Foods to Avoid to Prevent Constipation

By: Nigel Wall

Too much of a good thing can be bad for your health. This cliche holds true for several foods that can increase your risk of constipation. Read on to find out what you should NOT eat or only in moderation to prevent constipation.

Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, ice cream and cheese have been shown to slow digestion. Slow digestion increases the risks of constipation. The lactose in dairy products can also cause gas and other abdominal discomfort for some people with an intolerance to the sugar. An alternative to cow’s milk includes soy, almond, or rice milk. You might try replacing ice cream with fruit sherbet, fruit popsicles or fruit smoothies. Choose low fat or fat free cheese options whenever possible.

Red Meat

A big juicy steak may satisfy your appetite, but too much red meat  may slow digestion and contribute to constipation. Meat is harder to digest because of it’s high protein and iron content. It is also high in fat. If you are a steak and potatoes kind of person, you may want to try a smaller portion of meat and eat your potatoes along with the high fiber skin. Also have a green leafy salad before the main course to help you eat less.

Chocolate

Chocolate contains a lot of fat that may be responsible for slowing digestion. The process of peristalsis or muscle contractions of the intestines may be affected, thus creating a backup of bulk waste. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat a candy bar every once in a while. However, you might want to avoid eating an entire pack of chocolate chip double fudge cookies or the king sized version of a Hershey bar in one sitting if you have digestive problems.

Bananas and Caffeine

There are other foods that you might want to stay away from too. Avoid eating green bananas that are not ripe since they contain starch. On the other hand, ripe bananas promote regularity in some individuals. Caffeine in coffee, tea and some soft drinks can slow digestion if you’re dehydrated, but may work to prevent constipation otherwise.

You don’t have to deprive yourself of the foods you love. However, you might consider eating these foods in moderation especially when you have digestive problems like constipation. You may also try incorporating more high fiber foods like beans, salads and fruits into your meals  for a more well balanced diet. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before you make drastic changes in your diet.

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The Top 10 Gut Cleansing Foods

References

1. Medicinenet – http://www.medicinenet.com/constipation_foods_5_foods_to_avoid_and_5_to_eat/views.htm

2. Everyday Health – http://www.everydayhealth.com/constipation-pictures/foods-to-avoid-for-constipation-relief.aspx#/slide-1

3. ABC Health & Wellbeing – http://www.abc.net.au/health/library/stories/2009/04/09/2595331.htm

 

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