Transitioning to a healthier diet generally includes eating more foods that produce intestinal gas. This can be discouraging and cause some people to avoid eating high-fiber foods, like beans and leafy greens. Which is a shame, because fiber has so many healthy benefits, such as helping to lower cholesterol, helping your body eliminate waste and helping maintain blood sugar at optimum levels.
Here are a few tips for adding grams of fiber to your meals while avoiding embarrassing situations.
The most important tip is to add additional fiber into your diet slowly. This gives your body a chance to adjust. Experts suggest adding just one or two serving of a higher fiber food for a week before increasing more. This pace will give your body time to learn to process higher quantities of fiber without creating excessive amounts of gas.
While you’re adding healthy fiber from whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit, be careful about consuming other foods that cause gas. Sugar-free candies often contain sorbitol, which can result in gas. Same with soda, even diet soda or any carbonated soft drinks.
Everybody has different sensitivities, and yours may change as you age. I used to be able to easily digest green pepper, but it’s gotten harder for me to do so. So try to make note of which specific foods cause you digestive distress of any kind (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, belching, heartburn, etc.) and avoiding those while you’re increasing your fiber.
Drinking lots of water is crucial while eating high fiber foods. This is especially true if you also drink coffee. Water will help fiber do its job more effectively and will help reduce gas and bloating.
Finally, eating slowly and mindfully is important to help reduce the amount of air that you swallow while you eat. That alone can help reduce the amount of gas in your system.
There’s no reason to avoid beans, whole grain products, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables. Just follow these tips for increasing the number of grams of fiber in your diet without suffering from painful or embarrassing intestinal gas. Remember, your body will adjust if you give it a chance.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.[:]