The main cause of bloating is overeating, according to WebMD. Eating too quickly or eating rich, fatty foods or food that is hard to digest also contributes to bloating. Swallowing air is another cause of bloating and gas.
Bloating is a common condition affecting at least 10 percent of the population, reports WebMD. Dietary changes can often prevent it. Avoid eating foods containing sugars and starches that are hard to digest such as lentils, cabbage, onions and beans. Fatty foods also take longer to digest, making the stomach feel full longer.
Some people experience bloating or gas after consuming dairy products or sweeteners such as sorbitol and fructose, which can be difficult to digest, notes WebMD. Whole grains and other high-fiber foods may also cause bloating or gas. Reduce the risk of bloating by drinking plenty of water, which absorbs the fiber and helps move it through the intestines.
Swallowing too much air also causes bloating, states Mayo Clinic. About 50 percent of gas in the digestive system is swallowed air. Avoid drinking through a straw, chewing gum, smoking or eating hard candies to reduce excess swallowed air. Eating and drinking slowly also helps.
Bloating and gas may indicate digestive disorders such as lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. Consult a doctor if severe abdominal pain persists, advises Mayo Clinic.