Some complain of “keto bloating”, what are the causes of keto bloating? The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular diets to lose excess weight, and it relies on consuming high amounts of fats and low carbohydrates so that the body can enter the state of ketosis.
Many people may experience some side effects when starting the keto diet, and the most common side effect is keto bloating. In this article, we will explain to you the causes of bloating on the keto diet and ways to treat it.
What is the keto bloating?
Symptoms of “keto bloating” are common for many people who are new to the keto diet, but don’t worry, they are not a sign of anything serious.
However, if left untreated, keto bloating can slow weight loss and make advancing the keto diet difficult.
* So let’s start by explaining the concept and causes of bloating for you.
Bloating is a condition in which you feel that your stomach is full and completely compressed, and in some cases, the shape of it appears bloated (Abdomen), and this bloating may be temporary or chronic.
* Common causes of bloating, including:
- Eating more food in large quantities.
- Imbalance in gut bacteria.
- Allergy to lactose.
- Aerophagia (repetitive air swallowing).
- Infection with irritable bowel syndrome.
Although there are many causes for bloating in general, in this article we’ll only talk about the most common causes of keto bloating.
9 Main Causes of Keto Bloating that you Should Know
1. Eating too little or too much fiber can cause keto bloating
Fibers are digestible carbohydrates that include: cellulose, starch, polysaccharides, and oligosaccharides, in addition to beta glycogen and insulin.
Research shows the importance of fiber in improving bowel function. Because eating foods rich in fiber can help you reduce and possibly prevent constipation.
* It should be noted that dietary fibers are usually classified into two categories:
Insoluble fiber: It is made up of plant cells that are insoluble in water and can be used as a laxative. This type of fiber is found in the seeds and skins of fruits (therefore you should always eat the fruit peels) as well as whole-wheat bread and brown rice.
Soluble Fiber: Made from water-soluble carbohydrates. It can help you control the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar in your body.
Note: Insoluble fiber is often associated with relieving constipation and diarrhoea, as it regulates bowel movement.
But covering your daily fiber needs is tricky on the keto diet. As we know, the keto diet generally limits carbohydrate intake.
And because the required daily requirement of fiber is only 30 grams. Therefore, we recommend that you increase foods rich in fiber but low in carbohydrates, such as:
- Almonds – 3.5 grams per 30 grams.
- Peanuts – 4.6 grams per 30 grams.
- Raspberries – 3.5 grams per cup.
- Artichokes – 10.3 grams per medium bean.
- Sauerkraut – 3.4 grams per cup.
- Avocado – 9.8 grams per cup.
* Also, you should drink a lot of water and fluids that help treat constipation and regulate bowel movement.
* Additionally, you can also choose a quality fiber supplement to increase your daily intake of it.
2. Increase consumption of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) may cause keto bloating
One of the mainstays of the keto diet is that it is a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Meaning, after starting this diet, your body will have a high level of medium-chain triglycerides, which will help you speed up the body’s entry into ketosis.
Unfortunately, the increased accumulation of this type of fat in your body can cause digestive disturbances, so its side effects include diarrhoea, keto bloating, vomiting, and cramping.
These medium-chain triglycerides are a concentrated source of fat, and it is difficult to obtain them from food, as their only sources are coconut oil, MCT oil, palm kernel oil and dairy.
* We recommend that you start at the lowest level and gradually increase your intake of these fats (level ranges from 60 to 100 ml of them per day) until your body begins to adapt to them.
* Try to eat these fats in moderate amounts, in order not to harm your digestive system or cause keto bloating.
3. Eat a lot of carbohydrates can cause keto bloating (Keto Cheat Day)
First, eating high amounts of carbohydrates on a keto diet will make you suffer from keto bloating. In addition to getting you out of a state of ketosis. How is that??
In some people, the body may not be able to digest and absorb some carbohydrates, such as sugars, starches, and fibers found in many foods, due to the deficiency or absence of certain enzymes.
Hence this undigested food is broken down in the large intestine by some [gut bacteria]. This results in hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide, and eventually, all of these gases come out of the colon.
4. A food allergy can cause keto bloating
Many people with food allergies experience keto bloating, so if you often suffer from this condition, you should talk to your doctor. Why??
When switching to a low-carb diet, you will likely start eating a large number of foods that are new to you, and you may have a food sensitivity to a certain type of these foods.
* This food allergy can manifest itself in an immune response in the form of a rash, shortness of breath or swelling and chills.
* Some common sources of food allergies include:
- Artificial sweeteners
5. Eating too much food can cause keto bloating
Sometimes the real cause of bloating on the keto diet is overeating of certain foods that cause bloating in general.
Therefore, we will now provide you with a list of foods that you must abstain from to avoid keto bloating, and although you do not suffer from food allergies or any digestive disorders, these foods will cause you to bloat, such as:
6. Eat Too Many Sugar Substitutes – Artificial sweeteners
On a low-carb diet, most people need to replace sugar with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and other sugar alcohols.
* You should know that the body does not digest the sugars of alcohol, which leads to their fermentation in the colon, and this causes keto bloating.
* The same thing happens with natural sweeteners such as stevia and the fruit known as monk fruit, which is a very sweet fruit.
Note: You should try to eat sugar substitutes – artificial sweeteners in moderate amounts, but if you discover that you have keto bloating because of this, we recommend that you avoid it altogether.
7. Carbonated water (soda water, sparkling water)
Although soft drinks (soda is OK on keto in moderation) and light water are allowed with low-carb meals due to the refreshing feeling you feel after drinking them, they may cause keto bloating, so pay attention to this.
Since these drinks contain carbon dioxide which can build up in the digestive system, reducing drinking them is a good decision to avoid keto bloating.
8. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are examples of vegetables that belong to the cruciferous family, as these vegetables contain raffinose, a complex sugar that many people cannot digest naturally, which may cause keto bloating.
* These types of vegetables contain sulfur, which is a chemical component (it has an unpleasant odour).
* Other foods contain sulfur, such as eggs, organic meats, herbal dairy products, and cheddar cheese. (But sulfur doesn’t necessarily cause keto bloating)
9. Dairy products
Dairy products contain lactose, which is milk sugar.
Many people find it difficult to digest it because they do not possess the enzyme lactase (or due to a genetic deficiency of lactose after weaning).
So if you suspect that you are suffering from a lack of lactose and at the same time are on the keto diet, you should not overindulge in dairy products that are high in lactose and try to consume only “lactose-free” or “low-lactose” dairy products.
8 Simple Ways to Prevent Keto Bloating
Preventing keto bloating is easiest when you know the reason for it in the first place. Your healthcare professional can help you get to the root causes of bloating while following a low-carb diet such as keto.
* To prevent keto bloating, try some of the following:
1. Daily Walk – To avoid keto bloating
Walking daily is very important for physical health as it helps the stomach and intestines to get rid of the gases that collect in them, and it also stimulates and tightens the muscles in the waist area.
2. Avoid dairy products and cheeses – To avoid keto bloating
Eating dairy products and cheeses such as milk and butter causes digestive problems and causes flatulence and gas, so it can be replaced with soy, coconut or almonds. ( Eat them in moderation)
3. Fiber consumption in moderation – To avoid keto bloating
Eating soluble fiber is one of the appropriate solutions to get rid of keto bloating and gases, as it is possible to eat plant foods such as pears and berries, or you can eat oat bread that gives a feeling of satiety and facilitates digestion in the stomach because it is an excellent source of fiber.
4. Drink plenty of water – To avoid keto bloating
Drink two liters of water daily to improve digestion.
5- De-stress – To avoid keto bloating
Tension and nervousness are among the psychological conditions that cause bloating on keto, so stress must be addressed by doing recreational activities and feeling relaxed.
6- Avoid spicy foods – To avoid keto bloating
Spicy foods cause stomach gases, and they can be replaced with spices and other herbs that relax your digestive systems, such as cumin, mint and rosemary.
7- Avoid fried foods and soft drinks
Fried foods saturated with fats cause digestive problems because it is very difficult to break them down, and soft drinks also cause stomach gases.
8- Eat slowly
Food should be eaten slowly and chewed well so that it is easy to digest, because the speed of eating may lead to the entry of air into the body, causing bloating and gas.
* Bloating is a side effect of the keto diet.
Feeling bloated is definitely an annoying problem, as it can put you in awkward situations that cannot be controlled. (Like Stomach growling)
Although stomach gases are a natural condition and part of the digestive process, there are some ways to reduce them, on top of which is good chewing, which reduces the chances of air entering the abdomen and thus avoids gas and a feeling of bloating.
Regular movement and exercise (such as walking every day for some time) will help avoid indigestion, in addition to placing a hot water bottle on the stomach is one of the quickest ways to treat flatulence.