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Dietary Tips for Fighting Flatulence

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

We all have gas production which is a normal bodily function. For some, however, gas production can seem excessive and uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing. Some people are so bothered by excessive gas that they bring up the topic to their physicians. While it is very important to rule out diseases, often the gas symptoms result from how and what one eats! In fact, once a gastroenterologist referred a healthy patient to me simply to help the patient decrease gas, or flatulence as it is technically referred to, with specific eating strategies. Some helpful strategies to decrease flatulence include:

-Don't go long periods without eating. It is very common to have more gas discomfort if you skip food all day and then gorge on a large meal at the end of the day.

-Avoid drinking beverages quickly. Using a straw may lessen the amount of air swallowed.

-Do not wolf down your meals. Eating too rapidly will also introduce extra air into your digestive tract. After all, what goes in must come out!

-Steer clear of carbonated beverages, particularly without eating

-Drop the gum chewing as this may also be a source of swallowed air.

-Try decreasing or eliminating lactose in your diet. Lactose is a natural sugar found in dairy products. As we age, we start making less of the enzyme necessary to break down the lactose. Lactose-free milk is readily available at grocery stores for those who want to continue drinking milk.

-Certain vegetables are known culprits for causing gasiness in many people. Certain healthy vegetables such as cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and cabbage all contain a natural sugar which some people have trouble digesting without an over-the-counter enzyme supplement such as Beano. Beano provides the necessary amounts of enzymes to break down the natural sugar from these vegetables. Or, simply consider eating smaller amounts of these foods!

-Certain fruits such as apples, pears, prunes, and bananas may also be problematic due to the natural sugars fructose and sorbitol. No need to cut these fruits and the vegetables out, just try to pinpoint with food tracking which fruits and vegetables seem to trigger your gas.

-Many dietetic goodies also contain a lot of sorbitol which is used as a sweetener. If you consume a lot of dietetic foods, consider decreasing your intake to decrease your sorbitol intake and symptoms.

-High fiber grains can also be gas culprits due to the soluble fiber. Fiber is important for over-all health, so if you are having trouble with fiber rich grains, just increase these foods gradually. Most people adapt to a higher fiber intake within a few weeks.

The best way to determine your dietary gas culprits is to track your food and your symptoms. As everyone is different, some food eliminations work for some and not for others. Being aware of how you respond to your dietary manipulations is key to less gas discomfort. If symptoms persist and your physician has ruled out any medical conditions, seeing a dietitian can help you sort through the best eating strategies to both decrease gas and keep you healthy.

Sue Rose is an IL licensed dietitian/nutritionist providing counseling to both corporations and individuals. She invites you to visit her weekly blog for intelligent and relevant diet and lifestyle strategies to enhance your life and well-being.

Source: EzineArticles
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