Digestive Health Diarrhea Print Foods to Avoid When You Have Diarrhea By Barbara Bolen, PhD Updated June 19, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Digestive Health Diarrhea Daily Care Bloating & Gas Exams & Procedures Celiac Disease Constipation Inflammatory Bowel Disease Irritable Bowel Syndrome More Digestive Diseases Peptic Ulcer Disease Heartburn SIBO Gallbladder Disease Hemorrhoids View All It is important to know what to eat for diarrhea. But it is just as important to know what not to eat when you have diarrhea. The last thing you would want to do is to make matters worse by eating foods that could potentially aggravate your stomach or cause you to have even more intestinal spasms. Doing so could lead to more misery. Eat Yogurt Chicken or turkey Broth-based soups Spinach, green beans, zucchini Plain water or Pedialyte Avoid Milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream Fatty, greasy foods Sugar Substitutes Beans, broccoli, cabbage Peaches, pears, plums Caffeine and alcohol Dairy Products Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images The first group of foods you will want to avoid are those made from milk. Even if you don’t suffer from lactose intolerance, it might be a good idea to avoid dairy products for a while after suffering from a bout of diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause a lessening of the amount of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is needed in order for the body to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. If this “milk sugar” goes undigested, it can result in further symptoms of gas, bloating, nausea and diarrhea. Here are some common lactose-containing foods: Milk, creamCheeseIce creamSour cream Yogurt is an exception to this rule. The probiotics in yogurt may help your body to heal. Choose plain yogurt and skip those with excess added sugar. Fatty Foods Digital Vision/Getty Images Foods with a high-fat content can speed up intestinal contractions and cause a reaction to a system that is already sensitized, almost guaranteeing further trips to the john. Thus you will want to avoid foods like: Creamy foodsFast foodFatty cuts of meatFoods covered in gravyGreasy foodsFried foods Better choices include lean protein, like white meat chicken or turkey, or broth-based soups. Sugar-Free Foods Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images Some artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can have a laxative effect, as well as contribute to gas and bloating. So until you are feeling better, it is best to avoid: Diet sodaSugar-free candySugar-free gumSugar substitute packets for coffee and tea Gas-Producing Foods Andrew Olney/Digital Vision/Getty Images Certain foods have a well-documented reputation for increasing intestinal gas which could contribute to further diarrhea. Thus you will want to avoid gassy foods and choose non-gassy foods until you feel that your stomach has really settled down. Here are some examples of the gassiest vegetables and legumes. You may want to skip these until you feel better. BeansBroccoliCabbageCauliflowerOnions Some better choices include leafy greens like spinach, green beans, and zucchini. Here are some examples of some of the gassiest fruits. Again, you may want to skip these until things settle down. PeachesPearsPlumsDried fruits (apricots, prunes, raisins) If you think your system is up to eating some fruit, you may want to try blueberries, strawberries, honeydew or cantaloupe melon, and/or pineapple. Foods That Can Cause Diarrhea Alcohol, Caffeine, and Carbonated Beverages Nick Purser/Ikon Images/Getty Images For healthy individuals, beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, and carbonation do not generally cause diarrhea. However, each has the potential to be a GI irritant, and thus are probably best avoided until your system returns to normal. Do not reach for flat soda either. Although your grandmother may have made that recommendation, the components in soda may actually make things worse. A better choice would be an oral rehydration solution, like Pedialyte, or just plain water. When you have diarrhea, it is important to replenish fluids lost from those repeated bowel movements, so drink up. Unsafe Foods Alexey Kopytko/Moment/Getty Images Whether you have diarrhea or not, you should always make sure that you only eat food that has been safely washed, prepared and stored. Foods that are not safely prepared and stored put you at risk for a serious gastrointestinal illness. Always observe good food hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating any food.Thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables.Clean food preparation surfaces with hot soapy water before and after use.Cook all foods to an internal temperature of 160 F.Refrigerate or freeze leftovers immediately after eating. High-FODMAP Foods Westend61 / Getty Images If your diarrhea is something that you deal with a lot because you have diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D), you may want to avoid foods that are high in FODMAPs when you are experiencing an active flare. FODMAPs are carbohydrates found in many common foods that have been shown to trigger symptoms in people who have IBS. You may even want to give the low-FODMAP diet a try to see if that brings your symptoms under control. Common Causes of Diarrhea After Eating Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Gas pain? Stool issues? Sign up for the best tips to take care of your stomach. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Chen J, Wan CM, Gong ST, et al. Chinese clinical practice guidelines for acute infectious diarrhea in children. World J Pediatr. 2018;14(5):429-436. doi: 10.1007/s12519-018-0190-2 Cozma-petruţ A, Loghin F, Miere D, Dumitraşcu DL. Diet in irritable bowel syndrome: What to recommend, not what to forbid to patients!. World J Gastroenterol. 2017;23(21):3771-3783. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i21.3771 Chattopadhyay S, Raychaudhuri U, Chakraborty R. Artificial sweeteners - a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2014;51(4):611-21. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0571-1 Gibson PR, Shepherd SJ. Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;25(2):252-8.doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x Giddings SL, Stevens AM, Leung DT. Traveler's Diarrhea. Med Clin North Am. 2016;100(2):317-30. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2015.08.017 Baker KK, O'reilly CE, Levine MM, et al. Sanitation and Hygiene-Specific Risk Factors for Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in Young Children in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, 2007-2011: Case-Control Study. PLoS Med. 2016;13(5):e1002010. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002010 Additional Reading "When You Have Diarrhea U.S. National Library of Medicine Medline Plus. "Diarrhea" National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) Pashapour N, Iou SG. Evaluation of yogurt effect on acute diarrhea in 6-24-month-old hospitalized infants. Turk J Pediatr. 2006;48(2):115-8. Muir J & Gibson P. "The Low FODMAP Diet for Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders" Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2013 9:450–452.