Foul Play: Which Foods Make Flatulence Smell the Worst
We all pass gas; it’s perfectly normal and a sign your digestive system is working. It’s when those farts start to smell really bad that you have to take action. Here are some tips and foods to avoid if you want to eliminate foul-smelling flatulence.
Of all the body-related topics that are usually off-limits, passing gas or flatulence (and pretty much anything having to do with your bowel movements) is pretty high on that list. But guess what, it’s time to talk about your farts, because we all do it, and if you want to minimize the stink in your life, you need to get educated about the gas we pass.
So what exactly is a fart? The medical term is flatulence, which means “the state of having excessive stomach and/or intestinal gas (waste gas produced during digestion) that is usually released from the anus with sound and/or odor.” Basically, we swallow air throughout our day as we eat and drink, and that air in our body is later released as gas.
Flatulence can be just air
Now, while we all fart from time to time (or maybe all the time), sometimes it is a benign release of air and nothing more. In fact, farting is normal and a sign that your digestive system is working. That said, sometimes a fart isn’t just a fart…it is an offensive, and embarrassing release that comes with an odor we would rather eliminate from our life. And the reason for this odor has a lot to do with what you eat. Certain foods come with more gas than others, and certain foods cause your intestines to develop a foul-smelling gas, which has to escape your body at some point. So which foods should you avoid if you want to prevent smelly farts?
There are a few factors that can lead a food to make you release foul-smelling gas. The biggest culprit is hydrogen sulfide, “a gas that is created when your body breaks down foods with sulfur,” reports Bustle. o when you consume foods high in sulfur, and your body breaks down that chemical, the result is a high level of hydrogen sulfide in your body, and because that gas can’t stay there forever, you need to release it through flatulence. And in case you’re not familiar with the stench we are talking about, it smells like rotten eggs. So what foods fall into this category? Eggs (not shocking), red meat and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Other causes of odor
Another common cause of excessive (and unpleasant smelling) gas is fiber, so you should avoid foods that are high in fiber—think bran, whole grains, beans and dried fruits. While a diet rich in fiber is important in maintaining a healthy, functioning digestive system, fiber can also lead to the formation of excess gas, which causes not only unpleasant farts, but also bloating, just to add insult to injury. If you consume a lot of fiber and you notice that your farts don’t exactly smell like roses, try to minimize your fiber intake or substitute that fiber with a gentler (read: easy to digest) supplement.
While it might seem like a fair trade to ditch some of your fiber-rich foods to minimize smelly farts, unfortunately some of your favorite foods are also causing your gas to smell bad. Fried, oily foods are a major cause of unpleasant gas because our body has a hard time digesting these foods, and the result is that we have to release that excess gas that is building in our intestines.
Foods affect your gas
Think about how you felt after that double cheeseburger and onion rings. A little gassy and a little guilty, right? Try to eat these foods in moderation and monitor how you feel, and how your gas smells after this change in your diet. We know you’ll miss those fried bites of heaven, but you’ll thank us later.
Sorbitol (the fake sugar used in diet sodas and sugar-free candy) can also cause unwanted bloating, diarrhea and those smelly farts you hate so much. This is because “sorbitol is metabolized very slowly by your body and known to display laxative properties and can cause bloating from gas-producing bacteria in your intestines.” If you are addicted to diet soda or you’re a big fan of sugar-free chewing gum, you might want to nix those items from your daily diet and see how your digestive system is impacted.
the forbidden foods
And last but not least, if you have food intolerances, most notably an inability to digest lactose, then those foods can cause a negative reaction in your intestines, which manifests as foul-smelling gas as it leaves your body. Dairy (everything from milk to cheese—really anything made from cow’s milk) can cause your body to release foul-smelling flatulence, among other complications. If you lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose in food, you should avoid dairy products and instead opt for dairy-free options.
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