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Action plan: 5 ways to quell gas leaks

Though everyone passes gas—up to 20 times a day—doing so at the wrong time or in the wrong place can be, well, awkward. To prevent embarrassment:

  1. Skip the burger and fries. Fatty foods digest more slowly, allowing food more time to ferment and produce gas.
  2. Go for a stroll after meals. Moving around—even if it’s just a walk around the block—can help food move faster through your body, reducing gas buildup.
  3. Eat slowly. Eating food quickly causes you to take in a lot of air, which contains gases that enter your intestines with the food.
  4. Take a powder. Passing gas can be a sign you need to visit the bathroom.
  5. Avoid gas-yielding foods. You know about beans, but are you aware onions and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower also release a lot of gas? Eat sensible portions or choose “safe” times to indulge. If dairy foods cause gassiness, select products that contain the enzyme lactase. Check your gum or hard candies for the sweetener sorbitol, a sugar found in many dietetic foods, and limit consumption.