Does a high protein diet cause constipation?

In this article, we are going to discuss “High protein diet constipation”. I will explain how the high protein diet causes constipation and the reason behind it. I will also include some tips to reduce constipation on a high protein diet.

Does a high protein diet cause constipation?

A high protein diet has a link to constipation, I will discuss in this article. Many diets have recommended the increase in protein in the daily food intake. Also many unhealthy diets would eliminate certain healthy food groups and group them as unhealthy or fattening. 

This claim is false, all food groups are needed for the normal function of the body. Yet the distribution of the macronutrients differs in terms of carbs, fats and protein. Ideally to lose weight, you need to divide your calorie intake into 3 categories. 

50% of your calories should be from carbs, 35% of calories should come from a protein source, and 15% of calories should be from fat. Eliminating any macronutrient would lead to symptoms and changes in the body. 

Reducing carbs such as keto diets, switches the energy source from carbs to fat. This will lead to production of ketone bodies that are used as a source of energy. 

Reducing protein is unhealthy as well. It will lead to muscle mass loss, this means when the body needs amino acids to build enzymes and hormones, they break down muscle mass to get the amino acids needed. Reduction in muscle mass leads to weaknesses.

Excess protein consumption on a diet would lead to constipation. This is due to the fact that the more protein you consume on your diet, the less fiber intake you will have. 

Choosing a protein source like chicken or meat over a rich fiber source like fruits and vegetables in order to build muscles. It is an unhealthy approach , since a diet should be balanced and varied. 

Thus, it is not the high protein consumption in your diet that is at fault. The real reason for constipation is the lack of fiber on your diet. Fibers add bulk to stools and make the bowel movement regular. 

Another reason is dehydration, not drinking enough water on your diet would also lead to constipation. This is due to the fact that water is needed to move stools throughout the GI tract, with less water in the stool, the harder they become, and constipation occurs. 

Also water is needed after the digestion of protein. Protein digestion forms byproducts that are filtered by the kidneys. Thus the need of water increase as well.

What are some solutions to reduce constipation?

There are tricks that help reduce constipation. One way is to increase your water consumption. Water is needed to reduce the hardness of stools, the less water you drink, the more likely you will be constipated. Water is necessary to be included on your die. Start with 2 liters per day of water.

Another way is to increase your fiber intake from fruits and vegetables. Fiber is crucial for healthy bowel movements. It forms the bulk of stools and helps relieve constipation. 

Some high fiber food include beans, chickpeas, spinach, kale, dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli . These foods are essential for the fiber intake they include. 

You can choose your fiber intake either from fruits or vegetables. According to the diet you follow, you can pick vegetables as a source of fiber instead of fruits if you want to reduce your carb intake. Both fruits and vegetables contain fiber.

Exercising is also important to reduce your constipation. Exercise promotes healthy blood flow to all the body organs including the GI tract, this will make more blood flow to all organs. Thus, the GI tract movement and the excretion of stools occur.

You should also reduce the amount of protein you have during the day if it interferes with your fiber intake. It is crucial to address constipation right away due to the complications it can have such as hemorrhoids and bleeding among others

Conclusion 

In this article, we discussed the “High protein diet constipation”.I explained how the high protein diet causes constipation and the reason behind it. I also included some tips to reduce constipation on a high protein diet.

References 

​Why High-Protein Diets Can Cause Constipation Or Diarrhea (womenshealthmag.com)

Does A High Protein Diet Cause Constipation? – BuiltLean

Does Eating a Lot of Protein Cause Constipation? (livestrong.com)

High-Protein Diet: Can It Cause constipation? | HealthReporter

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