Bloating is one of the more unpleasant side effects of eating certain foods (and it’s also one of the grossest words in the English language). Sometimes you just want to enjoy ice cream and still buckle those skinny jeans, right? But not all bodies are equipped with the ability to digest all foods easily. And though it’s no surprise that a heavy meal might need a chaser of Pepto Bismol, it turns out there are some surprising foods that may contribute to bloating, from veggies to candies. That’s right — even really healthy whole foods might tie your stomach in knots.
Most of these foods cause bloating because they contain some component — such as certain sugars or lots of fiber — that are not easily digested. Sorbitol, which is a sweetener found in everything from candies to dried fruits, is a common additive that causes bloating, but all-natural foods can also create problems. So even noshing on healthy veggies like Brussels sprouts can lead to that stomach discomfort. If the bloating is especially bothersome, you can follow advice from the American College of Gastroenterology and see a doctor about possible underlying conditions. Otherwise, you can make some simple lifestyle adjustments and cut back on these bloat-inducing foods.
As a paper from the American College of Gastroenterology notes, eating brassica vegetables like Brussels sprouts, turnips, mustard, and cabbage may lead to bloating, as they aren't readily digested. If you do plan on sinking your teeth into some sprouts, make sure to have some Tums ready.
If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to check the ingredients on your favorite candy. Again following information from ACOG, foods that contain sorbitol or added fructose can lead to some serious bloating.
I feel bad for lactose intolerant people who switch to almond milk and still experience stomach issues. But according to Shape, almond milk that contains the thickening agent carrageenan may cause gastrointestinal issues. If you can't take the standard dairy, make sure to read the label first.
The Mayo Clinic notes that some fruits, such as apples, peaches, and pears, may cause bloating because they are high in fiber and contain fructose, yet another sugar that many people have difficulties digesting.
Shape notes that a protein isolate from soybeans causes some people to experience bloating. This is due to yet another sugar – oligosaccharides – that many people find difficult to digest. Unprocessed soybeans, such as edamame, are probably fine, though.