Q:

What types of foods produce intestinal gas?

A:

Quick Answer

Most foods that are rich in carbohydrates or natural sugar can cause intestinal gas, including beans, whole grains, sodas and dairy products. Foods that contain certain amounts of lactose from milk, such as bread and cereals, may also cause gas.

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Full Answer

Most starches, including wheat, grains, potatoes and corn are high in carbohydrates. Similarly, sugar-free gums and candies that contain sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol, may increase gas production. The sugar sorbitol is also present in some fruits, including peaches, apples and pears.

Gas in the lower digestive track is a byproduct of digestion. The small intestine cannot easily digest some carbohydrates, such as sugar and starches. The undigested food goes to the large intestine and is fermented and broken down by a harmless bacteria, releasing carbon dioxide and hydrogen in the process.

Each person differs in breaking down carbohydrates, which means foods that may produce gas in some people do not necessarily produce gas in others. The amount of bacteria that aids in the breaking down of carbohydrates also affects the quantity of gas released by the body. The natural and friendly probiotic bacteria may reduce the amount of hydrogen released by other harmless bacteria. The balance between the two types of bacteria in the digestive tract may also explain why some people produce more gas than others.

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