sensitivity to lactose. But, according to Shape, buying a brand that includes the thickening agent carrageenan may not feel so good for your stomach's insides. This ingredients come from seaweed and has been linked to stomach ulcers, inflammation and other gastrointestinal discomforts. Pay attention when drinking your next glass and if you’re feeling a bit puffier you may want to try some brands that exclude carrageenan – taking Shape magazine’s advice - Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365 and Westsoy have some bloat-free versions.
This may be the most surprising out of the bunch! Apples are a super healthy snack because they’re packed with fiber but that fiber is what can make us feel bloated after the bite! Health.com explains that while these fruits are filled with good-for-you nutrients they also contain fructose and sorbitol – two sugars that most people cannot tolerate which can lead to a puffy tummy. But that bloating shouldn’t keep you from eating a granny smith in the afternoon as apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and they’re also a great source of protein!
These beloved, creamy fruits are also known to cause a bit of gas, according to the Huffington Post. Jazzing up hundreds up recipes and afternoon snacks, avocados are a fan-favorite in the food department but they can also be the culprit to a lot of evening bloating. To be more specific, avocados contain polyols, a nutrient that amps up the puffiness (or gassiness) in a lot of people and disturb their overall gastrointestinal comfort.
This may not be one of the biggest surprises on the list but when you get up in the morning to toast your bagel to perfection and slather on some strawberry jam, we’re sure you’re not thinking of what these carbs are going to do when you’re wiping the crumbs off your shirt. Bagels are carbohydrates, heavy ones at that, plain and simple. And carbs make us feel full and bloaty, as they make the body retain three times more water compared to protein, according to the Huffington Post.
Yes, even something as simple as chewing gum could cause you to bloat. Although you may not realize it, most of us swallow a lot of air while snackin’ on our favorite bit of Juicy Fruit or Double Bubble. And all that air in our tummy can naturally cause it to puff out a bit, and with all that air trapped in your intestinal tract, your waistline could increase up to three inches. So maybe, lay off the gum if you’re trying to squeeze into a favorite pair of jeans for a date night.
A steaming hot cup of coffee in the morning is the key to many hearts but it can also be the key to some intense bloating throughout the day. According to Livestrong, drinking coffee can worsen symptoms of bloating that may be caused by conditions like ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, drinking coffee can put you at risk for developing peptic ulcers that can also cause puffiness in the stomach region.
9 Dried Fruit
Shape magazine shared this unexpected bloat-inducer with us. According to the article, this “healthy” snack, although filled with great nutrition and fiber, for those bodies that suffer from fructose malabsorption, well, bloating is sure to ensue. Dried fruits are also packed with fructose and for those that don’t absorb natural sugar in the easiest manner, they can have a bit harder time with a puffy tummy.
8 Hard Candies
Just like with chewing gum, when you’re sucking on a piece of hard candy – whether it be minty or butterscotch – you’re also unknowingly swallowing a lot of air, leading to a bloated tummy. But besides the air swallowing, a lot of hard candy contains sorbitol (found naturally in fruit) which many people have trouble absorbing. That malabsorption, as we learned previously, can cause tummy discomfort and bloating to occur.
7 Ice Cream
For those with a lactose sensitivity, this sweet treat could cause some disruption below. Although ice cream wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the “what can bloat me” department, it surely doesn’t ring in terribly high like the obvious carbonation and sodium-packed goodies. And according to Today, our bodies lack the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the natural sugars found in milk, making digestive issues nearly inevitable for many.
According to Livestrong, onions are a gas-producing vegetable just like broccoli. When you eat onions, they cause the formation of gas in your digestive tract and it’s this gas that will cause your stomach to bloat or puff out. And that same gas is what can cause someone to have flatulence and belch. In fact, some are so sensitive to onions that constipation and diarrhea can be a common side effect to their spot on the menu.
When perusing Women’s Health, we learn that although pears are packed with good nutrients and pectin – a type of fiber that can help lower cholesterol – they also contain sorbitol, a natural sugar alcohol that a lot of stomachs have trouble digesting. And as we’ve learned previously, this trouble can easily cause bloating throughout the digestive system. Even just a little bit of it can cause some serious bloating, but have no fear, exercise can help move the extra gas right out of your system.
4 Red Meat
Not only will a steak lower your libido, but according to Shape, it too can also cause tummy issues. Red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol which can cause fatigue and bloating. And no one wants to get busy in the sheets with a need for a nap and a puffy tummy. Next time skip the bacon cheeseburger and go for the grilled chicken instead.
Yes, even soup can cause some excess pudge to arrive. Most canned soups are packed with sodium and we all know that sodium (aka: salt) can make everything appear a bit puffier while you retain more water around your body. All you have to do is check the sodium content on the can, according to Women’s Day, and be mortified at how high the number is. Instead you can try switching them out with lower-sodium or salt-free versions.
2 Certain Spices & Sauces
When you decide to eat spicy food, your stomach will stimulate the release of stomach acid, and that release can cause irritation in the tummy area. And we know that this type of discomfort is a surefire way to feel bloated. When jazzing up your foods, if you don’t want the puffy feeling when the meal is over, limit your use of mustard, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chili pepper, curry, garlic, BBQ sauce, tomato sauces, horseradish and vinegar.
Yogurt is another healthy, go-to snack but just like ice cream the lactose involved can be harmful to a lot of tummies. Since our bodies are unable to breakdown lactose, plenty can have some harsh side effects after ingesting yogurt and those side effects include bloating. Aside from lactose, some yogurts include thickeners like guar gum, which, like lactose, some can have an intolerance too as well.