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Anti-Flatulence Diets

by
author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Anti-Flatulence Diets
Track what you eat to determine which foods cause you problems. Photo Credit Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

Excessive bloating, burping and passing gas is uncomfortable, but rarely a sign of a serious condition. Certain foods in your diet can cause flatulence -- excess gas in the digestive tract. Antibiotics, irritable bowel syndrome and problems absorbing certain nutrients are other common causes. You may be able to control flatulence by limiting foods known to cause gas, according to the National Institutes of Health. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

What to Know About Gas

Foods that cause gas in one person may not cause gas in someone else. For this reason, a diet to control flatulence is highly individual. It's best to work with your doctor to first rule out underlying issues, such as Crohn's disease. It's perfectly normal to pass gas anywhere from seven to 20 times per day, according to Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. If you're passing gas much more than this, it's bothering you and there are no underlying issues, dietary changes may help.

Eating Fewer Gas-Producing Foods

Many healthy foods cause gas, so you shouldn't completely eliminate them. However, eating a smaller amount per meal or removing these foods temporarily and adding them back in slowly may help decrease excess gas. Foods that may cause gas include beans; whole grains; certain vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus; and certain fruits such as pears, apples and peaches. A natural sugar called lactose found in milk can also cause gas. In addition, sugar-free foods and snacks contain sugar alcohols, which are difficult to digest and may cause gas.

Foods That Cause Very Little Gas

Proteins cause very little gas, so lean meats, fish, eggs and poultry won't aggravate flatulence symptoms. Avoid frying or other cooking methods that add lots of fat. Foods that cause less gas include cooked or canned fruit without the peels, smooth peanut butter, refined breads, angel food cake and pastas made from refined flour. Other foods that cause less gas include white rice, refined hot cereals, mashed potatoes without skins, carrots, summer squash, low-fat cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese.

Anti-Flatulence Tips

Eating too quickly and swallowing too much air can increase gas in your intestines. Sipping beverages from a straw or chewing gum increases the amount of air you swallow. Avoid using straws or sucking on hard candies. Even though dietary fat does not cause gas, limiting high-fat foods helps reduce bloating and discomfort. Over-the-counter digestive aids may help relieve excess gas by providing enzymes that help your body digest certain sugars. Other over-the-counter products relieve the bloating and discomfort caused by gas.

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