The Vegan View
Is it true that vegans have really awful flatulence? I've even heard that vegan flatulence produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas. That sounds a bit over the top to me but I thought if anyone knew the truth it would be vegans. So, is flatulence a big problem with a vegan diet? If so, what is the cause and can it be controlled?
VegFamily readers reply:
My experience is just the opposite. I go weeks without farting. Sometimes, after certain foods, there is some flatulence, but for me and for my wife as well, it's pretty rare. We eat only whole, organic foods, primarily grains, greens, fruits, and veggies, about half raw. Not that many beans, actually. Vegans do have larger bowel movements - that is well known, because we eat more fiber, but my experience is that they are less stinky and much less toxic than the excrement of carnivores, which is truly potentially lethal and must be treated as toxic waste. I am very familiar with all this because my wife and I have been full-time RVers for 13 years and, like all RVers, handle our own sewage waste every few days and read about this in RV journals, etc.
I actually have less when I am a strict vegan. SO my opinion ~ FALSE
The reason people think this way is that if you don't prepare beans properly (namely, washing the hell out of them after cooking) you'll get gas. And there's an adjustment period to eating raw foods. That being said, I have known many fat unhealthy vegans and although I was vegan for several years, I don't think it's a "superior diet".
Soluble and insoluble fibers--biggest culprit soluble fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes). Eat slowly, add fiber throughout day, drink plenty of water & exercise. Also if you aren't used to fiber adjust to it gradually--enzymes could also help with digestion. You should eventually get used to the added fiber. If you are still having problems, keep a food diary and try to see what food is giving you the problem. Some people are allergic to a food that might be giving them a digestion problem. Remember, it is important to eat these foods for optimum nutrition and health.
I am a doctor and a vegan. I have been a vegan for many years and I could tell you both from pesonal experience and research that this is only a problem with vegans who eat vegan "junk food"! By junk food I mean everything processed! Even as vegans, we have to try to avoid as much as possible the processed food and increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in our diet! When we do, our overall health improves (and that would take care of bad digestion and fermentation that cause flatulence!)
I doubt it. How silly.
My response is based no only upon my vegan belifs but on my spiritual convictions as well. We have an obligation to treat animals with the same kindness and concern that we bestow upon our fellow human beings. That fact that we can overpower and use animals for purposes we may deem "beneficial" for ourselves does not justify abusing them, no matter what. We have the ability to seek out and use environmentally and animal friendly alternatives. We should.
It is true vegan diets can cause flatulence, but with that comes regularity also. How many vegans do you know have a problem with constipation? Keep in mind there are many other factors that can cause flatulence in other peoples lifestyles.. Eating dairy for one, too much gluten, not enough fiber and too much meat can cause constipation and as a result gassiness. Flatulence is just a part of life and if it really bothers you, try reducing some of the big offenders like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, apple peels, bran, etc.. for the day that you need. Or pop a Beano before a high fiber meal.
Umm...I thought that all flatulence contained methane.
Both my husband and I are vegan, he has quite a bit of gas, while I don't. We eat almost the same things, but don't know why we have different out comes.
Our whole family is vegan and honestly, I have not noticed a problem in this area. Actually, I have heard the reverse, since meat eaters have rotten meat digesting in their systems... then their gases produced from all the rotted meat would be a lot more awful than the gases produced from veggies, fruits and grains, that will fo through your system much quicker than harder to move meats. That just makes sense that it would be so.
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