Using laxatives regularly can actually lead to more constipation in the long run, as your bowels get used to them and don’t function that well in their absence. A much better way to avoid constipation is to be a bit more careful about what you’re eating.

Find out more about which constipation foods to avoid if you want to have regular bowel movements. A single serving won’t make a difference, but when you indulge in these foods regularly, you might end up dealing with constipation.

Fast Food

Fried foods aren’t that good for keeping your digestive track working in optimal conditions, but when they’re also heavily processed, you might have a problem. Most fast food is very low in fiber, so if you’re eating it regularly, you might end up having less bowel movements than you’d like. Add frozen dinners and chips to the list of food that’s not exactly good for your digestive system.

Candy

When you’re putting a lot of sugar and fat in your body, don’t expect good transit. Candy is one of the constipation foods to avoid, but any kind of desserts with lots of sugar and white flour can mess with your bowels. Replacing refined carbs and sweets with fruit from time to time will help, unless you’re choosing green bananas. They have a similar effect to other constipating foods.

Foods To Avoid If You Cant Go

Dairy

High in fat, dairy is another risk factor when it comes to constipation. The more processed and fatty dairy is, the more it will slow down the transit in your digestive track. If you don’t want to cut back on it, then at least compensate by eating it in combination with foods that are high in fiber, such as whole grain crackers.

Iron-Rich Foods

Everything that’s rich in iron and consumed excessively qualifies as one of the constipation foods to avoid, especially oysters, mussels, and liver. You should also be wary of fortified cereal, which may bring your iron levels up and cause constipation. Don’t forget to check that you’re not getting too much iron from taking multivitamins, which usually contain iron as well.

Nuts

They may be a source of healthy fats, but they do contain a lot of them. Nuts are basically the vegan equivalent of dairy. If you eat too much of them, your bowel transit time will increase. Be especially careful when you’re eating nut butters with added sugars.

See also: Toxic Foods That Impede Weight Loss

Eggs

One of the constipation foods to avoid when you’re dealing with infrequent bowel movements, eggs deliver protein and fats, without any fiber that you’d get from plant protein sources. They shouldn’t be a problem if they’re eaten in moderation, but they can also contribute to transit issues, especially if you eat them fried, adding more fat to them.

Red Meat

Rich in iron and fat, red meat takes a lot longer to digest than any vegetables or beans. Even a few servings per week can mess with your gastrointestinal transit. If you want to keep enjoying your steaks, simply eat them with a big salad or other side dishes that are rich in fiber. People who eat 5 ounces a day or more also have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

Chocolate Is Bad For Constipation

Chocolate

It’s one of the constipation foods to avoid for some, while it can help with bowel movements for others. If you’re dealing with irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation, then chocolate is definitely a treat that should only be enjoyed occasionally. When cutting back isn’t an option, add more fiber-rich foods to your diet and drink more water.

Constipation Drinks to Avoid

Any drink that increased the risk of dehydration (like coffee and alcohol) will also delay the formation of stool. A cup of coffee in the morning is helpful to many people dealing with constipation, but excess caffeine throughout the day, even in the form of black tea, will increase the risk of constipation. When it comes to alcohol, stick to a couple of drinks. Any more and you it could contribute to constipation.

Antacids

Even if you’re careful about constipation foods to avoid, some types of medication can undo all your restraint. Antacids that contain aluminum or calcium, along with many painkillers and antidepressants can also slow down your transit.