healthy foods cause bloating

Photo: phasinphoto/istockphoto

2 of 4
Swearing Off the Healthy Foods You Blame for Your Bloat

Why It Doesn't Work: Those foods aren't the whole story. True, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and, of course, beans and lentils, are considered "windy" foods, thanks to a type of carbohydrate they contain called raffinose, which gut bacteria gobble up, producing gas. But these same foods are also high in fiber, which your gut needs to move food through so gas can escape too. The real problem might be the rest of your diet. "When patients say they can't eat vegetables because they make them bloat, I tell them 'Yes, those foods are gas-producing, but what's really bloating you is a diet full of meat and starches that leaves you constipated," says gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan, M.D., author of the forthcoming book The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief.

The Better Idea: Talk to your doctor about whether you're overdoing it on foods known to cause constipation. And rather than completely avoiding raffinose-rich foods, try cutting your portions in half to start, then continuing to play with portion sizes until you find amounts that don't leave you bloated.