The foods to avoid if you want to stay regular

Constipation can be uncomfortable and your diet may be to blame.

Foods to avoid so you stay regular

There are few things more uncomfortable than bloating and constipation. These problems are usually a sign that your body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs to function properly.

Food high in fibre is usually recommended to solve the problem, but here are some of the foods that could be causing you to have issues in the first place.

Fried foods
Chips, fried fish or chicken, dim sims, spring rolls, and many other popular greasy and fried foods have a tendency to slow the movement through your digestive tract. These types of foods can bind you up and be a cause of constipation. Steaming your food is a lot healthier and a lot better for gastrointestinal movement.

Sugar alcohols
The name is a bit misleading because these substances are neither sugar nor alcohol, but are so named because they are chemically similar to both things. Sugar alcohols occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables but are also manufactured for use in a lot of processed low-calorie foods. Look for chemicals like mannitol, xylitol and sorbitol on the list of ingredients if you want to know if they contain sugar alcohols. The reason these chemicals are used in low-calorie foods is that the body can’t fully digest them, which means that often it will sit in your gut and ferment, which will lead to gas, bloating and discomfort.

Alcoholic drinks
Now we get to proper alcohol and this can also cause numerous gut problems. Alcohol inhibits digestion, causes dehydration and depresses glucose metabolism. Once your body becomes dehydrated, it works overtime to recover fluids from anywhere it can find them, including from the content of your bowels. As a result, stools can become dry, hard and painful to pass. Alcohol also causes the loss of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, that are essential to retain moisture in your stool. If you are having a big night out, drinking a large energy drink such as Powerade before you go to bed, can help replenish some of the electrolytes before the damage is done.

Dairy products
Cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products have a reputation for binding people up and it is a reputation that is well deserved. The high fat and low-fibre content of these foods can certainly contribute to constipation and bloating.

Bananas
Not all bananas, but if you are eating firm, almost green bananas, these are likely to act as a binding agent and cause constipation. Interestingly, if you eat very ripe bananas that are high in soluble fibre, these will have the opposite effect. Pick your bananas carefully when you do your shopping.

What foods do you find cause you gut problems?

This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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