Digestive Health Constipation Print Foods You Should Never Eat When You're Constipated By Barbara Bolen, PhD Updated July 15, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Digestive Health Constipation Daily Care Bloating & Gas Exams & Procedures Celiac Disease Diarrhea Inflammatory Bowel Disease Irritable Bowel Syndrome More Digestive Diseases Peptic Ulcer Disease Heartburn SIBO Gallbladder Disease Stomach Flu Hemorrhoids View All When you are constipated, the last thing that you want to do is to eat anything that is only going to make things worse. There are plenty of things that you can eat that will help to ease constipation, so it shouldn't be too much of a deprivation to skip the foods that you will find below. Some of these foods you may choose to avoid only when you are constipated, but there are others that you may want to avoid altogether so as to prevent further bouts of constipation. Note: There is very little published research regarding the effects of specific foods on constipation. The following recommendations are, therefore, to be considered common sense guidelines. Anything With White Flour Luisa Pelipetz/Moment/Getty Images White flour is wheat that has had most of its gut-healthy fiber stripped away. A healthy intake of fiber is essential for keeping your bowels humming along smoothly. Therefore, to help to ease constipation now (and perhaps prevent it from coming back), avoid: BagelsCake CookiesDonutsPepperoniPizzaSalamiSandwiches made with white bread, toast, or buns Processed Meats Glow Cuisine/Getty Images Processed meats are thought to be hard on the digestive system. You don't want to give it a new job, e.g. working hard on your last meal, when it hasn't finished up its original task—that of emptying out any prior meals. In addition, processed meats typically contain nitrates, substances that may increase constipation. Therefore, when constipated (and beyond!), avoid: BaconBolognaHot dogsSausage Fried Foods TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Images Like processed meats, fried and other greasy foods are hard for the body to digest, slowing the process down and therefore possibly contributing to constipation. To ease constipation and perhaps prevent it from coming back, avoid: Barbecued ribsFast food hamburgersFrench friesFried chickenFried fishBuffalo wings Dairy Products Erik Isakson/Blend Images/Getty Images Many people report that dairy products can make them constipated. This may be due to the effect of lactose or some of the various proteins found in dairy products. Avoid these dairy foods when you are constipated: Cheese of all typesIce creamMilkSour creamYogurt* *Once your constipation has eased, you may want to try to eat yogurt again. Yogurt has gut-healthy probiotics that may help to keep you from getting constipated in the first place. If you have chronic constipation, you may want to try an elimination diet in which you avoid eating any dairy for a few weeks to see if this has any effect on your symptoms. Red Meat Andrew Scrivani/StockFood Creative/Getty Images Many experts point to red meat as a food to be avoided when you are constipated. However, it may be the type of red meat that is the problem. Meat from conventionally raised, grain-fed cows, do appear to contain substances (proteins and unhealthy fats) that can contribute to constipation. If you really love beef, it may be worth it to spend a little more money on meat that comes from grass-fed, pastured cows. Since the cows are eating the food that they are best adapted to eat, their meat contains the substances that we humans are best adapted to eat. Therefore, you may be able to enjoy your red meat without complicating your constipation problem. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Gas pain? Stool issues? Sign up for the best tips to take care of your stomach. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources "Constipation self-care" Medline Plus. Daley et.al. "A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal. 2010 9:10. Mueller-Lissner SA, Wald A. Constipation in adults. BMJ Clinical Evidence.