If you think avocados are giving you excess gas, it’s probably not in your head.
Most people get gas if they a large amount of avocado for 2 reasons:
- They’re very high in fiber
- They’re relatively high in sorbitol
If you want to understand why this causes stomach issues and what you should do about it, read on.
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Why Vegetables like Avocados Cause Gas
Vegetables are known for causing gas because they usually have a lot of fiber, especially for people who don’t eat much fiber regularly.
Why is this?
Certain carbohydrates are basically indigestible in the stomach and small intestine, and fiber is an umbrella term that covers them.
These carbohydrates are passed to the large intestine, where they are fermented by gut bacteria as they move alone. But bacterial fermentation produces gas as a byproduct, and this gas either causes bloating or is released through flatulence.
Don’t get me wrong, fiber is a healthy thing, you want to “feed” these bacteria. But too much gas is uncomfortable and can even cause pain.
Avocados Are Quite High in Fiber
Avocados have more fiber than almost every other vegetable.
The nutrition facts below are for 100 grams of avocado (for reference, 1 avocado is usually 136 grams). There are 6.8 grams of fiber in a serving.
|Total Lipid (g)||15.4|
Compare that to the minimum daily target for adults of about 20 grams.
If you eat 2 avocados, which is certainly possible (especially if you’re eating something like guacamole), and you are getting a ton of fiber.
And as you now know, that fiber will be fermented in the gut and lead to gas production.
Avocados Are Relatively High in Sorbitol
Some carbohydrates don’t fall into the “fiber” category because while they are very hard to digest, they are partially digestible.
The ones that are present in a detectable amount in avocados are fructose and sorbitol.
The table below shows a more detailed breakdown of these carbohydrates in avocados (source):
There’s only a small amount of fructose, so it’s unlikely to cause any major issues here.
However, 0.65 grams of sorbitol is a relatively high amount per 100 grams of avocado. While it varies from person to person, just a few grams of sorbitol can cause gastrointestinal distress.
Most people don’t have issues from sorbitol until consuming 5 grams, but some people are more sensitive than others (source).
While fiber is the main reason that avocados cause gas, the sorbitol can also contribute significantly to gas production.
What Can You Do To Reduce Bloating and Gas From Avocados?
If you regularly eat a lot of fiber, your body does somewhat get used to digesting it, so gas may go down in the future.
But other than regularly eating fiber, the unfortunate answer is that the only thing you can do is eat smaller servings of avocados.
You’ll have to experiment with the exact amount, but most people should eat no more than 1 avocado per sitting to start with.