A Don’t Eat Checklist for Your Flight

Off on your long well-earned summer holidays, but fearing how the flight makes you feel? Here’s a “don’t eat” list that is best avoided before you take off.

  • Avoid carbonated drinks and coffee Soda and coffee might cause flatulence, belching, and heartburn. And those with caffeine will both keep you from napping and lead to more trips to the airplane’s lavatory.
  • Avoid fried foodsThe fats and oils in fried food can cause heartburn, and take time to digest which are very uncomfortable. Food high in trans-fats and salt can also lead to fluid retention, which, in turn, can cause your feet to swell.
  • Avoid hot peppers Spicy food can cause stomach discomfort and bladder irritation; it can also cause bad breath.
  • Avoid chewing gum and artificial sugar Gum might stop your ears from popping but, as you chew you swallow more air, building up gas in your stomach. Sugar in the gum can stimulate your bladder, and artificial sweetener in the sugar-free stuff can cause flatulence.
  • Avoid beans, fibrous fruits, and veggies Avoid anything that can cause excess gas to build up in your stomach. That includes the obvious suspects (beans) as well as other usually good-for-you foods such as broccoli and cabbage. Most dried fruits and fruits especially in large quantities add sorbitol and fiber to the intestine, and lead to intestinal gas. Dried fruits also tend to be higher in sugar and calories.
  • Take these instead: Caffeine-free teas like anis, cinnamon, chamomile, and Moringa. Drink lots of water; bring along unsalted nuts, carrot sticks, and naturally reduced sugar oat bars.

    Tip to prevent jet lag: For the long travelers wondering what to do to prevent jet lag, simply: Eat nothing at all. In a study published in the Journal “Science,” researchers suggested that fasting for about 16 hours before a long flight may help to fight off jet lag by resetting your biological clock.

    (Written by: Nathalie Djabrayan, licensed dietitian)