Bloating during perimenopause and menopause

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Top 5 foods to avoid that can cause belly bloat

1. Junk foods

The combination of fat, sugar, and lots of sodium (salt) can make junk food tastier to some people. But diets high in sodium can lead to water retention, which is why you may feel puffy, bloated, or swollen after eating these foods. These fatty foods also take longer to digest which allows gas to build up, causing bloating (NHS 2022).

2. Carbonated drinks

The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly which can cause wind, belching and bloating. These drinks can also be very high in sugar.

3. Artificial sweeteners

They contain chemical compounds called sucralose, aspartame, and cyclamate that the digestive tract cannot break down easily, which can lead to bloating. Sweeteners, which can be up to 300 times sweeter than natural sugar, are known to increase appetite and result in overeating.

4. Gassy foods

Some vegetables and other foods produce more gas than others such as brussel sprouts, cabbage and certain beans. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch them completely but think about limiting the amount you eat at one time. Be mindful of how these foods make you feel.

5. Salt

A study has found that reducing salt intake can be helpful in preventing bloating. Salt causes your body to retain water, predominantly around your abdomen. Not all bloating is a result of gas. Sometimes it is water retention, which salt exacerbates. In some ways, water retention is even harder to alleviate than gas, so it is important to avoid high-salt food. Surprisingly, salt is hidden in many processed foods such as sauces, salad dressing and other condiments. Be sure to always read the labels on foods before you buy them (Lacy and Gabbard et al 2011 ; NHS 2022).


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