Constipation is a common problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, some 42 million people in the United States deal with constipation - and apparently women are more prone than men.
The most important thing you should do to avoid constipation is to eat a balanced and varied diet, according to registered dietician Leslie Bonci. “We've got to think about being good to our bowels because if our gut doesn't feel good, we don't feel good,” she says.
When constipation strikes, you should definitely avoid these three foods…
Three foods to avoid if you’re trying to alleviate constipation
#1: Dairy products
The idea that dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, constipates is an urban legend, says Bonci. However, if you’re lactose intolerant, you should avoid dairy as it can constipate you. If your body can’t process the sugar in milk products, you’ll probably end up constipated or with diarrhoea after consuming dairy products. Accoording to the US National Library of Medicine, about 65% of people have difficulty digesting lactose after infancy. Still, some dieticians will caution patients trying to alleviate constipation
against dairy consumption due to its ability to make you feel bloated.
#2: Fatty foods
Bonci says high-fat
foods – think chips, corndogs and fried chicken – tend to yield blockages. “A lot of the things that are really high in fat
aren’t really high in fibre – and all those fats take longer to mobilise from the stomach,” she explains. Fatty foods take a long time for your body to digest, whereas fruits and vegetables typically vacate your body in 24 hours or less. If you’re feeling constipated, steer clear of foods that have been fried in butter or oils.
#3: White rice
Rather than passing through quickly, rice sits in your digestive system, according to Bonci. Consuming carbohydrates in moderation is an important part of a balanced diet, however, white rice lacks the fibrous elements that brown rice retains. When trying to alleviate constipation, always choose brown over white rice. On the other hand, if you have diarrhoea, white rice is your best friend.
These are the three foods you should avoid at all costs if you’re trying to alleviate constipation.
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