37 Old Roswell St. • Alpharetta, GA  • 

Open daily 11:00 am to 02:00 pm

Can Cheerios Cause Gas? The Reasons Behind Gassy Cereal

Food Guide

It’s a common experience – you sit down to enjoy a nice bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, only to find yourself feeling bloated and gassy afterwards. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many people report increased flatulence and stomach discomfort after eating seemingly benign foods like cereal.

But why does cereal, especially Cheerios, often lead to gas and bloating? Below, we’ll explore the potential causes and how to prevent or minimize gassiness from your morning bowl of Cheerios.

Why Cheerios Can Cause Gas

There are a few key reasons why Cheerios tend to cause gas for some people:

  • Fiber content – Cheerios contains around 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. While fiber is healthy, too much too fast can lead to gas until your body adjusts.

  • Sugar and carbohydrates – A serving of Cheerios packs about 1 gram of sugar. The carbohydrates can also cause gas for some.

  • Milk – Many people are mildly lactose intolerant. The lactose in milk can be difficult to digest, producing gas.

  • Fructans – Cheerios contains fructans, a fermentable fiber that can increase gas production.

  • Individual tolerance – Some people’s digestive systems handle foods differently. Cheerios may just set off your gas-sensitivity!

Tips to Prevent Cheerios Gas

If you love starting your day with Cheerios but hate the gas afterwards, try these handy tips:

  • Gradually increase fiber – Slowly ramp up how much cereal you eat to give your body time to adjust to the fiber content.

  • Switch to lactose-free milk – Use milk specially treated to remove the tough-to-digest lactose sugars.

  • Try plant-based milk – Opt for lactose-free milk alternatives like almond or oat milk.

  • Lower sugar varieties – Choose low-sugar Cheerios like Multi Grain or Protein to reduce gas-producing sugars.

  • Slow down – Eat your Cheerios slowly and chew thoroughly to aid digestion.

  • Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water during and after eating to help move food through the digestive tract.

  • Walk after eating – Light activity helps the body digest and can relieve gas pressure.

  • Limit other gases – Don’t drink carbonated beverages or smoke while eating gassy foods.

  • Digestive enzymes – Consider a supplement like Alpha-Galactosidase to help break down the sugars and carbs.

  • Probiotics – Look for cereals with probiotics or take a probiotic supplement to support healthy gut flora.

When To See A Doctor

Occasional gas and bloating after eating cereal is normal. But if your gas is severe and persistent, or you experience additional symptoms like diarrhea or stomach cramps, it may be time to talk to your doctor.

Excessive gassiness after eating could potentially indicate issues like:

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Celiac disease
  • Food sensitivities

Your doctor can help determine if a health condition may be behind your gassiness and recommend any needed dietary changes or medical treatments to help.

The Best Low Gas Cereals

Want to enjoy cereal without all the unwanted side effects? Here are some great low-gas cereal options:

  • Multi-Grain Cheerios – Has less sugar than original Cheerios.

  • Special K – Low in fiber and sugar for a light option.

  • Rice Krispies – Made of low-gas grains without added fiber.

  • Corn Flakes – Corn is typically easier to digest than wheat.

  • Grape Nuts Flakes – Less gassy than whole grape nuts.

  • Puffed Rice – Rice puffs are easy on the digestive system.

  • Granola – Look for low-fiber, low-sugar varieties.

Pair these gas-friendly cereals with lactose-free milk or a dairy-free milk alternative like almond milk. And eat slowly, staying hydrated. The combination of low-gas cereal plus these tips will keep your breakfast belly bloat-free!

Why Cereal Causes Gas – The Science

On a molecular level, here’s a look at how the ingredients in Cheerios and other cereals can cause gas:

  • Fiber – Insoluble fibers like inulin and wheat bran don’t digest well, providing fuel for gut bacteria to produce gas.

  • Fructans – These fibers resist small intestine digestion, reaching the large intestine intact where bacteria ferment them creating gas.

  • Lactose – The lactose sugar in milk is difficult for some to break down and digest, allowing it to ferment and release gas.

  • Sugar – Undigested sugars get fermented by intestinal bacteria, releasing excess hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide gases that cause bloating.

So in essence, the indigestible fibers, sugars, and carbohydrates in cereal act as fuel sources for our gut bacteria. The byproduct of the bacteria fermenting these compounds is increased gas production that leads to bloating, flatulence, and discomfort.

Tips for Less Gassy Cheerios

If you don’t want to give up your morning bowl of Cheerios, here are some serving suggestions to help minimize gas:

  • Use lactose-free milk or a dairy-free alternative like almond milk

  • Add probiotics like yogurt or kefir to help digest lactose

  • Limit to 1/2 cup serving size to reduce fiber/sugar amount

  • Choose lower-sugar Cheerios like Multi Grain or Protein varieties

  • Eat very slowly and chew each bite thoroughly

  • Drink plenty of water to aid digestion

  • Avoid drinking coffee or juice alongside cereal

  • Take a brief walk after eating to relieve any gas buildup

  • Consider a digestive enzyme supplement like Bean-zyme to help break down sugars

With a few simple adjustments, you can still enjoy Cheerios as part of a gut-friendly breakfast! Follow the diet tips, serving suggestions, and lifestyle changes in this article to keep cereal gas, bloating, and any discomfort at bay.

The Bottom Line

Many people experience gas and bloating after eating cereals, especially Cheerios. The fiber, fructans, lactose, and sugars can overwhelm the digestive system in some individuals, resulting in increased flatulence. But with the right dietary tweaks and gas prevention techniques, you can still enjoy your morning cereal without unwanted side effects. Pay attention to your individual response and adjust your cereal-eating habits accordingly. Aim for low-gas cereal varieties, moderate serving sizes, slowed-down eating, plenty of fluids, and activity after meals. If excess gas persists, consult your doctor to check for underlying digestive issues. With a few simple measures, you can have your Cheerios and eat them gas-free too!


Leave a Comment