Everybody goes through a little gas and bloating, and with the holiday season here, it’s likely to occur with a little more frequency.
Controlling portion size and how fast you eat are two ways to reduce the risks of gas and bloating, but another is to read ingredient lists, particularly if your gut is repeatedly giving you problems.
Processed foods can be a major disrupter of gut health and promoter of belly bloat. The attack can be multi-pronged: eating these foods regularly can alter the population of bacteria residing in your gut and increase inflammation.
Some ingredients added to processed foods can trigger these reactions. Various gums, which are added to several packaged foods as thickeners, can lead to uncomfortable, full, and tight feelings in your stomach.
These gums are found in a wide range of processed foods. Ice creams, puddings, non-dairy milk, salad dressing, baked goods, bread, and more obvious gummies and candies can all feature these additives.
Reading ingredient labels can help you determine which of these gums may be giving you problems and how to avoid them. Some of the main culprits that can cause or contribute to gut discomfort include:
- Acacia gum
- Carrageenan gum
- Carob/locust bean gum
- Guar gum
- Xanthan gum
Try to watch the overall intake of products with these gums. If you can eat fewer processed foods, even better. Building a diet rich in whole diverse foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, and more can help cultivate a healthy gut and reduce the chances of bloating.
One caveat here: if you don’t currently consume much fiber and start adding it to your diet by way of fruit, veggies, beans, and whole grains, you may experience some initial gas and bloating. Allow your body to adjust, and in a few weeks, things should regulate.