Burping, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal discomfort can painfully strike at the wrong time. While burping and passing gas is perfectly normal, it can be embarrassing and sometimes stinky! According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, the average person passes gas anywhere from 13 to 21 times a day, but your diet and eating habits can directly affect the amount of gas you have.
Gas is defined as having air in the digestive track, and is typically caused by swallowing air while eating or drinking. However, you can also swallow excessive air when you:
- Wear dentures that are loose-fitting
- Chew gum
- Eat or drink too quickly
- Drink carbonated drinks
- Suck on hard candy
Another common cause of gas is difficulty digesting certain foods. Food that contains carbohydrates can cause gas, as well as having one or several food intolerances. Both of these conditions can make digesting certain foods more difficult for certain individuals. In order to help prevent excess gas, keeping a food diary is highly recommended. Have a place where you can track what you eat, as well as record your gas symptoms. This will help you pinpoint what foods cause you to have more gas, so you know what foods to eat less of or what you should avoid all together. To help you get a jump start, here are some foods that you should limit or avoid all together if you are having gas issues:
- We all know the tune “beans, beans, the musical fruit…”. Avoid gas-producing beans if you are having flatulence issues.
- Avoid vegetables such as peas, onions, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, as well as asparagus.
- Avoid whole grains that are high in carbohydrates such as whole wheat, bran, and pasta.
- While delicious, avoid fruits such as peaches, prunes, apples, and pears.
- Avoid starchy foods such as corn and potatoes.
- Avoid milk and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
- While oats are healthy and delicious, they have a high soluble-fiber content, so they are one of the foods that can cause excessive gas.
- Avoid soda and fruit drinks such as pear and apple juice. Be sure to avoid drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup.
- Avoid gums and candies that contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol.
- If you are lactose intolerant, check the ingredient label on processed and packaged foods. Many times they can contain small amounts of lactose.