The Top Foods That Won't Make You Feel Gassy

Sometimes you find yourself in an important situation where the last thing you need to be dealing with is excessive intestinal gas. Fortunately, there are some foods that are less likely to cause gas. These are the foods you can turn to when you need to feel confident that you won’t experience the embarrassment of flatulence.

As a general rule of thumb, gassy foods are those that contain certain types of carbohydrates and/or soluble fiber. These substances are not fully absorbed in the small intestine and therefore make their way down to the large intestine where they are set upon by gut bacteria. The by-product of this process is gas.Therefore, to avoid gas, you need to eat the opposite -- foods that are not broken down by intestinal bacteria.

It is important to know that some intestinal gas is normal and that many gassy foods are good for you. Therefore choose the following foods primarily for those times when it is absolutely essential that you be gas-free.

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Our bodies are well-adapted to digesting protein. Animal sources of protein contain no carbohydrates to be fermented by those pesky gut bacteria. Therefore, choosing to eat any of the following is a safe bet when you want to avoid embarrassing gas or uncomfortable bloat. Be sure to eat these items plain, as glazes and gravies may contain added sugar, garlic and/or onions, all of which can be gas-producing.

BeefChickenEggsFishTurkey

If you choose not to eat animal products, no worries, there are plenty of other non-gassy food options that you can take advantage of.

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As you can see, there are plenty of vegetables that are low enough in carbohydrates that they are not likely to contribute to intestinal fermentation. They are all good for you, so feel free to pile them on!

Bell peppersBok choyCucumberFennelGreens, such as kale or spinachGreen beansLettuceSpinachTomatoesZucchini

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The following fruits have a reputation for being less gassy. However, on days when you need to be less gassy, eat them only in moderation. There is a limit as to how much fruit-based carbohydrate your body can absorb at a time. The more fruits you eat, even of these less gassy options, the more likely you will be to experience unwanted gas.

BlueberriesCantaloupeClementineGrapesHoneydewKiwiPineappleRaspberriesStrawberry

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Fermented foods are foods that have been prepared in a way that any fermentable carbohydrates are pre-fermented by the bacteria within the food. This results not only in foods that contain gut-healthy friendly bacteria, but foods that are less likely to cause gas. Here are some good choices:

Fermented vegetablesKefirKombuchaYogurt (without added sugars)

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You may be surprised to learn that there are certain carbohydrates in wheat products that can contribute to gas. Therefore, the following choices are better options for the times when you just do not want to deal with gas:

Gluten-free breadRice breadOatsRice, brown or whiteQuinoa

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Along with the non-gassy vegetables and fruits that we covered in previous slides, here are some good non-gassy snack choices:

Nuts

MacadamiaPecansWalnuts

Cheese:

CheddarMozzarellaSwiss

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Unfortunately, as you can see, the safe food list is a little limited. Thus it is not a good idea to follow as a daily meal plan. Stick to these safe foods only on those days when it is especially important to be gas-free. If you tend to deal with intestinal gas and bloating on a regular basis, you may want to look into the low FODMAPs diet. This diet has scientific backing for identifying foods that contribute to problems with gas and bloating.

Sources:

Gibson, P. & Shepherd, S. "Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach" Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2010 25:252-258.

The Top Foods That Won't Make You Feel Gassy