Does Carnivore Diet Cause Constipation? Will You Have Issues?

When you choose to become a carnivore you will hear people ask "what about fiber"? Also they may ask if you have constipation since you skip vegetables, well here is your answer!
Josh Koop
January 31, 2020

When you are looking to start a diet that opposes your current understanding that fiber is a complement to ensure no constipation occurs, most people get concerned that the carnivore diet has no fiber included. What may amaze you is there are no studies that directly tie fiber to bowel correctness, in fact, there are more that show issues due to fiber that may help.

Does Carnivore Diet Cause Constipation? The carnivore diet when followed doesn't cause constipation, though in the adaptation phase you may experience irregularities in bowel movements as your body adjusts to the change in the overall diet. Though this has no fiber the mass is easier to digest so there is less mass to cause blockage in the first place.

So if the carnivore diet itself doesn't cause constipation why do the news media and other diets claim you will have issues with it? Well, the story goes back quite a ways but it is due to the major findings being done around a standard American diet that is carb and fat heavy along with being lower in protein.

Does Carnivore Diet Cause Constipation? Dictionary with constipation highlighted

What Causes Constipation?

In the Standard American Diet (SAD) or traditional western diet, you consume a bunch of vegetables and plant matter which we aren't built to process completely. Due to this, we can have a buildup of the excess waste material which isn't processed, this can get hung up in the colon and require help to keep moving.

This bulking of vegetable material in the intestine stops the natural ability of the colon to easily push the digestion forward and causes the slowing of the motion. This is where the "fiber" myth started, that it is "required" to help this body process function correctly.

What Is The Role Of Fiber?

If you listen to the media then fiber is a magical thing in plants that are required to allow you to poop. Honestly, this is nothing but a full fabrication and has no basis in truth, only in marketing and money-making does this make sense.

In fact, this article from PubMed(source) and the NIH specifically calls out the issues with Fiber and it causing constipation. That along with this NIH study(source) showed that while fiber could increase bowel movements it really did nothing to remove the actual issues around pain, bloating, and gas.

While this may come across as demonization I don't feel fiber is the enemy, just that we have been told that it is a miracle fix for issues, many times because it comes in and from plant sources. America and the world is facing an epidemic of people who are well meaning pushing a plant based diet.

A Carnivore Diet Cures Constipation Woes

There is a lot of self studies from people who have been on a carnivore diet for 10 or more years who never have issues with constipation. This shows that by nature a carnivorous diet hasn't been a cause for constipation ever.

In fact there is a study(source) from the NIH that shows a low-fiber or no fiber diet did improve their constipation issues. The removal of the fiber from their diets basically cured them of their constipation.

From the study above you can see that by removing fiber overall from the diet and the associated FODMAPS(FODMAPS 101) that they can contain typically helps your body manage the process.

How to Avoid Constipation on a Carnivore Diet

Now with everything I have mentioned above this may seem like an odd thing to have to ask. Unfortunately as humans we tend to make "cheating" on a diet a "thing".

The issue with this is that by choosing to add in foods that aren't on the carnivore shopping list you cause your gut to have to make changes to handle the different foods, changing the flora. The flora then will work on the non-meat digestion but you will have a change over time where you can experience issues as it isn't ready to process that style of food.

To avoid issues you really need to focus on maintaining your diet throughout at least the first month or two to ensure peak bodily function. If you make it this long you may actually realize you aren't interested in those cheat meals you thought were unavoidable.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully I have helped to make you feel more comfortable with a choice to eat like a carnivore and to worry a little less about gut issues like constipation. While I am no expert I can tell you that I haven't had any issues since I changed over and this makes me believe that it is more of a lie said enough becomes truth.

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

To the Carniovore Dieters Who Will Settle for Nothing Less Than Quality Meats

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2 comments on “Does Carnivore Diet Cause Constipation? Will You Have Issues?”

  1. constipation may be the wrong word, less bowel movements might be what I am asking. I go as many as 5 days without one. I have been on a strict beef, lamb, some pork, eggs and 4 tables whipping cream/day only diet add water and salt, since June of last year. I have had carbs twice (2 different days and immediately did a 24 hour water fast following). Should I be concerned?

    1. Most people when they switch to a meat-based diet see far more bowel movements than they had normally all their life. While most may have one a day depending on what you eat and how well your bowels process the foods this could be less. If you are worried it is still best to consult your doctor, especially if pain or discomfort is linked to it.

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