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Foods That May Put You In A "Bind"

In most healthy people, a single, specific food will not directly cause constipation. However, certain diets can contribute to it and certain foods are more likely than others to lead to constipation. So, if you’re someone who is prone to the condition, avoiding those foods could be a smart strategy for you. 

Low fiber foods

Eating a diet that does not contain much fiber may contribute to constipation. A person may not be getting enough fiber if they eat a lot of meat, dairy products, and refined carbohydrates but do not eat many vegetables, fruits, or whole grains.

High FODMAP foods

This group of carbohydrates can ferment in the digestive system, causing symptoms such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea. Some examples of high FODMAP foods include: 

  • garlic, onions, and shallots
  • legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, and soybeans
  • grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye
  • sweeteners, such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol
  • specific fruits, such as apples, blackberries, and watermelon

People whose bodies have difficulty digesting these foods may feel better by eating a low FODMAP diet, which involves avoiding high FODMAP foods for a set period of time.

Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce and Toast

Bananas are part of the banana, rice, apple sauce, toast (BRAT) diet, which doctors previously recommended to treat diarrhea. This was due to these foods’ ability to slow down bowel movements. As a result, these foods may not be a good option for people who have constipation.

Allergens and Other Culprits

In some people, chronic constipation may signal a food allergy.


Some people believe that eggs can cause constipation. They are a low fiber food, so eating a lot of them may contribute to constipation. Egg allergies are also among the most common food allergies, which could explain why some people’s bodies have difficulty digesting them.
Alcohol is frequently mentioned as a likely cause of constipation.

That’s because if you drink alcohol in large amounts, it can increase the amount of fluids lost through your urine, causing dehydration.


Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. Some people may experience constipation when they eat foods that contain gluten. Some people are intolerant to gluten. This is a condition known as gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Processed grains and their products, such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta, are lower in fiber and may be more constipating than whole grains.

That’s because the bran and germ parts of the grain are removed during processing. In particular, the bran contains fiber, a nutrient that adds bulk to stool and helps it move along.


Red meat may worsen constipation for three main reasons. 

First, it contains little fiber, which adds bulk to stools and helps them move along.

Second, red meat may also indirectly reduce a person’s total daily fiber intake by taking the place of higher-fiber options in the diet.

This is especially true if you fill up on a large portion of meat during a meal, reducing the amount of fiber-rich vegetables, legumes, and whole grains you can eat in the same sitting.

This scenario would lead to an overall lower daily fiber intake, potentially increasing the risk of constipation.

Furthermore, unlike other types of meat, such as poultry and fish, red meat generally contains higher amounts of fat, and high-fat foods take longer for the body to digest. In some cases, this may increase the likelihood of constipation even further.

Those with constipation may benefit from replacing the red meat in their diet with protein- and fiber-rich alternatives such as beans, lentils, and peas.

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 Eating large or frequent portions of fried or fast foods may also increase the risk of constipation.

That’s because these foods tend to be high in fat and low in fiber, a combination that can slow digestion in the same way that red meat does.

Fast food snacks like chips, cookies, chocolate, and ice cream may also replace more fiber-rich snack options, such as fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet.

This can further increase the likelihood of constipation by reducing the total amount of fiber consumed per day.

Furthermore, fried and fast foods tend to contain large amounts of salt, which can lower the water content of stool, drying it up and making it harder to push through the body.


Constipation is an unpleasant condition that’s relatively common. If you have constipation, you can achieve smoother digestion by making some simple changes to your diet. Start by avoiding or reducing your intake of constipating foods, including the ones listed above.

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