Avoiding Digestive System Gas

Most of us are embarrassed to be caught passing gas through our mouth or through our rectum. There can be some pretty embarrassing moments when we unknowing “let one go”, like in church during prayers, or while taking a test in the classroom, or during a really important business meeting, or worse yet, while making a business presentation in front of your superiors. It is at these times that we most want to find out how to decrease or eliminate the embarrassment of passing gas. It is not all that comforting to know that we all do it; we only want to know how we can do it less often.

Most of us are aware that certain foods are known to cause gas more often than other types of foods. Do you know which food types will cause you gas? Not everyone has gas from the same foods. It is more likely that foods such as those containing carbohydrates will cause you gas or foods made from fats or proteins are less likely to cause you to produce gas; but how do you know which foods specifically cause you the most gas? How do you avoid these foods and still maintain a diet that will help you to be healthy?

Your have two choices when trying to avoid producing too much gas in your system:

    1. You can keep a food journal for at least a month by recording everything you eat and drink (meals and snacks) as well as to record each and every time you experience or pass gas. Then you can get a better idea of exactly which foods and drinks tend to produce the most gas in your large intestine. Then you can avoid or eliminate these foods from your diet. You should ask your healthcare provider or nutritionist about the best way to go about avoiding or eliminating any food from your diet as some foods are essential for providing the vitamins and minerals and or fiber that we need to stay healthy.

    2. The other alternative is to simply follow guideline based on what foods are known to produce the most gas and which foods are known to produce the least amount of gas when determining your diet. Again, it is important to include a variety of foods in your diet so that you can receive all the vitamins, minerals and fiber that you need on a daily basis. You should always be careful when eliminating a food type, so speak with your doctor or nutritionist for guidance.

Foods to Avoid

Foods that contain carbohydrates

Foods that contain sugars (raffinose, lactose, fructose, sorbitol)

Foods that contain raffinose are beans, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and other vegetables and whole grains.

Lactose is a natural sugar that is found in milk and in foods that are made from milk; such as, milk, cheese, ice cream. Lactose is also found in processed foods such as breads, cereal, and also salad dressing.

Fructose is a natural sugar that is present in many food items such as onions, pears, wheat, and artichokes and is also found in many drinks and fruit drinks that have been sweetened with fructose.

Sorbitol is found naturally in many fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and prunes. It is also used in many dietetic foods and candies or gums made specifically for diabetics.

Many foods that contain starches also produce gas in people. These starchy foods are corn, pasta, potatoes, and foods with wheat as an ingredient.

Foods that contain soluble fiber can cause gas because they are not broken down until they get to the large intestine.

Food sources of soluble fiber include: barley, oatmeal, oatbran cereals, psyllium seeds, fruits such as apple, banana, blackberries, oranges, grapefruits, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes. Legumes are also a source of soluble fiber such as black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, northern beans, pinto beans, peas and also lentils (green, orange, and yellow). Vegetables that have soluble fiber in them are broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots.