Why Does Tuna Make Me Gassy? (According To Experts)

Are you a fan of tuna but find yourself feeling gassy after eating it?

You’re not alone. Tuna is a popular and healthy food choice, but it can also cause some unwanted side effects.

From bloating to flatulence, the reasons behind why tuna makes you gassy may surprise you.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this phenomenon and offer tips on how to reduce the discomfort.

So, if you’re tired of feeling bloated after enjoying your favorite tuna dish, keep reading to learn more.

Why Does Tuna Make Me Gassy?

One of the main reasons why tuna can make you gassy is due to its high sodium content. Canned tuna, whether oil-packed or water-packed, contains a significant amount of sodium. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, a can of tuna can contain up to a quarter of your daily sodium intake. When you consume too much sodium, your body retains water, leading to bloating and high blood pressure.

Another reason why tuna can cause gas is due to its high fiber content. Tuna is rich in fiber, which can cause problems with gas and bloating, especially in those who are already prone to gastrointestinal issues. Other foods that can cause similar problems include apricots, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, soybeans, raisins, and more.

Additionally, canned food uses many preservatives that are harmful, especially for people who have acid reflux or gastritis. These irritating chemicals can cause discomfort and gas.

Lastly, some people may be allergic or intolerant to fish and shellfish. Symptoms of an allergy typically affect your digestive system and include gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea and bloating.

The Nutritional Benefits Of Tuna

Tuna is an excellent source of essential nutrients that promote good health. It is a rich source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids that the body needs to build and repair tissues. Tuna is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for brain function, eye health, and reducing inflammation in the body.

Tuna is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, strengthening the immune system against disease, and ensuring optimal growth in children. Just 3 ounces of canned tuna yield as much as 50% of the recommended daily level of vitamin D.

In addition, tuna is a low-calorie food that can help with weight loss. It is full of healthy nutrients that boost metabolism and reduce fat. Increased intake of the omega-3 fatty acids from tuna meat stimulates a hormone for hunger called leptin. With this hormone at bay, you won’t crave food.

Tuna also contains vitamin B12, which is essential for DNA and red blood cell synthesis. It is also an excellent source of niacin (B3), which supports the nervous system and skin. Tuna contains calcium, which supports healthy bones and muscle contractions; magnesium, required for energy; and vitamin D, which supports the immune system, bone strength and brain function.

It is worth noting that pregnant women and young children should consult with a doctor before eating tuna due to its potentially higher mercury content. Canned tuna contains less mercury than fresh tuna because of the smaller sized fish used for canning. The FDA recommends about two or three servings per week of light tuna and only one serving per week of white tuna due to the higher mercury content in white tuna. The serving size of tuna for a typical adult is about 4 ounces.

How Tuna Can Cause Gas

Tuna can cause gas due to several factors, including its high sodium content and fiber content. When you consume a large amount of sodium, your body retains water, leading to bloating and discomfort. Tuna is also rich in fiber, which can cause problems with gas and bloating, especially in those who are already prone to gastrointestinal issues.

Another factor that can contribute to gas from tuna is the use of preservatives in canned food. These chemicals can irritate the digestive system and cause discomfort and gas. Additionally, some people may be allergic or intolerant to fish and shellfish, which can lead to symptoms such as gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bloating.

It is important to note that not everyone will experience gas from eating tuna. The amount of bacteria each person has in their large intestine can affect how their body digests certain foods. However, if you do experience gas after eating tuna, it may be helpful to limit your intake or try different preparation methods to see if it makes a difference.

The Role Of Fiber In Tuna

Fiber is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy digestive system, and tuna is a great source of dietary fiber. The fiber found in tuna helps to regulate bowel movements, which can prevent both diarrhea and constipation. It also plays a role in preventing diverticulitis, a condition that causes inflamed pouches on the colon. In fact, according to the BJC Health Care website, approximately half of Americans between the ages of 60 and 80 will develop colon pouches, and 10 to 15 percent of those will get diverticulitis.

Dietary fiber is naturally found in all plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. However, animal-based foods do not contain any fiber at all. Our bodies cannot digest fiber as we do not have enzymes that can break them down. Therefore, fiber does not provide our body with energy but plays a crucial role in elimination and clearance of estrogens and toxins from the body.

Dietary fibers are grouped based on their solubility into soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to reduce glucose and cholesterol levels, making it protective against heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation and promote bowel movement. A decent amount of soluble fiber can be found in fruits, legumes, grains (such as barley and oats), while insoluble fiber can be obtained from vegetables, wheat bran, and whole-grain bread.

Other Factors Contributing To Tuna-Induced Gas

Apart from the factors mentioned above, there are some other factors that contribute to tuna-induced gas. One of these factors is the presence of oligosaccharides in tuna. Oligosaccharides are complex sugars that are difficult to digest, and they can cause gas and bloating in some people. These sugars are not unique to tuna but are also present in other types of fish and legumes.

Another factor that may contribute to tuna-induced gas is the way it is prepared. Tuna can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, or frying. Frying or deep-frying tuna can make it more difficult to digest and cause gas and bloating. Moreover, adding certain spices or sauces to tuna can also cause discomfort for some people.

Lastly, the way you eat your tuna can also contribute to gas. Eating too quickly or not chewing your food properly can cause you to swallow air, which can lead to gas and bloating. Also, drinking carbonated beverages while eating tuna can worsen the situation.

Tips For Reducing Tuna-Related Gas And Bloating

If you love tuna but struggle with gas and bloating after eating it, there are several things you can do to reduce these symptoms:

1. Choose fresh tuna over canned tuna: Fresh tuna has a lower sodium content than canned tuna, which can help reduce bloating.

2. Rinse canned tuna before eating: Rinsing canned tuna before eating can help remove some of the excess sodium and preservatives.

3. Eat smaller portions: Consuming smaller portions of tuna can help reduce the amount of fiber and sodium you consume, which can reduce gas and bloating.

4. Avoid eating tuna with high-fiber foods: To avoid exacerbating gas and bloating, avoid consuming tuna with other high-fiber foods such as beans, lentils, or cruciferous vegetables.

5. Try digestive aids: Digestive aids like probiotics or digestive enzymes can help break down the fiber in tuna and reduce gas and bloating.

6. Drink peppermint or chamomile tea: Drinking peppermint or chamomile tea after eating tuna can help relax GI muscles and ease any discomfort caused by gas and bloating.

By following these tips, you can continue to enjoy the health benefits of tuna without suffering from uncomfortable gas and bloating.