Can Oatmeal Cause Gas? Here’s Why You Feel Bloating

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If you’ve ever experienced discomfort after enjoying a bowl of oatmeal, you might wonder, “Can oatmeal cause gas?” Unfortunately, the short answer is yes, but it’s complicated.

Oatmeal in a white bowl on a blue tablecloth.

In this post, I’ll uncover the potential reasons why oatmeal can cause gas and explore some strategies to help minimize this effect. So, let’s uncover the mysteries surrounding oatmeal and its impact on our digestive system.

Reasons Why You Feel Gassy After Eating Oatmeal

You sit down with a delicious bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, then get bloated and gassy not even a few hours later. If this scene sounds familiar, you might be asking “Can oatmeal cause gas?”

Some foods naturally cause a lot of gas and bloating, such as beans, dairy, and, unfortunately, oatmeal. This might not be a problem for some, but if oatmeal is a consistent part of your diet and you would rather not have to deal with the smelly consequences, you came to the right place. Let’s discover why oatmeal is causing bloating and gassiness, and what you can do to prevent it.

Possible Reasons Why Oatmeal is Making You Bloated and Gassy

Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food with a lot of potential health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and supplementing your weight loss strategies. Plus, oatmeal is a low-oxalate food that won’t increase your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones, which makes it a great source of carbs and fiber for people on the low-oxalate diet.

However, oatmeal can cause a lot of flatulence, bloating, and sometimes even abdominal pain in some people. If you’re one of them, here are the possible reasons why.

A woman holding her stomach with her hands.

You Have Food Sensitivity to Oatmeal

Individuals with a sensitive digestive system may be more prone to experiencing gas after consuming oatmeal. For example, those who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal issues might find that oatmeal causes discomfort, including excessive gas. Additionally, people who are not used to consuming high-fiber foods like oatmeal may experience temporary gas until their bodies adjust to the dietary change.

Digestive issues can also be an effect of lectins, which are proteins that bind to carbohydrates and may prevent proper digestion of food. Luckily, removing lectins from oats can be as easy as boiling them.

Oatmeal Might Be Contaminated with Gluten

Oats are gluten-free. However, they might be unintentionally contaminated with gluten-containing grains. During harvesting, transportation, and storage, oats sometimes get accidentally mixed with barley, wheat, and/or rye. When this happens, cross-contamination may occur. 

Oats contaminated with gluten may be the culprit of your gas issues if you have gluten intolerance. The same goes for people with a wheat allergy when oats come in contact with wheat.

Oatmeal is High in Fiber

Oatmeal is a high-fiber food, with 100 grams containing about 10 grams of fiber and a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is fermented by bacteria, while insoluble fiber acts as a bulking agent and remains unfermented. However, the soluble fiber in oatmeal is not always fully broken down during digestion, leading to the production of gas as it passes through the digestive tract.

Gas is formed when gut bacteria in the large intestine ferment undigested carbohydrates from oatmeal. This fermentation process produces gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane, which can lead to bloating and flatulence.

You Have Sensitivity to the Ingredients You Added

Oatmeal might not be the culprit for the discomfort you feel after finishing a bowl. Sometimes, it could be the ingredients you add to your oatmeal. For one, adding dairy products like milk or yogurt can cause gassiness (and even diarrhea), especially if you have lactose intolerance.

To identify the culprit, try to eat your oatmeal without added ingredients. This way, you can tell if it’s the oatmeal or the toppings that are causing you discomfort.

You Eat Too Fast

The way you eat may also make you feel gassy or bloated. If you eat too fast, you’re increasing the amount of air you swallow, which may lead to more gas buildup in your gastrointestinal tract. 

A woman holding her stomach with a red light on it.

Ways to Avoid Gassiness and Bloating

If you love oatmeal but it’s making you bloated and gassy, there are some ways you can keep discomfort at bay. Here are some of the ways you can prevent gassiness and bloating as you enjoy a bowl of oatmeal.

Soak and Ferment Oatmeal Before Cooking

Soaking and fermenting your oatmeal before cooking helps make the oats softer, easier to digest, and better for nutrient absorption. Here’s what you need for this method:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons acidic medium (it could be yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or buttermilk)
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Mix 1 cup of oats, water, and your preferred acidic medium into a glass bowl and stir well.
  • Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight or at least for 7 to 8 hours.
  • When it’s ready to cook, add 1 cup of filtered water and ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt and stir.
  • Put the mixture on a low simmer and let it cook for five minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Try a Gluten-Free Diet

If you’re sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, ensure that your oatmeal is free of gluten. Look for a special seal or certification on food labels that indicates that it hasn’t been contaminated with gluten during the farming, transportation, and storing process.

Add Digestive-Enhancing Ingredients

Digestive spices like ginger or fennel seeds to oatmeal can aid digestion and minimize gas. Ginger is known for its ability to soothe the stomach and reduce gas, while fennel seeds are often used as a natural remedy for flatulence and bloating.

These spices not only enhance the flavor of your oatmeal but also work wonders in calming your stomach and reducing any discomfort caused by gas. They promote good gut health and help prevent excess gas production during the breakdown of food in your gastrointestinal tract.

You can also add probiotic sources to your oatmeal to make it more gut-friendly, such as yogurt and kefir. One of the best benefits of probiotics is better gut health, thanks to the beneficial bacteria.

Eat in Moderation

Make sure to eat a little slower. Take your time and enjoy every bite of your meal. Plus, significant discomfort might be a sign you shouldn’t eat too much oatmeal.

Consult With a Doctor or Registered Dietitian

Is oatmeal the only food causing your digestive issues? Or are you experiencing the same problems with other foods? In the case of the latter, I recommend seeing a physician or registered dietitian to see if you have an underlying medical condition causing intestinal gas and digestive discomfort. 

A woman is holding a bowl of oatmeal.

Replace Your Oatmeal with Other Breakfast Options

If you’re dealing with digestive issues related to oat consumption, experiment with different types of oats to find one that suits you best. For instance, if you experience significant bloating after consuming raw oats, you may find relief by switching to rolled or instant oats instead. 

This personalized approach allows you to identify the specific oat variety that aligns with their unique digestive needs. If it doesn’t work, then, you may want to try out other breakfast options.

Forget Oatmeal: 8 Comforting Breakfast that WOW

Move over, oatmeal! I’m rounding up my best breakfast options that are comforting and super satisfying. These recipes will fill you up without weighing you down, making them the ultimate morning win. Plus, each dish is so delicious you’ll forget you’re eating not eating oatmeal. Trust us, these breakfasts are a game-changer.

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Kickstart your morning with this wholesome hot cereal alternative. This breakfast option will be a family favorite, packed with coconut flour, flax seed, chia seed, and eggs. Offering a nutritious blend of ingredients, this recipe stands out as an ideal oatmeal alternative, ensuring a satisfying and hearty start to your day without compromising flavor.
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Chai Latte Chia Pudding
Delight in the rich flavors of a chai latte with this quick and easy chia pudding. Combining the warmth of chai tea with the creaminess of coconut milk, this overnight treat is both sugar-free and keto-friendly. Providing a delightful alternative to traditional breakfast options, this chia pudding is a tasty departure from the ordinary, perfect if you’re seeking a flavorful twist on your morning routine.
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Chaffle English Muffins
Experience the simplicity and taste of these 2-ingredient chaffle English muffins, crafted without wheat, gluten, or grains. These muffins require no yeast or rising time. They present a practical and satisfying breakfast option, proving that a hearty morning meal can be uncomplicated and delicious.
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Take your breakfast game to a new level with these easy Carnivore Pancakes. The blender batter comes together in minutes, delivering warm pancakes that redefine simplicity. This low-carb recipe is a straightforward yet flavorful morning option, making it a perfect choice if you want to add variety to your breakfast routine without sacrificing convenience.
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Enjoy the simplicity of 2-ingredient keto waffles that crisp up in under 10 minutes. This quick comfort food combines protein and healthy fats, offering a morning meal with just one gram of net carbs per serving. With a flourless approach, these waffles cater to low-carb, keto, gluten-free, and low-oxalate diets, providing a delicious and efficient breakfast option.
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Start your day right with this easy keto frittata featuring fluffy eggs, tangy feta cheese, and tender spinach. This vegetarian keto breakfast, ready in just 20 minutes, ensures a hearty and nutritious start. With its satisfying combination of ingredients, this frittata is a flavorful and wholesome alternative to traditional breakfast choices, proving that a healthy morning meal can be quick and delicious.
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Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie
Experience the delightful balance of a sweet treat and creamy shake with this keto strawberry cheesecake smoothie. Ready in just five minutes, this quick and easy blend of five ingredients makes for a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. Offering a refreshing departure from routine, this smoothie provides a delicious alternative to conventional breakfast options, making it an ideal oatmeal alternative if you want a tasty twist on your morning routine.
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If you’re wondering, “Can oatmeal cause gas?” the short answer is yes, but, sometimes, it’s not the sole culprit. Despite the nutritional benefits of oatmeal, it might be better to try looking for another type of oats or switching to other fiber-rich foods instead.

Check out alternative breakfast options on our blog for delicious, healthy foods that may be better for your digestive system and overall health. Remember, oatmeal is great, but it’s not the only option for fiber.

2 thoughts on “Can Oatmeal Cause Gas? Here’s Why You Feel Bloating”

  1. I generally keep my carbs low and eat an animal-based diet, but for me a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast has a lot of nostalgic appeal because it’s what we always had on Sunday mornings growing up. I don’t have memories of post-oatmeal gas as a kid, but I definitely suffer from it as an adult. Next time I decide to have oatmeal for breakfast I’ll give soaking a try!


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