The Foods Most Likely to Cause Gas

Beans have the reputation of being "the musical fruit," but there are plenty of other gassy foods. They all have the potential for contributing to intestinal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence.

This article presents a number of fruits, grains, and other foods that can cause gas. If gas is a problem for you, knowing about these gassy foods can help you make better food choices.

What Makes Foods Gassy?

In general, gassy foods are those that contain certain sugars (fructose, lactose, raffinose, and sorbitol) and/or soluble fiber. These substances are not digested at the level of the stomach and thus make their way down to your intestines where bacteria break them down. The end result of this breakdown is the release of gas.​

Gassiest Vegetables and Legumes

Crock of baked beans

Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

The following vegetables are those most likely to give you gas due to the fact that they contain the sugars raffinose and/or fructose. Remember these vegetables are actually very good for you, so just avoid them on those occasions when you absolutely need to be gas-free:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Sweet potatoes

Among the legumes, these are the gassiest:

  • Baked beans
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Butter beans
  • Cannellini (white) beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans

Gassiest Fruits

red Apples

shene / Moment / Getty Images

The following fruits have a reputation for being gas-producing as they contain fructose, sorbitol, and/or soluble fiber. Again, these fruits are good for you, so try to eat them on days when it is OK if you are a little gassier than usual:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Watermelon

These dried fruits are the gassiest:

  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Raisins

Gassiest Dairy Products

milk and various cheeses

Maximilian Stock Ltd. / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Even if you have not been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, you may find that eating dairy products results in unwanted gas. As our bodies age, we tend to produce less of the enzyme lactase that is necessary for digesting lactose (the sugar found in milk and other dairy products), and thus gassiness resulting from dairy foods may become a problem.

Here are some dairy products to skip to avoid having gas:

  • Buttermilk
  • Cream cheese
  • Heavy cream
  • Ice cream
  • Milk
  • Processed foods containing milk products
  • Ricotta

Gassiest Whole Grains

Wholegrain food still life shot on rustic wooden table

fcafotodigital / E+ / Getty Images

Although whole grains contain some helpful vitamins and are a source of dietary fiber, the soluble fiber content of some, as well as the presence of raffinose, a type of sugar, can create intestinal gas. Here are those to avoid when if you don't want to experience unwanted gassiness:

  • Barley
  • Flaxseed
  • Rye
  • Wheat

Gassiest Drinks

soda bubbles

Jennifer Smith / Moment / Getty Images

The following beverages may contain fructose, sorbitol, or carbonation, all of which can contribute to intestinal gas:

  • Beer
  • Fruit juices
  • Soda (regular and diet) 

Sugar-Free Foods

sugar-free candy

Juanmonino / E+ / Getty Images

Sometimes the thing that is giving us gas is something we have not paid any attention to. Many people do not know that a big gas producer is sugar-free gum. Many sugar-free food products contain sorbitol, which can be fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in unwanted gas.

Read labels carefully when purchasing sugar-free gums, candy, and snack foods to ensure that they don't contain sorbitol.

Other Causes of Intestinal Gas

Bloating or Burping


Image Source / Getty Images

It is also important to keep in mind that food is not the only cause of intestinal gas. The following habits can cause air to be swallowed which can contribute to belching, bloating, and excessive gassiness:

  • Chewing gum
  • Eating too quickly
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Sucking on hard candies
  • Dentures that don't fit well.
  • Smoking

Chronic Problems With Gas?

Fruits around a food journal

BreatheFitness / E+ / Getty Images

Avoiding food is also not the only way to reduce intestinal gas. There are many effective over-the-counter treatment options that help your body to digest the offending sugars so that you can eat these gassy foods without having a gas problem.

You will see that many of the foods on the above list are those that are quite good for you. That is, they offer significant nutritional benefit. Thus, it is important to accurately pinpoint which foods are specifically a problem for your body, rather than to unnecessarily put yourself on a restricted diet.

The use of a food diary will help you to accomplish this. Once you have identified a problem food, try to see if your body can tolerate smaller amounts of that food, so that you can still benefit from its nutritional components.

You may also want to speak to your healthcare provider about possibly going on the low-FODMAP diet. This diet was designed as a dietary treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It calls for a short-term restriction of FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates found in common foods that have been found to contribute to IBS symptoms, including those of gas and bloating.

After the restriction (or elimination) phase, you would slowly start to introduce high-FODMAP foods back in your diet to find out which FODMAP type is still problematic for you.

Was this page helpful?
0 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.