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If you've recently switched to a vegan diet – or share a bathroom with someone who has – you'll be all too familiar with the pitfalls of going plant-based. Now, research has confirmed what you already knew: Men who follow a mostly vegan diet fart seven times more than those who follow a predominantly meat-based diet.
Twenty men aged between 18 and 38 were assigned two eating plans: a low fat, fibre-enriched Mediterranean-style diet (FMD), and a high fat western-type diet (WD). After two weeks, the men took a two-week break and then completed a fortnight on the opposite diet.
Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and a limited amount of animal products (such as fish) were on the menu during the FMD stage of the diet, while during the WD phase, participants consumed meats and dairy products like ham, eggs, and beef. (continued below)
During the trial, researchers examined the link between diet and gut health by looking at participants' stool samples and tracking flatulence. If you're wondering, they recorded the latter by feeding the subjects stewed beans, attaching balloons to their rectums and monitoring the output.
At the end of the study, they found that FMD subjects not only produced more stool – and softer stool – but also farted up to seven times more a day. What's more, each fart contained about 50 percent more gas.
If you can relate – and feel embarrassed about how, err, active your gut is – take solace in the fact that your gassiness is a good thing. The findings indicate that the men who based their diet around veggies have healthier gut bacteria and better colon health.
"Our Western idea that farting is a sign of something being wrong is totally false," Rosemary Stanton, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told New Scientist. "Farting is a sign of a healthy diet and a healthy colon."
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