7 Surprising Foods That Cause Gas

Does garlic cause gas? What about onions? Let's get to the bottom of what's causing your excess gas and bloating. These unexpected foods just might be the culprit.

1 / 8
Popped blue balloon on paper background; Shutterstock ID 223229134; Job: Taste of Home
Image: Africa Studio / Shutterstock

The Culprits of Gas, According to an Expert

A little gas is healthy, says Massachusetts-based Kate Scarlata, a registered and licensed nutritionist who’s an expert on irritable bowel syndrome. But when gas becomes bothersome or painful, identifying the foods that cause it can relieve unnecessary GI distress. Click onward as Scarlata shares the top seven most surprising foods that cause gas.

2 / 8
Top view of sliced wholegrain bread on a wooden table.
Photo: Shutterstock / PageSeven


Wheat bread contains fructan, a water-soluble fiber for which humans lack the digestive enzymes to break down. When our bodies can’t break something down, we get gassy. Scarlata says substituting slow-leavened sourdough wheat bread for traditionally leavened wheat bread can reduce the fructan content and make for easier digestion. (Thank you, sourdough culture!)

3 / 8
Close-up of assorted pasta in jute bags.
Shutterstock / Svetlana Lukienko


Starches such as pasta (corn and potatoes, too!) produce gas as they break down in the large intestine. Did you know that rice is the only starch that does not cause gas? Try this delicious Jasmine Rice with Coconut & Cherries.

4 / 8
UberChef Stainless Steel Garlic Press and Peeler Set


Garlic is also a source of fructan.To avoid getting gassy, Scarlata recommends cooking chunks of garlic in olive oil in a skillet over low heat, then discarding the garlic. The oil becomes infused with great garlicky flavor, perfect for cooking savory dishes.

5 / 8
Ripe onions. Onions in market
Photo: Shutterstock / Martin Gaal


Like garlic, onions contain gas-causing fructans. Onion powder is hidden in many spice blends, sauces and broths. “The fructans are in the bulb on onions,” says Scarlata. “For onion flavor without the gassy consequences, try the green part of scallions or chives.” Here’s how to tell if your onion has gone bad.

6 / 8
Soy milk in glass and soy bean on spoon it on white table background with lighting in the morning
somrak jendee/Shutterstock

Soy Milk

One of Scarlata’s patients says her gas and painful bloating disappeared completely when she stopped her daily soy latte habit. Most soy milk in the U.S. is made with whole soybeans that contain galacto-oligosaccharide, a fiber that our gut microbes consume rapidly to create gas. “Switch to almond milk,” Scarlata says. “It is low in fermentable carbs and is a lower gas-making option. Experiment with these Chinese Scallion Pancakes.

7 / 8
Various granola bars isolated on white background
Photo: Shutterstock / baibaz

Granola Bars

Many commercial granola bars contain chicory root to boost fiber content. Chicory root is a rapidly fermented fiber that can result in copious gas for some people. Seek out bars without chicory root, or make your own, like these easy Cinnamon Granola Bars.

8 / 8
Ripe red apples on wooden background
Photo: Shutterstock / Africa Studio


Another secret culprit for gas is sorbitol, a sugar found naturally in fruits including apples, pears, peaches and prunes. If they’re bothersome to you, eat them in moderation, or simply enjoy these fruits in easygoing gas-friendly surroundings.