Choosing the Best Non-Gassy Foods

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Foods to Eat to Avoid Intestinal Gas and Bloating

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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 remain gas-free.

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Animal Protein

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Our bodies are well adapted to digesting protein. Animal sources of protein contain no carbohydrates to be fermented by that 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. Glazes and gravies may contain added sugar, garlic, or onions, all of which can produce gas.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Turkey

If you choose not to eat animal products, there are plenty of other non-gassy food options that you can take advantage of.

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Non-Gassy Vegetables

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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 pile them on.

  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Greens, such as kale or spinach
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini 

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Non-Gassy Fruits

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There are also a number of fruits that have a reputation for being less gassy. However, on days when you need to be less gassy, eat them 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.

  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Clementine
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

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Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

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Fermented foods are those 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. 

  • Fermented vegetables
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Yogurt (without added sugars)

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The Least Gassy Grains

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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 bread
  • Rice bread
  • Oats
  • Rice, brown or white
  • Quinoa

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Non-Gassy Snacks

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Along with the non-gassy vegetables and fruits, there are some good non-gassy snack choices for a quick bite.

  • Nuts: Specifically macadamia, pecans, and walnuts.
  • Cheese: Stick with cheddar, mozzarella, or swiss.

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Food Choices for Chronic Gas and Bloating Problems

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Unfortunately, as you can see, the safe food list is a little limited. That makes it less than ideal as a daily meal plan. 

If you tend to deal with intestinal gas and bloating on a regular basis, you may want to look into the low FODMAPs diet. It has scientific backing for identifying foods that contribute to these specific problems.

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.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) Gas in the Digestive Tract. 2016.

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