Ugh. The very word is uncomfortable.
There are a few foods that cause constipation - ones to avoid unless you like hanging out in the bathroom. Granted the loo is a good place to catch up on some reading (maybe you could read a website about constipation - eww).
In the Western world these foods that cause constipation are eaten like there's no tomorrow, which coincidentally may be the case for people who eat a lot of them. Well, there probably will be a tomorrow, but it will be spent uncomfortably - in the bathroom, waiting.
Luckily there are some very easy answers. And once you remove some of these offending foods that cause constipation, you'll be as regular as the seasons (well, hopefully more regular than 4 times a year). You can still hang out in the bathroom and read, but you'll be much more comfortable doing it!
So without further ado, here's culprit number one:
"What? Wheat is a grain. Grain is fiber. It can't cause constipation!” Well... yes. Yes it can. And it does constipate millions of us every day. Wheat contains opioids (like those found in opium) that actually cause paralysis of your gut.
They cause constipation by stopping the muscular contractions that move things along. Add to that our bodies allergic reaction to grains, and you have a recipe for... well... irregularity, obesity, diabetes.
Do you know anyone with those problems? Don't lie to me now, you know you do, they're the very diseases the western world struggles with.
Caused mostly by our love affair with wheat. This gives us quite a list of foods that cause constipation in the wheat category:
Almost all Pastas
Pizzas or other things with crust.
Cookies, cakes, doughnuts, crackers.
Am I saying eliminate these things from your diet. Well, ideally yes. But this is smart healthy eating. Following the healthy eating guidelines will improve things substantially. The goal is to have a diet you can live with.
If you have irregularity, the typical course of action is to buy synthetic laxatives by the 5 gallon pail, and just keep eating junk. Somebody has to keep the drug industry going (perhaps I'll buy some stocks!).
Or you could cut down on the foods that cause constipation. So during those *slow* times, it's best to avoid wheat entirely.
“Hang on buddy, that's one of the main food groups too!” Yep. Well, for part of the world anyway. A large portion of the worlds population gets along fine without it.
Here's the problem. Our bodies are not designed to consume any milk except human milk. Don't get any ideas.
Only when you are a kid. A little kid. Very little. Cow's milk is the perfect food for baby cows. Not for people.
It contains no fiber, only fat and sugar. Now I'm not against eating fat, the right fat is a wonderful thing for your body. The wrong fat is, well...wrong. Many of us are also allergic to the proteins in milk. This allergy, combined with the the practice of replacing healthier foods with milk products can lead to some pretty nasty constipation issues.
Again, ideally we wouldn't eat dairy, but following the guidelines on this site will allow most people to consume it.
Anything that we buy that is frozen or packaged or canned (Frozen fruits and veggies excluded).
I know that speed is king when it comes to getting food, so you can get on with other more important things (like surfing the web, playing games, and going to the bathroom to deal with our constipation issues.) There seems to be this feeling that it takes too long to make REAL food, so we buy it by the box at Costco instead. We eat tons of processed food in the western world. Processing only removes nutrients and fiber, and increases your risk of constipation, and almost every disease of diet (heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders... the list goes on).
People always tell me they are careful to read food labels so they know what is in it. Well, one of the main keys to smart healthy eating is If it has a label, it's not food!
If you want to avoid constipation and hundreds of other diseases, avoid processed food, dairy, and wheat. Eat smart. Eat what what your body is designed to eat.
Hey, it's Dr. Cam here. Can I ask your advice on something?
It will only take a moment.