Woman with hands over her stomach experiencing discomfort after eating foods that cause gas

8 Foods That Can Cause Gas

Medically reviewed on Sept 20, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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After eating, the fullness we feel isn’t always ideal. Everybody is different, and some eating habits can trigger uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal cramping, belching, and bloating.

Sometimes, swallowing too much air as you eat your meal may be the culprit. Other times, digestive tract disorders, like celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may cause digestive issues. [1]

The primary cause of gas, however, is usually the foods we eat, particularly if they’re difficult to digest. [1] To that end, we’re diving into 8 common foods that cause gas—and the reasons why.

1. Beans And/Or Legumes

High-fiber foods include black beans, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, and garbanzo beans. More specifically, they contain about 6 to 8 grams of fiber per cup. While fiber can help to regulate your bowel movements and control blood sugar levels, too much fiber can lead to:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain

Particularly, let’s say you’ve recently transitioned to a plant-based diet. To supplement your calorie intake and nutritional load, you’ve added a hefty bowl of beans and/or legumes to your dinnertime menu. Significantly increasing your intake of these foods, especially over a shorter window, can have quite an impact on your gas levels.

As your body becomes more accustomed to the fiber, however, your gas levels should begin to return to normal. [2]

2. Cruciferous Vegetables

Certain vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower contain a bevy of gas-inducing compounds. The most prominent? Raffinose, a carbohydrate and sugar that the stomach finds difficult to digest. It typically remains undigested in your gut until the intestinal bacteria break it down or ferment it. [2]

While this sugar can have a positive impact on gut bacteria, gas is typically the byproduct of its breakdown. [2]

3. Dairy Products

It’s estimated that 68% of the world’s population cannot properly absorb lactose, a sugar found in milk products, such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Accordingly, those who eat lactose despite their intolerance may experience digestive issues, [3] such as [4]:

  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach rumbling
  • Sickness or nausea

The more dairy you consume, the worse your symptoms will become. Fortunately, if you believe you have a lactose intolerance, there are various dairy alternatives on the market that you can substitute into your diet.

4. Carbonated Beverages

Unlike the previously discussed foods, carbonated beverages like soda and sparkling water are not difficult to digest. Rather, they introduce gas—or, carbonation—into the digestive system and increase the amount of air you swallow. Thus, abdominal bloating and belching become almost inevitable as the carbonated liquid fills your stomach.

In this case, most of the air will leave your stomach as you burp. The remaining air will pass into the small intestine where it’s absorbed in small amounts. The gas may then pass through the large intestine and exit the rectum. [5]

If you’re in the mood for a flavored beverage, but looking to ditch the carbonation, opt for a juice or tea instead.

5. Artificial Sweeteners

There are several health concerns regarding artificial sweeteners—one being their impact on gut health. While the effects of sweeteners will vary from person to person depending on individual body composition, researchers believe that sugar alcohols, stevia, and luo han guo can cause [6]:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea

As such, it’s generally advised to limit your intake of artificial sweeteners, if possible, to avoid sugar alcohol intolerance symptoms.

6. Fatty Foods

Fatty foods, especially those that are deep-fried or greasy, can slow down digestion. This delay gives the gut more time to produce gas, resulting in abdominal bloating and flatulence.

To avoid an unsettled stomach, limit the following foods [7]:

  • Chicken or turkey skin
  • Heavy cream and butter
  • Bacon
  • Potato chips and french fries
  • Pork sausage links
  • Coconut oil

7. Whole Grains

Whole grains, while healthy, contain complex carbohydrates and fiber that may be hard for some people to digest. If you're not used to a high-fiber diet, introducing whole grains too quickly can cause gas (a combination of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas) as your gut adapts. [8]

8. Onions And Garlic

Overall, allium vegetables like onions and garlic are highly beneficial to the body. Their health properties may help regulate cholesterol levels, support immune health, mitigate cell damage, and promote gut health, thanks to their prebiotics. [9]

However, they also contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), which are sugar-, starch-, and fiber-dense carbohydrates that the small intestine cannot fully absorb. Rather, these high FODMAP foods hang out in the gut and ferment in the colon.

Identify Your Food Sensitivities With Everlywell

A variety of food sources may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including passing gas, bloating, and irregular bowel movements. However, the severity of the symptoms will depend on your body’s unique reaction to the items ingested.

To gauge your sensitivity to certain foods and understand which may be causing gastrointestinal distress, try the Everlywell At-Home Food Sensitivity Test. This easy-to-use test measures your body’s IgG response to 96 different foods so that you can better understand your symptoms, adjust your diet accordingly, and alleviate digestive discomfort.

Get started today with Everlywell.

Low Fructose Diet: Recommended Foods

IBS Flare Up: Treatment and Prevention

High FODMAP Foods: What to Know

Common Fructose Intolerance Symptoms


  1. Intestinal gas. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  2. Why Beans Make You Burst With Gas. Cleveland Clinic. Published April 18, 2023. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  3. Definition & Facts for Lactose Intolerance. NIH. Published February 2018. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  4. Lactose Intolerance. NHS Inform. Published May 29. 2023. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  5. Controlling Intestinal Gas. IFFGD. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  6. Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes. Mayo Clinic. Published January 10, 2023. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  7. Dietary fat: Know which to choose. Mayo Clinic. Published February 15, 2023. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  8. Gas in the Digestive Tract. Johns Hopkins Medicine. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
  9. Are Onions and Garlic Healthy? Here's What Experts Say. Time. Published May 15, 2019. URL. Accessed September 14, 2023.
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