4 Types of Foods That Are Keeping You Bloated, Gassy, “Plugged Up” and More
If your stomach “gets mad” every time you eat, NO MATTER what you eat, then you’re probably feeling pretty frustrated right now. But you’re not alone. Now, over 60 million Americans have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), which equals over 60 million angry stomachs!
Unfortunately, doctors learn that there’s no way to get rid of symptoms for good. And medical school definitely doesn’t teach them what foods their patients should AVOID if they have IBS. Many are even taught that “diet doesn’t matter”!
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you’re experiencing gas, bloating, stomach gurgling, constipation, diarrhea, etc… then your gut is DYSFUNCTIONAL. And when your gut isn’t functioning properly, certain foods can make this problem WORSE and keep you suffering from embarrassing IBS symptoms!
Here are 4 foods you MUST avoid if you want to stop feeling bloated, gassy, or constipated.
1. GRAINS (especially grains with gluten) and legumes are usually the worst offenders when it comes to IBS symptoms.
You know that chicken noodle soup, white rice, or bread that’s supposed to be “easy” on the stomach when you’re sick? It’s doing WAY more harm than good. And I know this might be a shock to you, but it’s true.
The problem with grains and legumes is that they’re very high in the two most damaging types of lectins, which are sticky proteins (also known as anti-nutrients).
And these lectins aren’t broken down in the digestive process. In fact, the lectins’ whole purpose is to protect the plant’s seeds from being digested! This is why grains are particularly so high in lectins – they are nothing but tiny seeds.
So instead of breaking down in the digestive process, lectins stick to your intestinal walls and can directly damage and kill your intestinal cells. And overtime, the lectins can cause your intestine’s building blocks to open up and make small holes, leading to intestinal permeability (AKA “leaky gut”).
So if you’re suffering from any kind of gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, continuing to eat grains will practically KILL your chances of stopping these symptoms. That being said, once you’re symptom free, you should be able to tolerate them in moderation.
And nope, the “gluten-free trend” is NOT going anywhere. I PROMISE you that.
Gluten is the worst lectin of all, found in wheat, barley, rye and most oats. So anything made with your typical flour (whether labelled “whole wheat” or not) has gluten in it. This typically includes breads, pastas, and baked goods such as muffins, cake, pizza etc. In the United States, wheat is also added into just about all processed foods, sauces, soups and more!
The problem? No human can completely digest gluten right now. We simply don’t have the enzymes to break it down.
But why is “gluten-free” JUST NOW becoming more popular?
Well, there are several factors.
First, the wheat we eat now (especially in the U.S.) is not the same wheat that our parents and grandparents ate. That’s because, in the 1960s, we hybridized wheat in the U.S. to make it grow faster and be resistant to bugs and drought.
And now, about 5% of the proteins in wheat are completely new to us and these are the proteins that are shown to cause the most inflammation and damage to the gut.
So every time you consume it, gluten damages your intestinal tracts and makes it practically IMPOSSIBLE to reverse IBS symptoms.
So in a nutshell, when you consume grains, they REALLY stress out your intestines and make your gut angry. And if you want your bowels to become less “irritable,” then cutting out grains for at least a month or two is a MUST.
And remember, the harm from grains typically isn’t felt immediately and sometimes not even the same day. To feel the benefits of giving them up, you HAVE to be dedicated and consistent!
**And as a side note – soy is problematic for the very same reason as grains**
Luckily, many people are starting to find out on their own that dairy products typically don’t sit well with them especially if they have gas or bloating symptoms.
I remember when just the tiniest sip of milk or bite of cheese would make me blow up like a balloon and then slowly deflate in a horribly smelly fashion!
The first issue with dairy, that everyone’s heard of, is lactose – the milk sugar. About 75% of people can’t properly digest lactose and it can be a major trigger for bloating, gas and diarrhea.
But don’t go drinking all the lactose free milk you want and buying tons of “Lactaid” pills to take with the rest of your dairy products! There’s more to this dairy dilemma…
The proteins in milk are also a big problem for many people – casein and whey. So avoiding dairy altogether is usually the best choice when it comes to reversing your IBS symptoms.
And on top of that, the dairy we have now is not the same as it was less than 100 years ago. Since the 1950s, almost ALL cows are now fed grain and pumped with antibiotics, which drastically CHANGES their milk and causes BIG problems in humans that consume it regularly.
While there’s much more grass-fed dairy available today (yay!), it’s still pasteurized which makes it tough to digest and still has the troublesome lactose, casein and whey molecules.
So if you’re wanting to be free of gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, you’ll probably need to completely cut out dairy for a few months.
3. Processed and Packaged Foods
Trust me; over the last several years I’ve spent 100s of hours searching for the best convenient foods available that come in a package and are “ready to go”. I’m aware of the best products out there and I have yet to find one that I’d ever say should be a staple in your diet (especially if you have IBS).
And yes, this includes the “healthy” options labeled “gluten-free”, “paleo friendly”, “organic” and “non-gmo”. They may be a lesser evil, but they can still cause major gas and bloating!
Processed/packaged foods usually have at least one of these major problems that can promote major discomfort within your gut.
First, they almost all have added sugars (honey, cane sugar, maple, agave nectar, coconut palm sugar… and the infamous high fructose corn syrup). And no matter how fancy or “natural” this sugar is, keeping it in your diet will feed the harmful bugs and bacteria in your gut.
And when you give the bad bacteria a steady supply of fuel, they aren’t gonna go anywhere! Bacteria in the small intestine LOVE to gobble up fructose molecules and keep your gut angry and irritated!
And if they DON’T have an added sugar, then there’s a good chance that “dates” are one of the top ingredients, which again, is pure sugar. In fact, some recipes love to use dates to replace sugar. So don’t make the mistake and rely on Larabars like I once did.
The second problem is they’re processed so they won’t go bad for a VERY LONG TIME. This means that they are resistant to bacteria growing on them while they stay in the package or even if they are left out for some time.
But why is this bad for gut health? Well, if the food was designed to be non-perishable, then that means it’s gonna be much more resistant to your gut when you try to digest food.
Take Nick’s Sticks, for example. He uses high quality ingredients (grass fed beef, some spices, and some lactic acid for preservative). But still, if you have 3 of them to replace a meal, your stomach will probably get angry. But if you just had a quarter pound of freshly made beef, you’re much more likely to be just fine.
And finally, the additives are a major problem too. Just about all processed foods utilize additives to either enhance the flavor, change the texture, or keep a food from going bad.
Here’s just a TINY list of some that might be specifically irritating to your gut.
- -All the “gums” (Xanthan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, etc.)
- -Sweeteners (xylitol, sorbitol, splenda (sucralose), etc.)
But in the end, it really comes down to common sense. You KNOW that the additives aren’t put in the food because they’re good for you.
In fact, no additive has truly been studied enough to rule out that they are completely harmless. And evidence keeps stacking up that just about all these new additives do cause some form of harm in the end.
So, don’t let them be a normal part of your diet 🙂
4. Carbs high in disaccharides and polysaccharides
This last step might not be 100% necessary for everyone, since some people find great results with eliminating the above for a while. But eliminating these carbs can be the last crucial puzzle piece for others, and I think it’s a great idea to at least speed up the process.
Carbohydrates are classified by their molecular structure – monosaccharides (simplest), disaccharides and polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) are simple carbs, with just one sugar molecule, while disaccharides (sucrose, milk sugar) have two sugar molecules, and polysaccharides (starches, like sweet potatoes) have even more.
And monosaccharides are much easier to digest than the others.
The monosaccharides, are fairly easy for most people to digest. However, not everyone’s GI tracts have evolved to properly digest the disaccharides and polysaccharides.
Your body has to take extra steps to break these complex carbs down into simple monosaccharides, and when you’re gut is under a lot of distress, these extra steps don’t happen properly.
Why is this such a big deal?
Bad bacteria and yeast LOVE to feed on undigested carbohydrates, which come from the disaccharides and polysaccharides. This creates a vicious cycle of more bad bacteria creating toxins that harm the intestinal cells, creating damage and further absorptive issues of other foods.
But if you eliminate the disaccharides and polysaccharides, you cut off their food supply, which allows your good bacteria to replenish and your gut to heal once and for all.
A lot of these overlap with the above foods, such as rice, breads, added sugar, milk, soy and beans. But it adds a few more things to eliminate, like potatoes (sweet and white), yams, chia seeds, unripe bananas, parsnips, seeds and canned vegetables (due to processing aids and preservative chemicals).
And there they are.
- Processed Foods
- Carbs high in disaccharides and polysaccharides
If you avoid those four types of food for 30 days, you should feel MAJOR relief from your IBS symptoms.
I know it might be overwhelming at first. I went through the same thing… I couldn’t IMAGINE giving up grains even for a week. I always thought they were healthy and I was being healthy by eating whole grains with lots of fiber!
So if you give this a chance, you’ll be taking a major step to getting rid of your IBS symptoms FOR GOOD. And if you don’t give this a shot, then I’m not so optimistic things will get better.
So what should you eat instead?
It’s REALLY simple! Base your diet on good quality proteins and vegetables with little disaccharides and polysaccharides. Try not to eat the same food every single day and work out a rotation plan.
These foods are much easier to digest so rather than stressing your gut out, they give it a chance to calm down and recover. They’re also very nutrient dense, which really speeds up the gut healing process!
IDEAL FOODS FOR HEALING YOUR GUT
Approved Proteins: Beef (grass-fed is ideal), chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, pork, wild game, bacon (yes, bacon!), lamb
Approved Veggies: Most commonly eaten fresh or frozen vegetables work well. Cooked are typically better than raw veggies, if you have diarrhea.
Asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, carrots, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, cabbage, brussel sprouts, green beans, sugar snap peas, etc.
Approved Fruits: Most fresh or frozen fruits work, but it’s important to not eat too much.
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, pears, lemons, limes, oranges, kiwi, melon, pineapple, grapes, bananas (only very ripe with black spots on peels), avocado, coconut, etc.
Nuts: All nuts except peanuts, and limit to ½ cup throughout the day. Especially limit if diarrhea is still present. Also, don’t get nuts roasted with added salts or oils, and avoid added sugar in nut butters.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
But many times, diet just isn’t enough to reverse IBS completely, because it doesn’t get to all of the root causes.
Changing your diet can really help eliminate extra stress and give your gut breathing space to heal, but there’s also usually other factors that can really slow down the healing process. These root causes are trickier, but once you understand them, you’ll know the big picture and increase your chances of truly becoming IBS free.
So if you want to learn EXACTLY how to finally get over your embarrassing or painful (or both) symptoms, CLICK HERE to read my step-by-step plan.
It’ll only take a few minutes to get the big picture that most people never understand.
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- The 3 steps you MUST take if you want to truly eliminate your nagging symptoms
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