Constipation, Dietary causes:
High-fibre diet; missing breakfast.
Adrienne said ‘I have experienced virtually complete elimination of constipation issues since adding coconut oil to my daily diet. As an experiment, I use it 3 times per day. I have actually been eating less fibre during the experiment because I cut out all nuts and nut butters which I’d been eating quite a lot of. Anyone out there experiencing constipation may want to give coconut oil a try. Make sure you get unprocessed, virgin coconut oil.’
Constipation is another condition for which fibre, and bran in particular, is recommended. In my experience, although it can be helpful occasionally, there are better solutions. I, as well as some studies, have found that fibre, particularly cereal fibre, may actucally increase the risk of constipation. For example, although it is supposed to travel through the gut at a faster rate, it does not always do so and it has been shown to cause blockages.  Good remedies are coconut oil, higher fat intake or green leafy vegetables. Another way to prevent constipation is to have the right breakfast. As Dr KW Heaton wrote in 1989, ‘For many people the next port of call after breakfast is the lavatory, thanks to the “gastrocolic reflex” being especially active at this time of day. For anyone with a tendency to constipation this is an extra inducement to cultivate the breakfast habit. . . . The strongest stimulus is fat so, perhaps, bacon and eggs have something to be said for them after all!’13 Yet another good way is to ensure that you drink sufficient water — a minimum of two litres (3 ½ pints) a day if the weather is cool, and more if you perspire a lot.
Constipation after change of diet
Constipation is a frequent complaint when people who have eaten a high-fibre diet adopt the low-carb diet recommended here. But that does not mean that the new diet is at fault. Constipation is really caused by their previous diet. What happens is this: You eat food and the waste is moved along the bowel by circular muscles in rather the same way as a worm moves (it’s called peristalsis). If you eat a high-fibre diet, the fibre itself forces waste through and that peristaltic action is made redundant. After a while it stops working. Now you change to a low-fibre, more natural diet, and your bowel muscles don’t work as they should, so you get constipated.
But the muscles will recover if you keep eating properly (low-carb, high-fat). While they catch up and get working again, increasing salads or raw vegetables might help them; drinking more water will also help. What you should not do is go back to the high-fibre regime that caused the problem in the first place.
. Inoue M, et al. Subsite-specific risk factors for colorectal cancer: a hospital-based case-control study in Japan. Cancer Causes and Control 1995; 6: 14-22.
. Guller R, Reber M. Mechanical obstruction of the large intestine by wheat bran. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1980; 110: 89-91.