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Too much gas typically is caused by the incomplete absorption of certain starches and sugars during digestion. Bacteria in your intestine then ferment the sugars, forming gas. To prevent excess gas:
� Limit gassy foods
The worst gas-formers are beans and other legumes, wheat and wheat bran, cabbage, onions, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, apricots, bananas and prunes. Milk and other dairy products also can cause gas if you have reduced amounts of lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk.
� Consider taking anti-gas products
Beano, a food enzyme, helps improve the digestion of gas-forming foods. Nonprescription medications such as simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon) or antacids that also have simethicone (such as the anti-gas formulations of Maalox or Mylanta), may relieve gas.
� Eat fewer fatty foods
Fatty meats, fried foods, cream sauces and gravies tend to increase gas and bloating. And they can contribute to unwanted weight gain.
� Limit sugar substitutes
Many healthy people poorly absorb sorbitol and mannitol contained in some sugar-free foods, candies and gums. The amount of sorbitol contained in five sticks of sugar-free gum can cause gas and diarrhea in some people.
� Consider products for lactose intolerance, if needed
If you have trouble digesting milk sugar (lactose), this may cause gas. Consider buying lactose-reduced or lactose-free products. Or consider products with the lactase enzyme (such as Dairy Ease or Lactaid), which can help you digest lactose.
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