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10 Foods That Cause Gas

Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone has gas sometimes. Gas is caused by swallowing air and breaking down food in your digestive tract. The result is usually belching, feeling bloated, or passing gas. On average, most people pass gas at least 14 times per day. Some people have more gas than others, which can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. However, the gas itself is not cause for alarm.

If you are experiencing a lot of gas and bloating, changing your diet can help. Here are the foods that cause the most gas. Remember that everyone's body reacts differently, so if you change your diet, avoid the foods you react to the most.

1. Beans

When you think about foods that cause gas, beans might be at the top of the list. Beans are high in raffinose, which is a complex sugar that makes it difficult for the body to digest. Raffinose passes through the small intestine into the large intestine where bacteria break it down, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane that exits through the rectum.

To reduce gas without cutting beans, one study found an over-the-counter product, Beano, to reduce gas effectively for some people. Soaking beans overnight can also help reduce gas.

2. Dairy products

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and most dairy products, including cheese and ice cream. People who do not produce enough of the enzyme Lasase have difficulty digesting lactose, which is known as lactose intolerance. Increased gas is a symptom of lactose intolerance. If you suspect you have a lactose intolerance, you can reduce your symptoms by trying non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk products, or taking a pill before eat dairy foods.

3. Whole grains

Whole grains like wheat and oats contain fiber, raffinose, and starch. All of these are broken down by bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in gas. In fact, rice is the only grain that doesn't cause gas.

4. Vegetables

Certain vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower are known to cause excess gas. Like beans, these vegetables also contain the complex sugar, raffinose. However, these are very healthy foods, so you may want to talk to your doctor before eliminating them from your diet.

5. Sodas

Soda and other carbonated drinks can add significantly to the amount of air you swallow. When air gets into your digestive tract, it has to get through somehow. This causes burping and can also increase the amount of gas you pass. Swapping soda for juice, tea, or water (non-carbonated) can help reduce gas.

6. Fruits

Fruits such as apples, peaches, pears and plums contain a natural sugar, sorbitol, which the body has difficulty digesting. Many fruits also have soluble fiber, which is a type of fiber that dissolves in water. Both sorbitol and soluble fiber must also pass through the large intestine, where bacteria break them down to produce hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas.

7. Hard Candy

Like carbonated drinks, smoking hard candies can cause you to swallow more air. Many candies also use sorbitol as a sweetener. These two factors can contribute to extra gas.

8. Onions

Onions contain a natural sugar called fructose. Like raffinose and sorbitol, fructose contributes to gas when bacteria in the gut break it down.

9. Chew gum

Gum seems to be an unlikely source for gas, but chewing it can cause you to swallow more air. Many sugar-free gums are also sweetened with harder-to-digest sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. If you burp a lot, your doctor may recommend that you stop chewing gum to reduce gas.

10. Processed foods

Processed foods are packaged goods, such as breads, snack foods, cereals, and salad dressings. They contain a variety of ingredients, including fructose and lactose. This combination can lead to increased gas.

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