Ketogenic Diet and Constipation
A ketogenic diet which comprises of mainly protein and fat tends to be low in vegetables and little to no fruit. Because of this, many low carb and keto dieters find themselves constipated more often than not.
Below are some tips and useful items to include on a ketogenic diet to keep the pipes moving so to say 🙂
- Optimum Nutrition – Fitness Fiber (white powder NO taste very simple and can add to anything) – Fiber Blend (Polydextrose, Digestion Resistant Maltodextrin, Inulin, Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum, Psyllium Seed Husk, Gum Arabic)
- Bulk Psyllium Husk (like Metamucil) Fiber (flavored) from various online sources or if the taste is still too gross (trust me it is) then take some convenient Psyllium Fiber capsules
- Electrolytes – A ketogenic diet can cause low Potassium levels, and low potassium causes constipation. Potassium is needed in your colon walls to insure that peristaltic action occurs. Without potassium, colon walls are weak and unable to respond and contract properly when fecal matter needs to be move. Similar issues happens with lack of magnesium. An easy solution would be to supplement with an all-in-one electrolyte supplement like Keto-Lytes™
- Magnesium Citrate – more of a laxative effect but sometimes its needed if constipation is becoming an issue.
- Avocado and MCT Oil – Popular fat sources to improve constipation is to adjust your meal plans to include MCT — medium-chain triglyceride oil or avocado. Both MCT oil and avocados have a natural laxative effect.
- Low carb high-fiber vegetables, leafy greens and salads. Choose dark green lettuces, romaine, endive and raw spinach especially is amazing for it’s ability to get things moving. Have a serving of lightly steamed, high fiber veg. such as broccoli, asparagus or spinach. Just keep the carb count in mind that you do not go over your daily limit.
- Exercise – a must! Keeps everything moving especially the bowels.
- And last but not least and maybe the #1 thing you should be doing, DRINK LOTS OF WATER especially when adding extra fiber to your diet because if you do not drink enough the fiber will do the opposite of what you want and constipate you even more.
There seems to be a new trend to NOT recommend adding fiber to your diet and comes from this study below:
Stopping or reducing dietary fiber intake reduces constipation and its associated symptoms. Ho KS et al. World J Gastroenterol 2012;18(33): 4593-4596.
“This study has confirmed that the previous strongly-held belief that the application of dietary fiber to help constipation is but a myth. Our study shows a very strong correlation between improving constipation and its associated symptoms after stopping dietary fiber intake.”
But like many no matter how much fat and food you eat if you don’t supplement with fiber you don’t go to the bathroom as often as you should and get very constipated.
So decide what works for you…