A BAD fall of the trumps can creep in when you least expect it.
And when you have to let go, it’s really hard to fight the urge and hold the wind back.
By now, most of us are familiar with the common “furty” foods.
Think beans, chickpeas, onions, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts to name a few, as well as fizzy drinks and high fiber in general.
However, aside from the obvious, there are actually several other foods that can cause bad gas and bloating.
Sas Parsad, nutritionist and founder and nutritional supplements expert at The Gut Co, says that some foods “contain difficult carbohydrates that our bodies have a hard time breaking down completely.”
He adds: “As a result, these stubborn carbs end up in our colon where they come in contact with our gut bacteria and produce bloating.
“The gas content varies from person to person.
“Our unique digestive system, personal gut bacterial colonies, enzyme levels and sensitivities all play a role in how we respond to different foods.
“While one is stepping on the gas discreetly like a whisper, another could unleash a symphony of sounds that would make Beethoven jealous!”
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Here he reveals the not-so-obvious foods that might be triggering your bloating.
1. Apples, pears and watermelon
These juicy fruits make a great snack, but they might upset your gut.
It’s all thanks to the fructose sugar, which Sas says can cause bloating or excess bloating for some.
He says, “Apples, pears, and watermelon are fruits that contain relatively higher levels of fructose compared to some other fruits.
“Some individuals may tolerate these fruits well, while others with fructose intolerance or sensitivity may experience more severe symptoms after consumption.”
However, Sas says it’s possible to enjoy high-fructose fruits without excess gas.
Try reducing portion size to reduce the overall fructose load on your digestive system.
Also, opt for ripe fruit, as the sugar it contains is usually better tolerated, according to Sas.
He recommends combining fructose fruits with glucose: “Eating fruits with a balanced glucose-fructose ratio can improve fructose absorption.”
“Bananas, for example, have a relatively high glucose content compared to fructose.”
Apricots, peaches, plums, and pineapples are other good options.
2. Fish and Chips
A fried meal like fish and chips can be a real trigger for excess bloating, as can other fatty foods like pastries, cookies, chocolate, and fatty cuts of meat.
Sas says there are several reasons why these fatty, rich foods can contribute to excess bloating, adding, “Fatty foods take longer to break down in the stomach and small intestine than other nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins.”
“Slow digestion can delay gastric emptying, giving food more time to ferment and produce gases.
“When undigested fats reach the colon, gut bacteria can ferment them, producing gases like hydrogen and methane.
“This fermentation process creates gases that can cause gas and bloating.”
Another reason is that fat digestion requires the release of pancreatic enzymes like lipase.
Sas says, “In some individuals with pancreatic insufficiency or decreased enzyme production, fat digestion may be incomplete, leading to increased gas production in the gut.”
He adds: “Some people may tolerate fats well, while others may be more sensitive to their effects.
“If you find that fatty foods are consistently causing discomfort and excessive bloating, you should discuss your symptoms with a doctor.
“They can help identify the underlying cause and provide guidance on dietary changes or other potential solutions to effectively treat your digestive issues.”
Animal milk, such as cow’s milk, can pose a problem for some flatulence.
It’s all thanks to lactose – the sugar found in milk and dairy products.
“Lactose needs the enzyme lactase to be fully digested,” says Sas.
“Some people are lactose intolerant, meaning they lack adequate lactase, which leads to lactose fermentation by gut bacteria, causing gas and bloating.”
A lactase-specific digestive enzyme supplement might help, or try switching to plant-based milk.
4. Artificial sweeteners
You may be surprised at how many foods contain artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and mannitol.
From protein powders, sodas, and granola bars to cereals and low-fat yogurts (the fat is replaced with sugar or sweetener), sweeteners are everywhere.
“Some sweeteners aren’t well absorbed in the small intestine and can reach the colon unscathed,” says Sas.
“There they are fermented by gut bacteria, leading to gas and bloating.”
Are you unsure whether you are consuming sweeteners? Check store-bought food labels for sweeteners and try to make your own meals whenever possible so you know exactly what you’re eating!
This meaty steak tastes great, but like all proteins, it contains sulfur-containing amino acids, according to Sas.
He says: “When we break down protein during digestion, sulfur compounds are released.
“These compounds, particularly hydrogen sulfide gas, can cause gas and bloating in some people.”
Vegetables high in sulfur, such as broccoli and cauliflower, when combined with a high-protein meal, can increase sulfur gas production.
Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming these foods together.
Sas suggests moderating your beef portions and watching how your body responds.
“If beef is causing excess bloating or bloating, you can reduce portion size or try other protein sources that you can tolerate, such as poultry, fish, or plant-based options,” he says.