Chewing Gum from 11 Foods and Drinks to Avoid Before Flying (Slideshow)

11 Foods and Drinks to Avoid Before Flying (Slideshow)

Staff Writer
How to to avoid 'jet bloat'

French Fries

French fries might be a quick and easy snack to grab at the airport, but fried foods are not our digestive system's best friend. At a high altitude, our body’s ability to process high-fat and high-sodium foods becomes even worse, easily leading to bloating and discomfort.


Though fruits in general are healthy snack choices, apples or other fibrous fruits are not easy to digest, and can lead to gas and bloating.


Beans are probably one of the most obvious culprits when it comes to gas-causing foods. Save the bean burrito for a post-landing meal for a more comfortable flight.

Carbonated Soft Drinks

Carbonated drinks can cause gas and heartburn, both of which are unpleasant feelings to have during a flight. Switch the can of Coke for a bottle of cold water, or calming herbal tea.

Hot Peppers

Especially for the more sensitive eater, spicy food can cause stomach discomfort and bladder irritation. To respect your neighboring passenger, avoiding hot peppers might also be a smart choice, as eating a hot meal also can cause bad breath.

Chewing Gum

While chewing gum can help your ears pop after takeoff and landing, constant chewing also lets extra air into your body, causing bloating and gas.

Sugar-Free Candy

Synthetic sugars used in sugar-free candy are often not easily processed by our bodies, causing bloating, gas, and even a laxative effect.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Being in high altitude can itself lead to an uncomfortable, bloated feeling, as the air pressure is different from what the human body is used to. To avoid further bloating, skip the broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables during preflight meals.


Coffee has a dehydrating effect on the body, and combined with the dry airplane air, this easily causes your body to become dehydrated, leading to headache and nausea. You might also want to avoid caffeine, as it can prevent you from taking a relaxing in-flight nap.


Afraid of flying? Well, having that preflight cocktail to calm your nerves might actually do more harm than good. Like coffee, alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, and can cause headaches, nausea, and discomfort on the plane.


A juicy cheeseburger might be a tempting preflight indulgence, but fatty and high-sodium foods are even harder to process at high altitude, easily causing bloating and an upset stomach. Sitting still in a pressurized cabin also slows blood flow, and the addition of saturated fat from fast food such as burgers can further hinder blood flow and increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).