Two Common Foods That May Trigger Gas & Bloating, According To A Gastroenterologist
There's nothing pleasant about experiencing gas and bloating, and it's particularly frustrating if you're filling your plate with nutritious foods. Although it's true that these two issues are common, it may be worth evaluating your diet for potential triggers that are flying under the radar (yes, even healthy foods can cause issues).
But uncovering what's causing bloat is no small feat and can be difficult to pinpoint on your own, so gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, author of The Fiber-Fueled Cookbook took to his Instagram to share some common trigger foods. If you're regularly experiencing bloating and gas, there are two foods that Bulsiewicz suggests removing (even temporarily) to see how your body responds.
Foods to eliminate to ease bloating & gas:
A world without cheese and ice cream may be difficult to imagine, but the reality is you may be sensitive to dairy and therefore milk-centric foods might not sit well. "Dairy products contain lactose. Lactose is a sugar that 70% of the world struggles to process and digest and easily causes gas and bloating," notes Bulsiewicz in his video.
Artificial, low-calorie sweeteners
Many people opt for sugar-free sweeteners under the impression that they're healthier. However, while they are lower in calories and may mitigate a blood sugar spike, they could also be the culprit for any ongoing gut struggles like bloating. "[Artificial sweeteners] typically contain sugar alcohols that can cause gas and bloating," explains Bulsiewicz. "Stevia can do this, and monk fruit by itself does not, but it can if it contains bulking agents." (A high-quality organic monk fruit extract would be an exception to this "rule.")
What you can do to improve your gut health.
While eliminating certain foods is an option when it comes to supporting your gut (if you're interested in checking out the elimination diet, see our rundown here), there are additional options for caring for your gut microbiome. Here are some of our favorites:
Take a high-quality probiotic.
Probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are excellent for supporting a healthy gut, but you can even take this a step further by selecting a targeted probiotic. If you're in the market for a high-quality option, mbg's probiotic+ contains four strains specifically designed to ease bloating, support a healthy gut microbiome, and aid in proper digestion.*
Of course it's important to note that you won't see immediate changes, but mbg customers attest that making your probiotic a habit alongside a healthy and balanced lifestyle can offer noticeable support over time.*
It's no secret that exercise is great for your body on the whole, but did you know it can actually support a healthy gut? "People who exercise tend to have a more diverse gut microbiome1," integrative gastroenterologist Marvin Singh, M.D., once told mbg. Whether that looks like heading out on your daily hot girl walk, squeezing in a HIIT workout, or going for a run; however you choose to exercise will not only bust stress but also keep your gut health in check.
Consume a nutrient-dense diet.
A healthy and balanced diet is one that contains a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and more in order to get your body the nutrients it needs without growing bored of your eating plan. But not only can a healthy diet support your overall well-being, it can also add diversity to your gut microbiome. "Aim to eat 30 different plants per week (from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs)—or as many varieties as you possibly can," gut health expert and registered dietitian Heather Finley, M.S., R.D., previously recommended.
Nobody enjoys feeling bloating, but if it's getting to the point of causing you frustration, then it may be worth turning an eye back to your diet (more specifically artificial sweeteners and dairy) as the potential triggers leaving you feeling less than your best. With the support of a targeted probiotic, a balanced and intentional diet, and regular movement, you should begin to feel less gassy and more in control of your gut health.*
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.