If You Have a Urinary Tract Infection, Don't Eat These Foods

Because bacteria feed on sugar and thrive in acidic environments, you must avoid eating foods that have these characteristics to avoid or improve a urinary infection.
If You Have a Urinary Tract Infection, Don't Eat These Foods
Karla Henríquez

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Karla Henríquez.

Last update: 08 November, 2022

The majority of UTIs are usually caused by bacteria. However, some may develop due to the proliferation of fungi or viruses. Do you know what kinds of food you should avoid if you have a urinary tract infection?

Although the treatment of these conditions usually includes the use of antibiotics, doctors generally advise avoiding foods that irritate your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Even though they’re not all harmful, their intake in certain cases could worsen the severity of the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Before learning in detail the types of food you shouldn’t eat if you have a urinary infection, you must review the warning symptoms of this condition. It’s clear that some manifestations may vary depending on the cause and severity of the infection.

  • Burning when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • General discomfort
  • Cloudy, stinky urine
  • An urgent need to go to the bathroom
  • Involuntary leakage of urine
  • Increased frequency of urination, but very little comes out

Types of food to avoid if you have a UTI

This type of condition is very common, especially in women, because they have a shorter urinary tract and an immune system that’s more susceptible to bacterial attack. However, the infections are sporadic and usually disappear in a short time.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to follow a treatment to cope with these symptoms. Ideally, you should avoid the intake of too many medications and improve some of your life habits instead. To avoid complications, you should avoid the foods mentioned below.


A bowl of truffles.

Sugary foods (e.g. baked goods) “feed” the bacteria. This slows down the healing process in your urinary tract and can worsen the symptoms of the infection. These are some of the sugary treats you should avoid when confronted with a UTI:

  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Soft drinks and sodas
  • Bread and bakery products
  • Cookies


This stimulant increases blood flow to the affected area. Aside from avoiding coffee, we also recommend that you don’t consume tea, sodas, or commercial juices because they contain substances with the same effects.

Instead, opt for increasing your intake of water and natural fruit juices. A properly hydrated organism has fewer complications when confronted with this kind of problem.

Spicy foods and sausages

An array of processed deli meats.

When you’re suffering from a UTI, stay away from sausages, processed meats, and all things spicy, including curry, cumin, or chili seasoning. These types of food irritate the bladder and alter the pH in your body.

Refined flour

Pasta, pizza, bread, and everything that’s made with white flour is bad for your health. Not only when you have a urinary tract infection, but always because your body converts them into sugar. Avoid these types of food when you feel the symptoms of a UTI and then cut back on their intake.

Red meat

Steaks, hamburgers, and grilled meats are on the list of forbidden foods when it comes to dealing with a urinary tract infection. This is because they introduce a lot of acid to the body and instead of killing bacteria, they encourage their development. Instead of eating red meats, try white ones such as fish or chicken.

Tomato products

According to information from the Cleveland Clinic, tomatoes are an acidic fruit that tends to worsen bladder irritation when you have a urinary tract infection. Thus, people dealing with these conditions should avoid products such as:

  • Tomato pastes
  • Pizza sauces
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauces

Care when you have a UTI

A woman worried about having a UTI.

Avoiding the consumption of the aforementioned types of food isn’t the only way to accelerate the healing process of a urinary tract infection. Generally, you must follow other sorts of care to deal with the proliferation and attack of bacteria.

  • Don’t wash your intimate areas with scented soaps or talcum powder.
  • Keep your genital area clean.
  • Thoroughly wipe your genital area after going to the bathroom and do so from front to back.
  • Avoid wearing tight pants.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Change your underwear every day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (two liters per day, minimum).
  • Empty your bladder before and after sex.

On the other hand, consuming cranberries can also be useful in the treatment of urinary tract infections according to studies. These berries are rich in a substance called anthocyanin, which would be responsible for the antibacterial effect. In fact, in vitro research inhibited the growth of bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Do you have a urinary tract infection and are you trying to control its symptoms? Remember that in addition to following the treatment prescribed by the doctor, you must improve your diet as soon as possible to avoid complications.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Maserejian NN, Kupelian V, Miyasato G, McVary KT, McKinlay JB. Are physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption associated with lower urinary tract symptoms in men or women? Results from a population based observational study. J Urol. 2012 Aug;188(2):490-5.
  • Maserejian NN, Wager CG, Giovannucci EL, Curto TM, McVary KT, McKinlay JB. Intake of caffeinated, carbonated, or citrus beverage types and development of lower urinary tract symptoms in men and women. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun 15;177(12):1399-410.
  • Sharma A, Prasongwattana V, Cha’on U, Selmi C, Hipkaeo W, Boonnate P, Pethlert S, Titipungul T, Intarawichian P, Waraasawapati S, Puapiroj A, Sitprija V, Reungjui S. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) consumption is associated with urolithiasis and urinary tract obstruction in rats. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 26;8(9):e75546.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.