Are Mashed Potatoes Good for Constipation? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Mashed potatoes are not very good for constipation. Because they have a low amount of fiber and a high amount of fat and sodium. They can also cause gas, bloating, and discomfort in some people.

Constipation is a condition that affects your digestive system.

In constipation, your body has difficulty passing stool because it is too hard, dry, or infrequent.

This can lead to various health problems, such as hemorrhoids, fecal impaction, bowel incontinence, and abdominal pain.

One of the key factors in managing constipation is diet.

What you consume can affect your bowel movements, which can impact your constipation symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage constipation, you should consume fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and avoid low-fiber foods like processed, fried, and high-fat foods.

Now, mashed potatoes are a dish made from boiled and mashed potatoes, usually with added milk, butter, salt, and pepper.

People usually eat them as a side dish with meat, gravy, or other sauces.

Mashed potatoes are not very good for constipation because they contain a low amount of fiber and a high amount of fat and sodium.

One cup of mashed potatoes prepared from granules, without milk, whole milk and margarine contains only 2.2 grams of fiber, which is less than 10% of your daily needs.

It also contains 10.4 grams of fat, which can slow down your digestion, and 552.3 milligrams of sodium, which can dehydrate your stool.

Furthermore, mashed potatoes are a starchy food and starches are not very good for constipation.

Because, they can ferment in your gut and cause gas, bloating, and discomfort.

That’s why I suggest you limit your mashed potato intake to avoid worsening your constipation.

Stick to half a cup or less per day to minimize the negative effects.

You can also try adding some fiber-rich ingredients to your mashed potatoes, such as cooked vegetables, beans, or flax seeds, to increase the fiber content and make them more constipation-friendly.

Also, you shouldn’t eat mashed potatoes if you have or are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to prevent triggering your symptoms.

Because mashed potatoes are high in FODMAPs, which are types of carbohydrates that can cause digestive issues in some people.

You can buy fresh potatoes in your local market or can order them from online.

Always choose potatoes that are firm, smooth, and free of sprouts, bruises, or decay.

Because these are signs of quality and freshness.

You can store them in a cool, dark, and dry place for up to two weeks.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing constipation effectively.

I always recommend my constipation patients to follow a constipation-friendly diet to improve their bowel movements, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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