Top 5 Foods That Can Cause Constipation

At one time or another, into everyone’s life, a little constipation must happen. It just seems inevitable, doesn’t it? Sometimes, nature just doesn’t call! However, constipation isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom, actually, and before it turns into something chronic, or even something serious, it should be dealt with as soon as possible, and that includes finding the root cause(s). Of course there are tons of over the counter types of remedies available, but discovering the underlying cause, as well as prevention, means that real solutions will be at work, not just a quick fix from your local drugstore.

Keeping this in mind, a great place to start would be knowing the list of foods to avoid that tend to bring on constipation.

If you are like most people, each and every day, your body is busy absorbing both nutrients and toxins from the food we eat such as GMO’s, artificial this, artificial that, processed foods, refined sugars and refined flour. There are also other things to consider such as alcohol, heavy metals, prescription drugs, caffeine, and electromagnetic radiation. These things not only cause our bodies to develop chronic and serious (even deadly) diseases, but they can also cause constipation.

Big woman eating fast food and watching TV. Isolated.

Photo credit: bigstock

When we overeat, when our diets are lacking in fiber or fluids, when we skip meals, when we don’t exercise regularly, as well as some of the foods we are eating, all can lead to constipation.

The average American needs a minimum of 10 to 14 grams of fiber each and every day. In fact, the American Dietetic Association states that you should eat more in the neighborhood of 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber is part of every fruit, vegetable, and grain that your body cannot digest. Soluble fiber, as the name suggests, is easily mixed with water and becomes a soft textured gel inside your large intestine. Insoluble fiber will pass through the digestive tract almost completely unchanged. The soft texture of soluble fiber helps to keep stools from becoming hard and dry and difficult to expel from the body.

Take a look at the top 5 foods when it comes to causing constipation and the best methods for avoiding it in the first place.


1. Drinks high in sugar, carbonated drinks, caffeinated and non-nutritional fluids

Almost all non-nutritional fluids can cause constipation. Fluids such as coffee, sodas, manufactured fruit juices, alcohol, and highly-caffeinated drinks. Although it might appear as though the opposite would be true, these drinks dehydrate your body. When you do no consume enough water, your feces become hard and this will lead to constipation. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out that morning coffee completely, but you should have that coffee along with at least 8 glasses of water every day, not instead of.

Try to drink fluids that have some nutritional value to them such as herbal teas, green tea, pomegranate juice, and home made fresh squeezed juices that have no added sugars. Don’t forget to drink water, however. Water moistens and softens your intestines so things move smoothly.


2. Fried foods, fatty meats, and fast food

Just a few of the foods you should avoid to keep constipation at bay include French fries, potato chips, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and any meat that is high in saturated fats. When eaten to excess, these foods tend to slow down you’re your digestive system immensely and this can cause constipation.


3. Dairy

Many dairy foods such as cottage cheese, milk, sour cream, and ice cream, have very little fiber. Yogurts that have probiotics being the exception. Why is that? Probiotics are the living microorganisms that keep your digestive track in good working order! They sell these in capsule form for those of you who don’t like yogurt. One of the best things about probiotics is that they promote your intestinal balance and your overall digestive health.


4. Chocolate

You probably never thought about it, but chocolate is a big “No Thank You” when it comes to constipation. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it’s thought that it might be due to the large amount of fat and sugar in chocolate that is causing the entire digestive process to slow down. If you suffer from regular bouts of constipation, avoiding chocolate would be a smart move. Read also about benefits of chocolate.


5. Refined and highly processed foods

Again, these foods contain almost no fiber. Things like white flour, white sugar, pasta, white rice, cakes, pies, bagels, and cookies all have very little nutrition and almost no fiber content. In general, avoid the following refined sugars and sweeteners:

  • White or brown sugar
  • Aspartame
  • Sucralose
  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • Sucralose
  • Sorbitol
  • Saccharin
  • Splenda
  • Corn syrup
  • Cyclamate
  • Sucrose
  • Dextin
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Ribose
  • Nutrasweet
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Crystalline powder
  • Polysaccharides
  • Monosaccharides
  • Carob powder
  • Disaccharides
  • Malts of any kind

Instead try all natural alternatives such as raw honey or stevia.

To prevent constipation, try eating foods that are higher in fiber. This means eating plenty of fresh, organic fruits and veggies. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water each and every day. Get regular exercise. It’s said that the more you move, the more your bowels will too! Try eating some probiotic filled yogurt every day, or consider taking a supplement, to encourage the healthy bacteria your entire digestive system needs. Find out more how to prevent constipation.


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One Comment

  1. Howard

    May 3, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I have Gastroparesis the paralysis has extended to my intestines as well which slows my digestion. What you state above I find the opposite to be true. While I do not drink; I may have a glass of sangria as my desert on my Birthday or out to dinner for our anniversary. The results are explosive to say the least. Caffeine in the form of a strong cup of coffee I’ve had to give up during the work week and actually use it as a laxative on weekends. Herbal teas go right through me. I also avoid fast food and may have a burger and fries a few times a year at most. But fatty foods definitely grease the gears and I will use fat as a laxative if the caffeine hasn’t worked. Dairy proves a good laxative as well. A tall glass of milk is all it takes though I dislike the taste of milk. Probiotics caused severe bloating and pain after taking just 1 pill so I avoid them. Chocolate has the added bonus of caffeine so I add it to the milk to mask the taste of plain milk. Your list of processed additives such as sucralose were repeated multiple times as well as listing the chemical name AND the brand name of the same product, perhaps to make the list look longer…..As for eating healthy, you either have to be wealthy or dirt poor on assistance to afford these foods. At the farmers market in my town a pint, a PINT of “organic” milk was $8. A single “organic apple cost as much as a 10 pack of hot dogs. Now I would love to eat natural fruits and veggies but they are simply way out of the budget range of the disabled or seniors living on a Social Security check that’s only 6-8 hundred dollars a month and it really irks me when I get jeers from entitled hipsters living off mommy and daddy when I pick “junk” food at the market. It’s not by choice and my tiny social security check puts me over the limit for food assistance as well as being married. They combine your disability checks making it impossible to get any kind of help as the income limit for food stamps was around $400 a month last I checked for a married couple with no children. So try to be a little more compassionate and a lot less judgmental when you see a heavy person getting unhealthy but cheap food at the market. We are poor not fat and lazy and we can’t afford to eat “organic” to fit into your hipster skinny jeans like you. Eating healthy is just not a choice for us “poor folks”.