Feeling Fat? Get Relief from Bloating

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Bloat Culprit: Your Diet

The fiber-rich foods you're already eating -- for example, beans, broccoli, cabbage, pears, and whole wheat bread -- can make you gassy. The body breaks down the complex sugars in these foods with gas-producing bacteria in the large intestine. (Protein-rich fare like chicken and eggs is fully digested by enzymes before it reaches the large intestine.) Also to blame? Fried and fatty dishes. These typically take longer to digest, creating extra gas.

How to Beat It
Foods that produce gas in one person may not have the same effect on someone else. Think about what you ate in the last few hours. If you suspect fried foods, try avoiding them for a few days to see if you feel better. (Gassiness and intolerance to fatty foods are signs of gall bladder disease, though; check with your doctor if that's your problem.)

Obviously, vegetables are too important to stop eating altogether. Instead, cut back on those that tend to make you gassy for about three days, then gradually increase your intake -- or stick to those that don't pose a problem for you, recommends Michael Levitt, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. And consider using Beano drops or tablets right before eating problematic vegetables. If these steps don't prevent gas completely, try an over-the-counter antigas medication with simethicone, such as Gas-X. This will help break up gas and reduce bloating.

Continued on page 3:  Bloat Culprit: Gulping Air


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