Constipation is a common problem in the United States. An average of 10 to 15% of American adults will experience constipation at least once per year. There are many causes for this condition, including lack of exercise or physical activity, diet choices with low fiber content, medications, genetics, and certain diseases. The most important thing you can do if you’re experiencing symptoms is to treat them as soon as possible. However, another thing to do is avoid foods that may have caused it. To help with that, this article will take a look at some foods that cause constipation.
Some people may be confused by this one because processed meats are actually protein-rich foods. But they can cause constipation due to how they’re processed. Usually, during the process of making processed meats, salt is added to help preserve the meat while it’s being stored. However, this also has a tendency to cause constipation because of all the sodium that’s in these meats. They also contain nitrates and other chemicals that might have a negative effect on how your body absorbs water from your food.
Cheese is a dairy product and can contain lactose, which is a carbohydrate that’s found in milk. This carbohydrate will pull water from your system to help with digestion and this often leads people to become constipated. One way you might be able to get around this problem is by eating cheese that’s lower in lactose or aged cheese. That’s because the aging process tends to break down the lactose in cheese and provide people with less of a reason to become constipated.
White rice is another carb that’s been known to cause constipation. This is because it’s a refined carbohydrate and this means that the outer covering has been taken off of the grain, leaving only the starchy inside part of the grain. This means it won’t have as much fiber as a whole-grain option would and can lead to constipation. If you have a preference for white rice, try to eat it in moderation and choose whole-grain options when possible.
White bread is another commonly known food that causes constipation. This is because it has a high glycemic index and no fiber content, making it another starchy carb. Whole-grain bread may also result in constipation. Although, they have more fiber than white bread does so you’ll likely have to eat them more often to cause this side effect. Bread, in general, has a tendency to cause constipation so if this is a common problem you deal with it’s good to limit your intake of this food as much as possible.
Dried fruits are another type of food that could cause constipation. This is because they still have all the sugar in them even after the drying process and very little of the fiber. All the sugar will pull water from your system to aid with digestion. Dried fruits may also have artificial sugars added to them that could cause an issue too. One example of this is dried cranberries, which you might think would be very healthy but has a high fructose content and no fiber to counterbalance it. This can lead to constipation if eaten in large amounts over time.
Legumes are another food that’s high in carbs and this could cause them to contribute to your symptoms of constipation. They also have a tendency to be difficult for some people to digest because they contain raffinose. Which is a carbohydrate that’s broken down by bacteria in your colon and this can cause problems. Your body may not be able to break it down easily and this has been known to cause gas and bloating as well as contribute to constipation. So if you’re prone to either of these symptoms, try limiting your intake of legumes to help manage them.
This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning fried foods that can lead to constipation. Fried foods are typically high in fat and the frying process will also add oil. Which is another thing that can cause constipation by pulling water from your system as it digests. There’s no getting around this if you love fried foods and on some level, constipation is the price of enjoying them. However, with all the other negative effects of fried foods, it is best to try to eat this kind of food less often or choose healthier options.
Ice cream is another type of food that’s known to contribute to the problem of constipation. This is because it’s high in fat and takes a long time to digest. Which means it will cause your system to slow down as it works on breaking this food down. Like cheese, it will also be high in lactose. Which is known to slow down your digestion system. It’s best to eat this type of food in small amounts and stretch out the timeframe in between servings. Rather than eating large quantities at once if you want to try to prevent constipation.
As you can see, there are a number of foods listed here that have the tendency to make you constipated. Some of them do it because they’re high in sugar, while others do it because they don’t contain enough fiber or water to help with digestion. It’s best to stick to healthy foods without some of these ingredients if you want to maintain a healthy digestive system. At the very least it is best to limit some of the foods on this list in order to prevent this condition from occurring.