Foods to avoid during an episode of diarrhea include fatty foods, milk and other dairy products, alcohol, caffeine and artificial sweeteners. A plain diet should be consumed for the first 24 hours, according to Everyday Health.
In addition to milk, a person should steer clear of cheese, ice cream and butter even if the diarrhea was not caused by lactose intolerance. A temporary sensitivity to dairy products is possible during a bout of diarrhea; however, a probiotic food such as yogurt may be helpful in lessening symptoms and shortening the duration of diarrhea. Avoiding foods and beverages that cause fluid loss is also helpful in recovering from diarrhea. Since alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics and can dehydrate an individual, they should be avoided.
Artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect on the digestive system in some people. During an episode of diarrhea, doctors recommend avoiding sugar-free candy and gum as well as diet drinks. Other foods that should be avoided include anything that causes excessive gas, such as cabbage, beans, broccoli and cauliflower. Some foods travel through the intestines very quickly and can irritate or worsen the condition,
Doctors recommend eating a bland diet at the first signs of diarrhea. Bland foods include oatmeal, bananas and rice. Boiled potatoes, pretzels, and baked chicken with the skin and any fat removed may also be tolerated. Drinking fluids with salt and sugar can help ward off dehydration, a common side effect of diarrhea.