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Avoiding Gas-producing Foods

IMAGE Many gastrointestinal conditions can be aggravated by foods that cause gas. Everyone reacts to foods differently, so keep track of the foods you eat and your symptoms. Share this information with your doctor if you need to.
Foods that commonly cause gas include:
  • Certain vegetables, such as:
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Cauliflower
    • Corn
    • Cucumbers
    • Kohlrabi
    • Leeks
    • Onions
    • Peas
    • Peppers
    • Potatoes
    • Radishes
    • Sauerkraut
    • Turnip
  • Beans and other legumes—baked beans, garbanzo (chickpeas), kidney, lentil, lima, navy, pinto
  • Beer
  • Certain sugars: raffinose, lactose, fructose, and sorbitol (found in many fruits, vegetables, and dairy products)
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Sugar substitutes, and sugar-free candies and gums
  • Wheat and wheat bran
  • Whole grains
  • Pasta
  • Certain fruits, such as:
    • Apricots
    • Cantaloupe and other melons
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Prunes
    • Raw apples
  • Milk and other dairy products, including highly fermented cheese
  • Undigestable fats such as Olestra (found in some potato chips)
Gas is also caused by swallowing excess air, which can be caused by rapid eating, chewing with your mouth open, gum chewing, drinking through a straw, and smoking.
Some medications, particularly ones that lower cholesterol, are associated with increased gas production.
Cutting gas-producing foods from your diet may decrease gas, but could also mean fewer healthy foods in your diet.
There are prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat gas.

RESOURCES

EatRight.org - Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca

Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca

References

Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas. Updated January 2, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2014.

Gas-related complaints. Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal%5Fdisorders/symptoms%5Fof%5Fgi%5Fdisorders/gas-related%5Fcomplaints.html?qt=&sc=&alt=. Updated November 2013. Accessed May 8, 2014.

What I need to know about gas. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas%5Fez/. Updated July 31, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2014.

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