Foods That Cause Bloating

Why's My Tummy Bloated?

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Bloating is that awful puffy, poochy feeling you can get when you eat too fast, eat too much or if you eat foods high in fiber that can cause gas to build up in your digestive tract.

Usually bloating isn't serious, but it can make you uncomfortable (and unhappy when you can't zip up your jeans). It's possible that bloating can be a symptom of a health problem, so if it occurs frequently, please speak with your health care provider.

Foods that cause gas can cause bloating. They aren't necessarily bad for you -- in fact, many of them are healthy high-fiber foods that belong in a healthy diet. There are some things you can do to help reduce the discomfort. But first, here's a look at foods that might be making your belly feel bloated.


Dry beans and lentils can cause bloating.
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Dry beans and lentils are high in a fiber called raffinose and eating them in large amounts can result in a lot of gas formation. Legumes are high in nutrients so they should be part of a healthy diet. Avoid excess gas by starting with small portions and slowly build up the amounts you eat. Or try a digestive aid such as Beano.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables can cause bloating.
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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale are also high in raffinose so they can cause gas and bloating. But they're also high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants so they're a good part of a healthy diet. Your digestive system will adjust over time so start with smaller portions and work up. Steaming your cruciferous veggies might also help reduce some of the bloating.

Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated beverages cause bloating.
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Carbonated beverages, such as soft drinks and beer can make you feel bloated because you're essentially swallowing air. You'll probably get some relief by belching, but you might still feel some bloating for a while after. Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy and eating or drinking too fast may have a similar effect.

Greasy Foods

Greasy foods cause bloating.
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Eating a meal that's high in fat can also make you feel bloated. Fats slow down the rate at which your stomach empties into the small intestine. So while eating some fat is fine, eating a large greasy meal might make you feel miserable. There's not much to do, but wait until the bloating passes and watch your portion sizes next time.

Foods Sweetened with Alcohol Sugars

Foods sweetened with alcohol sugars cause bloating.
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Foods sweetened with alcohol sugars, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol can cause you to feel bloated because you don't digest them well so they're fermented by bacteria in your digestive tract. Alcohol sugars are used in sugar-free gum and candy as well as some "low-carb" foods.

Dairy Products

Dairy products can cause bloating.
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Milk and dairy products can cause discomfort and bloat for people who have lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest milk sugar (lactose). It's especially common in Native Americans, African-Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Drinking lactose-free milk or taking lactase pills with your dairy products can help alleviate the symptoms = but please speak wit your health care provider first.

Whole Grains

Whole grains may cause bloating.
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Whole grains are good for you because they're rich in fiber and nutrients. But the fiber, along with the starch, can make you feel a bit bloated if you over-do it. The good news is that your digestive system will adapt to the extra fiber and the gas and bloating should decrease over time.

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