The 10 Worst Foods to Eat Before Flying

‘Tis the season of merriment, and what better way to spread holiday cheer than hopping on a plane to meet your loved ones or traveling to an exciting new place? While our minds are often preoccupied with thoughts about long security lines, the race to get to your gate on time, or the airport parking system, there’s one thing you should pay more attention to before you take off: your meal. Option.

This is because what you eat before boarding can significantly impact your flight experience. And sometimes it’s for the worse. We’re talking about dealing with the discomfort of bloating, excess gas, or the urgent need to use the restroom at 30,000 feet above the ground, which is not an ideal scenario for holiday travel.

We may not be able to control the turbulence you may encounter, but one way we’d like to help your flight go as smoothly as possible is to shed light on how some food and beverage options may affect your flight. In between, it can cause physical problems. So, fasten your seat belts, and join us as we take a look at the foods and drinks that science says you should skip before your next flight. Then for more helpful holiday tips, check out the 5 holiday foods cardiologists recommend avoiding.

fried food


If you’re wasting time at the airport and looking for a cheap lunch or dinner before your flight, it can be tempting to grab a plateful of chicken fingers and fries. However, there are some reasons you may want to reconsider!

For starters, greasy foods contain high levels of fat, and high-fat foods take longer to digest than proteins and carbohydrates. If your fries, chicken fingers, and onion rings sit in your stomach for a long period of time, it’s more likely to cause bloating and possible stomach upset.

Sitting on a long flight with a bloated and upset stomach is already uncomfortable enough, but because high-fat foods stay in the stomach for a long time, they can cause heartburn or intense acid reflux in people who suffer from these symptoms. Suffer from more than. .Now that sounds like a stressful flight.

RELATED: The 7 Best Airplane Snacks According to Dietitians

high sodium foods

Tortilla Chips Mexican Restaurant

Maybe you’re having a beer with some chips and salsa before your flight, or maybe you grabbed a bag of potato chips to tide you over until you reach your destination. yes. Although it can be satisfying to snack on something delicious before a trip, be mindful of how much sodium you consume before you board the plane.

Due to the change in pressure and low humidity environment inside the plane, you are likely to experience some degree of dehydration while flying, and unfortunately, high sodium foods can also dehydrate you, which is not a very good combination. Is made.

Pressure changes from flying and sitting for too long can cause your body to retain more water, and high sodium levels can also have this effect.

To avoid discomfort as much as possible, it is better to avoid excessively salty foods.



Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower etc. are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They contain high amounts of antioxidants and essential vitamins, and they have much more fiber than many other vegetables.

Although it’s great for your health overall, you may not want to consume broccoli when you’re ordering your airport meal. Cruciferous vegetables are so high in fiber that they can cause bloating and excess gas.

Unfortunately, feeling bloated during flight is already a common occurrence as drastic changes in altitude have been found to trigger flatulence. So eating broccoli and other high-fiber vegetables while you’re in the air may make the condition even more painful.

RELATED: The 12 Worst Eating Habits for Your Metabolism


black beans

According to the Cleveland Clinic, you undergo a pressure change when you’re on an airplane, and this can cause your intestines to expand. You are more likely to experience bloating and excess gas when this happens.

One food that definitely won’t help with this problem is beans. Beans not only contain high amounts of fiber, which can cause bloating, but they also contain raffinose carbohydrates that your body may have difficulty digesting. Save yourself stomach discomfort when you’re stuck on your plane by avoiding beans before your flight.



We’ve already discussed how flying can cause bloating and potential discomfort due to pressure changes, so consuming foods that cause flatulence may make things worse.

A common inflammatory food is garlic, which contains high levels of a type of fiber called fructans. Many people have a mild intolerance to fructans, which may cause your body to react with bloating, abdominal discomfort and excess gas when you eat foods rich in this fiber. Although it happens to a lot of people, it is something that is rarely diagnosed and not widely known, so many people eat these high-fructan foods without realizing the cause of their trouble. Live.

Besides ruining your own experience, garlic before a flight can also ruin your row partner’s experience, because garlic breath is a real thing. Garlic is made up of several sulfur compounds that become active when chewed and can cause a strong odor in your mouth, so save yourself and those around you some discomfort and avoid eating garlic before a flight.

RELATED: What Happens to Your Body When You Skip Breakfast



For the same reasons we recommend avoiding garlic before flying, we also recommend avoiding onions.

Garlic and onions are both high in fructans, which are again the fibers some people have idiosyncratic intolerances to. If you’re chowing down on an onion-heavy dish before boarding the plane, you may use up some extra gas, which no one wants on their flight.

Just as garlic can give you unwanted breath, onions can do the same. This vegetable also contains many sulfur compounds, which unfortunately give your breath a strong onion smell.

pear and apple

apple and pear

Apples and pears are super healthy snacks because of their fiber content, but when it comes to flying, you may want to choose something else.

Pears and apples are known to potentially cause stomach bloating or discomfort after eating because they contain high levels of naturally occurring fructose sugar. We previously discussed how people can be tolerant to fructans and not be aware of it, and the same can be said for fructose. In many people, fructose can cause stomach pain and bloating.

RELATED: The 10 Worst Eating Habits for Bloating


chewing gum

When you feel your ears start to flutter during a flight, someone has probably told you to chew gum, but this trick can also cause some bloating and stomach discomfort during plane travel.

When you chew gum, you swallow a lot more air than usual, which can lead to bloating. The Mayo Clinic (via Science Daily) suggests avoiding chewing gum and sucking on hard candies to reduce the chance of bloating and stomach pain.

RELATED: 3 Best Exercises to Stay Fit While Traveling Without Equipment


steaming cup of coffee

Before you drink a cup or two of coffee before a flight, you may want to think about some of the potential side effects you may experience on the plane.

For starters, any time you drink too much fluid before boarding the plane, you will have an increased need to urinate on the plane. This may be inconvenient for passengers.

Along with needing to urinate more, coffee also causes you to have more bowel movements. This irritates your colon and causes more contractions, which will then cause you to run to the toilet later. This is unfortunately inconvenient on the plane, especially if you find yourself in a window seat.

Additionally, coffee can also cause anxiety symptoms in people who are more sensitive to caffeine, causing jitteriness, jitters, and stomach upset. If you’re at all nervous, drinking coffee can make things worse.


bartender serving beer

Posting up and drinking at an airport bar can be a relaxing way to pass the time during a long layover, but be aware of the potential problems that drinking before your flight can cause.

Alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning it can cause you to urinate frequently and dehydrate you. Because flights can already dehydrate you, adding alcohol to the experience will only make it worse.

Plus, because alcohol can make you want to pee more, you risk the annoying inconvenience of frequent trips to the bathroom while you’re on the plane, which neither you nor your row of friends will enjoy. Want companions.

There is also a link between drinking alcohol and feelings of anxiety and depression, largely due to a drop in serotonin. Like coffee, if you’re nervous or anxious be careful how much you drink as both drinks can potentially make your symptoms worse.

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