Peeps-flavored Oreos are here, and early fans made a startling (and stinky?) discovery just in time for Easter: Consuming the vanilla-shelled cookies with pink cream centers turned their poop pink.
Buzzfeed reported earlier this month that Twitter was awash with reports of rosy-colored turds. Perhaps not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time users have engaged in potty talk on the social media site. A few years ago, it was Burger King’s Halloween Whopper. (It had a black bun. You can guess how that turned out.)
But experts say that most of the time, colorful bowel movements aren’t cause for concern. According to Dr. Michael F. Picco of the Mayo Clinic, stool comes in a “range” of hues that is influenced by what we eat. In the case of the Oreo Peeps, it was likely a common dye known as FD&C Red No. 3.
Naturally, Oreo Peeps aren’t the only food with the power to change the color of your excrement. The 17 foods listed below are all common culprits:
These anti-inflammatory veggies may be good for you, but eating too many can turn your poop beet red.
2. Black Licorice
Black poop? You may have eaten too much licorice, a confection which gets its jet-black color from Glycyrrhiza glabra root extracts.
Varieties of this jiggly dessert contain FD&C Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, Green No. 3, and Yellow No. 6. In other words, if you eat them all you might just poop a rainbow.
Ditto for Kool-Aid.
5. Tomato Skin, Soup, Sauces, and Juices
They may be a kitchen staple, but too many tomato products might lead to — you guessed it — red poop.
Had a few too many ice-pops? You may be in for a poopsicle.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, also known as yams, are one of several beta carotene-containing fruits and vegetables that can lead to an orange-is-the-new-brown situation in the toilet bowl.
Same goes for carrots.
And don’t forget apricots.
10. Spinach and other leafy greens.
Judging by his love for spinach, Popeye must have had some seriously green poop.
Remember FD&C Red No. 40? It’s absorbed by your saliva when you eat cinnamon-flavored chewing gum.
Red No. 40 is also found in candy, including Starburst, Jolly Ranchers, Swedish Fish, M&Ms, red licorice, gummies, and even chocolate bars, many of which (obviously) aren’t even red.
13. High-Iron Foods
Black or red stool? Like iron supplements, high-iron foods, such as red meat, poultry, pork, seafood, and beans can change the hue of your poo.
What color will eating too many blueberries turn your poop? (Hint: It’s not blue.) Somehow, too many blueberries + your digestive juices = red poo.
Seeing yellow? It may be a case of too many mangoes.
16. Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are all the rage right now, but no one’s talking about their poop-dyeing side effects.
This may not be a food, but it can still tint your stool. Drugs such as Pepto Bismol, Rifampen, barium, Aspirin, and Cortisone, among others, may have trippy effects on your feces.
So, Should You Be Worried?
In rare cases — that is, when you can’t trace the source of your brightly hued poo to that package of Oreo Peeps you gorged on the previous day — color changes can be an indicator of a more serious digestive disorder, such as celiac disease. When this is the case, the color changes typically occur alongside changes in consistency.
Black and tarry stool, for instance, could come from an ulcer or excess use of common anti-inflammatory drugs. Blood in the stool can be caused by hemorrhoids. In both cases, you should call your doctor right away.
[Image via Shutterstock]