Does Peanut Butter Cause Gas and Bloating?


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Bloating and intestinal gas is a subject that you may find hard to discuss, not to mention embarrassing. Surprisingly, most people actually pass gas around 13 to 21 times every day, according to the US National Library of Medicine. You may feel gassy and bloated after eating certain foods, such as peanut butter.

Peanut butter consists mainly of fat and protein, hence, it is not likely to cause bloating and gas. However, high-fiber effect and one’s sensitivity to peanuts may result in digestive reactions, including gas and bloating, after consuming peanut butter.

People who experience gas and bloating consistently after eating peanut butter should consult with a qualified medical professional.

You can learn more about peanut butter and the digestive problems it may cause here.

How does peanut butter cause gas and bloating? Why do I get bloated after eating peanut butter?

Bloating and passing gas are common symptoms of gas.

People normally pass gas a few times a day. Bloating, on the other hand, makes your abdomen feel full or swell, which usually happens during or after you eat.[01Opens in a new tab.]

Generally, intestinal gas comes from two sources: [02Opens in a new tab.]

  • Swallowed air, which is the common cause of stomach gas
  • Byproduct produced when bacteria in your gut digest certain foods

Certain conditions may also lead to excess gas, such as:

  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Celiac disease

When it comes to peanut butter, most healthy people would feel fine without feeling gassy and bloated after consuming it. 

But some groups of people may develop gas and bloat because of the following reasons:

  • High-fiber impact
  • Peanut intolerance
  • Peanut allergy

Let’s take a look at how each situation works.

Peanut butter and fiber

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders named fibers as one of the main causes of gas. [03Opens in a new tab.]

Fibers are a kind of carbs that your stomach and small intestines cannot fully digest.

Dietary fibers can be categorized into two types: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fibers can dissolve in water and transform into a gel-like substance, whereas the insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water. Both types of fibers play an important role in maintaining your digestive health.

Since your body is incapable of digesting fibers, fibers will reach your large intestine intact and undigested.

When this undigested compound reaches your large intestine, bacteria inside your colon will break them down and produces gas in the process. Hence, the reason why you may feel gassy when eating plenty of fibers in a day.

According to USDA Food Data Central, two tablespoons serving of chunky peanut butter without salt like this oneOpens in a new tab. provides almost 2.6 grams of total dietary fiber. [04Opens in a new tab.]

Since a good source of fiber contains around 2.4 to 4.9 grams of fiber per serving, peanut butter can be considered a great fiber food source. [05Opens in a new tab.]

However, if you eat too much fiber within a short amount of time, you may feel bloated and gassy and pass gas more often. Some people may also develop diarrhea, stomach cramps, or acid reflux. [06Opens in a new tab.]

To make sure you’re consuming a healthy amount of fiber each day, be sure to aim for 25 grams every day, as recommended by the FDA. [07Opens in a new tab.]

Peanut butter and peanut intolerance

You may also experience gas and bloating after consuming peanut butter if you have a food intolerance, specifically, peanut intolerance.

Studies show that over 20% of the population in industrialized nations has a food intolerance. [08Opens in a new tab.]

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, you have food intolerance or sensitivity if you have a hard time digesting certain foods. [09Opens in a new tab.]

Normally, food intolerance reactions are linked to the amount of food you eat and may occur if you exceed a certain limit. This threshold level, however, may differ from person to person.

Unlike a food allergy, food intolerance does not involve your immune system and result in milder digestive issues.

Still, it can be hard to differentiate food intolerance from food allergy.

Common symptoms of food intolerance include: [10Opens in a new tab.]

  • The buildup of intestinal gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache or migraine

You may develop symptoms of food intolerance immediately, or after 12 to 24 hours.

If you mainly feel gassy right after eating peanuts or peanut butter, chances are, you have a peanut intolerance rather than a peanut allergy.

Depending on the severity of your peanut intolerance, you might still be able to consume some peanut butter occasionally without issues. 

Still, it’s best to consult with a medical professional to rule out other potential digestive conditions.

Peanut butter and peanut allergy

Peanut butter may also cause gas and bloating if you have an allergy to peanut.

Peanuts are one of the foods that are responsible for over 90% of food allergies. [11Opens in a new tab.,12Opens in a new tab.]

Studies showed that almost 2.5 % of American kids may have a peanut allergy. [13Opens in a new tab.]

Fortunately, research has found that up to 20% of people with an allergy to peanut will eventually outgrow it.

Compared to peanut intolerance, peanut allergy produces more severe symptoms and involves various body parts, including your eyes, nose, mouth, throat, skin, lungs, CNS, and digestive system. You can produce allergic reactions even with the smallest amount of peanuts.

If you have a peanut allergy, the following are some symptoms you may develop after eating peanut butter, as stated by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:

  • Indigestion
  • Stomach cramp
  • Hives
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Repetitive cough
  • Wheezing, the difficulty of breathing
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin

Diagnosing a peanut allergy can be hard as the symptoms may vary from one person to another.

Severe allergic reactions may threaten your life. So if you suspect you have a peanut allergy, be sure to see your doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Foods that cause bloating and gas

Some foods and drinks are more likely to cause gas and bloating.

The following are some examples of foods that may cause gas, as reported by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: [14Opens in a new tab.]

  • Sugars, such as raffinose found ni beans and asparagus, lactose found naturally in milk and milk products, fructose present naturally in fruits, artichokes, and wheat, and sorbitol found in fruit and some artificial sweetener
  • Starchy foods, such as corn, potatoes, wheat, and noodles
  • High-fiber foods, such as oat bran and soy fiber

Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases stated that drinking carbonated or fizzy beverages, chewing gum, and sucking on hard candy may cause gas since you’ll be swallowing more air. 

Foods that don’t cause gas and bloating

Just like some foods tend to give you gas and bloat, there are also foods that are less likely to cause gas.

Foods you can eat without worrying about having to feel uncomfortably gassy, bloated, and distended when attending an event include:

  • Fish
  • Meat and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Some vegetables like tomatoes, okra, and zucchini
  • Some fruits like berries, avocado, and olives
  • Carbs like rice and gluten-free bread

Conclusion

Passing gas a few times a day is normal and won’t be considered a medical problem.

Most people can consume creamy peanut butter like this oneOpens in a new tab. without worrying about getting gas or bloated.

However, if you feel gassy and bloated after consuming peanut butter, then you probably have peanut intolerance, peanut allergy, or are eating too much fiber within a short period.

If you’re always experiencing gas and bloating after eating peanut butter, it would be best to seek advice from your doctor or qualified healthcare provider to help you rule out any possible serious health conditions.

What to eat when bloated and gassy?

Foods that help reduce gas and bloat include ginger, yogurt, bananas, lemons, cantaloupe, avocado, cucumber, and fennel. Drinking plenty of water also helps digest high-fiber foods. Stay away from fermentable vegetables like cabbage, artificial sweeteners with sorbitol, and carbonated drinks. [15Opens in a new tab.]

Is peanut butter hard on your stomach?

Chunky peanut butter may be hard to digest, especially for those who have peanut intolerance. However, some experts recommend eating peanut butter for people with acid reflux. It would be best to choose smooth peanut butter without sugar whenever possible. [16Opens in a new tab.]

Eina Aivoges

Eina Aivoges is a certified health and wellness coach and a licensed medical laboratory scientist. She's also a foodie, avid coffee drinker, cat-lover, blogger, and traveler.

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