What foods to avoid when you have diarrhea

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 29, 2016

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Quick Bites

  • Raw foods should be eliminated from diet while suffering from diarrhea.
  • Steer clear of dairy products and fried and fatty foods.
  • All kinds of artificial sweeteners should be avoided.
  • Irritants such as caffeine and alcohol can worsen the condition.

Diarrhea can be caused by many reasons, viral or bacterial infection, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, or some kind of food intolerance. Whatever the cause may be, the body’s ability to digest food becomes compromised when someone is suffering from diarrhea. Hence it is important to take precautions and choose your diet carefully.


Dairy products


Foods to be avoided

Protein and fiber rich food

While protein and high fiber diet may be the recommended diet when your gut is healthy, it can easily spell trouble when you are suffering from diarrhea. Protein and fiber are harder to digest and may worsen the situation.


Greasy and fried foods

Fat is pretty hard to digest too. Consuming fried and greasy food while recovering from diarrhea will wreak havoc on your digestive system. So stay away from all that’s fried.



Many people are allergic to gluten without realizing it. Gluten allergy can also result in chronic diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. If you suspect that your body is not reacting well to gluten, try eliminating it from your diet and see if the symptoms get better.


Dairy products

Lactose in dairy products is also not usually well tolerated. Even if you are not lactose intolerant, your body may become sensitive to lactose when suffering from diarrhea. Avoid all kinds of dairy products such as milk, cheese, ice-cream etc. You can still add yogurt into your diet as the complex sugar lactose is broken down into lactic acid by the millions of friendly bacteria in yogurt, which makes it easy to digest. Probiotic enriched yogurt might also help you recover from diarrhea.


Raw foods

Raw foods are harder to digest for your body. The raw plant material contains cellulose, and our bodies cannot digest cellulose, so it sits in the digestive hence causing flatulence.


Irritants such as caffeine or alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol act as irritants to your gut, especially when your digestive system is sensitive. They might make the symptoms worse. Also, both caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body and are not advised to be taken while suffering from diarrhea.


Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sorbitol can have laxative effects for some people. It’s best to avoid any artificial sweetener to avoid watery stools.


Precautions to be taken

A lot of water and electrolytes are lost from the body as the body loses the ability to absorb fluids or nutrients from the digestive tract. It is very important to replenish the lost fluid by sipping electrolyte solution or a mixture of sugar and salt in water.


It is also essential to eat small light meals in order to keep up your energy. White rice, apple sauce or cooked and mashed apple, yogurt and banana are all foods which are easily digested and help your body recover from diarrhea.



Image Source: Getty

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