Processed meatValerio Pardi/Shutterstock
Processed meats are very high in calories and saturated fats. It’s not only bad for your stomach, but it can also lead to heart disease and stroke. “Processed meats are very difficult for many people to digest. They can sit in the intestines for longer because they are difficult to break down,” says Julie Rothenberg, MS, RD, LDN. They don’t contain any fiber so they aren’t good for digestion.
Found in: cold cuts, hot dogs, ground meats. Watch out for these things that nutritionists never eat so you shouldn’t either.
Fried food tends to overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. Rothenberg says that fried foods sit in your stomach similar to processed foods. It takes the body much longer to digest fired foods due to their high fat content. These are surprisingly unhealthy foods that you should be avoiding.
Milk and high-lactose dairy foodsZoonar/Thinkstock
A key component to keeping your tummy happy is the avoidance of FODMAPs, or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate your gut. Some people aren’t sensitive to any FODMAPs, some experience symptoms after eating only certain ones, and other people develop gradually worsening effects with each exposure. Lactose, found in all animal milks, is the best known FODMAP. Lactose is broken down in the small intestine by an enzyme called lactase. Our bodies produce less lactase as we get older (since its main purpose is to help babies digest breast milk), which means dairy foods that contain lactose can torment our tummies over time even if they didn’t before.
Found in: milk, regular (non-Greek) yogurt, soft cheeses, dairy-based desserts.