Occasional bloating is one thing, but chronic inflammation can completely disrupt your day, leading to struggles with self-esteem and even a potentially unhealthy relationship with food as you work to switch between “safe” ingredients to eat that will leave you puffy like a balloon. Many people with regular IBD will try a healthy diet to eliminate foods that may aggravate your gut, but the surprising fact is that even some food-dense ingredients may be responsible for your tummy problems, especially if you’re eating them in large quantities. .
We spoke with registered dietitian Trista Best and Chief Medical Officer and Pain Specialist for clearingDr. Jacob Haskalovici to learn better about healthy foods that may exacerbate bloating and chronic inflammation, and what you can do to reduce symptoms.
According to Best, nearly 40% of Americans suffer from chronic inflammation, so it’s important to know which common healthy foods might be a trigger to eliminate or reduce in your diet. The Standard American Diet is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and refined carbohydrates. Because omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, there is a balance to be struck between the two to prevent the body from becoming inflamed,” she explains. While it is unrealistic to completely exclude fats or carbohydrates from your diet, there are many specific foods that may be responsible for chronic enteritis.
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Dairy products like milk are generally a good source of protein, but if you’re constantly feeling sick and bloated after drinking milk, lactose intolerance may have an effect. Lactose is the active sugar in dairy products, and intolerance to it means you’re unable to adequately digest it, leading to stomach issues like inflammation, pain, and even diarrhea. “If you suspect this is the case, steer clear of whole milk, heavy creams, and other sources of whole milk, which can include hard foods like frozen yogurt,” Haskalovici suggests. “Nut milk may be a better option, at least in the short term.”
Tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant
Tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant are rich in a variety of micronutrients and also contain ample fiber that can improve your overall health. However, it is these nightshade plants that are known to cause significant inflammation. “This popular species of nightshade contains alkaloids, a substance that can increase arthritis, so it may be best to avoid it for a while and see if you notice any improvement,” recommends Haskalovici.
Low-fat salad dressing
It may come as a surprise that just because a salad dressing claims to be low in fat, that doesn’t make it healthy, for example. To cut the fat, some low-fat dressings infuse flavor with added sugars. Keep an eye out for these, or make salad dressings at home that best suit your nutritional needs,” says Hascalovici. Contrary to popular belief, eating fat won’t actually make you fat, and it’s a key nutrient to support your health. So, making great efforts to prevent it From your diet may lead to significant inflammation, especially if the fat is replaced with sugar.
Sugar has gotten a bad reputation for being a major cause of weight gain, but “healthy” sweetener alternatives also come with a selection of pitfalls, particularly agave nectar. Hascalovici notes, “Refined agave syrup, a popular ‘healthy’ sweetener, contains high levels of fructose that can actually stimulate inflammation. Honey, blackstrap molasses, or cinnamon may be better options for people who want to reduce inflammation.”