Eating healthy is going to kill me.

One of the perks of working for my current employer is that they allow us to partake of a large selection of free drinks and snacks on our breaks and over lunch. In addition to the usual assortment of various bags of chips and random candy bars there’s a few healthy (or more healthy at least) alternatives to choose from. Amongst the pre-packaged single-serving bowls of cereal, for example, are some Kellogg’s Special K and something called GOLEAN Crunch! from Kashi foods. Being that I often have a bowl of cereal when I get here in the morning I’ve been trying to avoid the temptation of the Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops (a long time favorite of mine) in favor of the GOLEAN Crunch. Here’s the ad copy from their website:

Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! cereal will satisfy your sweet cravings in a low fat, healthy way. With 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, GOLEAN Crunch! has more than twice the protein and fiber of the average cereal, so you stay full until your next meal!

Whether you’re enjoying a bowl of GOLEAN Crunch! for breakfast, using it as a topping for yogurt, or snacking right out of the box, you’ll love these crunchy clusters made from Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame™. They’re naturally sweetened with a touch of honey and cinnamon, then toasted to perfection for a hearty crunch.

It certainly sounds healthy enough so I gave it a try and found it to be quite tasty for a (supposedly) healthy food. There’s just one problem with it: It turns me into a walking and talking natural gas reserve. And when I say that it gives me gas I don’t mean that it causes me to fart once or twice later in the day. No, I’m talking in a all the national gas companies are in a bidding war over rights to my ass way. As in I’m beginning to get worried I’m going to float away way. As in you don’t dare bend over lest you let rip with the flatulence heard ‘round the world way. In case you’re too obtuse to catch my drift, I’m talking some serious gas production.

This would be bad enough at home, but it’s even worse when you’re at work at a job that requires a fair amount of stretching, bending, and reaching – all of which put you at risk of squeaking at a decibel level impossible to conceal – in a room with some 100+ other people. The one upside is that there are so many fans in operation along with the AC that any potentially offensive smells are quickly dispersed. Not that these emissions are particularly odorous (surprisingly they aren’t), but that doesn’t help you much when 30 people suddenly look to see who started up the chainsaw in their midst only to realize that it wasn’t a chainsaw.

And the gas just kind of sneaks up on you too. You’re fine one minute and then the next you feel like your intestines are about to explode out of your abdomen. So you try to hurry to the closest bathroom so you can at least fart in an environment that most people will grudgingly accept as appropriate, but you can’t hurry too quickly because if you move too fast you start sounding like you’re on a mini-bike as you putt-putt-putt along your merry way. Trying to hold the gas in for any amount of time is just stupidly dangerous and only makes the inevitable expulsion that much worse. Though if you’ve ever wondered what Mount St. Helens felt like before it blew its top then it’s one way to find out.

The thing I don’t understand is that when you compare the amount of food in that single serving bowl (roughly 2.6 oz or 73 grams) the amount of gas produced seems exponentially higher. I know it’s not possible, but at times I swear my digestive system is violating the first law of thermodynamics. I’m probably contributing way more than my share of greenhouse gases by trying to eat a healthy breakfast and I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to offset my carbon ass-print by switching back to Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops. I’m not doing it for me, but for the sake of humanity. Or at least my fellow coworkers.

33 thoughts on “Eating healthy is going to kill me.

  1. Check the ingredients- I’ll bet it’s not as healthy as it makes out.  In the UK boxes give %RDA. One thing you learn living with a diabetic LOW FAT! often means high sugar.

  2. I haven’t laughed so hard in a while, so thanks for that. A fart post, so well-written, is just too much.

    Kashi supposedly isn’t all that healthy in terms of vitamins and minerals. I don’t have a box handy, but you might want to check the next time you’re gassing up.

  3. Seph, it’s the blogger’s secret weapon. When at a loss for something to write about just whip out the farts.

    Elew, I suspected it was the fiber, but DAMN.

    LH, according to their website which I linked to it has 13 grams of sugar, 190 calories of which 25 come from fat.

  4. Most people don’t get near enough fiber, resulting in occasional (or constant) constipation, hard stools that can cause hemmorhoids(or even anal fissures in extreme cases) and generally bad digestive health.  Also, lack of fiber can actually make people more sensitive to fatty and greasy foods, causing burning, acidic diahrrea because the half-digested grease just runs right through.
      However, sudden large increases in the amount of fiber in your diet will definitely give one the winds.  Generally it settles down after a few days or maybe a couple of weeks as the body adjusts, but if there are grains that you have trouble digesting, some products might not work for you.  That cereal is named after the buckwheat content, also known as kashi.  It’s supposed to be easy to digest, but every body is different.  Many people have problems digesting certain parts of wheat, but wheat doesn’t bother me a bit.  It could be a particular grain giving you extra trouble, or just the combined fiber content, especially if your diet is low in fiber to start with.
      The same thing often happens to people who go vegetarian.  All the extra fruits and veggies with no meat can cause a week or two of extreme gassiness and even the runs, until the body adjusts to all the water and fiber content of the new diet.

      Sorry to go on so long, but dietary changes have made a great difference in my life and made it easier to keep weight off.  As a young man, I could(and did) eat anything.  I’ve eaten a whole large pizza in one sitting.  I worked in a meat dept., and sometimes ate a whole rotisserie chicken for lunch.  I would go through 2 liters of coca cola a day, and usually something chocolatey after dinner. 
    Then I hit my early thirties and got a desk job.  I put on over 40 pounds in less than two years.
      More fruits and veggies, whole grain carbs instead of over-processed crap, and leaner meats have really helped me out.  I feel younger, my digestion is back to normal, and I’ve lost almost all the extra weight with only a little exercise. 
    Again, sorry to go off…I’m no health food nut by a long stretch, but it’s my opinion that a bad diet is just as destructive as heavy smoking, heavy driniking, or any other vice.  If this form of fiber isn’t working for you, there are all kinds of tasty ways to eat healthy.

  5. which I linked to

    Not interested enough to go to ANY food manufactures site on first glance, though I just have

    1 serving = 52g

    Sugar 13g- 25% of the portion, and 15% of RDA. Thats a fair chunk in one bowl of cereal.

    The thing is who eats ‘1’ serving? Could you tell if you’d poured just 50g/2oz?

    I’m very cynical about portion sizes- sick of watching actors in ads take the smallest possible nibble in an attempt to convince us how large the thing is. 

    There was an advert for Kids fromage frais boasting how 1 serving had the same amount of calcium as 1 glass of milk.  Small print at the bottom of the screen ‘1 serving = 2 pots. Same amount as one 100mm serving of milk.’ 1/5 of a pint! (1/3 can of coke).

    Your best choosing a plain flake, like original cornflakes.  I like Shredded Wheat myself.

    Goodness of natural honey, My Arse.

  6. Neil, you won’t get an argument from me that people don’t get enough fiber. The problem is abruptly upping your fiber intake. Explosions galore.

  7. Well written, Les. Thanks for the laughs. Like others said, it’s the fiber. You may want to ease in to the diet gradually, or try other kinds (Fiber One makes several varieties),  but in the end (no pun intended) it will be better for you.

  8. LOL!  I like GoLean Crunch and Kashi products generally.  My favorites are Mountain Medley Granola and Cocoa Beach Granola.  I put ‘em in a bowl, put the bowl in the freezer the night before.

    Sudden changes in diet, body needs to adjust though.

  9. I’ve been eating the Kellog’s Smart Start Heart Healthy cereal at work and the other day I discovered that it has more calories than the Sugar Frosted Flakes (my personal favorite). Now granted it has good fiber from oat bran, low sodium, plus added potassium but hey still significantly more calories and calories are calories no matter where they come from.

  10. Glycemic index really doesn’t have anything to do with calories. Foods with a better glycemic index keep your glucose more even and your insulin levels more stable (which is thought to be better for you) but it takes the same amount of energy/work to burn 1 calorie no matter its source.

  11. Fiber One bars are the most evil creation I have ever ingested.  They taste so damn good that I find myself having more than one a day.  The only problem is that I experience the same exact symptoms that Les described in his post.  Well all of those symptoms and the worst cramps ever!

  12. I’ve been putting the sylable in the wrong place, until I saw the Capital L in the middle of the lower case.  I was wondering why the vaguely Star Trek ‘Go-lee-an’.

    GI can be seen as a measure how quickly a food gives up its energy, Low GI foods release the energy slower, so while you don’t get the initial buzz, you stay fuller longer.  Generally speaking the less processed the food, the better, as the body has to do more work to break it down, plus you don’t eat as often.  That’s part of the problem with Fast Food. No matter how ‘healthy’ the claim, you feel hungry again shortly after.

    I like bread that feels like they left a bit of the grindstone in, plus porridge.  Chips cut from the potato, rather than the ‘mash and reform’ of ‘fries’ (OK I know that they are full of the frying fat).  I get a bit annoyed at the ‘natural sweetness of honey’ its still pure sugar, and stick ones at that.

  13. Glycemic index really doesn’t have anything to do with calories.

    Not in a bomb calorimeter.  But as LH said your body is a different matter; stable blood sugar means less snacking.

  14. While stable blood sugar and insulin levels are good for you, you still have to do more work to burn any extra calories you consume. If eating a low glycemic index foods increases satiety (and that is still debated in the peer reviewed medical literature) it might reduce snacking which would in turn reduce caloric intake. The fact still remains, if you consume 2000 calories you have to do the same amount of work to burn them no matter what their glycemic index.

  15. Thanks for the great post…I got asked, “What are you laughing so hard about?”

    If GOLEAN Crunch kills you, at least you can go out with a smile on your face! I’m a big fan of this cereal, especially with vanilla soymilk. (Sadly, I have a much less dramatic reaction…)

  16. I’m thinking that Al Gore just might put a bounty on your ass if you’re not careful. However, your system might adjust to the increase in fiber and reduce its noxious emissions on its own.

  17. I realize it’s probably not the most healthful cereal I could be eating, but it’s gotta be better than Sugar Corn Pops. Baby steps, folks, baby steps.

  18. You might want to try eating it at home or just before leaving office for a while if that is feasible. Your system will probably adjust to it in time.

  19. I sympathize. My mom recently recommended the Fiber One brand of snack bars to me. I experienced symptoms remarkably similar to the ones you’ve described. Fortunately, I was at home when the fireworks started.

  20. It’s truly amazing how adding a little fiber to the diet will create a bomb in the stomach. You just need to perfect the art of slow release. I don’t quit have it down, but as long as no one walks by my cube constantly I can release farts all day with no one knowing.

  21. Healthy foods are offensive to Muslims.

    If that was a fart joke, I do not get it.

  22. It’s bad enough that the religous people are after you, but now you are going to have global warming warriors gunning against you as well.

  23. Protein and fiber will do that to you.. Eat a bunch of fig newtons… Not only will you fart yourself into a coma. Everybody around you will run to save their own lives because of the smell, that even you will find repulsive.

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