Foods That Cause Gas

Should You Avoid Foods That Cause Gas?

When looking at various lists of foods that cause gas, it's not surprising that there are many food items in common among the lists. Yet there are foods that cause gas in some lists that are not found in others. If you read enough lists and eliminate the foods listed, you find you've done away with a substantial part of your diet, including a number of foods that are very nutritious and good for you.

Eliminate All Gas Producing Foods? - Don't Even Try - Even if you manage to avoid all the foods that cause gas, what have you accomplished? Chances are you're doing yourself more harm than good by skimping on nutrition to try and get rid of a condition that is really quite natural. Most living things, including humans, produce a certain amount of gas, usually as a byproduct of digestion. Gas is mainly created by undigested food, and to really eliminate gas entirely, food would have to be completely digested, an impossible and in fact unnecessary task for the digestive system to accomplish. If one wanted his or her gastrointestinal system to function at 100% efficiency, the diet that would allow that to happen would likely consist of very bland and uninteresting fare. The beverage of choice to go with each meal would be water. Not a bad choice, but not a very interesting one either.

Most all of us pass some gas, either through the mouth by belching, or through the rectum, about a dozen times a day, maybe a bit more for some. This is quite normal. The digestive system is very often unable to completely digest the foods we eat, either because the type of food is not easily digestible, or there is simply too much of it. The undigested food sits in the colon, awaiting elimination, and while there bacteria go to work on it, releasing gas as byproduct. Rather than worrying about foods that cause gas, we should instead be grateful for the gas that is produced as it indicates that the digestive system is functioning normally.

That said, there still remains the issue of excessive gas production, where the term excessive is somewhat subjective, and its actual value will vary from person to person. The fact is some foods give us more gas than others, and different foods affect different people differently. What gives me gas may not give you gas, and vice versa. There are some foods, or classes of foods however that are generally considered to be gas-producers, beans being the one food found on almost all the lists.

Carbohydrates, Sugars, And Soluble Fiber - Most foods containing carbohydrates or starches, and some which contain sugars have the potential for causing gas, as do foods containing soluble fiber. Beans for example contain some gas-producing sugars and also contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is not broken down and fully digested until it reaches the large intestine, and it is the large intestine that is the principal gas factory. Any food we eat that is not completely digested by the time it reaches the large intestine is apt to cause gas, in some people at least.

Specific Foods That Cause Gas - High on most lists of foods that cause gas are beans, members of the cabbage family such as broccoli, members of the onion family, whole grain foods, most dairy products, including milk and ice cream, carbonated drinks and non-carbonated fruit drinks, and many fruits, including apples, pears, and peaches. Eliminate these, and you end up with almost an all meat diet, not a meat and potatoes diet, as the starches in potatoes can cause gas. The protein in meat does not however, so you can eat all you want, though if you eat too much, and it ends up in the large intestine, you might get gas.

It's not a losing battle, and there are some foods you might try avoiding, but for most people it will be a trial and error exercise. One can succeed in having less gas to worry about, but shouldn't try to eliminate it completely. It's a natural process.