We all would like to follow the healthiest diet possible and enjoy all of the most nutritious foods, but many people find that some of the healthiest foods turn out to be foods that cause gas.
Having excess gas or flatulence is not only embarrassing, but it can also be very uncomfortable and can interfere with things like sleeping, exercising, social life, and even your overall sense of well-being and energy.
So, which foods cause the most gas? Does broccoli cause gas? Are there vegetables that cause gas? Does granola give you gas? Do tomatoes cause gas? What are the worst gas producing foods that you should avoid if you have a sensitive digestive system?
In this article, we will discuss why certain foods cause gas and list some of the most common “gassy foods“ or foods that cause gas in most people, along with some tips to help reduce gas if you are eating these foods.
Let’s get started!
10 Foods That Cause Gas That You May Wish To Avoid
Research suggests that people pass gas around 8-14 times per day on average, though up to 25 times per day is considered normal by health experts.
Thus, passing gas is normal, but eating certain foods can trigger flatulence.
Keep in mind that everyone’s body reacts differently to foods. If you have food sensitivities or food intolerances, you may experience gas from foods that aren’t necessarily classified as typical “gas producing foods.”
That is to say that you can become gassy, bloated, or experience diarrhea from normally rather innocuous foods if you are sensitive to the foods or have an intolerance to an ingredient in the food product.
However, there are certain common foods that cause gas, including the following:
If most people were asked to create a list of the worst foods to eat if you get gas, beans are likely going to be at the top of anyone’s gassy food list.
There are even little sing-song rhymes about beans causing you to “fart“ and “toot,“ demonstrating how likely it is that eating beans will cause gas.
The reason that beans are one of the foods that cause gas is due to their high raffinose content.
Raffinose is a complex sugar that the body can’t really digest.
Instead, raffinose passes through the small intestines to the large intestines, or bacteria break this molecule down. In doing so, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas are produced as byproducts, all of which are expelled through the rectum as flatulence.
Beans also contain insoluble fiber, which again is indigestible by the human gut and must be broken down by bacteria, which produces gaseous byproducts to get expelled through the rectum.
#2: Dairy Products
If you are lactose intolerant, you lack a sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose (milk sugar).
When you do not produce enough lactase, any dairy product will be a gas-producing food because some of the sugar remains undigested, which can cause bloating and gas buildup as it moves too quickly through the digestive tract since it is not getting broken down by the enzyme.
#3: Raw Vegetables
When talking about foods that cause gas, some of the most common questions are “Are there vegetables that cause gas? Does broccoli cause gas, and do tomatoes cause gas?”
While it may seem like a “convenient excuse” for people to avoid eating vegetables because they are concerned that there are vegetables that cause gas, it is true that there are quite a number of fruits and vegetables that cause gas.
Ultimately, many of the most nutritious foods, such as garlic, onions, beans, most vegetables and fruit, and wheat, contain FODMAPS, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
FODMAPS are short-chain carbohydrates and some of the very same fermentable fibers that the beneficial bacteria in your gut actually prefer to metabolize, but if you have imbalances in your gut or an overabundance of pathogens relative to beneficial bacteria, you may lack the digestive enzymes in ample concentrations necessary to digest them.
FODMAPS can result in gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation.
In terms of the vegetables that cause gas, the worst offenders are raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale, along with vegetables that are high in prebiotic fibers and FODMAPS such as asparagus, artichokes, onions, garlic, leeks, beans, and lentils.
Even greens like lettuce, collard greens, and spinach in high quantities, when eaten raw, are foods that can cause gas.
Generally speaking, vegetables are especially likely to cause gas if they are consumed raw rather than cooked.
#4: Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks such as soda, beer, kombucha, seltzer water, and especially diet sodas that contain artificial sweeteners are drinks that can cause gas.
The carbonation gets into your digestive tract.
Although you may burp out some of the extra air bubbles, much of the air passes through the intestines and gets expelled as flatulence.
#5: Beverages Consumed Through a Straw
Drinking any beverage—even water—through a straw can also increase gas after eating because the straw allows you to swallow more air with the liquid.
When a straw sits in a beverage, the liquid fills the bottom part of the straw to the height of the drink in the glass or drinking vessel.
The straw extends upward to your mouth beyond the level of the drink in the glass or can. This part of the straw is filled only with air, so you are getting a decent amount of extra air every time you restart drinking from the straw after putting your drink down.
There are quite a number of fruits that can cause gas.
High-FODMAPS fruits can cause gas, as well as fruits that contain the natural sugar alcohol, sorbitol, or lots of soluble fiber.
The body has trouble digesting sorbitol, so it causes the production of gas by the gut bacteria, leading to excess farting and burping as well as bloating and diarrhea.
Some of the worst fruits that cause gas include prunes, plums, pears, watermelon, cherries, or peaches, and grapes.
#7: Chewing Gum
Although not necessarily a “food that causes gas,“ chewing gum is one of the worst offenders for a gas-producing food.
As with drinking carbonated beverages, when you chew gum, you swallow a lot of excess air.
This air gets trapped in the intestines and colon and is expelled as gas from the rectum if you do not burp out the excess gas before it enters the intestines.
Additionally, most chewing gum contains artificial sweeteners, including sugar alcohols like mannitol, xylitol, and sorbitol which can cause the gut bacteria to produce hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas when they try to break down these indigestible sugar alcohols.
This causes your body to produce gas after chewing gum.
#8: Artificial Sweeteners
Among the worst foods that cause gas are those that contain sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners.
These chemical compounds were not designed to be digested and absorbed by the human gut, which is why they are said to be “calorie-free.“
However, the gut bacteria perceive these chemicals as invaders, and eating foods with sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners can cause your gut bacteria to produce a tremendous amount of methane gas, carbon dioxide gas, and hydrogen gas.
All of this can cause bloating, belly distention, belching, diarrhea, gas pains, abdominal cramping, and extreme flatulence after eating.
So, does granola give you gas? It did make it on our list! Granola can cause gas if it is a high-fiber granola with added bran or inulin fiber.
Additionally, keto granola that is sweetened with sugar alcohols can cause gas pains and gas.
Moreover, if you eat granola on yogurt or with milk and have a dairy sensitivity, you will experience gas after eating granola.
#10: Wheat or Whole Grains
If you have a gluten intolerance, consuming whole wheat products or any gluten-containing grains, including rye and barley, can cause terrible gas.
Even in the absence of having a gluten intolerance, if your body isn’t accustomed to consuming a lot of fiber and you swap all of your processed and refined grains for whole grains suddenly, you may experience gas after eating as your body adjusts to the high-fiber content of whole grains vs refined grains.
There you have it, 10 foods that can easily be the culprits to your gas.
If you are experiencing bloating after exercise, check out our guide to common causes of bloating after working out here.