Yogurt is rich in protein and calcium and is often listed as a food you should include in your healthy diet plan. But if you have tummy troubles, you may wonder: Why do certain yogurts cause bloating? Well, your bloating may be due to a number of reasons. Some reasons stem from the yogurt itself, and others are because of added ingredients.
Your yogurt may be making you feel bloated because of the lactose or the added ingredients, such as fructose.
About That Yogurt
Tart and creamy, yogurt is a staple in many cultures and blends well with both sweet and savory flavors. The fermented dairy product is made by heating milk and then adding Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which are bacteria that break down the sugar in the milk — lactose — into lactic acid to create the distinct tart flavor and thick, creamy texture.
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An 8-ounce container of plain yogurt contains:
- 138 calories
- 7 grams of fat
- 8 grams of protein
- 11 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.8 grams of saturated fat
- 21 percent of the daily value (DV) for calcium
- 35 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
You may notice that Greek yogurt is a bit creamier than regular yogurt. That's because Greek yogurt goes through an additional straining step to remove more of the liquid, referred to as whey, to create the denser, creamier texture. This extra step, however, alters the nutrition in your Greek yogurt. An 8-ounce container of Greek yogurt contains:
- 220 calories
- 11 grams of fat
- 20 grams of protein
- 9 grams of carbs
- 5.4 grams of saturated fat
- 17 percent of the DV for calcium
- 71 percent of the DV for vitamin B12
Greek yogurt is higher in calories, fat and protein, but contains less calcium than the regular plain yogurt.
Read more: Yogurt Brands Containing Probiotics
Maybe It’s the Lactose
Does Greek yogurt bloat your stomach? Well, maybe it's the lactose. Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in milk and other dairy products. Those with lactose intolerance lack the enzyme needed to breakdown this carbohydrate, which leads to abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea when they eat or drink a dairy food.
While the fermentation process helps to breakdown most of the lactose in the milk, some may remain. If you're lactose intolerant, and your yogurt is making you bloated, then you may want to consider taking an enzyme supplement before you eat your yogurt. Or you could switch to a nondairy brand of yogurt.
Read more: The 6 Best Yogurts and 4 to Avoid
Look at the Added Ingredients
Why do certain yogurts cause bloating? It may be the added ingredients. If you take a look at the yogurt section in your grocery store, you may notice that yogurt comes in a wide variety of flavors. In addition to the fruited yogurt, you also have yogurt with various mix-ins such as cookie crumbles and salted caramel pretzels.
If these yogurts, which are more like a dessert, cause bloating after you eat them, then it may be because of the sugar. Sugar is a concentrated sweet that can trigger abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. Fructose is especially problematic, and it can come from the fruit or juice that's added to your yogurt as a flavoring. High-fructose corn syrup may also cause trouble for those who are intolerant to fructose.
Read more: Probiotics & Greek Yogurt
How to Debloat
If you just ate yogurt and now you're feeling bloated, you may be wondering: How can I get my stomach flat fast? Well, there's no easy or simple solution. If you're concerned about your bloating, talk to your doctor about treatments to help reduce the discomfort quickly. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests that you may be able to reduce bloating quickly with an over-the-counter medication that reduces gas.
Interestingly, probiotics, which include the bacteria in yogurt that helps the fermentation process, may reduce gas and bloating, according to an October 2014 review and meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. However, it's not certain what type of probiotics work the best for the debloating and more research is needed.
So how do you debloat in 24 hours? You do everything you can to prevent further bloating. This may include avoiding the yogurts and other foods that give you trouble, limiting your intake of carbonated drinks and not chewing gum. As the offending food passes through your digestive tract, the bloat will disappear.
- American Academy of Family Physicians: "Bloating"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Yogurt"
- USDA: FoodData Central: "Yogurt, Plain, Whole Milk"
- USDA: FoodData Central: "Yogurt, Greek, Plain, Whole Milk"
- MyFoodData: "Plain Yogurt, Greek Yogurt"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Lactose Intolerance"
- American Institute for Cancer Research: "How to Determine the Amount of Added Sugar in Yogurt"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Is Something in Your Diet Causing Diarrhea?"
- The American Journal of Gastroenterology: "Efficacy of Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Synbiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"
- Current Gastroenterology Reports: "Diet Fructose Intolerance, Fructan Intolerance and FODMAPs"