Lesson 3: Stool Color

Stool color

The color of your poop is influenced by:

  • What you eat
  • How well you are processing what you eat
  • The amount of bile in it
  • The health of the digestive tract

Bile is a yellow-green fluid produced in the gall bladder that helps in the digestion of fats. Normal poop may be brown, yellow, or even green. The intensity of the color will vary depending on the food you eat and the amount of bile your body produces. Let us look at which each of these in more detail.


Green stool may result from eating green vegetables, taking chlorophyll tablets or food with green food coloring. Diarrhea is another cause of green stools. With diarrhea, food moves through your gut so fast that the bile is not broken down in time.

Pale or Clay-Colored

Pale or clay-colored stools may result from a lack of bile from the liver and gallbladder, indicating a bile blockage. It could also be the result of an excessive amount of fat in your poop.


Greasy yellow stool may be indicative of too much fat or malabsorption issues. In holistic health we have a saying… “It’s not what you eat – but what you can absorb!”


Red stool can happen because of eating beets or foods with too much red coloring. If this is the case, there is no cause for alarm. Just dial back on the beets, and your poop will be back to its normal color. However, if you have not eaten any beets or foods with red food coloring, red stools may be indicative of hemorrhoids, tears in the anus, or bleeding in the GI tract. If you see blood in your stool, seek prompt medical advice.


Black stool may be a result of taking iron supplements or bismuth medications like Pepto-Bismol. If this is not the case, confirm with your doctor. Black stool may indicate bleeding high in the digestive tract, for example, in the stomach. The stool will usually look tarry. This is one you don’t want to mess around with, seek immediate medical attention.