Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Eating sugar, especially foods made with refined sugar, can also cause bloating, Rachel said. Sugar is hidden in everything, so check the labels on packaged foods such as sauces, dressings, crackers, and bread.
"In your GI tract, there are trillions of bacteria that usually help with health, but these bacteria consume the sugars in your foods and can increase gas production and bloat," explained registered dietitian Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD, of Whole Health Nutrition. Although there isn't huge evidence that ties sugar to bloat, she said that many people find relief when they cut down on added sugars and refined grains.
Amy said to also watch out for sugar alcohols in foods — look for ingredients that end in -ol, including erythitol, xylitol, and sorbitol. These are commonly found in low-carb and low-sugar foods like Quest Bars, Halo Top ice cream, and Vitamin Water Zero. Keto dieters sometimes use erythitol in their cooking because it's low-carb and tastes sweet.
Although sugar alcohols may be a low- or zero-calorie option, Amy explained that "since our body can't break down these sugar alcohols, they hang out in our intestines and our bacteria try to break them down, creating carbon dioxide in the body, which then causes gas, bloating, belly pain, and distention (swollen belly)."