How to eat to avoid feeling bloated

As a nutritional therapist, Kerry sees up to 15 clients each week. Here she explains how to beat the dreaded bloat...

Feeling bloated?

Bloating affects many of us, and for one of my clients, a woman in her late fifties, it had become a daily disruption. After visiting her GP to rule out medical problems, she came to me. I asked her to keep a food and symptom diary, and found that, like many working women, she ate her main meal at night, while she grazed and ate on the hoof the rest of the day.

Because she was watching her weight, she selected 'diet' foods, some of which contain sweeteners like sorbitol, which can aggravate intestinal symptoms. She also chose quick-to-cook evening meals, such as prepared pasta or potato salads, oven chips, par-baked breads and pizza bases. The carbs in these foods contain 'resistant starches', which are not completely digested, so may lead to fermentation and gas.


My advice to this client was...Walnut & raisin oatcakes

  • Sit down to eat, take time over your food and chew well.
  • Spread your food intake throughout the day and, when possible, make lunch your main meal.
  • Snack on fruit and veg sticks or oatcakes instead of diet foods.
  • Swap resistant, starchy carbs for freshly cooked foods, including fresh (not dried) pasta, baked potatoes, fresh breads and boiled rice.
  • Gradually add more gentle, soluble fibre in the form of oats, ground flaxseed, fruit and vegetables.

Easy-bake bread The result?

In three weeks my client's symptoms had eased, and at her six-month review she reported a significant improvement.

Recipe suggestions...

Walnut & raisin oatcakes
Perfect porridge
Easy-bake bread
Crisp baked potatoes
Mushroom & rice one-pot
Super-veg pasta

How to make your own...

Making pasta video guide
Baking bread video guide
Cooking rice video guide

Do you often feel bloated or have you managed to overcome digestive issues? Let us know below.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Jan, 2015
Changing a few foods in your diet can help solve bloating and eating lighter foods on occasion has a lot of information and tasty recipes on this very topic
23rd Nov, 2014
I had intolerance tests after 10+ years of persistent and painful bloating. Found out I'm intolerant to yeast, sugar and mushrooms. Also taking digestive enzymes. Making everything from scratch is tough I'll admit (sugar is in everything!), but I'm seeing massive results already, and it's only been two weeks.
23rd Apr, 2014
I am going through a lengthy and uncomfortable process of investigations for stomach problems. So far with little success so I am keeping a very close eye on suggestions and advice on these pages. Often advice from doctors is very conflicting so any help I can get here is welcome.
22nd Jun, 2013
This advice doesn't offer much to those with already healthy diets ans eating habits. It's also not advisable to simply cut staple foods like potatoes and onions out your diet without considering alternatives. The information providedhere is rather basic and could have been written by someone with no qualifications. Roll on, 15 patients a week. ..
3rd Jul, 2013
I visited an osteopath earlier this year to hopefully sort out neck and head pains. He took a full medical history and on hearing I've also suffered with bloating and indigestion most of my life, suggested I try taking Digestive Enzymes before each meal. He is also a herbalist so decided to give it a try. Within a few days of taking the enzymes the bloating and indigestion had disappeared! I can now eat so many different foods with no awful effects! Head and neck pains also reducing.
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12th Nov, 2014
I would advise anyone who is having stomach problems to ask their doctor to check for Coeliac disease, (which is an auto immune disease) symptoms include:- bloating, unexplained weight gain or loss, constipation and or loose motions, and bloating after eating bread, cakes, pasta, or anything that includes wheat. But whatever you do, do not omit these foods until you have been thoroughly checked for the disease.