12 Foods To Avoid If You Have Gastroinestinal Problems

  • The most common gastrointestinal (GI) problems include acid reflux, heartburn, dyspepsia, indigestion, bloating, and flatulence.
  • Certain foods can worsen the condition of your digestive issues.
  • These foods contain fermentable carbohydrates that could alleviate the symptoms of gut problems.

A healthy gut is essential to the overall health and well being. Because of diet, several people develop digestive issues. Some of these gut problems may include simple bloating and indigestion, or some could lead to severe issues like reflux disease, ulcer, and bowel syndromes.

Carefully planning what you include in your diet can help improve your gut condition. Foods that contain FODMAPs or fermentable carbohydrates such as fructose, fructans, and polyols can cause stomach problems. They are resistant to digestion, and gut bacteria feed on them.

In this article, dietitians list the foods they recommend to consume less to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

Acidic Fruits

Fruits like oranges and tomatoes are acidic in nature. While they contain many vitamins good for the body, they can alleviate gut issues and irritate the stomach. If you do not want to miss out on fruits, try eating less acidic fruits.

Tomato products

Tomato sauce and pastes contain large amounts of fructose. The added spices in these tomato products like onions, garlic, sugar, and salt can also contribute to stomach problems.


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Blackberries are high in antioxidants and have a lot of hard-to-digest sugar alcohol called polyols.


Grapefruit is rich in fructans,  which is another FODMAPs, which can cause indigestion issues.


Watermelon contains fructans, fructose, and polyols, and the more FODMAPs could mean more significant digestion issues.


Corn can be eaten like popcorn, on the cob, tortillas, and wholemeal cornmeal. They do not only contain FODMAPs but are high in carbohydrates, also making them hard to digest.

Hot Sauce

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Using hot sauce regularly when you eat could be troublesome if you have acid reflux and heartburn.

Fermented Foods

These are the kinds of food you can eat some, and avoid some. When consumed, some of these can combine with bacteria and help break down lactose to make the food easier to absorb. Foods like yogurt, cheese, pickles, are beneficial to the gut and the digestion process.

Dairy products

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Those who are lactose intolerant can have problems eating dairy products. But not all dairy products contain the same amount of lactose. Those that include a small amount of lactose, such as hard cheeses (cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss) and Greek yogurt, may cause little to no digestive problems.


There are two kinds of milk – animal and plant-based milk. All animal milk contains lactose, making them problematic for those with tummy problems. On the other hand, plant-based milk generally does not contain lactose and will be good for the gut. You can choose any plant-based milk like almond, coconut, and soy if you want to enjoy the benefits of drinking milk.

Soy Products

There are many varieties of soy products; some contain hard to digest sugars while some are good for the gut. Whole soybeans are good sources of hard to digest sugars, but tofu and tempeh are made in such a way that their sugar content is reduced, making them easier to digest.


While most nuts are nutritious, some contain high amounts of FODMAPs that can create stomach problems. Almonds and hazelnuts contain more FODMAPs than other nuts, so dietitians recommend avoiding them. Cashews and pistachios are also high in fructans, so consume them moderately.

Source: Reader’s Digest

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