A Driving Instructor's Blog

Roasted cashew nutsSince I wrote this half way through 2017, it has been viewed 40,000 times! Today alone, over 250 people have visited it, and it hovers around that most of the time. Obviously, a lot of people like Cashew nuts!

Before I go into my spiel, let me state clearly that I am not a doctor, and this is not a medical assessment in any way. However, I can state absolutely and categorically that yes, eating too many Cashews CAN send your poop white – or at least very pale or clay-coloured. In fact, eating too much of almost anything – and especially nuts (any type) and pulses – is likely to affect your poop’s colour and consistency.

I found this out after I had a shock one day. I won’t go into graphic detail, but let’s just say after I’d been for a Number Two, I almost had another unscheduled one when I saw what colour my poop was! And I almost had a third when I Googled it.

The internet is a great thing, but if you’re a hypochondriac it must be absolute hell. I mean, you get a pimple, you look it up… cancer. You get a toothache and you look that up… cancer again. A headache? Yep, cancer – or possibly a stroke, a heart attack, cirrhosis of the liver, or mange. And so it goes on. Fortunately, I’m not a hypochondriac, although I could easily become one if I were to believe everything I read through Google. Even more so if I was stupid enough to accept social media as a viable information provider.

You see, the way the internet works for most people is this. You have a headache and you Google it. Some online doctor (or one of your 100,000 ‘followers’) says it means you have a brain tumour, even though you were hit over the head with a baseball bat that afternoon, which was what prompted you to look it up in the first place. Evidently, the baseball bat did more damage than you thought, because you now believe the online medic and are subsequently convinced you have a tumour. But you don’t.

The secret to good Googling is to know what to believe and what not to. You have to sift out the crap and dig into the facts. Sometimes, there’s so much crap, you just have to find the lesser crap and work things out for yourself after that.

That’s what I had to do here. My starting point was that I had done something sufficiently different from normal – namely, I made some salted, roasted Cashews (which are easy to whip up, and way cheaper than buying them ready made) and ate some. Well, when I say “some”, it was actually more like half a kilo of them over a fairly short period of time. As you can probably tell, I like Cashews, and since I hadn’t had any for about a year, I suddenly got a hankering for some. They were nice, and I didn’t give it much thought until my stomach started rumbling an hour or two later.

When I Googled the subject of “stool colour and cashew nuts” I was surprised at how many results came up. There was no bona fide medical stuff, but plenty of dire warnings about cancer and scrofula. There were also lots of cases of people questioning poop colour after eating Cashews. So many, in fact, that there was absolutely no way that there couldn’t be a connection.

So, to anyone out there who almost faints when they look in the bowl and see pure white Number Twos, the answer is most definitely yes: eating too many Cashew nuts can do that to your poop. And it would appear that there are other nuts and pulses which can do similar things.

My white poop cleared up after a few hours. And I recently made some more salted Cashews – not eating as many this time – and my poop went pale again next morning.

Incidentally, I have also discovered that eating a lot of black grapes can give your poop a green tinge.

Pale poop can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires the involvement of your GP. But if you ate a lot of Cashews (or other nuts), and the next day you see pale (or oily) stools, then it probably isn’t such a medical condition. From what I have read, too many Cashews can do lots of weird and wonderful things to what comes out – sometimes, without you wanting it to.

Just remember the old adage: if it lasts more than a day, see your GP.

Can eating a lot of Cashews affect a child’s poop/stool colour?

Yes. And it wouldn’t need anywhere near as many nuts as it would for it to affect an adult.

Can eating a lot of Walnuts affect your poop/stool colour?

Yes. From what I have been able to find out, eating a lot of any nut, pulse, and some dark-coloured fruits and vegetables can make your poop change colour. Green, very pale, even reddish/orange have been mentioned in the various sources I checked.

You need to be careful with red (and black) just in case it is due to blood in your poop rather than merely a pigmentation effect. If you see blood, get checked out by your GP.

Do Blueberries affect your poop colour?

Yes, they can make your poop green, reddish, or black depending on how many you eat (and whatever else you’ve eaten). Be careful if your poop is genuinely red or black/very dark as this can sometimes mean there is blood present, which is potentially a serious issue and nothing to do with what you ate. If it persists, see your GP.

I ate nuts and there are bits in my poop

It’s normal. Things like peanuts and sweetcorn – things high in fibre or with tough skins – might not get broken down completely and may make it all the way through, ready to scare the living daylights out of you when you see it. Watch out especially for beansprouts – that can be more scary than Cashews.

Do Cashews give you diarrhoea?

Not directly – unless you are allergic to them. However, eating too much of any nut can lead to diarrhoea, and that includes cashews. It’s because of the fats and fibre in them.

As with any problem, if it lasts for more than a day, see your GP. And if you get diarrhoea every time you eat a few nuts, you might want to get that checked out, too, because you could have an allergy – and nut allergies are potentially quite serious.

Do Cashews make you go to the toilet more?

Probably. They contain a lot of fibre, and eating that does loosen your stools, so going to the loo will be necessary. It’s why people who are constipated are advised to eat more fibre. There’s a difference between loose stools and diarrhoea, though.

[Disclaimer: this article does not constitute medical advice, and should not be taken as such. If any problem lasts more than a day, go and see your GP. The Cashew-related problem goes away once you’ve got rid of everything (it can be even scarier when you see poop with light and dark stripes in it as the Cashews make their way out and the normal stuff follows up behind it), but pale stools could be a sign of something else needing medical attention. Be especially careful if there is blood in your poop – either fresh red, or black.]

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