Bloating After Eating

Food intolerances may lead to bloating after meals. This bloating is caused by trapped gas as well as water retention, which results from the body’s reaction to certain foods.

Food Intolerance and Bloating

Some foods lead to bloating after eating more than others. But individuals with food sensitivities are more prone to bloating after meals when certain foods are eaten, such as the ones listed here.

Vegetables and Fruits 

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage lead to bloating in many individuals. Onions are another gas producing vegetable that leads to bloating of the stomach.

Fruits also cause bloating. This is from the natural sugar found in fruits. This natural sugar is called fructose. Some individuals have a difficult time digesting fructose, which leads to digestive problems that cause bloating.

Dairy Products

Dairy products such as ice cream, milk, cheese and yogurt include lactose, which is difficult for many to digest. Other foods with these ingredients in it may also trigger a reaction in lactose sensitive individuals. The reactions to lactose include bloating, gas and digestion problems.


Gluten is a naturally occurring protein in grains. Many pastas, cereals and breads contain gluten, which triggers a reaction in gluten sensitive individuals. Bloating is one of these reactions.

Identifying Foods that Cause Bloating

To minimize bloating after meals, keep a food diary to record the foods eaten. Then, record the extent of the bloating after one hour then again after two hours.

A food diary entry will look like this:

Food eaten:
1 hour later:
2 hours later:

Using the Food Diary to Adjust Eating Habits 

If bloating is occurring at each meal, begin to identify the specific food causing it by only eating that suspected food at another meal. For example, if a lunch of onions, chicken and broccoli led to bloating, and it is suspected that the onions caused it, a meal on the next day will include onions with a main course, not onions and broccoli.

Another example: if a meal including fish, spinach and whole wheat dinner rolls leads to bloating, a meal on the next day will include either whole wheat dinner rolls or spinach with a main course, not both. This will help to identify the food causing the bloating.

Altering Eating Habits

After identifying the foods causing the bloating, minimize or eliminate those foods from the diet. By eliminating these foods from the diet or reducing the amount eaten, bloating after eating can be minimized.

Dr. Gillian Hart is a Scientific Director for YorkTest Laboratories who specialise in food intolerance testing to help identify causes for wheat intolerance symptoms and migraine symptoms. The tests can help answer such questions as “Why am I always tired?” For more information visit or call 0800 074 6185.