Low Gas DIet: How to Avoid Foods that Produce Gas and/or Bloating

Foods That Contribute to Gas Production:

Most beans, especially dried beans and peas, baked beans, soy
beans, lima beans

Milk & milk products 
Milk; ice cream; and cheese

Cabbage; radishes; onions; broccoli; Brussels sprouts; cauliflower;
cucumbers; sauerkraut; kohlrabi; asparagus
Root vegetables
Potatoes; rutabaga; turnips

Prunes; apricots; apples; raisins; bananas

Cereals, Breads 
All foods that contain wheat and wheat products including cereals,
breads, and pastries. Check labels.

Fatty foods 
Pan-fried or deep-fried foods; fatty meats; rich cream sauces and
gravies; pastries. (While fatty foods are not carbohydrates, they too
can contribute to intestinal gas.)

Liquids Carbonated beverages


  • Aspirin.
  • Antacids.
  • Diarrhea medicines, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil.
  • Narcotic pain medicines.
  • Fiber supplements and bulking agents, such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil.
  • Multivitamins and iron pills.

LOW GAS Diet: 
Your physician can help you determine there is no medical condition causing the excessive gas. This is an important first step if gas is very bad or there is a great deal of abdominal cramping, diarrhea, or fevers.
This Low Gas Diet can be used to identify and
eliminate foods that may be causing the symptoms. 

There are 2 ways to follow this diet:
Continue to eat as you normally do, but eliminate one category of gas producing foods for at least a week. If there is no lessening
of gas, put the foods back in the diet and go on to eliminate another category for a week. Follow this procedure until reaching a
level of gas that is tolerable. 
SEVERELY restrict all categories of foods that cause gas for 3 or 4 days. Then reintroduce one food at a time back to the diet, and
continue to include this food for 3 or 4 days. If the selection causes no problems, it may be kept in the diet. If there is marked increase
in gas production, eliminate it and go on to the next food. Continue this process until all foods causing gas are identified.
Then they can be avoided. 

What Foods Are the Worst Offenders? 

Genetics plays a role here. Some foods cause one person gas and not another. If you are lactose-intolerant, you will have gas & bloating potentially with any milk or cheese product. 
For many, beans (all types), milk, and milk products may be the worst offenders in causing gas. Other troublesome foods include onions,
celery, carrots, raisins, apricots, prune juice, wheat products, and Brussels sprouts. Offending foods may not have to be completely eliminated. Sometimes, they can be tolerated in smaller amounts. For example,
three glasses of milk a day may cause an individual excessive gas, but limiting milk to one glass per day may cause no problems.
Sometimes tolerance to certain foods can be acquired. Many people complain that adding fiber to the diet causes gas. This problem
can usually be reduced by adding fiber gradually over a period of several weeks. 
Hints for Reducing Belching 
1. Air swallowers should concentrate on trying to reduce the number of times they swallow air. 
2. Avoid pipes, cigarettes and cigars; chewing gum and hard candy; sipping through straws and bottles with narrow mouths; and
dentures that do not fit properly. They can increase saliva. 
3. Avoid foods that contain air, such as carbonated beverages or whipped cream, and fizzy medicines, such as bicarbonate of soda. 
4. Eat slowly. Gulping food and beverages add large amounts of air into the stomach. 
5. Do not deliberately swallow air to force a belch. 
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Adapted from:
More information below:
Intestinal gas means different things to different people. Patients may complain of excessive bloating after eating, belching, or rectal
gas (flatulence), or a combination of these symptoms. In order to deal with these different symptoms, patients should understand how
the gastrointestinal tract works. With this knowledge, they can take steps to prevent or improve their symptoms.
Each time food, liquid, or even saliva is swallowed, a small amount of air is carried to the stomach. In the stomach, food is churned into
small fragments and then emptied into the small intestine. How quickly the stomach empties varies, but generally it takes place within 1
to 2 hours. The small intestine gently contracts, moving these liquid food fragments downstream. That is where the food’s nutrition —
calories, minerals, and vitamins — are absorbed. The indigestible liquid waste then reaches the large colon (bowel). Here, much of the
water from the liquid fragments is reabsorbed. That is how the stool is formed.
Various functions along the path of digestion can contribute to the production of gas. Following simple diet and lifestyle changes can
help to reduce gastrointestinal gas and relieve symptoms.
Nutrition Facts
A diet to control the production of intestinal gas is adequate in calories, protein, minerals, and vitamins. The elimination of certain food
groups from the diet still allows a wide variety of food selections. During the early stages of the intestinal gas trial diet, however, a
multivitamin/ mineral supplement may be recommended.
Everyone belches occasionally, often after eating. However, some people belch so much that it becomes annoying and embarrassing.
Belching is simply the release of swallowed air from the stomach. The stomach does not produce air or gas on its own. Each time a
person swallows food or liquid, some air is swallowed with it. The more frequently a person swallows, the greater the amount of air
entering the stomach. Some individuals are “air swallowers” because they frequently swallow saliva and air, and then belch it up.
Belching is rarely a serious problem. Occasionally, it can be treated with medications. In most cases, however, the patient can control
belching by understanding how it occurs and following the simple steps listed above.
For unknown reasons, abdominal bloating (swelling) after eating occurs more often in females. Bloating is usually caused by poor or
disorganized contractions of the stomach and upper intestine. Relaxation of the abdominal muscles can also be a factor. Medications
are now available that stimulate contractions in the stomach and upper intestine. These contractions move the food and fluid along,
thereby reducing abdominal bloating.
Bloating is often a part of irritable bowel syndrome, a condition in which there is disorganized movement and spasm of the bowel.
Anxiety and stress seem to play a role in some people’s symptoms. Bloating may also be caused by delayed emptying of the stomach,
called gastroparesis. For these reasons, the physician usually performs certain tests such as x- rays and endoscopy. This is a visual
scope examination of the stomach using a flexible, lighted tube. There are other medical conditions, such as malabsorption and certain
types of bowel surgery, in which excessive gas may be produced. These conditions need to be treated by a physician.
Stomach upset from certain foods and eating rapidly can contribute to bloating, and therefore, should be avoided. Although bloating
can be quite distressing, it is usually not a serious problem. It can often be treated with simple changes in diet.
Rectal Gas
The colon has literally hundreds of different bacteria growing within it. These bacteria live peacefully in our bowel and provide certain
positive health benefits to the body. Most bacteria in the colon are harmless and cause no problems. These bacteria rely on the
indigestible food we eat for their own nutrition. Certain foods are more likely to cause certain bacteria to thrive. Some of these bacteria
are called “gas formers.” They generate gases such as hydrogen and methane. As much as 80 to 90 percent of rectal gas (flatulence) is
formed by bacteria. Gas forming bacteria generally feed on certain carbohydrates and sugars. So, if these carbohydrates are reduced or
eliminated from the diet, rectal gas can usually be significantly reduced. Individual response to certain foods is also a factor in
producing rectal gas. For instance, two people can eat the same amount of the same carbohydrate. One forms large amounts of rectal
gas, while the other experiences little or none. 
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