8 Foods That Cause Constipation & Plug You Up

This Evidence Based article was written by

Eat less of these foods if you have trouble with constipation…

Here are common foods that cause constipation, or at the least can muck up your digestive system, causing it to function at less than its best. Try avoiding these foods for a period of time and see if there’s an improvement in your digestion.

Chocolate Causes Constipation

1. Chocolate

Say it isn’t so! Chocolate, one of the most craved foods on the planet can actually be what’s causing you grief in the bathroom.

The problem lies in the fact that most commercial chocolate contains milk, which as we’ll see below can cause constipation in individuals that are sensitive to it. It could also be the fat content of chocolate that is causing the slow-down.

Dark Chocolate Too?

Dark chocolate is often recommended over milk chocolate because of its antioxidants, and the fact that it contains less sugar and should contain no dairy. If you go with a high quality dark chocolate it should not contribute to instances of constipation, but instead the magnesium it contains should help with regularity.

2. Milk

Milk and other dairy products make our list of foods that can give you constipation. There may be conflicting information on whether dairy causes constipation, but much of the debunking stems from dairy coalitions trying to keep the dairy industry going strong.

WebMD lists “eating large amounts of dairy products” as one of several potential causes of constipation, without going into details as to what large amounts consists of. You can test for yourself whether milk is causing the problem by eliminating it from your diet for a long enough time to see if conditions improve.

Better Options

Try almond milk instead, which is lactose free and contains a bit of fiber which will actually spur your digestive system on, rather than slow it down.

3. Beef

Beef and other red meats can do a number on your digestive system if you aren’t eating enough roughage along with it in the form of high-fiber vegetables.

Because meat contains no fiber at all, it can take its time to make it through your digestive system, especially if it was eaten at the same time as other low-fiber foods.

Benefits of Beef

Beef is an excellent source of protein and essential minerals the body needs, so you don’t need to eradicate it from your diet, just be sure you pair it with a high-fiber side dish to help it along.


4. Cheese

Cheese has long been identified as a food that can plug you up, it’s the combination of low fiber content and high fat content that makes cheese such a concern for those that experience frequent constipation.

How Much Is Too Much?

If you love the taste of cheese and don’t want to give it up entirely, be sure to limit your intake to 1/2 a cup or less per day. You can also help it through your system by making sure to eat vegetables and other high-fiber foods along with it.

5. Rice

White rice is the main culprit you’ll want to focus your attention on if you’re looking to prevent incidences of constipation.

Rice starts off healthy enough, but to make it white rice they do away with husk, germ, and bran that it contains, and then put it through a polishing process so it comes out nice and white. Unfortunately this removes the parts of rice that are best for the human body.

Opt for Brown Rice

Going with brown rice has the opposite effect, as brown rice is one of the foods that can help with constipation. It’s a source of whole grains and contains more fiber than you’ll find in white rice.

6. Ice Cream

Here’s another tough one to hear, ice cream is one of the tastiest foods that could be slowing down your bowel movements and making you strain in the bathroom.

It’s the milk that ice cream is made from that present the potential problem. If you know you don’t handle lactose well, you should think about passing on ice cream. You might also consider going with a soy based ice cream, or one that’s made with coconut milk or almond milk like the kinds from So Delicious.

Changing with the Seasons

Ice cream is best tolerated by the body in the summer months, but even then you’ll want to keep it in moderation or risk it becoming a digestion disruptor.

Unripe Bananas

7. Unripe Bananas

An unripe banana can lead to a back-up in the bathroom. This is because they’ll be too starchy and hard to digest, taking more time to pass through your digestive system and harder to pass out of you.

Waiting for a banana to become perfectly ripe can take time and patience, as it isn’t necessarily ripe just because it isn’t green anymore. You’ll want to wait until the banana has completely ripened, and that is usually when you see the peel covered in plenty of brown spots.

Ripe Bananas Help

Once bananas make it over to the ripe side of the equation they don’t pose a constipation threat anymore, and the fiber they contain will actually help you avoid the problem in the first place.

8. Yogurt

Our final entry is one that may be a little disconcerting, since yogurt winds up on many healthy food lists and diet programs. While it’s true that the bacteria in yogurt can help your digestive tract, it is also a dairy-based food that for some can spell trouble in the bathroom.

Whether or not yogurt causes a problem with digestion or eases it is largely up to the individual and how they respond to eating dairy products.

A Note on Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to its higher protein content and ability to fill in for such things as sour cream. But it is this style of yogurt that provides a bigger threat to causing constipation than regular yogurt.

You may also like our list of foods that make you poop.

Users Comments:

  • Carrie

    Beef? No way! It’s rice and cheese

  • bvs

    Been out of work fir a while, tUrned to rice as a low cost food but been having horrible constipation and gas lately. Looks like I need to switch to brown rice…

    • Chris

      I hope you find work soon my friend.

    • Shari Hussenbocus, RD, CDE

      If you suffer from constipation and gas after eating white rice, it could be due to an unhealthy gut (too many bad bacteria) — these bad bacteria will feed on the sugars in the rice and produce gas as a by-product. An unhealthy gut flora often causes constipation or diarrhea or a mixture of both. Maybe you could introduce probiotic foods such as sauerkraut or kefir in your diet? However, you may also benefit from eradicating the harmful bacteria and eliminating foods and factors that promote their growth. I strongly advise that you seek the help of a naturopathic dietitian or naturopathic doctor.

  • Helios

    cheese and rice are the big ones

  • sam9s

    Yogurt …… damm now I am confused. I am suffering from constipation for the last week or so I think its the depression I had and the long intake of Antidepressants I took. Even with medication its not improving as such, hence I took to google for some natural help, every article termed Yogurt as beneficial, NOT Curd, but Yogurt but this article had me confused ….. so yogurt or not to yogurt. is the big question

    • Charlie

      Yeah, I don’t believe it. I’ve been experimenting with yogurt lately. I had a couple of periods where I ate a small cup of greek yogurt every day for a few weeks for other reasons and pooping during that time was easy and effortless. I talked myself out of giving the yogurt the credit though and stopped eating it, got sick of it. Now, I haven’t had yogurt in about a week and pooping is annoying again and now I’m willing to give all the credit to yogurt. I’m thinking I’ll make yogurt a constant thing, consider it like daily medicine.

      For me, without yogurt it’s a situation of, “I think I need to poop… OK, I’m on the toilet, no pooping happening. Strain. OK, forget it. I come back an hour later, strain, then I poop.” Sometimes you’d poop and it was easy, many times not. With yogurt though, it’s easy: “I think I need to poop, I sit on the toilet and very little effort and we’re in Poop City.” Easy it was.

      • John day

        Don’t strain when going to the toilet I recently read a book called fibre menace it advises against straining as you may damage your bowel do we all need to consider our fibre intake . Read fibre menace I don’t think any of use will regret it .

    • Shari Hussenbocus, RD, CDE

      Sam9s: Individuals who have a leaky gut or more harmful bacteria than friendly ones may not be able to tolerate yogurt. The same goes for individuals who do not have enough acid in their stomach (this can be due to stress, the Standard American Diet, taking antacid or acid-blockers regularly). In your case, you mentioned that you are suffering from depression and that medications are not helping you. You may experiment with yogurt if you want to but I highly suggest you improve the health of your gut since an unhealthy gut may cause not only constipation but depression as well (check out this article: http://bembu.com/health-benefits-of-probiotics). Let us know if you’re better now 🙂

    • Yogurt never helped me

      Dr. Put me on 2 tbs 2x a day milk oh magnesia for chronic constipation. Get you regular and your lazy colon working again. Takes a few months but it works. It will stop the problem.

  • Surjeet Singh

    I liked it. very nice information about food in constipation. Thanks

  • Wilemutt

    Although you listed cheese, you did not list the worst culprit ever, and that is: any cheese puffs, especially Cheetos and Trader Joe’s white cheddar puffs which are a knockoff of Pirate’s Booty. Not only is it the cheese but the fact that they absorb all the water in your body. Stay away from these if you ever hope to poop again.

  • B

    Choclate is a.LAXATIVE it is more.l likely that it will cause diarrhea than constipation. Low fibre does NOT cause constipation, the REAL reason red meat takes a while to digest is because its proteins are complex and must be broken down for longer by your stomach acids

    • Benjamin Vincent Schiro

      I ate 2 chocolate chip cookies in the morning and to for desert late afternoon. .I immediately became constipated for a week and had to take laxatives to clear the way.

      No more chocolate for me!

  • Nathan

    Where is the evidence for any of the claims made on this page? I’d like to read the studies.

    • Mark

      I’d like to see some evidence as well, or at least quotes from recognized, qualified nutrition experts. When I read the claim that Ice Cream is better tolerated “in the Summer months” is when this article lost any credibility for me. Gluten sensitivities are useful to know, as Lactose intolerance. But talk to a nutritionist or doctor about gluten – I know someone with severe celiac disease and diagnosis was difficult. I suggest that eliminating gluten forever isn’t the best answer for most people, nor is it economical. But eating more fruits and vegetables and only whole grains are always the best advise for regularity. I make my own yogurt once a week and I believe live culture yogourt benefits digestion, though I still take lactase.

    • Janice

      For crying out loud! Go to the doctor! Dr. Google cannot properly diagnose or treat you. Every BODY’s different. If you are suffering from chronic constipation, it could be from medications that you’re taking. Talk to your doctor!

  • Graham Ansell

    Never had a problem with Rice but Cheese is the biggest culprit of all. . Hard boiled eggs are another.

  • Peter

    Yep had hearth operation and stroke sametime lost 90 lbs eat lot of togurt lot of problem even probioric

  • Lorecia

    When I drink 100oz of water per day and start each day with half a cup of plain yogurt with honey (regular or Greek), I also start each morning with a wonderful giant brick of poo that only takes me 5 blissful seconds to evacuate, regardless of what else I’ve eaten in the prior 24 hours.

  • Jen

    Almond Milk can be DANGEROUS for those that have any thyroid issues to be carefull!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type Comment


Name field required

Email field required

Please submit valid email


Website field required

Website is not valid