As a registered dietitian specializing in gut health, I understand the struggles of eating foods that can make you gassy and bloated. If you feel like you are the only one that gets uncomfortable after eating peanut butter, let me assure you that you are not.
So, why are you getting gassy and bloated after eating peanut butter? You might get gassy and bloated from peanut butter mainly because of its high fiber content. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 1.6 g of fiber, which can be too much for someone not used to having a lot of fiber. The bacteria in the intestines ferment the peanut butter, causing bloating and gas.
However, while the high fiber content is usually why peanut butter makes you gassy and bloated, it is not the only one.
It’s also important to note that because peanuts are high in sulfur, peanut butter is also high in sulfur. Sulfur won’t necessarily make you more gassy or bloated, but it can cause smellier gas.
In this article, we’ll go over all the possible reasons you might be getting gassy and bloated and how you can fix it.
- In addition to the high fiber content, peanut butter can make you gassy and bloated if you have an allergy or intolerance to peanuts.
- While rare, Salmonella contamination can also cause you to get gassy and bloated from eating peanut butter.
- To avoid getting gassy and bloated by peanut butter, you can switch it to another nut butter like almond or pistachio.
Why Does Peanut Butter Make You Gassy and Bloated? (6 Reasons)
1. It Is High in Fiber
Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 1.6 g of fiber, representing 6% of the daily recommended value of fiber.
Fiber plays a crucial role in a healthy diet. However, for those not used to consuming too much fiber, the gut can ferment it and produce gas as a by-product once it reaches the intestines.
So, in the end, it leads to feeling gassy and bloated.
2. You Might Have a Peanut Allergy or Intolerance
Another reason you are getting gassy and bloated from eating peanut butter is that you might be intolerant or allergic to peanuts.
Now, there is a difference between the two.
An allergic reaction is a more life-threatening event.
It happens when the body reacts negatively to the proteins in peanuts. The immune system doesn’t recognize the protein and attacks it, creating an immune response. As such, it might lead to skin reactions, itching, diarrhea, stomach cramps, shortness of breath, and the closing of the airways.
On the other hand, a peanut intolerance is when you have an inflammatory response to peanuts, causing digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.
If you suspect peanut intolerance, you can get a food sensitivity test.
If you think you might have a peanut allergy, your doctor can do an antibody test to check the effect peanuts have on the body.
3. It Might Contain Salmonella
While unlikely, one of the possible reasons you might get gassy and bloated from peanut butter is due to contamination of Salmonella (a bacterial disease that affects the intestines).
In fact, in July 2022, the CDC confiscated a batch of Jif peanut butter due to having Salmonella contamination.
Naturally, peanuts don’t contain any Salmonella. However, if the manufacturer also handles foods that contain Salmonella (like chicken), it can lead to cross-contamination.
At the beginning of food poisoning, you might experience gas and bloat. As the infection continues to affect the body, it can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
4. You Are Getting Low-Quality Peanut Butter
Another reason you might get gassy and bloated is the quality of the peanut butter.
Low-quality peanut butter includes added oils and additives to make it cheaper.
In most cases, those oils are high in trans fats (when liquids are turned into solids by adding hydrogen molecules, like margarine), which can increase inflammation in the body and lead to digestive symptoms such as gassy and bloating.
Additionally, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), certain additives like artificial sweeteners can cause bloating.
5. You Eat Too Fast
Another reason you get gassy and bloated might have nothing to do with peanut butter but with how fast you eat.
When you eat fast, you absorb more air into your stomach, which can cause an increase in bloating and gas.
So, before you decide peanut butter is the culprit, check how long it takes you to eat it first.
6. Other Foods You Eat With Peanut Butter Upset Your Stomach
Finally, the ingredients you eat with peanut butter, not the peanut butter itself, can cause gas and bloat.
For example, when you make a peanut butter sandwich, you might experience digestive problems due to the gluten found in the bread.
In other cases, the additives in jams, such as sugar-free sweeteners, might lead to digestive issues in people with IBS.
Also, eating other high-fiber foods like oatmeal with peanut butter can make bloating and gas worse.
- Related Article: Oatmeal Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
How To Reduce Gas and Bloating After Eating Peanut Butter
If you already ate peanut butter and are starting to get gassy and bloated, there are some solutions to help reduce the symptoms.
The first option is to drink peppermint tea. Research shows that consuming peppermint tea might help reduce symptoms of IBS by 40%.
The other option is to consume ginger. Studies show ginger might help increase the intestine’s transit speed, helping reduce digestive symptoms of bloating and gas.
You can also try yoga poses like the child’s pose and happy baby to help relieve some of the pain from bloating and gas.
Ways To Avoid Gas and Bloating When Eating Peanut Butter
Now, what can you do to avoid getting gassy and bloated from consuming peanut butter?
1. Add Peanut Butter In Moderation
The first thing you can do is consume peanut butter in moderation. If you are not used to consuming a lot of fiber, it’s better to start slowly introducing it.
For example, start having only one or two tablespoons of peanut butter per day. You can add one tablespoon of peanut butter each day until you reach a quantity that fits your meal plan and doesn’t give you any digestive problems.
2. Get Natural Peanut Butter
Another thing you can do is make sure you have natural peanut butter instead of processed peanut butter.
If you don’t know if you are getting natural peanut butter, check the ingredient list. The only ingredient in peanut butter should be peanuts. If it contains other ingredients, it’s best to avoid that product.
3. Focus On Eating Slower
If your problem is that you eat too fast, the best solution is to focus on eating slowly. While this is easier said than done, some tips and tricks can help you slow down your eating.
- Count the chewing. Count how many chews you make when eating other foods, such as oatmeal or bread, with peanut butter. Focus on trying to reach 20-30 chews per bite.
- Time how long it takes to eat. Start a stopwatch and count how many minutes you take to eat. At the next meal, place a timer and add one minute to the time it took you to eat previously. For example, if it took 10 minutes, place 11 minutes on the timer.
- Eat with your non-dominant hand. Eating with your non-dominant hands allows you to eat slower.
- Place the utensils down. A common practice for people that eat fast is that they never place the utensils down. On each bite, make sure you place the utensils down to pause and take longer to eat.
4. Avoid Peanut Butter
Finally, if you have tried all the options above but are still gassy and bloated, it’s best to avoid peanut butter.
If you still want nut butter with some of your meals, try almond butter or pistachio butter, which may be gentler on your stomach.
Sulfur in Peanut Butter Compared With Other Foods
Peanuts are high in sulfur, which means that peanut butter is also high in sulfur. High sulfur-containing foods won’t cause more gas, but they are more likely to make your gas smelly.
Since proteins contain sulfur, most foods that are high in sulfur are also those that are high in protein.
The following table contains the sulfur content in some foods based on 100 g.
|Food||Sulfur content (mg)|
As you can see, peanuts are the food with the highest sulfur content. So, if you become bloated from peanuts for one of the reasons stated above, their high sulfur content might cause foul-smelling gasses.
If you want to avoid this, switching to a nut butter made from a nut lower in sulfur, like chestnuts (29 mg of sulfur per 100 g), is a good option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Peanut Butter Cause Gas and Diarrhea?
Yes, peanut butter might cause some gas due to its high fiber content. If you are not used to eating fiber, it reaches the intestines intact, which might cause the gut to ferment it and cause gas. An intolerance or allergy to peanuts can also lead to gas and diarrhea.
Why Am I Bloated After Eating Peanut Butter?
You might get bloated after eating peanuts due to their high fiber content. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 1.6 g of fiber. Since fiber is not digested, it reaches the intestines intact, making the gut ferment the food, causing bloating and gas.
What Other Foods Can Make You Bloated and Gassy?
- Eggs Make Me Gassy & Bloated
- Nuts Make Me Gassy & Bloated
- Coffee Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Broccoli Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Garlic Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Salad Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
- Almond Milk Makes Me Gassy & Bloated
About The Author
Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist. In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.