Let’s face it, eating junk food is a way of life for most. At least it is for me. In fact, I’ve gained a few pounds recently. Seriously, my belly’s really gotten big. On top of that, I’ve been having some serious bloating issues. Why is this happening?
Let’s talk about 11 Popular Foods That Can Round Out Your Belly Like a Balloon. Should I cut down on onions? How about french fries? Wait a second… Apples? Broccoli? This has to be some kind of sick joke. We’re talking about all these foods AND more. Let’s begin!
We’re kicking things off with a bit of a shocker. Apples have a number of nutrients. These include Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. But boy, can they make your bellow blow up.
While apples don’t necessarily make you fat, they do cause bloating in the stomach region. This bloating is visible to others around you. It’s due to the fructose located inside an apple, a type of sugar found in fruit.
Fructose belongs to something known as FODMAP — fermentable oligo, di-, mono-, saccharides, and polyols. These are carbs that trigger digestive symptoms ranging from bloating to stomach pain.
A large apple contains an average of 23 grams of sugar. This includes 13 grams of fructose. This fructose can become fermented in the large intestine, and results in digestive issues including gas and bloating. The best thing to do when consuming apples is to eat them slowly in a lesser quantity.
Now, who would’ve thought? Beans are filled with protein, healthy carbs, and fiber. But they also contain alpha-galactosidase. Like fructose, this sugar also belongs to FODMAP’s.
These digestive problems result in bloating once fermented by your gut’s bacteria. You have this process to thank for that annoying gas many of us experience after eating beans.
Cramps and diarrhea can also be a symptom during this time. I understand. If you like beans, hearing this can be a disappointment. Well, be prepared for a few more shockers.
It’s obvious that onions are not everybody’s first choice of snack. I don’t think any of us are eating them whole. But onions can still inflate the stomach area if you happen to be eating them in large quantities.
Like our first two entries, onions also contain fructans that cause your insides to react. A juicy cheeseburger will not only make you gain weight but if served with onions, this meal can put you in an uncomfortable, bloated state.
A study from 2013 focused on 108 patients with food allergies. The subjects were given onions to test their reactions.
In the end, the antibodies present in onions made the patients particularly sensitive. If this applies to you, avoid using onions with any type of meal.
The same study from a moment ago, also cited garlic as a culprit in allergic reactions. It’s sad considering the number of things that garlic is used for.
Garlic is an essential ingredient in cuisine from around the globe. From soups to pasta, to simple cooking oils, the absence of garlic is a detriment to countless recipes.
Garlic contains a major allergen known as alliin lyase. This compound plus others can cause not only bloating but gas and overall discomfort. So if your stomach is acting up after eating garlic, your best move is probably to stay away from it altogether.
5. Potato Chips
You probably weren’t expecting this to follow garlic. Potato chips are considered one of the worst foods for your belly. The average single-serving bag contains 15% of your recommended daily intake of saturated fats. Not to mention around 5% of your suggested carbohydrates and 6% sodium.
One study from 2011 has indicated that daily consumption of potato chips is responsible for adding two pounds of flab to your body. So you may want to think twice the next time you’re standing at the grocery store, thinking of buying a fresh bag.
6. Diet Soda
Were you aware that diet sodas have a specific effect on your mid-section? Research has confirmed that the artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks can increase the width of your waist.
Participants in one study experienced an increase of 3 inches in 9 years. This was the result of drinking one or more diet sodas each day and was nearly four times the increase that non-soda drinkers would see.
Regular diet soda consumers also have a higher percentage of belly fat than those who only drink it on occasion.
7. French Fries
We’re just rolling through the junk food here. If you’re watching your belly, French fries are far from an intelligent diet choice. We’re talking a total carb-fest!
A small order of World Famous McDonald’s fries is equal to about 220 calories. This includes 7% of your daily saturated fat value, as well as another 7% in sodium.
One trial confirmed that people who ate fries on a routine basis gained more than three pounds of extra fat over a four year period. If a small fry can do this kind of damage, just imagine what a Medium or Supersize can do.
So if you’re a fast-food freak, try eating a meal without that coveted side of fries. I know it’s challenging, but it could cause your stomach a lot of relief.
I know, I’m ruining your party plans, aren’t I? If you’re freaked out about French fries, prepare to avoid beer. We’ve all heard the term “beer belly” I’m sure. There’s truth to it.
Beer can really take a toll on your stomach. We’re talking about a carbonated drink filled with both gas and fermentable carbs. Both of these factors contribute to bloating.
After just one beer, you may notice your stomach feels like it’s inflated. If you continue drinking, your stomach will reach the balloon effect we mentioned earlier.
I know this is another radical transition, but when discussing foods that make your stomach blow up, broccoli needs to be mentioned.
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli contain raffinose. This is a sugar that remains undigested until fermented by your gut’s bacteria. It can give your stomach uncomfortable bloating.
On the bright side, eating this vegetable on a regular basis can actually strengthen your digestive system. Over time, you will find yourself becoming less bloated. Broccoli has plenty of great nutrients that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Another member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower is incredibly important to your wellbeing. It’s unfortunate that it still causes your stomach to shoot up in size.
Cauliflower also causes us to become gassy, putting our stomach in a bloated state that doesn’t seem to let up. Much like broccoli, cauliflower’s content is not fully digested once it enters the intestine. Once broken down by your bacteria, the cauliflower is then turned into gas.
One of the things you can do to avoid bloating is to eat these vegetables in smaller amounts in a slower period of time. This gives your bacteria less to digest and more time to properly break the food down.
Yes, dairy products are good for you. They are highly nutritious, much like a few other picks on our list. But if you’re lactose intolerant, protein and calcium are going to be the last things on your mind. Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products.
Approximately 75% of the world’s population is unable to properly digest lactose. This means for many, milk is off the table. A lactose intolerant person who has milk can experience a number of digestive problems.
On top of their stomach feeling tight and bloated, they can also suffer from gas and diarrhea. If this sounds like you, it may be time to kick milk. You may also want to speak to a medical professional to figure out if you should cut dairy altogether.