7 Gassy Foods to Avoid

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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  • While gas production is a natural part of the digestive tract, too much gas can be unpleasant—and embarrassing. But don’t despair: You have at least some control over excess belching and flatulence. While many factors play a role in how much gas your body creates, feeling bloated from food you eat is within your power to change. By avoiding the gassy food list and choosing non-gassy foods instead, you may find significant relief. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is unique, so you might have to try different combinations of foods to find your sweet spot.

  • 1
    Fizzy Drinks
    Soda pop

    Soda is one of the worst offenders for adding excess gas in your stomach. But it’s not just carbonated soda that causes the problem. Swallowing any bubbly drinks—such as sparkling water, beer and sparkling wine, to name a few—increases the amount of gas in your digestive tract. While you might not want to give up your glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, you can make smart changes to your everyday diet to avoid gassy beverages. Water is always the best beverage choice.

  • 2
    Fruits and Fruit Juices
     prune juice in a glass next to prunes and lemons on a table

    If you’re looking to replace fizzy drinks in your diet to reduce gas, don’t turn to apple juice or prune juice. These drinks are likely to increase gas production in your intestinal tract because they contain fructose, which is a natural sugar that some people can’t tolerate. Sorbitol can also cause problems. It’s a naturally occurring sugar in many fruits. Particularly gassy fruits to avoid include apples, nectarines, peaches, plums, raisins, bananas, apricots, pears and dried fruits. For non-gassy fruit alternatives, try berries, cherries, grapes and cantaloupe.

  • 3
    Dairy Products
    dairy

    You may also have to skip the milk, as dairy products often are gassy foods. Cheese and ice cream can also be culprits if you are feeling bloated after those food choices. Instead, you can try non-dairy alternatives, though they aren’t always gas-free options. Test out soy milk or almond milk, but try to avoid almond milk that contains carrageenan, which can aggravate gas symptoms. Rice, quinoa and oat milks are also options, but they are high in carbs, which can cause gas. You can also try lactose-free milk. Test a few to see what might work for your body.

  • 4
    Beans
    White kidney beans in a brown pot macro and bread

    These aren’t called the “musical fruit” for nothing. Beans cause gas for many people, so you might have to cut them out of your diet altogether if they upset your intestinal tract. However, the way you cook them might make them more tolerable to your gut. Soak beans overnight in your refrigerator, and pour out the soaking water the next day before cooking. This will help reduce gas production when you eat them.

  • 5
    Veggies
    broccoli and cauliflower

    Some vegetables are more problematic than others when it comes to creating excess gas. Some of the worst offenders are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, Brussels sprouts, and peas. But you don’t have to give up this healthful food group altogether. Try lettuce, zucchini and okra (and tomatoes, if you want to count them as a veggie) as non-gassy veggie alternatives.

  • 6
    Whole Grains
    Bagels

    Many whole grains are likely to cause gas. Avoid brown rice and bran cereals. Carbs, such as those in bagels and pretzels also have high potential to upset your intestinal tract. Instead, try gluten-free bread and white rice. When adding fiber to your diet, you may experience more gas, but your body will usually get used to it over time.

  • 7
    Other Gassy Foods
    Restaurant container of various sugars and artificial sweeteners

    Other foods may be contributing to your excess gas that are in a class all their own. Culprits include spicy or fatty foods, caffeinated drinks (including coffee), and artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free or “diet” foods, candy and gum. If you can’t live without your coffee or a bit of spice in your life, you can try over-the-counter anti-gas products to relieve your discomfort. Some may be more effective than others, so see what works best for you.

  • 8
    Non-gassy Foods to Try
    close up of scrambled eggs with fork

    While this seems like a long list of gassy foods to avoid, many foods are on the “safe” list. All foods naturally create some gas as they are digested, but these options probably won’t cause excess gas. In addition to the alternatives already mentioned in this list, other non-gassy foods include red meat, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs. Other gas-reducing ideas to try include eating more slowly, stopping smoking, and avoiding chewing gum and sucking hard candy. These changes will reduce the amount of air you swallow. Drinking peppermint or chamomile tea may also help naturally reduce gas.

  • 9
    When to Call a Doctor
    middle aged man talking on phone while on laptop computer

    While knowing which gassy foods to avoid can help your intestinal problems, sometimes it’s not your food choices causing you pain. Intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause similar symptoms—abdominal pain, belching, flatulence, bloating. If you’ve tried strategically eliminating gassy foods with no improvement, you might need to talk with your doctor. A full evaluation can help you figure out your next steps.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Oct 28
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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