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Eat This, Not That: 10 Popular Foods with Healthier Options!

There are plenty of people who have achieved a fit body, but are not comfortable to show their bellies when they are bloated. The common culprits of a bloated belly are fluid retention, constipation, gas, and the byproducts of digestion. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of these issues.

The first thing that you need to do is to search for foods that promote a flat belly. You need to understand that each person reacts differently to different foods. It is important to always listen to your body. Below are the top 10 popular foods and their healthier counterparts for a flatter and healthier tummy.

Popular Foods with Healthier Options

Replace Deli Meats (and Salads) with a Whole Cutlet

Deli meats, as well as chicken salads or mayo-drenched tuna, contain sodium-packed ingredients that can make your body retain excess water. Water retention, as mentioned earlier, causes puffiness and bloating. Always choose a grilled fish fillet or chicken breast, instead of processed tuna salad and deli meats. You should also limit your meat consumption as the body is only capable of digesting so much protein at a time.

Replace Diet Bread with Whole-Grain Bread

Breads that are labeled “low-calorie,” “light,” or “low carb” might seem to be better options for dieters. The truth is that these foods are low in calories because they contain indigestible fiber. Diet breads will not help you slim down as they will fill your stomach with gas and promote boating.

If you are a calorie-watcher, then go for 100 percent whole-wheat bread. Remember that the fewer ingredients used, the better. Make sure that you stick to the recommended serving size, as well. You can even consider oats, rice, corn, and quinoa, which are gentler on the tummy than wheat. How about skip whole-grain breads and eat real whole grains, instead?

Replace Regular Chips with Popped Chips

Greasy foods can trigger bloating and acid reflux because they delay digestion. This is the reason why you feel uncomfortable and excessively full whenever you eat junk. Your body digests fat slower than other nutrients, so it will take time before you get through this sensation.

If you really want to grab some chips, consider popped chips, instead. They go down much faster. You can also try unsalted popcorn if you are worried about getting constipated. Unsalted popcorn contains fiber that helps get things moving inside your stomach. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and limit your popcorn intake to a few cups.

Replace Soft Cheese with Hard Cheese

Dairy is good for you, but make sure to choose the right ones. Soft cheeses, like cottage and cream cheese, tend to have the most lactose. You can determine the amount of lactose present in a food by checking the grams of sugar on the nutrition label.

If you are really craving for cheese, then substitute it with hard ones, such as cheddar and Swiss. Hard cheese contains fewer lactose. If you want something creamy and cheesy, you can go for Greek yogurt.

Replace Pistachios with Almonds

Almonds contain carbohydrates that are easier to digest than cashews and pistachios. People who suffer from excessive bloating should consume foods that are low in carbs that are difficult to digest. Make sure, however, that the almonds are unsalted to prevent water retention.

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Replace Soy Milk with Unsweetened Almond Milk

People who are lactose-intolerate tend to switch to soy milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. However, soy is difficult to digest, and can end up creating gas that makes your tummy bloated. Soy milk has more liquid than the straight-up beans. Go for nut milks, like almond milk, whenever possible. Make sure, however, that they are unsweetened.

Replace “Healthy” Snack Bars with Least-Processed Snacks

Healthy-sounding snacks use natural sweeteners, such as inulin or chicory root, which can trigger residual bloating and gas. It is wise to choose snacks that are free of these natural sweeteners and contain the least ingredients. When whole foods are not available, you can eat bars made of whole ingredients. It is a good sign when you see the actual grains or nuts, and the food mostly contains soluble fiber. Remember that proper digestion starts in the mouth, so chew your food properly to prevent gas and bloating.

Replace Low-Calorie Yogurt with Greek Yogurt and Fruits

 Low-calorie yogurts have natural or artificial sweeteners that can cause bloating. There are dairy products that can irritate your gut, and you can identify them by reading the nutrition label. When they contain sugar alcohols or fiber, then, these are the gas-causing dairy products as they do not naturally occur in dairies.

Switch to Greek yogurt, instead, and add fruit to the mix for better flavor. It contains fewer ingredients, so your body can easily digest it. If you want frozen desserts, go for sherbet and sorbet as they are the best natural low-calorie options that can keep your tummy happy.

Replace Watermelon with Cantaloupe

Fruits are loaded with water and fiber that help in digestion. Not all, however, are capable of giving you a flat belly. Fruits that use fructose as natural sweetener are more likely to disturb your tummy than those sweetened by glucose and fructose. Watermelon is a perfect example of a fructose-based fruit. Choose to snack on fruits like bananas, grapes, most berries, limes, lemons, and pineapples. It is still best to listen to your body’s response to these fruits. If a particular fruit does not bother you, then by all means, keep eating it.

Replace Cauliflower and Broccoli with Carrots and Pepper

Vegetables, in general, are belly-flattening foods as they contain fiber and water that fend off constipation. However, some veggies create more gas, so choose wisely. Cauliflower and broccoli are the worst offenders, but carrots and peppers tend to be less bloating.

Replace Garlic and Onion with Ginger

Many people are unaware that they are sensitive to sugars found in garlic and onions that can disturb your stomach. Alternatives, such as ginger, can combat inflammation. They taste delicious, too. Cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

Also read:

99 Healthy Smoothie Recipes – The Ultimate Smoothie List


About the author


Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!