Foods That Cause Constipation: 5 Foods To Stay Away From

Your poop can tell you a lot about your health. But chances are, if your current problem is that you aren’t pooping at all, you don’t care about that. You just want to know how to get things moving again. Fast.

First, you shoukd know that certain foods can not only cause constipation, but make current symptoms even worse. So before you reach for something in attempt to relieve your discomfort, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat — and then what you should.

Here are the foods you should avoid if you’re already constipated — or don’t want to be anytime in the near future.

1. Fried foods

Foods high in fat and low in fiber — such as french fries, fried chicken, fast food burgers, and more — slow down your digestion and increase your risk of constipation. Especially if you aren’t drinking a significant amount of fluids along with your meals.

Even if you do drink the recommended amount of fluids per day, foods high in sodium — potato chips, for example — pulls water from your stool, making it dryer and harder to move through your system.

2. Refined grains

White rice

White rice | vm2002/iStock/Getty Images

White bread, white rice, and white pasta have completely different nutritional profiles than their whole grain versions. Brown rice, for example, contains B vitamins, fiber, and other essential nutrients that promote overall health as well as healthy digestion. White rice is missing the majority of these components.

If you’re dealing with constipation, you could benefit significantly from gradually replacing refined grains with whole grains. Diets containing adequate amounts of fiber, along with plenty of fluids, decrease your risk of becoming constipated.

3. Foods that contain gluten

Though the majority of people who should avoid gluten have celiac disease, some individuals without the condition experience sensitivity to the protein. Irritable¬†bowel syndrome also increases a person’s chances of experiencing constipation after eating gluten-containing foods such as barley, rye, spelt, and wheat.

This does not mean that gluten is known to be harmful in people who aren’t sensitive to it. Whole grains, many of which contain gluten, contain nutrients that are easy to miss out on if avoided unnecessarily. But if wheat bread makes it hard for you to poop, it’s OK not to eat it.

4. Red meat

Red meat burger

Red meat burger | id-art/iStock.com/Getty Images

Eating too much red meat increases your risk of heart disease — and maybe even cancer. But that’s not the only negative side effect it can present. Some people experience constipation after consuming burgers, steaks, and similar products — and there are a few simple reasons why.

Red meat is more likely to cause constipation due to its fat content. It’s higher in that nutrient than poultry or fish. In addition, filling up on red meat means you’re likely to consume fewer servings of high-fiber foods such as vegetables, also putting your digestive system in turmoil.

5. Dairy products

Some people experience constipation after eating dairy products such as cheese, cow’s milk, yogurt, and cream-based products. Unfortunately, most of the studies conducted in humans to find evidence for a possible correlation have involved children.

Still, if you experience digestive troubles after eating diary, you might benefit from switching to healthy dairy alternatives.

Contrary to popular myth, experiencing constipation after eating dairy products isn’t a sign of lactose intolerance. People who consume lactose when they’re intolerant to it are much more likely to experience diarrhea, not constipation.

To relieve constipation, increase your fluid intake while making sure to consume high-fiber foods such as pears, apples, prunes, or broccoli. But do not do this without water. Suddenly increasing your intake of fiber without fluids will only make your constipation worse.