This is the complete guide on foods to avoid if constipated.
Here I will tell you which foods you should avoid if you are constipated.
Around 12% of the world’s population is suffering from constipation. In the USA, 16% of people have constipation.
Constipation is not a disease.
Wait….what…constipation is not a disease???
Yes, it is not a disease.
It is hard in evacuating stool. It can be temporary or long-term. Temporary constipation is not a big issue.
It is a warning sign that the colon (large intestine) of your body is suffering from dryness.
But if you have constipation for a long time then you need to consult a doctor.
Constipation in simple words,
“When the food we consumed passes through the colon, the colon absorbs the water from the liquid stool and makes it soft. So when it reaches the rectum it is the soft stool that we can easily defecate.
When the food passes from the colon too quickly then it remains watery which we called diarrhea. And when the food passes so slowly from the colon, too much water gets absorbed which makes the stool hard and we feel the hardness in defecating (constipation),”
The good thing about temporary constipation is it can be easily treated or prevented by consuming or avoiding some foods.
You have to eat foods that are rich in dietary fiber and have laxative properties to avoid or treat constipation.
And also avoid eating foods that cause constipation.
In fact, here we will discuss the same, “foods to avoid if constipated”.
What kind of foods to avoid if constipated
Before listing down the foods to avoid, let’s discuss what kind of foods you should avoid during constipation.
As I mentioned above, when food spends too much time in the colon, too much water gets absorbed which converts the food into the hard stool.
Here, we have to focus on two things.
- Too much time spent in the colon
- Too much water is absorbed into the colon
If we somehow solve these two problems then we can easily treat or avoid constipation.
Why does food spend more time in the colon?
Now, some of you may answer that because it is 5 feet long food takes time to pass from it.
Of course, this can be the answer but it also depends on what we eat.
Some foods that are low in dietary fiber and high in unhealthy fat are difficult to digest. When such undigested or low-digested foods enter the colon, they take much more time to pass through the colon.
So to avoid that we have to eat foods that are rich in dietary fiber.
What about too much water absorption?
We can solve it by staying hydrated throughout the day or eating watery foods such as watermelon, kiwi, etc.
If we can solve these two problems we will be able to eliminate temporary constipation.
And if we eat foods that are drying, low in fiber, and high in unhealthy fats then we can even worsen constipation. So avoid such foods.
Let’s now list down such foods.
Foods to avoid if constipated
1) Refined flour (All purpose flour)
Do you know how refined flour is made?
The whole grain is made up of germ, bran, and endosperm. During the milling process, the outer brown layer of wheat (bran) is removed which consists of most of the nutrients and dietary fiber.
And from the remaining starchy inner white portion, the refined flour is made.
It is almost zero in dietary fiber as well as in micronutrients.
It is also associated with many health-related issues. So try your maximum to avoid it.
It is part of many foods in the USA and many other western countries causing many health-related problems in these countries such as
- Type-2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Obesity (refined flour is the number one culprit for obesity)
and many more.
White bread, burger bun, pizza dough, biscuits, cookies, etc all are made up of refined flour. These all foods can also lead you to chronic constipation.
So stay away from such food items.
So what to do?
Start using whole grain flour. Eat bread made up of whole grains. If you are excessively eating fast food then lower your consumption.
Here is the summary.
2) Fried foods
Our lifestyle has become so unhealthy that the larger portion of our diet includes fried foods.
These foods are extremely high in unhealthy fat and very low in dietary fiber. As discussed above, we should avoid any food that contains low dietary fiber and high amounts of unhealthy fats.
These both make fried food one of the foods to avoid if constipated.
As they are hard to digest, they spend more time in the colon which makes the stool very hard causing it difficult to defecate.
You may have also noted that these fried foods are also extreme in salt. To digest these highly salted foods, our bodies absorb more water in the colon.
Then why should waste our hardly-earned money and most precious health on such foods?
I am not saying to completely avoid these foods as it is not possible. But at least we can lower our consumption and add more healthy foods to our diet.
Chips and french fries are the best examples of such foods.
Here is the summary.
Meat is part of many people’s diets throughout the world. It is also the richest source of protein.
But as far as constipation is concerned, you should avoid meat. Especially red meat.
The main problem with meat is, it is low in dietary fiber. And many meat recipes include frying which makes it worse for constipation.
However, if your bowel movements are regular and you are including fiber-riched foods with meat then it is ok.
But whenever you suffer from constipation, you should avoid it.
What is the problem with red meat?
As mentioned above, meat is low in dietary fiber. But red meat is extremely high in fat. Our bodies take a long time to digest it.
The more it remains in our bodies, the harder it becomes and causes constipation.
Whereas chicken and turkey are low in fiber but also contain low fat. Our bodies don’t take much longer time to digest them.
But if you are suffering from constipation avoid all types of meat.
4) Unripe Banana
There is no doubt that ripe banana is used to treat and prevent constipation.
But the unripened one can cause constipation.
In the previous article on foods to eat during constipation, we discussed that unripe bananas are rich in tannin which is an antioxidant.
And causes or worsens existing constipation.
Unripe bananas are also loaded with starch ( 70-78% of their weight). This starch is very hard for our bodies to digest.
That is why I have mentioned it in the list of foods to avoid if constipated.
Now, it is very strange. Despite being the fluid, how alcohol can cause constipation?
Here is the answer.
We all urinate and defecate the unwanted waste from our bodies. But what if we start defecating the excess water from the body?
There is an enzyme in the body called vasopressin. Which prevents the water from getting defecated through urine in excess amounts.
If the amount of vasopressin in the body is low then you will have more urge to pee and you will lack water.
Alcohol tends to block its release in the body.
And that’s why any person feels more urge to pee after drinking alcohol.
So in short, you lack water due to excess consumption of alcohol which leads to dryness in the colon resulting in constipation.
Here is the summary.
I still remember whenever anyone in our home suffered from diarrhea, my mom used to give him a mixture of coffee and yogurt to consume.
It was the perfect solution that we used to treat common diarrhea. When I researched why these both harden the stool, I came to know two things.
Yogurt is full of probiotics and caffeine absorbs the water which results in the hardening of stool.
Now, if you consume coffee while constipated then what will be its impact?
Of course, it is going to worsen it.
It is also true that the stimulation effects of caffeine on the muscles of the digestive system can make you defecate.
But if you are suffering from constipation then you should avoid caffeine.
7) White rice
I always recommend people to eat semi-brown rice. Neither white rice nor brown.
White rice is almost zero in dietary fiber.
When the bran which has almost all the nutrients and dietary fiber is removed from the rice, the remaining rice is called white rice.
White rice is also a cause of many digestion-related issues such as gas.
You can consume it if your diet contains enough amount of dietary fiber. But it is recommended to avoid it during constipation.
8) Late night snacks
I know it is not a food item that causes constipation but it can easily make you constipated.
Look, our digestion power doesn’t remain the same throughout the day. As the day starts, digestion power increases.
After the sunset, our digestion power starts decreasing.
So whatever you eat late at night no matter healthy or unhealthy, it doesn’t get digested well. Such undigested food can cause constipation.
So try to avoid eating at night.
What if I come late at night and feel hungry?
Ok…that means you don’t have any choice. But make sure to eat a small piece of ginger with rock salt. This superb combination will raise the decreased digestive power.
Also, make sure to walk for 20-25 minutes after eating food. It will aid digestion.
These are some foods to avoid if constipated. We will end up our conversation here.
Constipation has become a major issue throughout the world. Most of the people that are suffering from it are from most developed countries.
We also have medicines to cure it but medicines should be avoided as far as we can treat ourselves with natural foods.
Here we have discussed some foods that can cause constipation and must be avoided.
If you eat these foods during constipation then you won’t be able to get rid of constipation. Rather you should consume foods that give relief to constipation.
Thanks for reading this article.
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