The bloated burden of high-fiber diets | Health Beat

Gas is a byproduct of high-fiber diets—but you can keep it in check by controlling your fiber sources. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

If you want to reduce bloating when eating a high-fiber diet, try making it carbohydrate-rich rather than protein-rich, new study findings suggest.

Bloating is a common side effect that discourages many people from adopting a high-fiber diet.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from a clinical trial involving 164 participants who followed heart-healthy, high-fiber diets.

The participants were about 40% more likely to report bloating while following diets rich in plant proteins than on carbohydrate-rich regimens.

The findings were recently published online in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.

High-fiber diets are believed to cause bloating by increasing certain populations of healthy, fiber-digesting gut bacteria. They produce gas as a byproduct. These findings suggest that carbs and proteins change the gut bacteria population (microbiome).

“It’s possible that in

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10 things you never knew about folic acid | Health Beat

Dark, leafy greens are full of folic acid, a B vitamin that may just be an elixir of life. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Most people associate folic acid (also called folate or vitamin B9) with preventing birth defects.

And it’s true: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking folic acid supplements reduces the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida, by 70%.

But folic acid isn’t only for during pregnancy, according to Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN, a Spectrum Health community nutrition educator. It creates healthy red blood cells, regulates hormones and creates healthy DNA.

Most adults should get between 400 and 600 micrograms of folate per day, Corwin said. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products will get you headed in the right direction.

Here’s what you should know about folic acid:

1. It helps

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