If you have an ostomy, or even if you have had sections of your bowel removed and do not have an ostomy, understanding these food characteristics may be helpful:

These foods are likely to produce gas:

Beer and other alcohol, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chewing gum, cucumber, dairy products, dried beans, eggs, hot drinks, lentils, melons, mushroom, nuts, onions, pop, radishes, strong flavoured cheese, sugar, sweet potatoes, turnips, and yeast.


May cause obstructions because they are hard to digest or are irritating to the gut:

Coconut, corn, crab, fibrous foods such as celery, fried foods, lobster, mushrooms, nuts, many vegetables used in Asian cooking, popcorn, raw vegetables, salads, shrimp, and string beans.


Change Stool Colour:

Beets, iron pills, licorice, red food colouring, red gelatine, red pop, and strawberries.


Increase Output:

Beer, broccoli, cabbage, chocolate, coffee, cucumber, dried or string beans, figs, fried foods, fruit juices, greasy foods, green leafy vegetables, highly seasoned or spicy foods, iced beverages, onions, plums, potatoes, prunes, raisins, raw vegetables, rhubarb, spinach, tea, and whole grain wheat (bread etc.).


Alleviate Constipation:

Cooked fruit, cooked vegetables, coffee, fresh fruit, hot tea, and increasing fluid intake.


Alleviate Diarrhea:

Apple sauce, bananas, bran, cheese, cottage cheese, creamy peanut butter, marshmallows, noodles, nuts, oatmeal, potatoes, pretzels, Rice Krispies, saltine crackers, tapioca, white rice, whole wheat bread, yoghurt, and reducing fat consumption.


Increase Odour:

Asparagus, baked beans, cod liver oil, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, peanut butter, strong cheese, and some multi-vitamins.


Minimize Odour:

Buttermilk, parsley, yogurt and juices made from cranberry, orange, or tomato.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 128 – November/December 2001