Newswise — Gassiness: It's embarrassing, bothersome and -- yes, smelly. Sometimes, changing diet can clear the air.

Temporarily avoiding certain foods can help identify causes of gassiness. The January issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter lists foods that sometimes are the culprit:

Dairy products: The sugar lactose in dairy foods is a common cause of gas. Nonprescription products such as Lactaid or Dairy Ease may help. Many who are bothered by dairy products may still be able to eat yogurt or aged cheeses.

Some vegetables: Some carbohydrates found in vegetables such as onions, radishes, cabbage, celery, carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and legumes (including dried peas and beans) can produce gas. Beano, or other products that contain simethicone (Phazyme, Gas-X, others), may be helpful.

Too much fruit sugar: Prunes, raisins, bananas, apples and apricots as well as juices made from prunes, grapes and apples can cause gas.

Too much fiber: Cutting back on high-fiber foods, and then gradually increasing them, can help identify the amount that can be tolerated.

Some sweeteners: Sweeteners used in sugar-free chocolates and candies can cause diarrhea in some people. These sweeteners include sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol.

Fatty food: Fried food, fatty meat and some sauces can cause gas.

Carbonated and sparkling drinks: Avoiding these may reduce gas, too.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9PR1, or visit

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