by Ravi - UPDATED/REVISED FALL 2012
I hope you all don’t think badly of me for this post – but I *quite accidentally* (really!!) ended up on a raw vegan gas/flatulence thread in the process of researching about gas caused by too much coconut flour. (My daughter was “symptomatic” after chugging a fresh coconut bread we made…)
The basic observation is – if the things you are eating are not being digested properly and causing that much gastic and intestinal distress – would the intelligent person not reconsider the suitability of those particular foods for human consumption?
So, before I air out my onerous, odorous sense of humor here, I will offer you an alternative to this slightly-sophomoric post – a more serious discussion HERE (
A Raw vegan diet is an unhealthy diet). Although I stand behind the premise of this post – that the very abundance of gastrointestinal disturbance is the biggest hint that you are eating the WRONG foods the WRONG way, if you stay, it’s your better sensibilities you risk…
Now please note – I am NOT (intentionally…) going on this path as a kind of smug better-than-them kinda thang – it’s just all-at-once very amusing, shocking, and finally sad to see the blatant biological ignorance and *huge* misinformation campaign that the vegan/vegetarian community indulges in – and with the sad result of so many amazingly misinformed, poorly-nourished and downright sick results. It was also fascinating how many of them spewed absolute gems of solutions for themselves totally unawares.
We also know that many vegans claim that their choice is a “lifestyle” not just a diet – and as such, I have noticed a teeeesy bit of zealotry and, well, dare I say fascism? Let’s just say I’ve learned to pretty much avoid any kind of contact with the more political of their kind.
But the hell with excuses, let the games begin…
First off, let me explain about, er, well, farting – or rather, I’ll let the Wikipedia entry say what I need here:
The endogenous gases are produced either as a by-product of digesting certain types of food, or of incomplete digestion. Anything that causes food to be incompletely digested by the stomach and/or small intestine may cause flatulence when the material arrives in the large intestine, due to fermentation by yeast or prokaryotes normally or abnormally present in the gastrointestinal tract.
Flatulence-producing foods are typically high in certain polysaccharides, (especially oligosaccharides such as inulin). Those foods include beans, lentils, dairy products, onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cashews, Jerusalem artichokes, oats, wheat, and yeast in breads. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables that belong to the genus Brassica are commonly reputed to not only increase flatulence, but to increase the pungency of the flatus.
In beans, endogenous gases seem to arise from complex oligosaccharides (carbohydrates) that are particularly resistant to digestion by mammals, but which are readily digestible by gut flora – microorganisms (methane-producing archaea; Methanobrevibacter smithii) that inhabit the digestive tract. These oligosaccharides pass through the upper intestine largely unchanged, and when they reach the lower intestine, bacteria feed on them, producing copious amounts of flatus.
The highlighted area in red, isn’t that just about the sum total of the vegan diet (sans dairy)? Isn’t one of the main arguments by vegetarians and vegans specifically that we evolved eating mainly forged vegetable matter?
Then why can’t we digest it properly?
So on to some really choice comments -
all lifted comments in green:
Hi guys! … … I’ve dealt with debilitating, humiliating gas ever since i went Raw Vegan this past year. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to find out what’s causing it and how to stop it. … … So far the best thing I’ve come up with so far is a really good, really high PPM Probiotic. The good ones can be expensive but it’s definitely worth a shot! … … I hope this post helps someone else with this painful problem. … … Much Peace and Love!
… hard to find peace with your bowels rumbling for a whole year!
Hmmm, moving on:
Whats the deal with the gas tho? Ive been doing vegan for the past 2-3 weeks and i literally cannot stop farting.
i have had some awful gas since becoming a vegan five years ago, but it comes and goes.
I’m new to the vegan world. All I know is, I can’t stay out of the bathroom.
I am the master blaster. cant stop and dont even care anymore! Just be discreet and toot in private if you can. And NOT in front of your 6 year old boy like I did. He now follows me around the house making farting noises.
And then there’s the obvious dating problems (was she too shy to voice her concern about what to do when she gets the date in bed?):
I’ve been on a vegan diet since December, and the gas problems have NOT gotten better. I have looked up natural ways to alleviate the problem, and nothing seems to help. I’m also not eating beans every day. It doesn’t seem to matter what I eat. My biggest concern is what to do if I get gassy on a date!
I know it sounds funny, but I’m seriously embarrassed about it.
I am a recent raw-vegan convert.
One of the many uncanny benefits is the ability of raw foods to promote a better digestive system.
Which means I’m very, uh, regular
And seriously, at the end of the day, when I’m home alone. I release the cracken. I UNLEASH!
or a fellow who finds their fellow vegan-travellers amusing as well:
Hahah…I’ve been laughing so much at these posts and I think they are wonderful! I have gas issues too, but I think your vegan digestive tract can only be of three states: diarrhea, gas, or constipation.
OK, sounds like the vegan diet is perhaps, a bit tricky to get “right”… so how ’bout a little more science lesson: (from here)
“Gas is basically produced by foods that have undigestible or excess carbohydrates, which are not absorbed when they get to the colon, explains Van Thiel. “Beans, for example, have complex carbohydrates that are maldigested. And the same holds true for mushrooms. Many people don’t realize that mushrooms contain a unique sugar called raffinose, which humans can’t break down. Cabbages and onions do the same thing.” As a group, vegetarians produce more gas than meat-eaters because the intestinal enzymes can’t digest the cellulose in vegetables’ cell walls. However, the colon’s bacteria relish the stuff.
Hmmmm, we have evolved raw plant-eating abilities, huh? And to think of all that meat rotting undigested (but not gassy) in my intestines – yecht! Do you think that any of these bright, evolved folks would take the 10-12 seconds to hop over to Wiki and consider that **everything they are eating** is making them toot like a french horn?
OK – so a little Beano and viola! – rounding off the rough edges of the perfect vegan diet:
in a word: Beeno. get it at your local drug store.
sometime it just takes awhile to adjust. Try some Beano..it works for more than just beans.
Your body will adjust in the mean time get some beno.
Beano is not vegan. It used to be, but now it’s made with fish.
OK, let’s move on to the comment about “detox” – that lovely absurd concept that after eating *poisonous* meats and dairy, their fresh, easily-digestible raw vegan diet will clean up the digestive disaster of omnivorism:
I have the same problem i cant stop but i also cant stop going to the bathroom ummmmm num 2 sorry guys but did anyone have this problem I’ve been vegan for about 2 weeks I dont know if this is my body detoxing?
About a week into going vegan, I thought I was dying. I was on the toilet every 15-20 minutes for almost TWO WHOLE DAYS. even at night! It was the grossest craps I ever took. It hurt so bad and I was crying and telling my husband I was dying. I even vomitted a little. I guess this was my detox.
eh, i’d just see it as more stomach-cleaning
And then there’s soy. Have these people been living under a rock or is their internet connection so slow that they get hungry waiting for the “dangers of soy” page to load and go of to graze some more?
I have been farting like a crazy person for the last 3 days. I just started The Kind Diet about 6 days ago. I don’t know if I am detoxing from the meat and dairy I used to eat or what is happening. I have replaced my meat and dairy for the last week with soy milk and tofu, and I have heard from lots of vegans here that soy causes gas in some people. I bought some rice milk tonight and am hoping for the best, but any other options would be great!
or this happily self-amused commenter:
My gas has been out of this world, which has actually been very hilarious. But then again, I live alone and have no boyfriend . I also think it just comes with the territory. At least you know it’s not plugged up in there.I did notice that with soy I get diarrhea and way more bloating, and I’ve heard that can be a common problem.
Not sure if it’s just me, but soy milk gives me horrible gas!
I’ll end this delight of a post with the most astounding “out of the mouths of babes” kind of comments that are either total non-sequiturs, inane-ly absurd/idiotic, or finally, comments stating the bloody obvious answer to their problems with utter unrecognized candor.
Veggies will make you fart. Generally, vegans eat only plant-based products….. so yes. Your body will even out eventually….. But cows eat grass and they fart ALL THE TIME. Cats eat meat and they don’t fart so much…..
I have been back & forth vegan, not vegan for so long because I get major stomach issues when I eat more grains/veggies/fruit/beans, which is why I always stop vegan eating and go back to more meat (less gas).
and these bits of cognitive dissonance:
I know someone who, when she went past 80% raw, she started having problems with flatulence, but it went away when she went back to 80%. Only humans cook food, so obviously raw food is natural for us to eat. It may take some experimentation and talking to other raw foodists.
(maybe humans cook food to make it more digestable? just a wild guess…)
There really nothing you can do, it means you are new to raw diet so it is moving to change hormone and bodily fluid but be sure to drink more water too.
i’m not vegan, but i’m veg. i just stay in the community b/c it’s still something i like to stay updated about. but i’m pretty gassy, too. prior to going veg i wasn’t really a gassy person at all.
and those who persevere:
I thought I was not on raw diet , they describled what it is , to me then I found out why I been to toilet almost everyday to poo. It is really good meaning you are getting enough fiber or protein it needs to absord. I did it by eating potatoe, black eye beans, spinachs, kale, carrot, banana, taking vitamin, etc… a lot but most of the all , often my meal for almost every week is black eye beans, bread , spinach, and potatoe. My stomach twisted and was in a pain from doing it a lot but I patted myself that I got enough.
and the wise, wise well documented responses:
According to many studies animals, and humans, whom have been subjected to a 100% raw diet have shown to be healthier, happier and more energetic than those who eat cooked foods. Many times these benefits can be passed down to a raw vegan’s kin. As well as being healthier, raw vegans attain their optimal weight, require less sleep, are less prone to cancer cells and have an overall growth in energy. Maybe we fart now and then, but at least we’re not poisoning ourselves with processed foods with trans fats and suffer from obesity. If your vegan friends are unhealthy, then have them double check which nutrients their getting. Obviously they’re doing it wrong, and it is giving you a completely skewed view of one of the best eating habits for your body.
Hmmmm – almost has me convinced, but what about:
I ripped some of the gnarliest farts for the first week I was vegan. (Then they seemed to get less offensive.)
Mike Eades *perfect* response: When they do become a separate species, I wonder if they’ll taste like chicken?
May the wind be always at your back…. errrrrr….. rather best it be from the front?…