8 Foods That Cause Constipation

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8 Foods That Cause Constipation

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Remember chatting with your friends about how it’s been days since you last pooped? Of course not, because no one’s ever had that conversation!

Constipation isn’t a topic most of us want to discuss. And yet as many as 63 million Americans suffer from regular constipation. It’s a common problem.

This National Institutes of Health describes constipation as a condition in which you have fewer than three bowel movements in a week.

And when you finally do have some luck in the bathroom your stools are hard, dry and difficult, or even painful, to pass.

If you’re having poop issues, life just isn’t as fun as it should be. You feel bloated, heavy and (if you’re anything like me) cranky.

No one wants to trudge through the day with what feels like a pile of bricks in their belly.

Fortunately, as with nearly every aspect of our health, constipation can largely be managed through lifestyle choices.

In this article we’ll examine 8 foods to avoid if you’re trying to overcome a poop problem.

More Fiber = More Flushing

When it comes to diet and constipation, most of the talk is focused on the things you should eat.


Fiber-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, artichokes, legumes, apples and peaches will all help to get things moving through your digestive system.

How much fiber you should consume depends on your unique needs. But the Mayo Clinic recommends 25 grams of daily dietary fiber as a good target for women, while men should aim for 38 grams per day.

Unfortunately, most Americans consuming only 16 grams of fiber per day — far below the recommended amount. No wonder so many of us are constipated! [1]

Eating enough fiber is definitely a smart way to manage constipation.

But just as there are foods that help with constipation, there are also some surprising foods you’ll want to avoid.

8 Foods That Cause Constipation

When we think of what causes constipation obvious culprits like not eating enough fiber, not drinking enough water and not getting enough physical activity all spring to mind.

But some less-well-known causes of constipation include the following eight foods. If you struggle to stay regular, then you’ll want to make sure to keep these foods off the menu.

1. Dairy


Dairy products like cheese and milk can make your digestive system as backed up as a Los Angeles freeway during 5 o’clock rush hour. The National Institute on Aging cites dairy products as a food group that can trigger constipation particularly in adults 50 years old and better. [2]

2. Red Meat


Nothing like sinking your teeth into a big, juicy steak, right? Problem is, red meat can be a major contributor to constipation. Blame it on red meat being a high-fat, low-fiber food as well as a rich source of iron. Although iron is essential for your health, too much iron in your diet can cause constipation.

3. Bananas


If you raised an eyebrow in disbelief at bananas landing on a list of foods to avoid for constipation, I don’t blame you. After all, chances are your grandma gave you a banana or two as a kid to help you go. Here’s the deal with bananas and bathroom success: ripe, yellow bananas are a great source of fiber and will indeed get your bowels moving; on the other hand, under-ripe, green bananas are packed with starch, and that can make your constipation worse.

4. Coffee


As with bananas, this one needs a little explaining. Coffee can affect certain tissues in your digestive system that stimulate bowel movement. For many people (myself included), a coffee break almost always leads to a bathroom break. But the caffeine in coffee can also cause dehydration and that can lead to constipation. So if you regularly imbibe a cup (or two) of joe and are having a tough time going, it might be a good idea to cut back.

5. Sugar



Sugary foods like cakes, cookies and candy are typically high in fat and low in fiber — a surefire equation for constipation. Other good reasons to cut back on sugar: faster fat loss, improved overall health and a lowered risk of heart disease. 

6. Fast Food


Fried chicken, burgers and other fatty, greasy foods that get served to you in a bag are BAD NEWS for your digestive health. Not only will they cause pounds to creep onto and cling to your midsection, but they’re soaked in fat and that can slow down the digestive process.

7. Brown Rice

Brown rice has a higher value of fiber than white rice, so making it harder to digest but much healthier for you than white rice. Many people intake too much fiber which leading to constipation issues. Be sure to watch how much fiber you take in a day so you do not have too much!

8. Alcohol


As with coffee, alcohol can cause dehydration and that leads to constipation. When enjoy a glass of wine or beer in moderation, it’s a good practice to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. That way you’re helping to offset the dehydration brought on from alcohol.

We’re not saying you should swear off these eight foods forever.

But, if your trips to the bathroom are few and far between, it may be a good idea to sideline these 8 foods until you’re more regular.

And if you’re concerned about constipation, there’s one more thing you should know…

Discover the safe, all-natural way to flush up to 20 pounds of toxic poop from your colon… and get a noticeably slimmer stomach WITHOUT diet or exercise.

Click HERE for the full story.



  • Paul Richard says:

    Great post shared for foods which we should avoid that cause constipation. Can anybody confirm that banana cause constipation. Because i eat lot of bananas per day. Or what can i do to digest it easily.

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hello Paul,
      It’s a very thin line! Unripe bananas can cause constipation; ripe bananas can help relieve constipation. They contain lots of fiber so too much of fiber can do the opposite. I would say listen to your body!

  • Steve says:

    Cam you clarify what you mean by white rice sits in your digestive track like a cinder block? As far as I know, white rice doesn’t even reach your colon.

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hello Steve
      I am sorry its a typo white is easier to digest than brown. Brown rice has a higher value of fiber than white rice, so making it harder to digest but much healthier for you than white rice. Many people intake too much fiber which leading to constipation issues. Be sure to watch how much fiber you take in a day so you do not have too much!
      God bless.

  • Patricia says:

    What’s the fish that we should avoid?

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hi Patricia, fish that you want to avoid are any type of farmed fish. Stick with wild caught. Salmon is a big one that is farmed. It is fed an unnatural diet of grains and it contains a high amount of PCBs.

  • I just reviewed your video (loved it) and ordered your PerfectBiotics.. I have been diagnosed with a c.dissicile bacterial infection) .. probably due to the fact I’ve had a chronic cough for approx. 18 months . The Drs. have run every test imaginable and I’ve taken so many antibiotics (which is probably the reason for the infection.
    I just wondered whether you could recommend anything for this cough – Thank You.
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    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hey Barbara, Perfect Biotics is one of my personal favorites that my entire family takes daily. As for the cough, Here is what I would do:
      1. Get a chiropractic adjustment to help optimize your nervous and immune system
      2. Cut out inflammatory foods, such as wheat, dairy and sugar for 1-2 months
      3. Start drinking bone broth. There are tons of recipes online, but this is AMAZING for healing your guy especially in combination with a good probiotic like Perfect Biotics.
      4. Do deep breathing exercises to cleanse your lungs as well

      Start with these 4 things for now.

  • Theresa Pedersen says:

    Questions about Dairy. almond milk and protein powders can these two items cause constipation.

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hi Theresa, yes, they can cause constipation. Try adding some fiber sources to your shakes. Hemp Seed and Chia Seed are great sources of fiber to add. High protein diets are notorious for causing constipation.

  • Luann says:

    Article should have a link to what to eat to avoid or reverse constipation.
    Also it doesn’t say how much rice or coffee or alcohol or whether it’s a combination of these foods that cause constipation.
    Lastly, I am a small woman, late 50s, about 100 lbs. and active. How much fiber do I need a day to keep regular?

    • Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. Dr. Charles Livingston D.C. says:

      Hello Luann, to avoid constipation, eat 30-40 grams of fiber a day. High protein diets, wheat, and processed foods can cause constipation. If you are around 100lbs, try eating 25-30 grams of fiber a day. This would come from leafy green vegetables, oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

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