Keto diet is becoming more and more popular in weight loss management and for cutting down carbohydrate intake in a diet plan. Usually, people who are switching to a keto diet restrict their carbohydrate intake by less than 50 gm per day. So, for the alternative source of energy, they rely on more protein and especially more fats. But one of the main issues that people on the keto diet are facing is constipation. This can be painful, but by following some basic rules, you can avoid constipation while following a keto diet.
Why does Keo Diet cause Constipation?
The low-carb diets have a tendency to increase urination which can later lead to dehydration. Water helps in hydrating the colon and helps the stool to pass easily. With the lack of water in your body, you can face severe constipation.
2. Absence of enough Fiber
As the keto diets exclude most of the high-carb foods, the diet plans may not be getting enough prebiotic fiber and probiotics. They keep the microbiome healthy to avoid any digestive issues. The lack of starchy vegetables in your food can cause constipation.
3. Lack of Electrolytes and Mineral
To maintain the optimal GI (Glycemic Index) function, a certain level of electrolytes is necessary for your body. For the same reason, the balance in potassium, sodium, and magnesium level needs to be maintained in your body. Low carb intake results in decreasing the insulin level and causes an imbalance in the electrolyte level.
How to Get Rid of Constipation while you are on a Keto Diet?
Whether you are already facing constipation issues after following a keto diet or you want to take precautions before starting it, following this basic advice will help you a lot. Have a look at the ways you can resolve constipation issues.
1. Stay Hydrated
One of the major problems in low carb and keto diets is the increased urination. It is advisable to have at least 2.5 litres of water per day to avoid any kind of dehydration. Try to limit caffeinated beverages to a maximum of 4 cups per day as it can increase the risk of dehydration. Sufficient water can bring tremendous change in resolving constipation issues in the keto diet.
2. Regular Exercise Always Helps
Regular exercise can improve bowel movement and reduces the problem related to bloating. Try stretching in the morning to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which looks after the well being of digestive health. You can also try walking after having a meal for better digestion.
3. Mindful Eating is the Key
It is important to eat right if you want to keep your digestive health fit. Eat your meals without major distractions and always remember to chew your food well to help the enzymes to work more efficiently. It is important to chew your food to optimize healthy digestion.
4. Increase High-Fiber Food Intake
The lack of fibrous foods in the keto diet is one of the main reasons responsible for constipation. Soluble fiber which can be found in broccoli, blackberries, etc. is very useful in preventing constipation because of its water-holding capacity. Try the fiber-rich vegetables to help in the betterment of digestion. Incorporate more and more green, leafy vegetables in your regular diet. You can also include flax seeds, chia seeds, or psyllium husk which have high-fiber content.
High-fiber foods include spinach, celery, kale, bok choy, brussels sprout, tomato, avocado, cauliflower, mushroom, etc.
5. Keep an eye on Electrolyte and Magnesium level
The increased urination can drop the sodium and potassium level in your body suddenly and the insufficient electrolytes can cause constipation. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium regulate the digestive tract functioning and helps in healthy bowel movement. Magnesium also works as a very effective tool to ease the way your body process fats in the keto diet.
Add adequate salt to your food to maintain the sodium level. Eat potassium and magnesium-rich keto foods like avocado, nuts, yogurt, and fish.
6. Take Probiotic Foods and Supplements
Probiotic fiber feeds the probiotic or beneficial gut bacterias which help in maintaining a healthy digestive system. In the absence of prebiotic fiber in the keto diet, your body may also lack the presence of probiotics. Eat more fermented foods such as pickles, yogurt, kefir, or kimchi which are known to be probiotic foods. You may also consider probiotic supplements if you don’t want to include these foods in your diet.
7. Benefits of MCT Oil
The MCTs or Medium-Chain Triglycerides have the power to stimulate bowel movements through rapid digestion and absorption. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oils or coconut oil which has the MCT fats regularly in your diet to avoid constipation issues.
Although the keto diet has several health benefits, the problem of constipation becomes a serious concern. By following a balanced keto diet and including some basic rules in your regular lifestyle, you can overcome this issue quite easily.