Foods like pizza that are low in fiber and high in fat can cause constipation by slowing down your natural digestive processes and drying out your stool as it goes through your colon.
Constipation happens when you have difficulty passing a bowel movement, typically
Read on to learn more about the possible link between pizza and constipation, other popular foods that can lead to constipation, and what you can eat to help relieve constipation.
- Saturated fats: Oils used in pizza can contain greasy saturated fats that can affect
nerve cells in the coloninvolved in muscle contractions. Saturated fats can cause these cells to die or not function properly, slowing down muscle movements that push food through your colon.
- Dairy: Dairy products like cheese are high in fats that can slow down digestion, especially
in children. If you’re lactose intolerant, you might have a higher riskof constipation when you eat dairy.
- Processed meats: Processed meats like pepperoni and sausage are closely
linkedto disorders that can disrupt the signals traveling between your brain and your gut that help with digestion.
- Refined grains: According to a 2019 article, low-fiber refined grains like those used in pizza crusts are among the most processed foods that you can eat.
Several other foods may cause constipation, especially if you don’t get regular exercise or drink enough water.
Fried foods are a double-whammy. They’re high in fat and low in fiber, which are two of the most common causes of constipation.
Fried foods are also sometimes high in salt content. Sodium in your diet can cause you to retain water that would normally be used to moisten your stool in your colon, drying it out and making it harder to pass through your colon.
Dairy is more commonly known to cause diarrhea, especially in people who are lactose intolerant.
The link between dairy and constipation 2022 study suggests that a moderate amount of dairy in females’ diets might actually help relieve or prevent constipation. But more research is needed.
Saturated fats can cause a flurry of changes in your normal gut function that can lead to constipation, including:
- affecting how long it takes for food to pass through your colon
- changing your serotonin levels
- killing cells in your gut involved in bowel muscle contractions
- lowering mucus in your intestines that help move stool through
- causing oxidative stress that affects gut functions
Red and processed meats
Red meat and processed meats are low in fiber, high in salt, and full of tough fibrous muscle tissues that are hard for your digestive tract to process.
All of these factors contribute to constipation by making stool harder and slowing it down through the colon.
Many packaged foods are processed and high in salt, fat, and sugar. They also contain preservatives, sweeteners, and other artificial ingredients that can
They’re also often dry, meaning that there’s less moisture that can travel to your bowels to help keep stool soft.
Eating large amounts of refined, low-fiber grains may
You shouldn’t eat pizza if you’re constipated because it can make your symptoms worse.
If you’re doing other things to relieve constipation, such as exercising or adding fiber to your diet, you may be able to eat a little bit of pizza when you’re constipated.
And some pizzas made with whole grains or raw vegetables may be safer to eat when you’re constipated.
Here are some foods to help relieve constipation:
- fruits like citrus, prunes, apples, pears, or kiwis
- leafy greens like spinach
- sweet potatoes
- beans, peas, and lentils
- chia seeds or flaxseeds
- whole grain rye bread
- oat bran
- Greek yogurt or kefir
There’s not much science supporting the idea that eating specific foods can help digest pizza.
But here are some foods and beverages that may help promote digestion:
Pizza can be a delicious meal to share with family or friends — but it can also cause or worsen constipation.
Try eating pizza with whole grains and natural ingredients or combine it with other high-fiber foods and exercise to make sure you can enjoy a slice without slowing down your gut.