Foods That Cause Constipation

food list

Often we think about foods that relieve constipation, but there are many foods that constipate the digestive system leaving you feeling miserable. These foods are culprits for slowing down your digestive system and making it difficult to defecate.

High Sugar, Low Fiber

Foods that are very high in sugar, but low in fiber are often the culprits when it comes to constipation. These foods can cause you to have slower digestion when they’re eaten in large quantities.

Examples include cookies, cakes, crackers, and other baked goods. You’ll want to limit how much of these foods you eat if constipation tends to plague you.

Dairy Products

dairy productDairy also makes it on the constipating foods list. This is particularly true if you have problems with processing dairy. But even if you’re not lactose intolerant, dairy can pass through the bod slowly. It’s high in fat and low in fiber which can be a recipe for disaster.

Foods that fit into this category include milk, cheese, sour cream, butter, and ice cream. If you love dairy, but constipation is a problem for you, it’s best to make sure you eat it along with other foods that are low in fat and high in fiber to balance the effect.

Red Meat

red meatRed meat is also a constipation food. Beef and pork actually move very slowly through the digestive system taking a long time to break down. During their slow digestion they actually cause you to become constipated.

The longer waste sits in your large intestine, the more water the intestine removes. As water is removed, your feces becomes harder and more difficult to pass. If you have a lot of trouble with constipation, it may be best to avoid eating red meat.

Even if you limit your red meat consumption to once a week you’ll find that your problems with constipation can improve. You can still get plenty of protein by eating beans, fish, and lean chicken. These foods won’t promote constipation in the body.


caffeineBeverages containing caffeine are also foods that cause constipate. Caffeine causes your body to become dehydrated. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation. If you absolutely can’t eliminate caffeine from your life, make sure that you add extra water to your diet.

Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks in large enough amounts to cause problems for your bowels. Do your best to eliminate or limit these drinks if you’re experiencing slow digestion.

Processed Food

fast foodProcessed foods are often the cause of constipation. These are foods that don’t contain very much fiber and are readily available. Convenience foods may be fast and easy to prepare, but they slow down your digestion.

Foods in this category include chips, frozen meals, pasta, and fast food hamburgers and fries. That doesn’t mean that you can never have these foods. However, if you want to improve your nutrition it’s important to limit them.

You may also notice that some foods we usually think of as healthy can lead to slower digestion. For example, rice and bananas are often associated with constipation. They’re great resources if you’re trying to stop diarrhea, but they can lead you to slow digestion.

Iron and Wheat Gluten

wheat glutenIron supplements can also cause you to have constipation. Too much iron slows digestion and can make you feel miserable. Unless you’ve been diagnosed with an iron deficiency, you don’t need to take an iron supplement if you’re experiencing constipation from it.

Some people are intolerant to wheat gluten. While for many people it causes diarrhea, some people who can’t tolerate gluten also experience constipation. It’s important to pay attention to how your body reacts when you eat products made from wheat.

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