The purpose of this diet is to eliminate foods that may be contributing to excess gas. While gas is a normal part of digestion, too much gas—whether it presents itself through belching, bloating, or flatulence—can be uncomfortable.
Excess gas is usually attributed to diet, but certain medical conditions can also increase gassiness, including:
Therefore, it is important that you talk to your doctor about any symptoms that you may be having.
Gas is a normal by-product of digestion. Swallowing air can cause gas to build up in our stomach, usually resulting in belching. Certain foods increase flatulence by providing nutrients to the gas-producing bacteria that reside in our lower intestines. High-fiber foods often cause gas, especially if you are not used to eating them.
Flatulence and bloating can also be caused by
lactose intolerance. This condition is when there is not enough of the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar.
The below list should be used as a guide. These are foods and beverages that are known to cause excess gas in many people, but you may tolerate them just fine. Before you avoid these healthy foods, try to figure out which ones cause gas in you.
To pinpoint which foods may be contributing to your excess gas, consider keeping a food log to track the foods that you eat and their effects.
Whole grains (whole wheat, brain, oats) and whole grain products
- Brussels sprouts
- Cantaloupe and other melons
- Citrus fruits
Milk and other dairy products, including highly fermented cheese
Beans and other legumes (baked beans, garbanzo, kidney, lentil, lima, navy, pinto)
Sugar-free hard candies and gum
- Milk and milk products (if lactose intolerant)
- Carbonated drinks
Determining which foods are best tolerated by you is often a process of trial and error. However, most foods not on this list should be fine.
- If you are increasing your intake of fiber, do so gradually.
- Avoid chewing gum or talking while eating. Both can cause you to swallow air.
- Exercise can help stimulate gas to pass through the digestive tract.
- Consider meeting with a registered dietitian to develop a personalized meal plan.
Living with gas in the digestive tract. American Gastroenterological Association. Available at:
http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/gas-in-the-digestive-tract. Accessed August 20, 2014.
Gas in the digestive tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gas/Pages/facts.aspx. Updated November 2012. Accessed August 20, 2014.
Gas-related complaints. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal_disorders/symptoms_of_gi_disorders/gas-related_complaints.html. Updated November 2013. Accessed August 20, 2014.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
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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