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Atkins and Constipation

author image Melodie Anne
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.
Atkins and Constipation
Sliced zucchini on a white counter. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Since you’ll be cutting down significantly on foods with carbohydrates while you’re on the Atkins diet, it’s possible that you won’t be getting enough fiber. Without adequate fiber -- a type of indigestible carbohydrate -- the passage of food could slow down, making it difficult for you to have a bowel movement or leaving you backed-up for days.

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Getting Enough Fiber

You need to get 14 grams of fiber in your diet for every 1,000 calories you consume, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. The Atkins diet does allow you to have small amounts of carbs from cheese, salad dressings and certain beverages. But these foods don’t contain fiber. Instead of those, get your daily net carb allowance from nonstarchy vegetables, such as lettuce greens, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, celery, radishes, artichoke hearts and broccoli. These veggies give you at least 0.5 grams of fiber, for around 1 gram of net carbs or less per serving -- roughly 1 cup of raw vegetables or 1/2 a cup of cooked. Other fiber-rich nonstarchy veggies are allowed, including onions, asparagus, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans and zucchini, although they are higher in net carbs.

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