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:
- Brussels sprouts
- Beans and other legumes—baked beans, garbanzo (chickpeas), kidney, lentil, lima, navy, pinto
- 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
Certain fruits, such as:
- Cantaloupe and other melons
- 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.
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_disorders/symptoms_of_gi_disorders/gas-related_complaints.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:
Updated July 31, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2014.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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