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alright let’s talk about constipation we need to have a serious talk in all honesty this is kind of a serious topic when it comes down to constipation because nobody ever talks about it and how it relates to ketosis I see a lot of comments a lot of emails come in but there’s not a lot of public facing content surrounding the world of what is happening to your digestion when you’re in ketosis and the simple fact there’s actually three things that you can start paying attention to that are going to make a big difference when it comes down to the ketogenic diet how your body digests and if you’re constipated or not constipated and it break down these three things but they’re not what they seem like on the surface okay the first one we’re talking about fiber the second one we’re gonna be talking about dehydration the third one we talking about minerals seems like very basic stuff right well when I dive into the science of it you’re gonna see that it’s actually somewhat the opposite of what you might think so let’s start with fiber because it’s the one that we all think is really related when it comes down to constipation and whether things are moving or not so we have to remember when people are going to ketosis most of the time they’re just by default subbing out their veggies and putting in a lot more fats and unfortunately putting in a lot more meats I’m gonna reiterate here that the true ketogenic diet does not contain a lot of meat does not contain a lot of protein it should be like ten to fifteen percent protein so by and large that’s off kilter anyway but let’s not talk about that in this video I’m just saying that most of the time people are subbing out their veggies for meats and fats so we look at the breakdown of fibers and how they’re digested in the body and then we get a little bit of a clearer picture you see we have soluble fiber and we have an insoluble fiber soluble fiber is the kind of fiber that’s in stuff like oatmeal and what soluble fiber is is a fiber that draws in water so when you’re going to the bathroom and your stool is soft it’s because you have a good amount of soluble fiber it’s and drawing water into the stool it’s making it easier to move the digestive system and it’s making it easier for the body to process that waste the problem is when we’re in ketosis it’s very difficult for us to get good amounts of soluble fiber a soluble fiber we’re usually getting from starches and since we’re avoiding starches we run into an issue now there is another kind of fiber it’s called insoluble fiber so insoluble fiber is still fiber that’s still going to help get things moving but it doesn’t retain water it’s just bulk it just adds volume to the waste basically it’s the job of the insoluble fiber to push everything through whereas the soluble fiber is actually there to make everything softer and easier to move so you dirt doing the math you look at ketosis you look at all the veggies we’re eating we’re eating tons of asparagus we’re eating tons of veggies that have a lot of insoluble fiber but we don’t have the soluble fiber so what ends up happening well we actually create ourselves a blockage with the insoluble fiber so how do we start getting more soluble fiber into the mix well there’s a couple of different things that you can do but one of the things that I like to do the most is get more avocado in the diet now simply put avocado contains a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber in fact in my opinion it’s probably one of the perfectly balanced ketogenic foods it does have a couple of carbs in it but you’re getting the fats you’re also getting the insoluble fiber and you’re getting the soluble fiber that you need so that’s the simple trick that you can use there but if you understand that you’re really just not getting enough at the right kind of fiber it makes a little bit easier now I could also say you may want to tone down some of the extra fibrous veggies that you’re taking in because believe it or not too much fiber can cause a problem as well especially when it’s combined with a lot of fats okay now when we look at the digestive piece we also have to look at probiotics and prebiotics okay probiotics are something that you add to the mix later on to add bacteria into your gut prebiotics are fertilizer for your existing gut bacteria in fact there was a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition that took a look at combining prebiotics and probiotics the prebiotic that they used in this case was a fructooligosaccharides and they combined it with a probiotic and what they found is that a prebiotic and a probiotic combined elicited a much more powerful effect when it came down to frequency of bowel movements and ease of bowel movements compared to just adding a prebiotic or just adding a probiotic so what I ultimately mean by this is by combining prebiotic foods and probiotic foods you can really help yourself out a lot that means asparagus with sauerkraut or things like that you’re basically combining these foods or if you have to take a supplement take a supplement all right let’s move on to the next thing next one I want to talk about is dehydration now I’ve talked about in other videos when you’re in a ketogenic state your body is not holding on to a lot of water for every one gram of carbohydrate you consume you hold about 3.7 grams of water so when carbohydrates are not present do the math you’re really getting a lot of water that’s getting held on to so that affects your digestion but it’s not as simple as you think it’s not just about the fact you don’t have water so things don’t move through your body I mean that’s a very simple way of looking at it but when it comes down to ketosis we’re talking about bile we need bile to break down fats and guess what bile is 75% water so without that water what happens to bile it becomes more viscous it doesn’t move well okay it doesn’t move to your intestinal tract and your intestinal tract can actually dry out where it’s losing that motility so then things aren’t moving not to mention you’re not breaking down the fats very well so in addition to not being able to go to the bathroom you’re really not getting the most of the food that you’re eating either so dehydration plays a much bigger role now you can add more sodium to the mix to make sure that you hold on to a little bit more water that’ll make a big difference but there’s another part to to this that really comes into play there’s a second phase of digestion and absorption that happens in the colon a lot of people don’t realize that we still reabsorb some nutrients some minerals in some water even when it’s in the colon now what happens when you’re dehydrated is the body says wait a minute I’m gonna pull as much water from the colon as I possibly can to keep this body healthy what does that mean that means your colon dries out it means your bile dries out even more and you’ve just put yourself into this vicious circle where you’re chronically dehydrated and you don’t have enough bile to really break down all the fats that you’re consuming on a ketogenic diet so what the heck are you going to do well that’s where minerals come into play I’m gonna talk about this third thing because when you are in ketosis you are deficient in many minerals we need minerals okay it’s so important for so many different functions of our body enzymatic functions electrical functions all the things that make us tick including digestion so let’s take a look at potassium for one second okay potassium is gonna help a muscle contract it’s gonna help a muscle do its thing and we’re talking about the digestive system we’re talking about something called peristalsis this peristalsis is the actual contraction of the muscle tissue in our intestinal tract if potassium is not present where we’re depleted in it how the heck can actually move food through the digestive system okay and then we have magnesium that comes into play magnesium relaxes muscle tissue so we need magnesium in the intestinal tract to relax the muscle tissue and quite honestly if I can be blunt relax the rectum enough so that you can actually go to the bathroom if you don’t have minerals what the heck is gonna happen well not only are you dehydrated now you don’t have the minerals to electrically function your digestive system so the best way that you can fix both of these problems is by adding a quarter teaspoon of Himalayan salt to your gallon jug of water that you’re sipping on throughout the course of the day remain hydrated add a little bit of sodium so your body is making sure that it gets that in the picture and also don’t be afraid of stuff I’ve talked about this in so many videos salt is not the enemy when you’re in ketosis as long as it’s the right salt not unopposed sodium from things like iodized salt now I know that this video touched on a few different things and I hope that you got some good information from it but as always I want to make sure that you let me know if you like this content and what other videos you might want to see in the near future because I know I like to take out some of these subjects that people don’t usually talk about and break them down but sometimes there’s even obvious ones that I don’t know about so make sure you present them down below so that I can see them keep it locked in and I’ll see you in the next video [Music]
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Keto Diet vs. Constipation: Science-Backed Solutions | Thomas DeLauer…
Fibrous Veggies/Fermented Foods: Not consuming enough fibrous vegetables and fermented foods is a problem that many have when switching to ketosis – consume more fatty meats and less vegetables, specifically non-starchy veggies with lots of fiber.
Fibrous Veggies: There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, that can be used to treat and prevent constipation – Both types of fiber are essential for keeping your intestinal system running smoothly. Soluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool, making waste softer, larger, and thus, easier to pass through your intestines; insoluble fiber adds bulk to your fecal material, which speeds up its passage through your gut and prevents that constipated feeling (1,2)
Prebiotics & Probiotics: Probiotics act as a barrier against harmful bacteria by coating the GI tract so that they compete directly with pathogens for space and nutrients. Space is important for bacteria, because before they can colonize and multiply they need to attach themselves to the gut wall lining. By taking a probiotic supplement, you’re making sure that the bad bacteria in your gut don’t grow to harmful levels, and by doing that you’ll reduce the chance of suffering from constipation (3)
Study: A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that taking the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) with a multistrain probiotic formula containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains increased the frequency of bowel movements, and improved stool consistency and constipation intensity in chronically constipated women when compared to those women taking a placebo (5)
Hydration: Lack of hydration can be a problem while in ketosis as the lack of carbs means you’ll retain less water – water keeps the food you eat moving along through your intestines and keeps your intestines smooth and flexible. Stools lose a great amount of bulk. This results to slower passage of stools down the colon, and therefore constipation (6)
Potassium: As you are holding onto less water when in ketosis, you’re excreting more minerals as well, specifically potassium. Potassium is needed in your colon walls to insure that peristaltic action occurs. Without potassium, colon walls are weak and unable to respond and contract properly when fecal matter needs to be move.
Magnesium: Magnesium plays a key role in muscle function, which is why it’s helpful for individuals who suffer from constipation. Your GI tract is one long muscle that must be healthy in order to produce consistent bowel movements – magnesium can help to relax intestinal muscles, allowing bowel movements to pass without issue. Magnesium is also known to attract water, so if you suffer from constipation attracting extra water to your digestive system can help loosen and free up stools. Because magnesium does attract water, it’s essential to drink plenty of water when taking magnesium for constipation – magnesium can lead to dehydration if you fail to drink an adequate amount of water with your supplement.
1) How Fiber Helps Ease Constipation. (2011, December 9). Retrieved from
2) Does Fiber Relieve or Cause Constipation? A Critical Look. (2016, September 15). Retrieved from
3) How Probiotics Can Help With Constipation. (n.d.). Retrieved from
4) Probiotics + Prebiotics = Constipation Relief. (n.d.). Retrieved from
5) Rodríguez-Cabezas ME , et al. (n.d.). The combination of fructooligosaccharides and resistant starch shows prebiotic additive effects in rats. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
6) Water: A Fluid Way to Manage Constipation. (n.d.). Retrieved from
7) How to Use Magnesium Citrate for Constipation. (2016, April 7). Retrieved from
8) Dehydration and Constipation. (n.d.). Retrieved from /