How to Deal With Gas on a New Vegetarian Diet

A balanced vegetarian diet can easily meets all your nutritional needs, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and other illnesses, according to Erik Lindbloom, M.D., of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. If you're new to a vegetarian lifestyle, you might have made some classic rookie mistakes that caused your flatulence. Even if you're a veteran vegetarian, the high-fiber, vegetable-heavy nature of a plant-based diet can bloat even the strongest of stomachs. A few small tweaks to your diet can reduce or eliminate gas.

Excess fiber causes gas. Credit: Alliance/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Keep a food journal for a week. Credit: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images

Record your food intake for a week; write down your gas symptoms as well. Look for trends at the end of the week to help spot the foods that trigger your gas.

Step 2

Eat the foods that typically cause gas less or in smaller quantities. Credit: Антон Горбачев/iStock/Getty Images

Eat the foods that typically cause gas less often or in smaller quantities. Common culprits include broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. However, any food can cause gas.

Step 3

Try cutting out dairy products. Credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Cut out dairy and see if that resolves your gas symptoms. New vegetarians sometimes make the mistake of replacing meat with cheese and other dairy products. The increased intake of dairy products can cause several kinds of digestive upset.

Step 4

Give your body time to adjust to a higher fiber intake. Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Give your body time to adjust to a higher fiber intake. Too much fiber or a sharp increase in fiber consumption almost always results in gas. Increase your intake by a few grams per week so you can adjust slowly.

Step 5

Get some of your calories from low-fiber foods. Credit: tycoon751/iStock/Getty Images

Get some of your calories from low-fiber foods. Choose processed grains, such as white rice, cooked vegetables and fruits.

Step 6

Eat slower to lower the amount of air you swallow. Credit: karelnoppe/iStock/Getty Images

Eat slowly to cut down on the amount of air you swallow. Drink from cups and not from straws for the same reason. Smoking also causes you to swallow air, which increases gas, according to Harvard Medical School.

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