Ask the experts: Low-carb, high-protein diets and constipation
Q. “I’ve been following a low-carb, high-protein diet, but am getting constipated and bloated. I include psyllium, but I’m scared if I eat grains I won’t lose any more weight. What should I do?”
Evelyn, via email
A. Accredited Practising Dietitian Courtney Dinnerville writes:
“While low-carbohydrate, high- protein diets produce more immediate weight loss, diets containing moderate amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fat produce long-term weight loss, which is more sustainable.
One of the problems with high-protein diets is that animal foods don’t contain fibre, which is important for bowel health. I suggest introducing some low-GI carbohydrates such as quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, wholegrain bread, oats and bran into your meal plan. These foods contain fibre, protein and are slowly digested, so they will help keep you satisfied. Other sources of fibre include berries, nuts, seeds and vegies. Aim to fill half your dinner plate with non-starchy vegies or salad. Ensuring you drink enough water and doing regular exercise will also help keep you regular.”