Fruits and vegetables such as apples, peaches and pears, as well as broccoli, cabbage and onions, can cause gas and bloating. Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas.
Gas is usually caused by swallowing air, and by the breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine by bacteria. Foods that produce gas in one person may not cause gas in someone else, depending on how well a person digests carbohydrates and by the type of bacteria in the intestines. Normally, few bacteria live in the small intestine. A bacterial overgrowth can produce excess gas and may also cause diarrhea and weight loss.
Tracking eating habits and symptoms can help identify the foods that cause more gas. Fats and proteins cause little gas, although limiting high-fat foods can reduce bloating as less fat in the stomach helps gas move through more quickly. Most people pass gas, a combination of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen, between 13 and 21 times daily.
Although not everyone experiences the same symptoms, the most common are burping, flatulence, bloating and abdominal pain or discomfort. Avoiding or eating less of the gas-producing foods may help reduce gas symptoms. Gas can be treated by reducing swallowed air, making dietary changes or taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. Dietary changes involve a trial-and-error approach to decide how much of a certain food a person can handle with symptoms.