More whole food = more gas?
My 16 year old sister wants to go vegan, so she's made the first step by becoming a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. We're working on getting her enough calories and making sure she has a good balanced diet. She naturally loves raw fruits and vegetables and so eats them all the time in preference to anything else. (Of course she still has grains, nuts, legumes, and dairy in her diet as well). But it seems the more fruits/veggies she eats, the more gas she gets! This is distressing to her, especially at school. Is there anything she can do?
Wow, 16?! Good for your sister! :)
It is not the fruits and vegetables she is eating, but the other elements of her diet such as dairy and grains that are causing fermentation and leading to gas. I always had foul, excessive gas as both a vegetarian and a vegan. Once I went raw and limited my fat intake, no more gas!
There are two steps she can take to help alleviate the problem: 1) limit her fat intake to no more than 10% and 2) eat any sweet fruit early in the day, before any cooked and/or fatty foods are consumed.
Get the grains out, they have a unbelievable gas production. (did socked oakmeal in green smoothy very bad idea 8) ). Ah sorry I have to say (truth and honesty side of me sorry) but it's not the fat (I have I very high pure FAT intake now and almost no gas production if I add cooked junk food (potato chips) gas production gas up).
I've always found a correlation to excess gas and food allergies (gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and some fruit/veggies are a problem for me). And harder to digest beans. Is she eating a lot of one particular thing?
What I did was keep a food diary. I wrote down the different kinds of food I ate. I was really surprised at what seemed to be presenting a problem. For me, tomatoes make my inflammation go up and my eye sockets even swell, which is really uncomfortable. If I hadn't been keeping track of what I was eating, I would have never guessed that food would be related to my eyes hurting, but I stopped eating peppers and tomatoes and that problem stopped.
If you don't believe allergies are the problem, maybe try juicing some of the fruit and vegetables, at least initially, to remove some of the fiber. We need fiber for things to work correctly, but some people have a tougher time adjusting in the beginning. Also, stay away from bananas that don't have a lot of brown on the skin. They can cause gas if they are too yellow. Maybe if we had an idea of her typical food day, we could make more productive suggestions?
I shared all your guy's ideas with her, and we're going to work on first getting her to write down what she's eaten on the days she has the worst gas, then maybe we can see a pattern. If that doesn't work then we'll go to a daily food log. But as far as I know, these are the basic things in her diet:
Pasta - regular and whole grain
Muffins - homemade carrot and/or banana
Milk (2% or homo)
Balkan plain yogurt
I would look at the recent addtions first (beans caught my eye) because you mention the increase in gas is recent. There are different types of allergies and intolerances. Intolerances are more associated with digestive issues (it's still an allergy but IgG delayed as opposed to IgE immediate). I personally couldn't handle the mayo, dairy, gluten, or soy, but it's really individual. If she's been eating the mayo, dairy, gluten, and soy all along and the gas just started, I'd look at the new additions first. Once those are ruled out, it's a process of elimination. Ha ha, no pun intended (I know, eye rolls).
I might suggest making the diet more simple (fruit - no grapefruit, I think if anyone eats a lot of that it's a problem - veggies - seeds) and then add a new thing on the list above once every three days. It takes about 3 days for something to work its way out of the system and it may take 24 hours for the gas to start depending on how fast her digestive process is. Processed or cooked food diets usually have a longer transit time than raw (3 days versus as quick as 1). Unfortunately, gas and other digestive issues seem to be my forte, so let us know how she progresses and I hope to help :) I hope she feels better soon. It could just be a bug and resolve itself. I hope it's not a food restriction issue.
I have dealt with this too! I found that when I ate more vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli etc. raw that I would get gassy. I found that eating fresh fruits alone and earlier in the day works best for me, and eating heaver things such as grains and starches later on in the day. It also could be her body adjusting to eating a more clean diet. What were her eating habits like before she decided to go lacto-ovo?