woman biting apple
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The teachers’ favorite contains sorbitol, a sugar that's naturally in many fruits. Some people's bodies can’t absorb it properly, which gives them gas and bloating. It can cause diarrhea, especially for children.

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bowl of blackberries
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Maybe you've enjoyed them fresh, in a juicy cobbler, or dried in teas. Their natural sugar is good for people who want to cut back on sweets, but it's not always good for the gut. If you have a problem digesting sorbitol, you may feel bloated, have belly pain, or have diarrhea, gas, or nausea.

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slicing watermelon
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This popular summertime treat is high in fructose, a sugar in fruit. Your body can have trouble digesting it, so you might get gas. It’s rare, but the problem might be in your genes. Doctors call that a "hereditary fructose intolerance." A blood test can tell if you have it.

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artichoke and butter
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These veggies have a sugar called fructan that helps set off gas. If you don’t feel well after you eat them, just stay away from them.

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roasted potatoes
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Spuds are usually a safe choice for a dinner side item. The starch gives some people gas and bloating, though.

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shiitake mushrooms
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Shiitake Mushrooms

These famous fungi can make you get a little funky. Blame it on mannitol, another natural sugar. It can give you gas -- and if you eat too much of it, it also can act like a mild laxative.

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peas and pods
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Love them or hate them, these soft, green veggies have a chain of sugars called galacto-oligosaccharides that feed gut bacteria and cause gas. This can make for a not-so-pleasant post-meal experience.

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pouring a cup of coffee
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The caffeine in your favorite daily jolt might be making you bolt to the bathroom. Dial back on the java if you feel an urgent need to go or you get a stomachache after drinking up.

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This breakfast superstar has plenty of fiber, which lets you feel full and satisfied all morning. But if you add too much to your diet too quickly, your tummy might get a little uncomfortable. To get more of this important nutrient, introduce it slowly to your eating plan so you don't overwhelm your system.

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brussels sprouts
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Cruciferous Veggies

They're crunchy, delicious, and super healthy, but they can also be tough to digest. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts might make you feel bloated or crampy. If they do, you may want to occasionally swap them for veggies that are less likely to give you gas, like bell peppers, zucchini, or green beans.

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dried apricots
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Dried Apricots

The fiber in dried fruit has a lot of things going for it. A handful can work like magic if you're constipated. These sweet treats, though, are also high in a sugar called fructose, which can give you a tummy ache if you eat too much.

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It's a real treat to dig into one that's juicy and ripe, but the sweetness inside can sometimes cause problems with your stomach. Peaches have natural sugars called polyols, which may not always get along well with your gut bacteria. Sometimes, that leads to cramps and bloating.

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diet cola
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Diet Drinks With Sugar Alcohol

This sweetener, which is found in some low-cal drinks, can be helpful if you're trying to lose weight. But sugar alcohols can act like a laxative if you take in too much. Check labels to know if a drink has this ingredient. Xylitol and mannitol are examples.

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man blowing bubble with gum
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Chewing Gum

You swallow air as you chew, which brings gas into your gut. "Sugar-free" types of gum often have sorbitol and xylitol as sugar substitutes. Those give some people gas or even act like a laxative.

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colorful hard candy
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Hard Candy

You swallow air when you suck these treats. Plus, some candies are sweetened with xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, or other sugars that make some people get an upset stomach.

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Diabetic Living Online: "Nutrition: Sugar Alcohols (Polyols)."

FDA.gov: "Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Mannitol."

Fedewa, A. Current Gastroenterology Reports, January 2014.

Food Intolerance Diagnostics: "Fructose (fruit sugar), fructan and other fructo-oligosaccharide intolerances," "Sorbitol and xylitol (polyol) intolerances," "Galactooligosaccharides: Galactans, Raffinose, Stachyose"

Health Canada: "Sugar Alcohols (Polyols) & Polydextrose used in foods."

Hoekstra, J.H. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology, January 1993.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: " Gas in the Digestive Tract."

Kulkami, R. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, January, 1990.

Mayo Clinic: "Bloating, belching and intestinal gas: How to avoid them," "Gas and gas pains," "Artificial Sweeteners and Other Sugar Substitutes,"

"Intestinal Gas."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Gas in the Digestive Tract," "What I need to Know About Bowel Control."

Nittynen, L. Scandinavian Journal of Food and Nutrition, June 2007.

Tan, Y.H. Microbios, 1994.

Tufts Medical Center: "Fructan Intolerance."

University of Michigan Health System: "Helpful hints for controlling gas (flatus)."

University of Virginia Health System: "Low-Fructose Diet."

Wille, D. European Journal of Pediatrics, December 2010.

Cleveland Clinic: "Best and Worst Foods for IBS."

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Dietary Fiber."

University of Michigan Health System: "Low FODMAP Diet Introduction."

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on September 11, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.