Vegan Farts 101: The What, Why and How

vegan farts

Are you a vegan or vegetarian that farts a lot? Have you ever wondered if people with plant based diets fart more than others?

If you’ve just started on a vegan or vegetarian diet, you’ve probably noticed that you expel more gas than before. Don’t worry, it’s normal. In fact, there’s a name for it, vegan farts.

Vegan farts are the phenomenon that occur when you’re on a plant based diet. It’s something that all non-meat eaters know about.

Essentially, you’re passing wind more often. And often can mean a lot.

So if you’re considering an herbivore diet and curious about some of the changes that occur, you are in luck, because below we will delve into that very topic!


What Causes Vegan Farts?

Both vegans and vegetarians fart far more than the average meat-eater. At least at first… Most herbivores will tell you that when they first began a plant-based diet, they farted more frequently than before.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are based on nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruits. This translates to a diet high in fiber. It can take time for the body to adjust large amounts of fiber at once.

If you’re just starting out on a vegan or vegetarian diet, a good tip is to gradually ease into it. Going full on, forces the body to process a lot of fiber that it isn’t accustomed to. This often leads to the unwanted side effects of bloating and farting.

Basically, it’s loading the body with more fiber than it is used to handling.

Over time though, it does mellow down a bit. But the high fiber content of vegan and vegetarian diets do still cause you to pass wind more often than omnivores.


Fiber Isn’t the Only Cause

chickpeas beans berries and asparagus mealAlthough plant-based diets are high in fiber, it is not the only culprit at work.

Nope, one of the other main protagonist in this tale is actually a sugar molecule called oligosaccharides.

This sugar molecule is way too large to be absorbed through the small intestine.

So instead, it works its way to the large intestine where other bacteria live and prey.

In breaking down oligosaccharides, our intestinal bacteria produce gas as a byproduct. This is what causes the bloating and gassy feeling. And the longer it sits, the stinkier it gets!

Oligosaccharides are natural sugars found in beans and legumes. These two foods are staples in a non-meat diet for their ability to provide high amounts of protein from plant sources.

So if you plan on switching to a plant-based diet, and intend to rely on beans and legumes for protein, be aware of its long term effects.


More Wind, Less Stink

fruits and vegetablesAfraid you might stink up your next office party after lunch? Don’t fret!

While it is true that vegans and vegetarians fart more, on the “smell scale”, it has been shown that it isn’t nearly as offensive as the vapors produced by omnivores.

This is due to the science of how bodies break up food.

Most meats contain high levels of salt. And foods with higher salt content produce smellier farts. The smell is caused by the byproducts of sulfide and mercaptans when foods rich in sulfur are broken up in the body.

Processing meat also takes longer for bodies to digest.

And the longer it sits in the digestive tract, the more bacteria swarms it. This results in the production of more sulfur compounds.

Bloating and stomach discomfort likewise can occur when foods are not passed through the gastrointestinal tract efficiently.

So steer clear of foods rich and fatty to avoid bloating and discomfort. Instead, reach for “good fats” that can be found in nuts, seeds, avocados and more. They are important and necessary in maintaining a healthy digestive system.


The Good News

A benefit of maintaining a plant based diet is that it is full of nutrients that aid the body in processing food. It helps the body maintain a clear and healthy intestinal garden.

This garden is fed and watered by what we eat and drink. All the fiber that comes with eating beans, greens and legumes allow for digestive system that operates efficiently and smoothly.

Vegetarians and vegans may produce more air biscuits than their meat eating counterparts. And you’ll find yourself visiting the bathroom more often to poop.

However, this is only due to a healthy intestinal garden that is maintained by a diet high in fiber and rich in plant protein. The better the body works to process food, the better it will feel.

So go ahead and pass gas in pride. It’s just your body’s way of letting you know it’s doing its job.


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