This Ingredient Was Why I Couldn’t Stop Farting // Thick N Fit Kitchen
Shit… Am I gonna write this post?
I’m really gonna write this post…
BUT only because I love y’all, and I think it’s valuable information to know!
Ok… So back in February, my gym had these protein cake bites on sale. I've always wanted to try them, and after doing a quick scan of the nutrition facts and ingredients, I felt that they checked off all of the boxes on my list (plus they were peanut butter chocolate flavored so uhhh… fuck yes). There were one or two words on the ingredients list that I wasn't familiar with, but they were towards the end of the list so I wasn't too concerned.
I buy 1 pack, take it home, and later that evening take my first bite.
So here's the funny thing… I actually hated my first bite (which should have been a sign, I know). But I don't know, y’all! Has anyone else ever had this experience where you're eating something that you don't like, but for some reason you just can't stop eating it? Like 90% of you hates it, but that 10% of you that really enjoys it won’t let you stop eating it. Then as soon as you know it, that 10% begins to grow bite after bite.
And somewhere in between taking my first bite and eating the third cake in the pack, I suddenly became hooked.
The next day I went back to the gym, and bought as many of them as I could. The one thing I really loved about these cakes was the fact that they had a moderate amount of fat, high protein, and low sugar. I also loved that after eating the three cakes, I often felt comfortably full, which made it a really great snack to have to curb my hunger in between meals. At the time, this snack felt like a godsend.
But a few weeks into eating them, I started noticing that something was horribly wrong with my… farts.
If I can be real with y'all, it was honestly a time of exploration in which I was very glad I was single because I can’t imagine any partner being able to put up with what my stomach was dishing out. I couldn't even put up with it. But I can at least say that I probably would have unleashed it on my greatest enemy if given the chance. I mean they are my greatest enemy, y’all.
It didn't hit me right away that it was due to the cakes, and I honestly never would have imagined them to be the source.
In fact, it was only after I was going on Amazon to purchase another box of them that I just so happen to scroll down and read the reviews… (Bless y’all for your honesty!)
A few people were complaining of the same issues I was experiencing; the cakes were delicious but they were upsetting people’s stomachs and making them terribly gassy. After reading the reviews, I actually decided to do a test of my own. And sure enough, the next day when I went to go eat the cakes, I immediately recognized how distressed my stomach became after eating them.
I noticed in one of the reviews that a person attributed this to an ingredient called “isomalto-oligosaccharide.” So I decided to do a little research. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any legitimate health website that had an explainer on it, but from what I pieced together from a few blog articles:
This means that while isomalto-oligosaccharides are normal in our diet, IMO syrup, on the other hand, tends to be a much more processed version of the naturally occuring isomalto-oligosaccharides.
Many nutrition bars like to use isomalto-oligosaccharides because it is marketed as a low-carb, low glycemic prebiotic fiber sweetener (which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a good sugar substitute). TigerFitness notes that “in the past few years the supplement industry dramatically increased its use of isomalto-oligosaccharides in protein bars… because it can decrease the carbohydrate and calorie content, increase the dietary fiber content, and preserve the protein bar's flavor and texture.” -- https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/supplements/isomalto-oligosaccharides-guide
But it should also be noted that some studies have shown that isomalto-oligosaccharides are not as low-glycemic as they are marketed to be. One study even found a 24.8% increase in blood glucose and 566.7% increase in blood insulin levels after 6 fasted participants consumed IMO syrup. So it might not be the best to consume for those that are diabetic (https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/supplements/isomalto-oligosaccharides-guide).
But one of the key findings in my research was “IMOs should be used in moderation, are not a free-pass to binge on carbohydrates, and do physiologically impact the body despite being classified as fiber according United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). Consuming more than 30 grams of isomalto-oligosaccharides per day may cause undesirable minor gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, and soft stool” (https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/supplements/isomalto-oligosaccharides-guide).
Now, I can’t tell just how many grams are in these cake bites, but judging by the placement on the ingredient list, I would definitely say it’s a considerable amount.
So long story short, I took back the cake bites, and haven’t thought about them since. My stomach and my future partner definitely appreciate this decision (lol). And I just wanted to share my findings with y’all (despite how embarrassing they are) because it’s so important to have a better sense of what we put into our bodies.
Food mindfulness has been such an important part of my weight management journey because I’ve personally found that the more present I have learned to be in my body when I’m eating, the more I have been able to discover what foods really give me energy, as well as what foods are really messing me up. Just taking a moment to be present in how what your eating is speaking to your body can help you to eliminate foods that might be causing you distress, but that you just couldn’t see.
If you think something your eating is causing you distress, one of the best ways to test it out is to eat your usual serving of that food, and to just wait for 30 min to an hour. Really try to make sure you aren’t doing anything else, and that you are present in the way that the food is moving through your body. You might not need all that time. I realized it was the cake bites in just a few minutes. But you want to make sure that you pay attention to if your stomach is making weird noises, you’re farting more often/they have a different smell, or if you have a dull headache for instance. Reading or checking emails are fine to do as you wait, but I wouldn’t be doing anything that really requires your full attention since you’re trying to listen to your body.
So, I hope you at least found this helpful, since I don’t know how anyone will want to ask me out now (lol). But at least I figured it out before I got back out on the dating scene, right?