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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.

How Does Diet Cause Excess Gas?

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.

Foods to Avoid

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.

Breads and Cereals

Whole grains (eg, whole wheat, brain, oats) and whole grain products

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Turnips

Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe and other melons
  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Citrus fruits

Dairy

Milk and other dairy products, including highly fermented cheese

Meat and Beans

Beans and other legumes (eg, baked beans, garbanzo, kidney, lentil, lima, navy, pinto)

Sorbitol-Containing Products

Sugar-free hard candies and gum

Beverages

  • Milk and milk products (if lactose intolerant)
  • Carbonated drinks

Foods Recommended

Determining which foods are best tolerated by you is often a process of trial an error. However, most foods not on this list should be fine.

Additional Suggestions

  • 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.
  • American Dietetic Association

    http://www.eatright.org/

  • American Gastroenterological Association

    http://www.gastro.org/

  • Dietitians of Canada

    http://www.dietitians.ca/

  • Health Canada

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php/

  • Foods and flatus. Available at: http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/umdigest24.htm . Accessed December 31, 2009.

  • Gas in the digestive tract. American Gastroenterological Association. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=689 . Accessed December 31, 2009.

  • Gas in the digestive tract. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gas/index.htm . Accessed April 2, 2007.

  • Merck Manual Online. Digestive Disorders. Available at: http://www.merck.com/ . Accessed December 31, 2009.