Are you one of those people who always feels a little backed up after eating pork? Do you experience stomach cramps or diarrhea after indulging in bacon or pork chops? If so, you’re not alone.
Many people have reported similar symptoms after consuming pork products. But why does this happen? In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons behind why pork makes you poop and what you can do about it.
So, grab a seat and get ready to learn more about this common issue.
Why Does Pork Make Me Poop?
There are several possible reasons why pork may cause digestive issues for some people. One of the most common reasons is a food allergy or intolerance. Pork contains proteins that can trigger an immune response in some individuals, leading to symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea.
Another possible reason is improper preparation of the meat. Undercooked pork can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause digestive issues and even food poisoning.
Additionally, pork is low in fiber and high in iron, which can contribute to constipation. This is especially true for processed pork products such as bacon and sausage, which often contain added preservatives and chemicals that can further disrupt digestion.
Finally, the pork industry’s practices may also play a role in digestive issues related to pork consumption. Some farms feed dead piglets’ body parts, including their intestines, back to their mothers, a practice known as “feedback.” This can lead to the spread of diseases and bacteria that can cause digestive issues in humans who consume the meat.
The Digestive Process Of Pork
When you eat pork, your digestive tract begins breaking down the protein in the meat. The majority of the calories in lean pork cuts come from protein, which is the molecule that makes up the muscle and large portions of nonmuscle cells. The digestive process starts in the stomach, where the protein is broken down by stomach acid and enzymes.
After leaving the stomach, the partially digested food enters the small intestine. Here, additional enzymes break down the protein into smaller molecules called amino acids, which can be absorbed into the bloodstream and used by the body for various functions.
The small intestine also plays a crucial role in absorbing other nutrients from pork, such as iron and vitamin B12. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy blood cells and nerve function.
As the digested food passes through the large intestine, water is absorbed and waste products are formed. The waste products are then eliminated from the body as feces.
It’s worth noting that some people may experience digestive issues when consuming pork due to a food allergy or intolerance, improper preparation of the meat, or other factors related to pork industry practices. However, for most people, pork can be a healthy and nutritious part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and prepared properly.
The Role Of Fat In Pork
Fat is an important component of pork, and it plays a significant role in the taste and texture of the meat. The proportion of fat in pork can vary depending on the cut and level of trimming, among other factors. Pork fat, also known as lard, is sometimes used as a cooking fat due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor.
Pork is mainly composed of saturated and unsaturated fats, present in approximately equal amounts. The fatty acid composition of pork is slightly different from that of beef and lamb. Pork fat contains oleic acid with 60% monounsaturated fat, making it a good source of healthy fats. According to a 2018 BBC report, pig fat was ranked as the 8th-most nutritious food and given a nutritional score of 74 due to its high content of B vitamins and minerals.
However, pork can also be high in sodium and saturated fats, which should be avoided as part of a healthy diet. Certain cured pork products like bacon contain sulfates or sulfites, chemical preservatives that can cause digestive issues for some people. It’s best to choose leaner cuts of pork that are minimally processed and higher in protein.
Antibiotics And Hormones In Pork
Many pork producers use antibiotics and hormones in their farming practices. Antibiotics are used to prevent and treat diseases in pigs, but they are also used in sub-therapeutic ways to promote growth and efficiency of animal feed. This prolonged use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can pose a health risk to humans. If meat with this bacteria is not properly cooked before consumption, humans may become ill and not respond to antibiotic treatment.
Hormones are also often used in the pork industry to help pigs grow faster or produce leaner meat. However, the use of hormones in meat production is controversial due to potential health risks for humans who consume the meat. While there are six different types of steroidal hormones that have been approved by the FDA for use in most “food animals”, farmers are banned from giving hormones to poultry.
Consumers who are concerned about the use of antibiotics and hormones in pork can look for labels such as “Never Ever” or “Pure Organic,” which indicate that the pigs were raised without antibiotics or added hormones. By choosing these types of pork products, consumers can reduce their exposure to potentially harmful substances and enjoy pork without worrying about negative health effects.
Food Sensitivities And Allergies
Food allergies and intolerances are common causes of digestive issues related to pork consumption. Food allergies involve an immune response to specific proteins in the food, while intolerances occur when the body has difficulty digesting certain components of the food.
Pork allergies are less common than other food allergies, but they can still occur. Symptoms may include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing, in addition to digestive issues. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect a pork allergy, as severe reactions can be life-threatening.
Food intolerances, on the other hand, do not involve the immune system. Lactose intolerance is a well-known example of a food intolerance, but people can also be intolerant to other components of pork such as histamines or tyramine. Symptoms of pork intolerance may include bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
It is important to note that not all digestive issues related to pork consumption are caused by allergies or intolerances. As mentioned earlier, improper preparation or processing of the meat can also lead to digestive issues. If you experience symptoms after eating pork, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Tips For Eating Pork Without Digestive Issues
If you enjoy eating pork but experience digestive issues afterward, there are several tips you can try to help alleviate these symptoms:
1. Cook pork thoroughly: Make sure to cook pork to an internal temperature of at least 145°F to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.
2. Choose lean cuts: Opt for lean cuts of pork, such as loin or tenderloin, which are lower in fat and easier to digest.
3. Avoid processed pork products: Processed pork products such as bacon and sausage often contain added preservatives and chemicals that can disrupt digestion. Try to limit your consumption of these products.
4. Increase fiber intake: Since pork is low in fiber, it’s important to include other high-fiber foods in your diet such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help promote regular bowel movements and alleviate constipation.
5. Consider food sensitivities: If you suspect you have a food sensitivity or intolerance to pork, consider getting tested by a healthcare professional. Eliminating or reducing your intake of pork may help alleviate digestive issues.
By following these tips, you can still enjoy the taste of pork without experiencing digestive issues afterward. As always, it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments to your diet as needed.