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6 Types Of Food That Are Making You Constipated
Hitting the drive-thru can put the brakes on your bowels. Those burgers and fries on fast-food menus are almost always low in fiber and high in fat. "They can take longer to empty from the stomach," warns Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, a registered dietitian and sports dietetics specialist of Active Eating Advice. They're also often high in sodium, which can prevent water from pushing through waste.
Cheese, ice cream, and milk get a lot of slack for stopping you up, but dairy isn't all bad. Immunoglobin G (IgG) is a type of milk protein that has been tied to constipation, so skipping the cheese plate could be a good thing if you're overdue for a number two. But dairy like yogurt and kefir contain probiotics—the healthy gut bacteria that can keep you regular.
MORE: How To Make Vegan Yogurt Without Funky Additives
That pastry case at your local café may look tempting, but highly processed foods like cookies and other baked goods get three strikes when it comes to constipation. "They're high in fat, low in fiber, and low in fluid," says Levinson. Better bets: high-fiber desserts like a bowl of raspberries, baked pears, or even a date-oat bar.
Confections often get lumped into the constipation foods category, but it's not the Sour Patch Kids and Pixy Stix that stop you up, per se. "Sugar itself does not cause constipation, but since many foods high in added sugars are low in fiber and other nutrients, eating too many of these foods in place of high-fiber foods could lead to constipation," warns Levinson.
MORE:The Absolute Best Way To Wean Yourself Off Sugar
Yes, caveman eating shuns junk food in favor of whole foods (check!), but a meat-heavy diet without fiber-filled whole grain foods or legumes could leave you constipated. "Plus, limiting the carbs in Paleo may mean decreased ingestion of prebiotics, the fermentable carbohydrates that are food for probiotics," adds Bonci.
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