Whether it was a five-bean chilli, a garlicky cauliflower "steak," or a bowl of cereal with cow's milk, most of us have experienced the uncomfortable bloating and gas following a meal. Gas is just a fact of life, and a side effect of eating — but sometimes it feels brutal.
While it seems cruel that some of your favourite foods result in bubbling gas pains, there's a logical reason why some foods make you gassier than others. "Gas is typically caused by the digestion or the fermentation of undigested carbohydrates by bacteria in the colon," says Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
There are a few types of foods that we know really influence the amount of gas you produce, such as the group of carbohydrates known as "FODMAPs," explains Shani Eswaran, MD, associate professor at Michigan Medicine, who researched irritable bowel syndrome and diet-related functional gastrointestinal diseases. FODMAP stands for "fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols," and it's essentially a way of classifying sugars and fibres that aren't properly absorbed in the intestines. For people who have irritable bowel syndrome, avoiding foods high in FODMAPs (with the help of a registered dietitian) can help reduce symptoms in a big way, she says.