Our generation is becoming more and more aware of our bodies and our health. While it’s fantastic that we are proactive about our health, I wonder if we are hyper-proactive (did I just made up a word)? For example, someone feels bloated a few hours after a good meal and suddenly, they’ve decided that they have a gluten intolerance or allergy. Let’s talk some simple science to break down why it’s (most likely) not a sign of disease or a malfunctioning GI.
Why do we feel so farty a few hours after eating? Intestinal gas is produced when we consume indigestible foods like plant-based foods (hello, insoluble fiber!). The amount of gasiness we experience is directly correlated to amount of these foods we eat. So, the more fiber we eat, the more we have to fart. Foods with gluten, like rye, wheat, and barley, are plant-based foods that naturally have fiber as well. Before you cut produce out of your diet, remember that fiber has an important role (e.g. bulked and soften our stools) and has been linked to positive health benefits (e.g. reducing cholesterol). It’s recommended that we consume approximately 20-30g of fiber/day.
Another food-related cause for intestinal gas? Sparkling water (aka my vice). There may be other causes for excess gas: lactose intolerance, GI obstruction, etc. I always recommend going to see a gastroenterologist (not your regular family doctor) to investigate any concerns since they specialize in the GI system. However, for the most part, if you feel a bit gassy after eating and you feel better by farting or burping, you’re most likely fine. Your body doing is just doing its thing.
Happy eating, friends 🙂
Thomas Ngo RD