You’ve got a bowl of beans staring back at you, an oozy, luscious brown brittle of ground beef swimming in a pool of pinto bean bubbles. “Eat me,” you hear it say. “Eat me… and fart your brains out.”
But what if you’re in polite company? What if your pets are easily startled by loud noises? What if you just want to eat delicious beans in a sweet, tangy sauce that makes you feel full and warm, but not bloated? Is it possible to enjoy beans without the inevitable aftermath?
The gassy sensation we associate with beans is caused by sugar molecules called oligosaccharides. As Amy Shapiro, a certified dietary nutritionist, told the publication Eat This, Not That!, “Some people don’t have enough alpha-galactosidase enzymes to break them down, which can cause gas and bloat.” To minimize the bloat then, it’s imperative to avoid eating even more sugar afterwards. Instead, opt for green vegetables, which help offset the sugar in that bean juice.
Ironically, the only other reliable method of quieting the post-beans trumpet solo requires eating beans more regularly. According to a 2018 study, researchers found that the more consecutive bean-eating days the participants had, the less discomfort they felt. “Both groups subjectively expressed greater tolerance and less physical discomfort as the bean-consuming period continued,” reports Discover magazine.
So there you have it: That old ditty about how “the more beans you eat, the more you toot”? Totally erroneous.