Why do some foods cause constipation?
There is only one 'food' component that may cause constipation — indigestible fiber. Too much fiber leads to bowel obstruction, too little indicates bowel dependence. All other natural foods digest near completely, and don't play any role in forming stools. In fact, if your stool test shows any remnants of fats, proteins, or carbohydrates, it means you are affected by a severe malabsorption disorder, ranging from gastroenterocolitis to liver or pancreatic cancer.
Any medical reference or web site you check, you usually read about some foods that cause constipation… Among the guiltiest are the usual suspects: white rice, whole milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, red meat, bananas, carrots, high fat food, and so on…
Actually, none of these foods can cause constipation anymore than wind or water. That is because none of them ever reach the colon undigested. That much is written in any textbook on human physiology and/or gastric disorders, and any physician or nutritionist claiming otherwise must go back to school!
What little remains from digested foods is called ash, and ash represents between 0.2% and 1.2% of total stool weight. This means if you eat a pound of meat, cheese, or rice, only one teaspoon of ash, about 5 grams, will reach your bowels, not enough to play any role in a bowel movement or constipation.
In fact, the only food that can cause constipation is dietary fiber because it is the only known food that reaches the colon undigested! If you think you‘ve misheard me, I repeat again: dietary fiber Is the only food that causes constipation.
That is because if you eat one pound of fiber, the exact same pound will reach your bowel undigested. Along the way it will absorb water and expand 5 to 10 times its original size and weight.
After these 5 to 10 pounds of, pardon me, heavy crap, get stuck in your bowel, you too will get stuck in the bathroom, because normal stools shouldn‘t be larger than your middle finger and heavier than 100-150 grams or 3 to 5 ounces per bowel movement.
To learn more about this paradox, please visit this page. It will also teach you how to wean yourself from fiber dependence, and more damage!
If you still doubt my words, and I am sure you do doubt them seriously, let me ask you these five simple questions:
1. How come healthy breastfed infants enjoy several bowel movements daily, while breast milk — the only food they eat — is a zero-fiber, zero-residue, high-fat product?
2. Or, how come people who fast for medical or religious reasons for extended periods of time have regular, albeit smaller, bowel movements throughout the fast, even though they take nothing by mouth, but water? Do they have bowels different from yours?
3. Or, how come the Inuit — the indigenous people of the Arctic region of Canada, Greenland, and Alaska, who in their natural habitat eat a high-fat, zero-fiber diet their entire lives, and never experience constipation? Do they have bowels different from yours?
4. Or, how come Japanese people, who eat mostly fatty fish and white rice, and almost no fiber, enjoy better health and longer lives than most Americans? Do they have bowels different from yours?
5. Or, how come, a good number of people who have succeeded on Atkins-style diets, have normal stools with zero fiber in their diet? Do these lucky bastards have bowels different from yours?
The proper answer to all of these rhetorical questions: Of course, not! All human bowels are exactly the same from birth, except some are healthier than others. And the reason none of these people ever experience constipation is simply this:
— Healthy stools contain no food remnants, and a healthy bowel doesn‘t require any food remnant to function properly. Stools aren‘t made from food, unless these foods contain indigestible fiber.
I repeat again:
Natural every day foods play no role in constipation development, unless these foods contain dietary fiber!
If and when consuming zero- or near zero-fiber foods — such as whole milk, cheese, meats, white rice, bananas, and so on — this results in constipation, it means that your normal bowel function has been already compromised by a combination of factors, such as a high fiber diet, antibiotics, mercury fillings, prescription drugs, straining, muscular dystrophy, nerve damage, and/or various other, similar factors. It also means that you are already affected by latent constipation, which, in turn, is highly dependent on a daily intake of fiber-dense foods to plunge out the stools.
If you are freaking out from hearing what you believe to be sheer heresy, let me throw at you one last question:
— Why do doctors prescribe a zero fiber diet to all patients who are admitted to hospital with bowel disorders?
Okay, I‘ll help you with the answer. They prescribe a fiber-free diet because it is the only way to quickly stabilize the patient by relieving the gas, bloating, cramping, and intestinal inflammation caused by any fiber bulk and fermentation.
To learn more about normal bowel function, why natural foods play no role in constipation, and how to eliminate constipation without resorting to fiber and laxatives, review this first: Stool Composition.
If you are already affected by constipation, and require immediate relief, start here: Colorectal Recovery Kit, and select all or some of the kit's components to fit your particular circumstances.
If you would like to eliminate the underying causes of constipation, and prevent further colorectal damage, begin here: No Downsize, Just Upside-down.
And if you are a natural skeptic, and trust no one, or question my motives because I recommend supplements on this site, then follow your doctor's advice to the tee, don't eat foods that “cause constipation,” increase the intake of fluids and fiber, and... I'll see you back here soon. Except the next time around, it will be even more difficult and expensive to reverse colorectal damage and restore normality. It may also be downright impossible, because, after a certain point, not all colorectal damage is reversible.