Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? Today I’m headed to NYC for a quick weekend getaway. While I’m in the city, I plan to stop by the FOX News studio on Saturday morning to talk health tips with the Fox & Friends team. The topic? Healthy foods that still leave you feeling gross!
We’ve all been there, getting ready for the day trying to shimmy into our skinny jeans wondering how we got our pants to button just last week. The feeling is particularly frustrating when preceded by a few days of good, solid healthy eating. Why is it that even some healthy foods leave your midsection feeling anything but flat? Tomorrow morning I’ll dish on a few healthy foods in your diet that might be to blame for the bloat and, how to fix the feeling. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the top culprits.
1. Whole Grains
We’re all well aware that white bread has been pegged a nutritionally devoid dietary choice, but it’s substitute, whole grain products, can leave your pants failing to meet in the middle. The problem? Whole grains are packed with fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate. While fiber aids the digestive process, helps control blood sugar and even decreases stroke risk, the fact that your body can’t actually digest some fibers leaves you with cramps and bloating.
The fix? Increase fiber intake slowly so your body can adjust. And, drink plenty of water. Water is absorbed by fiber helping it move through your digestive system. As a general rule, to determine your ideal water intake take your weight in pounds, divide by half and drink that number in fluid ounces of water per day.
2. Raw Greens
Greens like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and collard greens are packed with fiber, folate, vitamins C and K as well as minerals like iron and calcium. These compounds help your body produce energy, promote eye health, boost bone health and have anti-cancer properties to name a few. The issue? Raw greens contain an indigestible complex sugar called raffinose that is responsible for producing gas. Not to mention, the soluble fiber in these veggies doesn’t break down until late in the digestive process which can cause an upset stomach.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make greens more flat-belly friendly. Steaming vegetables preserves their nutritional properties compared to boiling or microwaving while also breaking down hard to digest compounds before consumption.
Fall is here and apple season is in full force. But, like our prior picks, apples can leave your gut feeling distended. Apples are one of the most filling fruits you can pick from the produce department. 4 grams of fiber per serving leaves you feeling full with minimal calorie intake. This fiber content helps decrease the risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health. Not to mention, apples are jam packed with 15% of daily recommended vitamin C helping ward off germs as cold and flu season begins.
So, what’s the problem with this go-to, versatile health food? The combination of high fiber and fructose in apples leads to bloating. To enjoy apples while watching your waistline, eat the fruit on its own as a snack rather than as part of a meal to aid digestion.
Another fall favorite, corn contains nutrients essential for proper nervous system function like folate, vitamin C, phosphorous and magnesium. Corn is also loaded with vision-protecting phytochemicals. The problem? Consumption of corn can lead to digestive distress. Corn contains cellullose, a fiber that helps food move through the digestive tract but cannot be broken down by the body’s enzymes resulting in stomach upset. Condiments such as butter often paired with corn can also leave you feeling sluggish and your love handles legit.
The fix? Chew corn thoroughly helping break down cellulose. Alternately, cook corn which breaks down these fibers making it easier for your body to digest. Try eating corn plain or sprinkled with spices rather than with butter to avoid excess calorie intake.
5. Instant Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal can be a lifesaver when it comes to fixing a quick, healthy breakfast on-the-go. But, it’s touted health benefits can be deceiving. Many brands of instant oatmeal are low in fiber and high in sugar resulting in blood sugar fluctuations. Sugar content causes blood sugar to skyrocket then plummet a few hours later leaving you with an associated energy crash.
Oatmeal can still be a heart-healthy way to start the day, but buyer beware. Select brands and flavors with less than four grams of sugar per serving and at least three grams of fiber.
Don’t miss MidlevelU on Fox & Friends tomorrow at 8:20am EST!