Want to Poop Better? Of Course You Do—So Start Avoiding These Common Foods

Discussing one’s bowel movements is no longer the sole domain of toddlers, new parents, and seniors in fiber supplement ads. It’s become perfectly acceptable for your friends to offer up details about what certain foods do to their intestines while you’re seated at a table eating those very foods. Well, with that taboo out of the way, we might as well talk about it here, because it turns out that yes, your poop is important.
“Your intestinal health is critical because it nurtures the rest of your body,” Lea Ann Chen, says assistant professor of medicine at New York University and a member of the American Gastroenterological Association. In other words, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or other forms of discomfort down there could also mean that the rest of your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients you need to function.
Just in case you’re wondering whether your poop is “normal,” next time you drop the kids off at the pool, compare them to this Bristol Stool Form Scale. It’s not the most precise measure of health, but it can be a good place to start. If you’re often staring at something on the higher or lower ends of that scale, or you feel bloated and gassy after certain meals, it’s time to reexamine the foods, drinks, and meds that might be messing with your plumbing.
For Everyone
Fried Foods
How sad is it that your mouth and your gastrointestinal tract will never agree about this category?
“We always worry about fried, fatty foods,” Chen says. “There’s not much good that can come from them besides that they’re tasty.”
Of course, we all know that delicious fried chicken, tempura, French fries, and the like can clog our arteries and put strain on our hearts, but the fats in those foods also do damage on their way to the bloodstream.

EDITOR’S PICK
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“I call fats the most high-maintenance macronutrient because they typically take a long time to digest,” says Dana White, R.D.
Studies have shown that diets high in saturated fats can increase constipation. While this study of rats indicated that the oils used in deep-frying foods can cause an imbalance in the gut microbiota, which in turn has consequences for how the intestines handle other foods, the research on humans is less conclusive. We do, however, know that saturated fat consumption can increase the prevalence of the bad gut bacteria that are associated with inflammatory bowel diseases.
Sugar Alcohols
Though the name may conjure up delightful images of strawberry daiquiris, the term “sugar alcohols” actually refers to a group of chemicals (xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and others) that occur naturally in some fruits and vegetables but are also manufactured for use in processed low-calorie foods. They don’t contain many calories because your body can’t fully digest them.
“If you can’t digest something efficiently, it sits in your gut and ferments, and that causes gas, bloating, discomfort, and potentially diarrhea,” White says. Don’t confuse this issue of foods fermenting in the gut with the foods that are already

This article was originally published here by Sabrina Weiss