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Which foods cause gas?

Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas. By contrast, fats and proteins cause little gas.

Sugars: The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose and sorbitol. Raffinose is present in large amounts in beans. Smaller amounts of this complex sugar are found in cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables and whole grains. Lactose is the natural sugar in milk. It is also found in milk products, such as cheese and ice cream, and processed foods, such as bread, cereal, and salad dressing. Many people, particularly those of African, Native American, or Asian background, have low levels of the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose. Also, as people age, their enzyme levels decrease. As a result, over time people may experience increasing amounts of gas after eating food containing lactose. Fructose is naturally present in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat. It is also used as a sweetener in some soft drinks and fruit drinks. Sorbitol is a sugar found naturally in fruits, including apples, pears, peaches and prunes. It is also used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums.

Starches: Most starches, including potatoes, corn, noodles and wheat, produce gas. They are broken down in the large intestine. Rice is the only starch that does not cause gas.

Fiber: Many foods contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Found in oat bran, beans, peas and most fruits, soluble fiber is not broken down until it reaches the large intestine where digestion causes gas. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, passes essentially unchanged through the intestines and produces little gas. Wheat bran and some vegetables contain this kind of fiber.

More information on gas in the digestive tract

What is gas in the digestive tract? - Gas in the digestive tract is created from swallowing air, the breakdown of certain foods by the bacteria that are present in the colon.
What causes gas in the digestive tract? - The undigested or unabsorbed food then passes into the large intestine and produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gases, which are released through the rectum.
Which foods cause gas? - Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas, fats and proteins cause little gas. The sugars that cause gas are raffinose, lactose, fructose and sorbitol.
What are the symptoms of gas? - The most common symptoms of gas are belching, flatulence, abdominal bloating and abdominal pain. Some people have pain when gas is present in the intestine.
How is gas in the digestive tract diagnosed? - In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your physician may suggest some activities to assist in the diagnosis.
What is the treatment for gas in the digestive tract? - The most common ways to reduce the discomfort of gas are changing diet, taking medication, and reducing the amount of air swallowed. 
Digestive health Mainpage

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005