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You are not alone if you get bloated or gassy after having a bowl of oatmeal. As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve had many clients express concern about the same issues when they eat oatmeal.
So why do you get gassy and bloated after eating oatmeal? Oatmeal can make you gassy and bloated because you might have a sensitivity to avenin (a protein found in oatmeal).
You could also have celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant and the oatmeal is contaminated with gluten. Oatmeal is also high in fiber, which can make you feel gassy because of how fiber is digested.
Once you figure out why you get gassy and bloated from oatmeal, it is easier to find the solution and prevent it.
In this article, I will explore why you are getting these gastric symptoms from oatmeal and how to stop them from happening again.
Why Does Oatmeal Make You Gassy and Bloated?
1. You Have a Food Sensitivity To Oatmeal
The first reason get gassy and bloated from oatmeal is that you might have a food sensitivity to avenin, which is the protein found in oatmeal.
The problem occurs when your immune system thinks of avenin as a dangerous molecule. So, your immune system starts attacking said molecule to get rid of it.
In some cases, you might have a small reaction (like bloating or gas), but in other cases, you can experience more alarming symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
While it is uncommon to have an allergy to oatmeal, it is possible. If you think you might be allergic to this food, make sure to consult with your doctor so they can run adequate tests.
2. Oatmeal Can Be Contaminated With Gluten
For some people, the problem might not be the oatmeal itself but gluten, a protein you find in wheat, barley, and rye.
Oats don’t contain any gluten. However, they are typically processed in facilities that handle wheat, barley, and rye. This often leads to cross-contamination of gluten particles.
Not everyone will get a reaction from gluten. But people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can have difficulty processing gluten molecules.
It is said that only 1.4% of the population has celiac disease. However, in my experience as a Registered Dietitian, I’ve found that most people don’t get appropriate screening and aren’t aware that they have issues with gluten.
So, if this is the case, you might want to visit your doctor and ask about getting tested to check if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
3. Oatmeal Is High In Fiber
Another reason you might get gassy and bloated from oatmeal is its high fiber content.
One cup of cooked oatmeal has 4.8 g of fiber. This represents roughly 19% of the daily recommended value for fiber.
Fiber is a type of carb that your body cannot digest. Since it cannot digest it, it reaches your intestines intact. Therefore, your gut microbiome ferments it, producing gas as a by-product.
If you are not used to consuming high-fiber foods, your body can produce more gas, which makes you feel bloated.
4. You Have a Sensitivity to the Ingredients You Add
Oatmeal might not be the culprit for why you are getting gassy and bloated. It might be the foods you add to it.
Foods like milk, nuts, and seeds might be the reason why you get bloated.
To help you determine if the culprit is oatmeal or the things you add to it, make sure to cook oatmeal with only water. That way you can determine if it’s the oatmeal of the toppings that cause gas and bloating.
5. You Eat Too Fast
Finally, the reason you might get gassy and bloated from oatmeal might not have to do with oatmeal but with your eating habits.
When you eat fast, more oxygen reaches your stomach. The increased amount of air in your stomach might be the culprit for your gassiness and bloating.
How To Relieve Stomach Pain After Eating Oatmeal
I know it is very uncomfortable to be bloated and gassy throughout the day. If you experience these symptoms after eating oatmeal, a couple of solutions can help you out.
Taking a digestive enzyme like Now Super Enzymes along with oatmeal can help you better digest your food and prevent you from getting bloated.
While it works best if you have it 10 to 15 minutes before your meal, you could still have it afterward to decrease the symptoms if you forgot to take it.
You can also have some grated ginger in lemon water to reduce bloating. Research shows that ginger can help speed up digestion, reducing bloating symptoms.
You can also have some candied ginger (just ensure you don’t consume more than 24-36 g of sugar per day).
Finally, you can have some herbal teas like fennel or peppermint to help you reduce the symptoms.
Ways To Avoid Getting Gassy and Bloating From Oatmeal
1. Cook the Oatmeal
To prevent getting gassy and bloated from oatmeal, cook it. Cooking the oatmeal makes it easier to digest.
Placing it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker can better help digestion compared to the microwave. Cooking it for longer can also break down the molecules, making it easier to digest.
If you don’t have enough time to cook the oatmeal, make sure to soak it overnight. Allowing it to soak for at least 12 hours can prevent you from getting bloated.
Such is the case when people make overnight oats. If you don’t know how to make them, here is a recipe for you to try.
- You can also cook your oatmeal by making pancakes. We have a great egg white & oatmeal protein pancake recipe. Just make sure you don’t have allergies or sensitivities to any of the other ingredients to prevent gas and bloating.
2. Use a Different Type of Oatmeal
As discussed, one of the reasons why you get bloated from oatmeal is its high fiber content.
While fiber is a good thing to have for overall and digestive health, it can cause issues if you are not used to consuming it in high quantities. You should start with oatmeal that has a lower fiber content.
Instant oatmeal is lower in fiber than regular oatmeal. Since it is processed, some of its fiber is lost.
On average, instant oatmeal can have half the amount of fiber as regular oatmeal. So, instead of getting almost 5 g of fiber per cup, you get around 2-3 grams of fiber.
Lowering the fiber content by only a couple of grams can help reduce your symptoms.
3. Go Gluten-Free
For those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, ensure that your oatmeal says it is gluten-free. Gluten-free oatmeal will have a special seal or certification on the label to indicate that it hasn’t been contaminated with gluten.
Again, remember that oatmeal has no gluten particles, but some contamination might occur during the manufacturing process.
When you get gluten-free oatmeal, it means there was no contamination when it was processed.
4. Eat It in Moderation
If you know you get bloated from oatmeal, reduce the amount you consume and give your digestive system some time for it to process the food.
For example, if you are used to having one cup of oatmeal, reduce it to just ¼ of a cup. Once you don’t get any symptoms, start adding more each time until you determine your maximum capacity.
However, if you’ve tried all the other recommendations and still have bloating issues, stop consuming oatmeal for some time. Give it a couple of weeks for your gut to heal, and then try again.
5. Be Careful With the Toppings You Add
Finally, to avoid getting gassy and bloated, be careful with the toppings you add.
Avoid using milk, nuts, and seeds, which are also common culprits of bloating and gas.
Instead, opt for making oatmeal only with water, and add one topping at a time. For example, try adding just milk one day and check for any symptoms. That way you can pinpoint which is the one that is causing you to feel gassy and bloated.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Stop Gas After Eating Oatmeal?
To stop gas after eating oatmeal, you can take some digestive enzymes to help your body process food better. You can also have foods known to help digestion, like lemon, ginger, fennel, and peppermint, after eating oatmeal.
Why Do I Get Gas When I Eat Oatmeal?
You get gas after consuming oatmeal because you might be sensitive to avenin, a protein found in oatmeal. You can also be sensitive to the high fiber content since oatmeal has around 5 g of fiber per cup.
Finally, it might be contaminated with gluten particles, which can cause issues if you have celiac disease.
Can Oats Cause Bloating and Gas?
Yes, oats can cause bloating and gas since they are a high-fiber food (around 5 g of fiber per cup). Most people are not used to consuming high levels of fiber, which can lead to the gut bacteria fermenting it and causing more gas than usual.
How Do I Stop Bloating from Oatmeal?
To stop bloating from oatmeal, you can take some digestive enzymes before the meal to make it easier for your body to digest the food.
Also, make sure to cook it (cooking it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker is best) or soak it before having it to make it easier to digest.
Other Foods That Can Make You Gassy & Bloated
- Eggs Make Me Gassy & Bloated
- Can Nuts Make You Gassy & Bloated?
- Garlic Make Me Gassy & Bloated
- Broccoli Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Coffee Make Me Gassy & Bloated
- Salad Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Peanut Butter Makes Me Gassy
- Popcorn Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
Kaur, G. J., & Arora, D. S. (2009). Antibacterial and phytochemical screening of Anethum graveolens, Foeniculum vulgare and Trachyspermum ammi. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 9, 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-9-30
Wu KL, Rayner CK, Chuah SK, Changchien CS, Lu SN, Chiu YC, Chiu KW, Lee CM. Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3282f4b224. PMID: 18403946.
Parnell JA, Reimer RA. Prebiotic fiber modulation of the gut microbiota improves risk factors for obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Gut Microbes. 2012 Jan-Feb;3(1):29-34. doi: 10.4161/gmic.19246. PMID: 22555633; PMCID: PMC3827018.
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