what to eat when flying

by KalaLea on November 29, 2011 • Posted in News Preventative Health Care

Flight attendants, please prepare for takeoff! All passengers must fasten your seat belts! On a recent flight from San Francisco, just as the captain made this announcement, the woman sitting next to me began to fart; silent ones mostly but I know it was her. At first, I was a little repulsed but then I thought back to my own gas-fest many months ago. I had eaten a huge bowl of garlic pasta with broccoli before boarding. Thirty minutes into the flight, I could not contain myself. My insides felt as if they would burst. I floated to the restroom and let it rip!

This time, upon arriving home, I immediately googled “gas while flying on a plane” and searched my many nutrition books for tips on what to do when flatulence won’t leave your side. Then I proceeded to construct a meal list that one CAN eat before or during a long flight (the options are few):

1. Lean grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and green beans
2. Grilled or baked salmon, sweet potatoes, and kale
3. Lettuce & tomato salad with light dressing and a side of rice

Also, ginger and fennel are especially effective in preventing gas. Bring along a couple of ginger or mint tea bags and ask for hot water during your flight. Plus remember to chew your food well!

Other things to do to avoid getting gas:

  • Stay away from straws or sipping drinks
  • Avoid sucking (hard candy or even your teeth)
  • Save chewing gum for post-landing
  • If you plan to sleep, stay clear of starchy foods which elevate your blood sugar

SCIENTIFIC STUFF: Less barometric pressure in aircraft cabins than on the ground means there is less oxygen available. This causes gas within your body cavities to expand, making both you and your flight companion pretty uncomfortable.

During my googling, I also found this blog titled, 11 Points. Here’s their list of reasons why many people get gas. Flying in an airplane is Number One.

Below is a LONG list of foods can cause gasespecially when flying 3 hours or more:

  • Alcohol
  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans incl. lentils
  • Beer
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cheese
  • Chewing Gum
  • Corn
  • Fatty Meats
  • Fried Foods (e.g. burger and fries)
  • Fruit Drinks
  • Ice Cream
  • Melons
  • Milk and Milk Products
  • Onions
  • Pasta
  • Pastries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins and Prunes
  • Soda and other sweetened or bubbly drinks
  • Whole Wheat and Oat Bran (most breads and cereals)

Seems like it’s best to do a water fast when flying–waiting to eat until after landing.

Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a great deal.
Have a warm and pleasant week!

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  1. Mitsue

    It is such a timely post. :) I am going to fly tomorrow – I will stay away from the food list you put up. Please keep up with great work. I always enjoy reading the new post.

  2. BoomerWiz

    This is a hysterically serious and informative post. That list however of things not to eat is way too long. And there are things I would have thought would not make one prone to flatulence.
    Just shows how much I know. Gotta keep reading your posts. But don’t you think water is not a real answer for flights over 3 hours?

  3. KalaLea

    Hi! Thanks for writing. You would be surprised how long you can live by water only. Many many days…with knowledge and supervision of course. Have a lovely week!

  4. lyne

    I should have listened to you. I would also add that salt helps retain water, adding to that bloated feeling – then they serve those peanuts and pretzels.. Thanks for the post.

  5. VIrginia Rawlings

    I love the information. I try to eat healthy but I am learning of many things that are not healthy.

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