7 Foods That Can Cause Constipation

Let’s face it—pooping is good for you and your gut. And when you’re backed up, it can lead to bloating, discomfort, and fatigue, which can make you feel pretty crappy.

Try to eat these foods in moderation, and if you do eat them, pair them with fibrous foods and lots of water to counteract the constipation-causing effects.


OK, so it’s not *technically* a food, and sometimes alcohol can actually trigger looser stools or abnormal bowel movements during a night (or the next morning) of drinking, but if you’re consistently drinking alcohol and aren’t having other fluids to keep your body hydrated, it could lead to constipation.


Gluten is found in several grains, like rye, wheat, and barley, and if you happen to have an intolerance or allergy, it could lead to constipation, says Presicci. “While gluten won’t cause constipation for everyone, it can be problematic for some people. Those with celiac disease cannot eat any gluten, but even people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) will generally be more sensitive to gluten,” she explains.

Processed Grains

That’s right—eating too much white flour (rather than complex carbs that are high in fiber) will lead to constipation. “Research shows that more processed grains like white bread and white pasta tend to be more constipating than whole grains. Since the bran and germ are removed from these simple carbohydrates, they lack the fiber that helps lower risk of constipation,” Presicci explains.


If you have a sensitive belly, milk could back you up. “Some people are more sensitive to the protein found in milk and experience constipation,” Presicci says, and this is particularly true for children. If you think milk or dairy products might be causing your constipation, eliminate them for 30 days and then reintroduce, seeing how your body reacts, she suggests.

Fried Foods

All those fried chicken wings and burgers could be making you constipated. “Since fried foods are low in fiber and high in salt, they can lead to constipation,” she says. Low fiber intake is associated with constipation, and eating large amounts of salt can lower the amount of water in your stool, making it harder to move things along in your digestive tract.

Unripe Persimmons and Bananas

Random, but “unripe or partially ripe persimmons may cause constipation, since they contain high amounts of tannins, which can slow movement of food through the intestines,” Presicci says.

The Bottom Line

If you’re constipated—which, according to the Medical University of South Carolina, means pooping less than twice a week and straining when you do go—it’s worth avoiding these foods until you’re back on a regular bathroom schedule.