Dietician offers list of foods that may cause intestinal bloating

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Healthy foods like blackberries, pistachios, wheat, onion, and garlic are good foods but high on a list that can draw in water to an already bloated intestine for some people. (KABC)

This is the time of year where many increase their produce intake in hopes of decreasing girth.

It's a great idea for weight loss, but might be causing challenges for some who are finding their body doesn't like the healthy choices they're making.

"Gas bloating, constipation, diarrhea could be intermittent," dietitian Rachel Beller said.

Beller has seen an increase in the number of patients who are complaining. Something she attributes to a condition called "SIBO."

"It's called SIBO, which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth," she said.

A gastroenterologist can test to see if you have SIBO and are intolerant of what is known as FODMAP foods.

FODMAPS are foods that have short-chain carbohydrates that are not easily absorbed by the body when you have an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

High FODMAP foods draw water into the intestine. Expanding and producing often painful digestive conditions if SIBO is present.

But here's what is challenging.

"High FODMAP foods tend to be healthy foods. And one of the things I don't want to see is people assuming that they have or need to follow a low FODMAP diet. They're excluding foods that have been shown over years of research to be very preventative," Beller said.

If you are needing a low FODMAP diet, there a plenty of swaps.
  • Tomatoes instead of tomato paste
  • Almonds in lieu of cashews or pistachios
  • Organic tofu instead of edamame
  • Almond milk instead of dairy milk
  • Maple syrup instead of honey or agave
  • Blueberries rather than blackberries

"The most reactive foods, undoubtedly that people react to, are garlic and onion and wheat," Beller said.

This is a time when portions really matter because the experts say if you have a hard time with some of these high FODMAP foods, it doesn't mean all of the foods will be worrisome to you.

So you want to re-introduce them back into your diet in very modest portions.

"Eliminate them for about two weeks and see what kind of an impact it has on you," Beller said.

As there are many lists on the internet featuring high and low FODMAP foods, you'll find Beller compiled a list for ABC7.
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