Which Beans Produce Less Gas for Ileostomy Patients?

peter francis
Nov 20, 2023 12:12 am

I have had my ileostomy for about 14 years during which I have had many of those disastrous nights that we all dread – the 3 am shower!  However, we manage to survive through them but my wife and I are keen to introduce more legumes, particularly beans, into our diet.  Being mindful of the kid’s rhyme:

Beans, beans, good for the heart, 
The more you eat, the more you fart

we’re wondering if anyone can suggest which type of beans (if any) produce less gas and which produce more.  I have found that it is the gas that fills up the bag and is often the cause of those middle of the night disasters!

Nov 20, 2023 12:42 am

Live life on the edge, eat them all. 😁 Plain green beans are about the only one that’s safe for me, but the others are way more enjoyable. 

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Nov 20, 2023 1:51 am

I heard if you soak the beans beforehand you have less gas.

Nov 20, 2023 5:29 am

I've had my ileostomy over 30 years and never had any gas or any other problems from beans. You sound worried about introducing new foods into to your diet the best way is just try  small portions at first then if it were to cause a problem it will be short lived. 

Nov 20, 2023 12:46 pm

A little air in the bag I find helpful - helps output to stay clear of stoma.  Milk is my weak point - I love it, I drink it, it’s a great hydrator but a definite gas producer…over time and reading daily comments I have learned a lot on this site.  Mostly, eat what you like in small amounts, chew well, and monitor the end result…some may end up more restricted than others as we are all so very different.  My life as an ostomate has greatly improved from year one in all respects once I joined MAO - normal is what we make it - live and learn.  jb

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ron in mich
Nov 20, 2023 1:31 pm

Hi Peter funny you mention beans and gas as i had taco salad with refried beans yesterday and was up in the middle of the night burping my bag.

Nov 20, 2023 10:13 pm

Hello from UK

Peter, I do not know whether you and wife garden, but if you do you will perhaps be considering which crops to plant for best effect and seeking to add variety?


Addressing the bean question:

As regards eating legumes - [and growing some of the most useful crops here in UK] - then I might suggest runner beans [and sugar snap peas].

I have lived with an illeostomy for over 40 years and out of the many legumes, I find both of these I can consume in many different forms and by varying methods of cooking too.

And both are easy to grow with long seasons of picking.

No wind problems with runner beans - especially when picked or bought when young - stringed, sliced and lightly cooked [either steamed / or stirfryed] etc

AND if you grow them, then one can also harvest the actual beans pods once they become too old to use with their pods.


Picking up our concern for beans and gas generally, I have found most dried beans - irrespective of double water soaking before draining and then using the beans - have been wind inducing - with a few receipe exceptions [traditional methods of loong cook curries and some moe specialised eastern cooking]. 


Clearly you will have been on a learning curve over your fourteen years of Illeostomy management.

Hence I have included the sugar snap pea - although not a bean!

The sugar snap peas - are likewise versatile and out of all the stirfry vegetables I use - [when stringed - although no need to string if not sensitive] .... again, I find sugar snap peas and their young pods do not result in air within my system.


Other peas, beans and many pulses do cause me to need to manage their consumption very carefully.: But, ARE doable - just need to find the 'receipe' in all senses of the word.


Good luck.

Wishing you the best of variety ....

I guess Canada has a vary varied climate [as does the UK] and as I am not familiar with Canada, I have not tailored my sugestion to suit location .... 800 feet above sea level in mid Wales for example,  means we have late frosts, so legumes need to managed well in the veg garden.


There are societies here in UK which promote and share some of the older and lesser popular varieties of vegeatble seeds, whereby a much wider variety of food can find its way to our plates outside of the average supermarket ranges and the more common vegetable box schemes  -  some are amazingly rewarding to cultivate and bring into ones receipes.

Have fun - choice is key - We all have very different ways of balancig our diet, whilst increasing our ENJOYMENT and  if like me, experimening with food.


Best  Wishes




Nov 21, 2023 2:16 pm

G-Day Peter, If you look close to each bean they have a little Valve, it's hard to see but its there. All you have to do is press that Valve on each and every bean and let the air out. Enjoy a fart free meal. Regards IGGIE

Nov 21, 2023 8:27 pm
Reply to IGGIE

Whew, glad I didn’t ask you about the gas in  whole milk !  LOL, cracked my own self up 🤪

Nov 24, 2023 12:58 pm
Reply to Justbreathe

Is that the one solely for the hole?

Nov 25, 2023 12:47 pm
Reply to IGGIE

Sorry, Iggie - I am short (at 5 feet) and your comment was way over my head!

Nov 26, 2023 4:34 pm

I cook beans with a strip of kombu, which seems to soften the skin of the bean. I don't know if this is why I don't get gas from beans.
Soak dried beans overnight. Drain. In the pan with cold water and kombu. Cook slow and long (good in a slow cooker). It's advised to give all dried beans a boil for a while (15 minutes?) to convert something or other that can cause food poisoning.
I no longer have red kidney beans because their skins never seem to get soft. I do eat black beans, and I'm lucky in that if I don't chew them properly, then they tend to come out whole.
I find pinto and borlotti easiest to digest.
I don't know if this makes a difference, but my instinct is that beans are easier to digest if they're with a carb like toast or a wrap or rice - so making a complete protein. Probably just my imagination, though.

Start with just a small portion and increase over different meals. It might be that you can tolerate a certain quantity, so find what works for you.

And if all that fails - there's this advice - which I haven't tried - but might.



Nov 27, 2023 6:34 am
Reply to SaharaToo

I eat all beans. Soak them overnight, drain and rinse, bring to the boil and discard that first lot of water (this is said to help prevent gas), then simmer on a low to medium heat until thoroughly cooked. I've read that a teaspoon of bicarb in the water helps to soften the beans. If my bag gets a little gas, I find it helps prevent the output from sticking at the top of the bag. 

Nov 27, 2023 2:33 pm

If I know I'm going to be eating gassy foods or drinking beer, I double-dose myself with anti-gas tablets and it does the trick!

Nov 28, 2023 3:44 am

Refried beans are better than pinto or black beans. Pressure cooking beans also helps.

Dec 30, 2023 10:13 pm

I tend to eat troublesome foods at lunch so the effects are over with by bedtime.

Jan 06, 2024 3:04 pm

This is necessary equipment when eating beans. Regards, IGGIE

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Jan 07, 2024 1:20 am

This is maybe a stupid question on here, I don't know, but what about tofu? Because we are encouraged to eat that on a low fiber diet, especially when we're just done with the surgery, and tofu is beans. So I never understood why that is OK but not the other beans. I mean, according to typical medical advice, I'm understanding from reading the strength that some people don't have problems with the beans and the ileostomy, particularly.