Here’s the poop scoop.
What you eat affects what you’re dropping in the bowl. A diet high in fiber, meaning lots of fruits and veggies, will keep you regular; conversely, a low-fiber diet will probably have the bowels backing up.
This can make trying a new diet feel like a game of roulette for your gut – you just can’t tell if that new fad diet all your friends have jumped on will leave you unable to poop for days, or worse, pooping every 10 minutes.
So, here are the three best diets for your stool, picked from today’s most popular diets including Paleo, Mediterranean, and more, and how they’ll affect your number two.
Of all the popular diets, the Mediterranean diet offers the most bowel benefits, says Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor.
“Many of my clients who adopt a healthy, whole foods based Mediterranean diet can practically set their watches by their bowel movements,” she says.
This is due to the huge range of plant-based choices, such as veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and more, in the diet. “The natural fiber is like a strength training workout for the muscle of the gastrointestinal tract,” she says, “and it tends to respond with regular, healthy bowel movements.”
How the Paleo diet affects your stool depends on what your diet looked like before going Paleo.
“If going Paleo significantly ups your intake of veggies and berries, it may result in healthier poop,” Sass says.
Conversely, without grains and pulses – both axed in the Paleo diet – your digestion could be sluggish if your body is used to more fiber. You can make up for this with lots of water, and eating non-starchy fruits and veggies to get ‘things’ moving.
Though a fair portion of people who fast don’t see much change in their poop, some say they do go less frequently.
“That’s not a problem. As long as your bowel movements are consistent—once a day or twice a day—there’s no reason to worry if you’re going less frequently,” Sass says.
You’ll still need to be mindful of what you’re eating, even if you’re fasting for large portions of the day. Eating a produce-rich, high-fiber diet should make intermittent fasting a cinch for your bowels.
Photo Credit: Med Photo Studio/Shutterstock.com; Seasontime/Shutterstock.com