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The Worst Foods for Your Gastrointestinal Health

The Worst Foods for Your Gastrointestinal Health

An unhealthy gut can have a fairly large impact on your life, from causing considerable discomfort to placing limits on your activities. If you want to avoid problems like diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, and gas, you need to take a close look at your diet.

Whether you want to avoid uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues or you’re recovering from a related procedure, such as reflux surgery or bariatric surgery, the team of experienced general surgeons here at Rockwall Surgical Specialists offers some dietary don’ts.

Fried foods

Topping our list are foods that are fried, which means they’re cooked in oils full of saturated fat. French fries, onion rings, and the like contain difficult-to-digest fats and can lead to problems with diarrhea and bloating. Fried foods also can encourage harmful gut bacteria.

Instead of frying foods, we suggest you look to other cooking techniques, such as roasting or boiling.

Animal proteins

Both red and white meat, eggs, and dairy products may negatively impact your gut biome, leaving you more susceptible to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.

That said, these proteins can also deliver great health benefits, especially the lean proteins found in white meat. We suggest that you steer clear of red meat, which is difficult to digest, and stick to eggs and poultry or pork.


If you struggle with acid reflux, you want to avoid acidic foods that may irritate the sensitive lining of your stomach. Instead of citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, choose apples and bananas.

Artificial sweeteners

Diet products rely on artificial sweeteners to provide flavor, but these artificial sweeteners can be very hard on your digestive tract. For example, sweeteners that contain sorbitol create gas and bloating in your large intestine.


Alcoholic beverages can be very bad for your gastrointestinal system, leaving you with nausea and vomiting on one end and diarrhea on the other.


If you have problems with constipation, you may want to temporarily limit your fiber intake. While fiber is a great nutrient, too much can leave your gut struggling with digestion. Steer clear of whole grains, beans, and cabbage while you’re constipated.

As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule of thumb when it comes to your diet and your gastrointestinal health — although we recommend that everyone steer clear of fried, fatty foods. Depending upon your goals, you may need to suspend certain foods at certain times to resolve specific issues. 

A diet that’s chock full of natural foods, such as fruits, grains, and vegetables, and devoid of processed foods, is one that supports your health on every level.

If you want more specific dietary counseling for your particular gastrointestinal issue — especially before or after a surgical procedure — we invite you to contact us at one of our locations in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, Terrell, and Forney, Texas.

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