Beware! Your Fad Diet May Be Causing Irregular Bowel Movements

Fad diets like gluten-free, keto diet, paleo and diets which focus on low-carbohydrates significantly cut down on whole grains, and some even involve a reduction in vegetables and fruit intake as well. This may lead to irregular bowel movements

Beware! Your Fad Diet May Be Causing Irregular Bowel Movements

Constipation can be really discomforting and is primarily caused by unhealthy diet. One generally feels constipated when your diet lacks fibre which is obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables or probiotics like yogurt. Even lack of physical exercise can lead to constipation. Starting a new diet to lose weight, manage your blood sugar levels or reduce the risk of chronic disease like thyroid might change your bowel patterns, especially in the initially stages. If you are on a diet that restricts certain food groups or requires you to increase the intake of other foods, your body might respond by producing hard, infrequent stools. If you are having fewer than three bowel movements per week and your stools are difficult to pass, consult your health-care provider about modifying your new diet to restore healthy bowel patterns.

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Constipation can be really discomforting and is primarily caused by unhealthy diet.
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Celeb Health Coach Luke Coutinho Shares Top 5 Ways To Combat Constipation For Good

Here are some reasons why you feel constipated and how can you fix them:

1. Soluble fiber: Many popular fad diet plans like gluten-free, keto diet,  paleo and diets which focus on low-carbohydrates significantly cut down on whole grains, and some even involve a reduction in vegetables and fruit intake as well. Whereas these foods are rich in a type of fiber called soluble fiber. Also other foods that are a rich source of soluble fiber include dark leafy greens like spinach, asparagus and kale. Soluble fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive systemand increases stool bulk, so it can be beneficial to those who struggle with indigestion, constipation or irregular stools. Therefore, if your bowels trend towards the slower side, the reason might be your insoluble fiber diet.

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If your bowels trend towards the slower side, the reason might be your insoluble fiber diet.
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Low in fat: When people make sudden dietary changes like giving up dairy, switching from eggs to egg whites or eating a more plant-based diet, it often results in a low-fat diet. However, fat plays an important role in stimulating motility - or forward motion in the colon, which in turn promotes more regular bowel movements. When you eat a low-fat diet you may at times feel constipated. If you think this could be your problem, try including healthy fats in your meals like chia seeds, avocados, nut butters, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, zucchini, flax seeds, an extra drizzle of olive oil or fatty fish like salmon are all some good yet healthy choices. 

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When you eat a low-fat diet you may at times feel constipated.
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 8 Foods That Cause Constipation For Sure

3. Ditching natural sugars: Many people who are in a hurry to lose wight tend to eliminate foods that have sugar. Though, this sounds correct but we must also keep in mind that foods that have natural sugar, like milk or yogurt or may be sweeter fruits like bananas, berries, musk melons, grapes, mango or watermelon; dried fruit like raisins; and even certain vegetables like carrots and beet roots do not harm to your body. However, many foods contain natural sugars which in turn might be beneficial for your health. For instance, the lactose in dairy foods, the fructose found  in fruits, the sorbitol in dried fruits - can exert a mild laxative effect in our colons by attracting water into the bowel. Therefore, eating these foods regularly, may promote smooth digestive function in the form of softer stools.

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Foods that have natural sugar do not harm your body
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Constipation Treatment: Know The Best Ways To Get Rid Of It Permanently

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Highlights

  • Constipation can be discomforting and is caused by unhealthy diet
  • Even lack of physical exercise can lead to constipation
  • The reason for constipation might be your insoluble fibre diet
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