Gas can be uncomfortable and sometimes more than a little embarrassing. Digestion of the foods you eat gives off excess gas in your intestinal tract, leading to bloating, belching and flatulence. While gas is not typically a dangerous medical condition, you can alter your diet to avoid gas as much as possible. Always speak to your physician, however, if you are concerned your gas pains may be a symptom of something more serious.
You may experience gas due to swallowing excess air while you are eating -- this can occur by chewing too quickly or by drinking liquids with a straw. Another cause is the release of gas from bacteria in your intestinal tract as foods are digested. By eating foods that are easier to digest, you can minimize gas.
Fruits and Veggies
Vegetables are considered some of the worst offenders when it comes to causing gas. However, not all vegetables are off-limits when you are trying to avoid gas. Foods that are not associated with gas include carrots, summer squash, vegetable soup and winter squash. Fruits you can consume with limited risk for causing gas include fruits that have been cooked or canned without peels. Lower-fiber fruits also are less likely to cause gas and include grapes, plums, kiwi and nectarines.
You also can enjoy smooth peanut butter with less chance of experiencing gas.
If you are unaccustomed to eating large amounts of fiber, you may be more prone to gas because your body cannot process the fiber effectively. You can, however, enjoy high-fiber foods if you slowly incorporate whole-grain products into your diet. That said, some grains and starches less likely to cause gas include breads and pastas made with white or refined flour. You also can enjoy white rice and mashed potatoes without skins.
Milk products can cause gas if you are lactose intolerant. Lactose-intolerant persons may lack the enzymes to properly break down lactose, a form of sugar in milk. High-fat milk products also may give off gas when digested. For this reason, it’s best to choose low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt and yogurt, according to Drugs.com. You also may be able to take artificial lactase enzymes to aid in milk product digestion.
As high-fat foods are associated with causing gas, select meats as lean as possible and avoid cooking with fat, recommends Drugs.com. You also want to avoid fried meats and eggs. Instead, choose healthier preparation options such as grilling or baking to minimize the potential of gas.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.