Peanuts are healthy and nutritious, but they’re not for everyone. Apart from causing allergies, can they lead to gas or bloating?
Peanuts may cause gas and bloating, especially if you eat too many. This is due to them being rich in fiber. They are more likely to cause gas if they are fried or cooked with oil, or coated with salt or sweeteners.
What can you do to reduce the chances of getting gas and bloating if you want to eat peanuts (provided you’re not allergic)? We have the answers below!
Do Peanuts Give You Gas?
First, let’s discuss the composition of peanuts. Botanically, they are legumes, but nutritionally, they are considered nuts (source: Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School, Reader’s Digest).
Legumes are rich in fiber, which could contribute to gassiness. Peanuts may also contain oil, salt, and sugar, which also cause gas in some people.
Why Would Peanuts Make me Gassy?
Fiber provides bulk, which means you will feel fuller when you eat foods with high fiber content. But this can also cause gas, bloating, and overall discomfort when you eat too much or too quickly (source: MedlinePlus).
The fiber in peanuts is soluble fiber, like other beans and legumes. In the intestines, soluble fiber softens up as it moves, which produces gas (source: University of Rochester Medical Center).
Another possible cause of gas is peanut allergy. Food allergies occur when Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are activated after exposure to a protein from food.
Peanuts account for 90% of all IgE-facilitated food allergies. Peanut allergy is also the most prevalent food allergy in the US (source: Gastroenterology & Hepatology).
Food allergies can cause abdominal cramps (source: Food Allergy & Intolerance Definitions). If you primarily experience cramping but not gas after you eat peanuts, it could be an allergy.
Peanuts that are fried in oil are more likely to cause gas and bloating, since they’re more difficult to digest. (source: University of Rochester Medical Center). Roasted and pan-toasted peanuts are a safer option.
Salt is another culprit. When you eat salty foods, the body retains water, which will make you feel bloated. Processed foods have the highest sodium content.
Homemade peanut snacks are better than store-bought commercial ones because they contain less salt. This also holds true for sugar-coated peanuts, especially for those that are covered in high fructose corn syrup, which can cause gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort (source: Cleveland Clinic).
This is because high fructose corn syrup is rich in fructose, as is honey. Fructose malabsorption results in gas and bloating due to fermentation in the large intestines (source: Medical Hypotheses).
Apart from this, high fructose corn syrup is highly processed. It takes time for the body to process and absorb, which can lead to gas (source: Cleveland Clinic).
If you want to eat peanuts but don’t want unpleasant gas and bloating, choose boiled, roasted, or pan-toasted peanuts that are unsalted or not coated with fructose sweeteners.
Gas could also be caused by swallowing air while eating peanuts, regardless of the type. Chew peanuts slowly and thoroughly so your body has an easier time processing them.
Apart from the fried, roasted, or boiled peanuts, other peanut dishes that could cause gas include:
- Peanut brittle — has a lot of peanuts and a ton more corn syrup
- Peanut patties — pretty much the same as peanut brittle, but is made with white sugar instead of corn syrup
- Peanut-based sauces or stews — contain a lot of peanuts as well as other ingredients that can lead to gas
In terms of peanut varieties, they all contain almost the same amount of fiber. No one variety will cause more gas and bloating than the other.
If you are not allergic to peanuts, they are pretty versatile. You can add them to cakes, muffins, salads, pasta, noodle dishes, and more. Just be mindful of the amount you eat.
We hope this article helps you enjoy peanuts without negative side effects!