While foods that are high in fiber and water are easily digested and help your body’s digestive system function properly, there are some foods that should be avoided when constipated or only eaten sparingly to maintain a healthy digestive system. Most of these foods are high in bad fats, sodium and fillers or preservatives. Make sure to avoid these foods when you’re constipated.
Since fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, chicken wings and onion rings are high in saturated fats and oils, they can slow your digestive system down. It takes your body a long time to break down these types of foods, so only eat fried foods sparingly. When constipated, avoid these foods completely and opt for foods that are boiled, sautéed in healthy oils or broiled instead.
Any dairy product (other than yogurt) can cause your system to become backed up. Since dairy products like cheese, milk, ice cream and cream all have a lot of fat but not a lot of fiber, they can end up causing your digestive system to slow down. Eat these foods in moderation and when you’re constipated, avoid them completely.
Substitute regular milk with cashew milk or almond for a high-fiber substitution that should help your bowels move smoothly.
Like cheese and fried foods, cookies can be high in fat but low in fiber. If you’re already constipated, you can make a high-fiber cookie with oatmeal, wheat flour, raisins and prunes. The oatmeal and wheat flour have more fiber than white flour alone and the raisins and prunes are packed with even more fiber to keep your body’s digestive health regular. Substitute regular butter or oil with coconut oil that has plenty of good fats and will help lubricate your system.
One of constipation’s usual suspects, red meat is another food that is high in fat but low in fiber.
If you love ordering a huge steak or burger, make sure to order a sweet potato or kale salad with that red meat. Both are loaded with plenty of fiber that will keep your digestive track healthy and fill you up so you won’t need to eat so much red meat.
Foods that are heavily processed tend to contain high amounts of fat, sodium and preservatives or fillings to keep the food fresh. Canned meals, frozen foods and boxed foods all contain high amounts of sodium, bod fats and preservatives to make sure the food has a long shelf life. Sodium can cause your body to retain water, making it difficult for the water to make its way to the stool in your colon. Replace processed foods with fresh foods or stick to frozen fruits and vegetables if you really need the convenience that frozen foods offer.
Though you don’t need to avoid these foods at all costs all the time, make sure to avoid them when you’re constipated or if you feel you might become constipated. Though they’re convenient and extremely tasty, they can end up wreaking havoc on your digestive system and do more damage in the long run.