DEAR DR. ROACH: What are some ways I can ease hard bowel movements with a lower-carb diet? I am trying to lose weight to lower my A1C. J.S.
ANSWER: First off, there are multiple types of carbohydrates. Simple sugars, like table sugar and honey, will raise your A1C (a measure of overall blood sugar) if taken in excess. Virtually all authorities recommend very limited amounts of these. Starches such as most white breads, pasta and rice are long strings of sugar molecules that are broken down quickly in the body. These also are generally poor, when taken in excess, for both weight and blood sugar control.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that generally helps people feel fuller, may reduce A1C and eases hard bowel movements. Fiber is my recommendation for you, and it can be found in food, especially vegetables and some fruits. It also can be found in whole grains.