Most people like to skip carbs and dairy products like cheese to lose weight but then realise that no matter how healthy they have been eating, they still look bloated.
Latest, top nutritionists have listed a series of foods – many unlikely – to avoid if you want to keep your tummy flat.
Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson said, the human body finds it difficult to break down a number of fibres and sugars found in some foods that are generally considered healthy.
“These can include the cellulose in raw vegetables, polyols in plums and oligosaccharides in beans and legumes,” she said.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to sugar, adds that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can cause trouble.
“For some people these vegetables are not digested completely in the small intestines, maybe due to a lack of enzymes,” she said, as quoted in Daily Mail.
“It means, that when they reach the large intestines, bacteria in that part of the gut can cause gas and bloating when breaking down those foods.”
Beans, pulses and root vegetables
Although they are healthy and often consumed as a staple of any clean-living diet, foods such as beans, pulses and root vegetables can cause your tummy to swell.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns said, “Although they are good for you and are low in fat, try and choose salad vegetables such as salad leaves, and tomatoes, which will not make you bloated.” Lentils contain phytic acid which may lead to bloating but you can soak them in plenty of cold water with some lemon juice or vinegar overnight to reduce the potency. Edamame beans which are popular at Japanese restaurants are notorious for causing bloating, yet people eat them because they’re healthy.
Shona says, “Some people are intolerant or allergic to the proteins in milk and dairy products and others have trouble digesting lactose. Lactose is also a sugar and if an individual is deficient in the enzyme (Lactase) required to break down the lactose, this can lead to symptoms of bloating.”
Some fresh and dried fruits
While beneficial to our digestion and overall health, stone fruits such as plums, as well as dried fruit, are packed with organic compounds called sugar alcohols so it does depend on the bacteria in your gut. Dr Glenville says if they’re not digested properly, these can ferment, causing bloating and gas.
If you think ditching sugar and switching to artificial sweeteners was helping you slim down, think again. Experts say that even artificial sugars can lead to gassiness, particularly in someone with an imbalance of unfavourable to beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
The bacteria feed off sugar and excess sugar can help to feed the less-friendly bacteria and cause an imbalance in the gut, which can lead to symptoms of bloating.
Although spices have many beneficial properties, some can stimulate the release of stomach acid. “These can cause irritation and others can ferment in the digestive system causing bloating,” says Dr Glenville