Today there seems to be an epidemic of people affected with tummy upsets and food intolerances.

Maybe it is partly something to do with our busy and often stressful lifestyles and part because of our highly processed food supply.

Whatever the cause the reality is that many people suffer from gut issues that can affect daily life.

Some common symptoms include; bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, reflux and constipation. This can also be combined with general fatigue and sleepiness.

Below is a list of common foods that could be making your symptoms worse:

1) Artificial sweeteners

Mainly found in diet lollies and drinks, these non-caloric sweeteners are poorly absorbed in a lot of people. Stevia is an exception and generally won’t cause any issues.

If it ends in “ol” e.g. Sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol then avoid.

2) Onion

This can be particularly potent.

The problem is that onion is used in most takeaway meals and commercially flavoured foods in the form of onion powder. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully when at the supermarket.

3) Garlic

Also potent and once again it’s difficult to avoid when eating at a restaurant.

When cooking at home a good alternative is garlic infused olive oil, which doesn’t seem to cause problems.

4) Wheat based products

Not because of its gluten but rather the fructans which are large chains of glucose.

You needn’t worry about removing every trace of wheat, but try cutting down on thinks like bread, pastas and wheat based biscuits.

5) Lentils

They are super nutritious but also super gassy.

Try buying them dried and soaking overnight rather than in a can. Sometimes they are less troublesome this way.

6) Honey

Being high in fructose it may cause issues for those prone to fructose intolerance.

A good alternative is golden or maple syrup.

Once again be careful as it’s added to many commercial foods that you may not expect.

Generally speaking it usually will be a combination of foods that cause symptoms, rather than one food in isolation.

For those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome I would strongly recommend seeing a Dietitian experienced with food intolerance due to the complexity of this area.

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  • Thank you, this was very useful.


  • Thanks for your list,l had no idea these foods caused bloating!


  • Honey is a strange one. I know gluten causes my bloating


  • I really hope garlic cause bloating for me! I love it and have it in everything


  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!


  • Would like to see a page with details for dieticians that do specialise in irritable bowel syndrome as having a grandson with it it’s often difficult to work out what sets him off.


  • I honestly didn’t know any of these could cause bloating. Good to know.


  • What an interesting read! I sometimes get bloated after eating but there were a few in here I was not aware of!


  • ahhh now I know why


  • some things to think about here.


  • Thanks for your useful comments on bloating, I do like my onion and garlic so I now will be more careful and look for alternatives.


  • I should have known that some of my favourite foods would be no-go zones!


  • Never realised honey could cause you tummy pain.


  • I know onion is high on the list … but I so love onion …..


  • Great information and food for thought, thanks.


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