Is the carnivore diet causing your constipation? It’s a question that many people following a carnivorous diet are asking. As a high-protein, low-fiber diet, it’s not surprising that the carnivore diet has been linked to constipation. But is meat the problem? Experts weigh in on carnivore diet constipation and suggest natural ways to fix it. From lifestyle changes to supplements, there are steps you can take to help manage constipation while on the carnivore diet.
What Is The Carnivore Diet?
The carnivore diet, also known as the zero-carb diet, is an extreme form of eating that involves eliminating all plant foods from one’s diet and focusing exclusively on animal products. This includes red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, organ meats, and other animal-based foods. It excludes all other food groups, including fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and more. The primary goal of the diet is to increase energy, lose body fat, and improve overall health. Proponents of the diet claim it can help individuals lose weight, improve their digestion and blood sugar control, and reduce chronic pain and inflammation.
However, research into the long-term effects of this diet is still very limited. While some studies have suggested that a carnivorous diet may provide health benefits, others suggest that the elimination of plant-based foods may contribute to deficiencies in essential nutrients (1)(2). This can, conversely, have a negative impact on overall health.
How Could Meat Be Causing Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive problem that occurs when bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass. It can cause discomfort, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Consuming a high-protein, low-fiber diet such as the carnivore diet can take a toll on gut health. While meat is an excellent source of protein, it is low in fiber, and fiber is essential for proper digestion and stool formation. Without enough fiber in the diet, it can be difficult for your body to pass stools through your intestines, resulting in constipation and other digestive issues. Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate constipation related to the carnivore diet, and restore optimal gut health.
What Do Experts Say About Carnivore Diet Constipation?
On the one hand, some experts believe that the lack of fiber from plant-based foods in the carnivore diet may lead to constipation (3). They suggest that the reduction in fiber can slow down digestion and reduce the bulk of stool, making it harder for your body to pass it. Additionally, not consuming any vegetables or fruits could potentially cause an imbalance in electrolytes, further contributing to constipation.
However, others argue that since the carnivore diet is high in fat, it can slow down digestion and help reduce symptoms of constipation. In particular, fatty acids found in animal proteins help increase peristalsis, the contractions in the large intestine that move stool along, and help keep you regular.
Overall, while there is no clear consensus on whether the lack of fiber in the carnivore diet causes constipation, it is generally agreed that it is possible and should be monitored. As always, it’s important to consult your healthcare professional before making any dietary changes to ensure you’re making safe and healthy decisions for your body.
Natural Remedies For Carnivore Diet Constipation
Constipation can be an uncomfortable side effect of the carnivore diet, but some natural solutions can help. Here are our top tips:
1. Be patient: If you have just started the carnivore diet then your body is still adjusting. Give it time and set realistic expectations. It may take several weeks or months before your body gets used to digesting large amounts of meat.
2. Increase hydration: Staying hydrated is essential for proper gut health. Water helps to move food through the digestive system and keep stools soft and easy to pass. Most people should aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but you may need to drink more if you’re following the carnivore diet. When you eat lots of protein, your body needs more water to digest it. Another tip? Don’t overcook your meat. This dries it out rather than retaining the moisture.
3. Increase fats: Fat is a vital nutrient that helps to lubricate the intestines and promote regular bowel movements. If you’re cutting out carbs, then you need to up the fats as well as the protein. Eating fatty cuts of meat, such as bacon or rib eye, is an effective strategy and can help prevent constipation.
4. Increase fiber: Even though the carnivore diet limits fiber intake, it is generally considered important to get some fiber in your diet as it helps to keep your digestive system regular. Consider adding non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, or kale to your meals. Incorporating small amounts, at least initially, may help the body adjust.
5. Take a supplement: Look for one that is effective yet gentle, such as Constilex™. Constilex™ is a natural supplement formulated to cleanse the colon, remove toxins, and promote regularity. It contains ingredients such as psyllium husk, a bulking fiber with laxative properties, and a probiotic to support healthy digestion and relieve constipation.
6. Exercise regularly: Exercise can stimulate the intestines, helping to move waste through more efficiently. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week to encourage regular bowel movements.
Bottom Line (Pun intended)
Constipation is a potential side effect of the carnivore diet, very likely due to its lack of fiber and the increased need for water. However, by following a few simple strategies, such as eating more fat, drinking plenty of water, and taking a targeted supplement such as Constilex™, you can alleviate constipation while still reaping the benefits of the diet. If you continue to experience digestive discomfort despite these strategies, it’s essential to speak with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying health issues.