Home guest articles Top 15 Foods That Make You Smell Bad

Top 15 Foods That Make You Smell Bad

written by Guest Blogger April 27, 2011

Have you ever noticed how some people don’t smell bad even if they’re sweating? It’s because they eat clean foods and avoid those that cause odours. In today’s post, guest blogger, Maureen Denard, shares with us the top foods that make us smell bad.

Body odor is an extremely sensitive issue for many of us. We spend hundreds of dollars on perfumes and deodorants so that we can smell better and prevent sweating. But we fail to understand that we’re on the wrong track by “preventing sweating” which is an important function of the body.

Sweating is absolutely necessary in order to cool your body and expel toxins from your system, and when you use deodorants to block your pores, you’re inviting ill-health and disease. Instead of focusing on artificial ways to reduce body odor, look to the foods you eat to smell good and stay fresh as a daisy all day long.

To help you do this, here’s a list of foods to avoid and why they make you smell bad.

Top 15 foods that make you smell bad

  1. Red meat: It is difficult to digest and often lies stagnant in your digestive tract. When this undigested food putrefies, it releases toxins and foul-smelling gases. This in turn is ejected as flatulence and sweat that reeks.
  2. Processed and junk food: Any food that is too rich and difficult for your body to digest, any food that is processed and refined which contains too much sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils and other processing agents, and food that is labeled as “junk” rot in your intestines and produces a foul odor in your breath and through your sweat.
  3. Foods with pungent (strong-smelling) ingredients (used in large amounts): Garlic and other spices not only cause bad breath, they’re also responsible for body odour because they produce sulfurous gases when digested, which in turn are absorbed into the blood stream and released through your lungs and pores.
  4. Foods that are too fibrous: If you eat too much of foods that contain soluble fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes), gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane are released when they get digested in your large intestine. When these exit your body by way of flatulence, you tend to wish you were alone.
  5. A diet that is low in fiber: The opposite is also true – fiber is good for digestion and when your diet is poor in fiber, the residual food in your intestine causes the formation of gases like methane, leading to flatulence and belching.
  6. Foods eaten in a hurry: Any food eaten too fast causes you to swallow too much air (a mixture of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen). When this is expelled from your body in a burp, you can bet you don’t smell like roses.
  7. A diet that is low in carbohydrates: You’ve always believed that carbs are the villains of your weight loss program, but when it comes to body odor, these energy-laden foods save the day. When you limit your carb intake, you automatically take in more proteins; this starts burning your body’s fat stores for energy, and this releases ketones into your bloodstream, which in turn makes your breath smell foul.
  8. Dairy products: While they’re good for health in moderation, they tend to cause bad breath because they’re high in proteins that the bacteria in your stomach break down to create volatile sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan which smell foul.
  9. Drinking liquids through a straw: This applies to sodas and colas and other drinks that are aerated as well – when you gulp down any drink through or straw or drink any liquid that has gas in it, you tend to burp because of the buildup of gases in your stomach. And depending on what else is in your stomach, your breath and surroundings reek accordingly.
  10. Chewing gum: You may chew gum for a variety of reasons – to get rid of a nicotine habit, to make your breath smell better (how ironic), or just to while away the time. But when you choose the sugar-free kind, your body does not completely digest the low calorie sweeteners like sorbitol, and when bacteria acts upon it in your intestine, it causes a buildup of gas which leads to burping and flatulence.
  11. Beans and legumes: Many kinds of beans cause gas because they contain a sugar called oligosaccharide, and this in turn causes flatulence and burping which makes you smell bad.
  12. Foods rich in choline: Foods like egg and liver are rich in choline which is not easily digestible; this causes gases to accumulate and generates a foul body odor.
  13. Fried and baked foods: They contain fats and oils that become rancid with the passage of time, and this in turn leads to poor digestion and excessive belching and flatulence.
  14. Coffee: Coffee causes bad breath because the acidity in this beverage is much higher than that of human saliva.
  15. Alcohol: You know you reek the morning after a night out on the town, simply because you’ve had too much to drink. Alcohol makes your sweat and your breath smell really bad, so avoid it if you want to stay clean and fresh.

About the Author

This guest post is contributed by Maureen Denard, who writes on the subject of MSN Degree. Maureen can be reached at her email id: denard12.maureen@gmail.com.

Are there any foods that make you smell bad that aren’t on this list? Share them with us! And now what about some cleansing foods and recipes that make us smell purty? Check out Live Lighter’s 119 Cleansing Recipes.

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Dimitri Snowden April 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thank you for sharing Maureen! I find this post very fascinating, but perhaps you can share with everyone which foods make you smell good? It’s a bit disheartening to be told what one shouldn’t eat, and I find it more encouraging when others share their success stories or what works, as opposed to what doesn’t. Restrictions can be threatening for beginners!

Smelly Troll September 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

if you eliminate these 15 foods, what’s left???

Head Health Nutter September 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

hee hee

Confused o_0 June 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

My sentiments exactly Troll…I was like W.T.F?, they have meats, veggies, junk food, baked food, sweeties like chocolate cake, eggs, and everything you can possibly drink like milk and soda and juice if you drink it through a straw, and even down to chewing gum. So what is left??..maybe where sapose to eat tofu and water with nothing else. I notice fish wasn’t on the list so I’m guessing you could have sushi too with a light veggie stir fry..the author did say “not Too much” veggies so I’m guessing in moderation..

Jay October 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Onions 🙂

suzy December 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

well, according to this, if you don’t want to smell, you should’eat. period. that’s idiotic.

princesssher April 19, 2012 at 12:54 am

i was saying the same thing

Mike December 22, 2012 at 9:12 am

And if you don’t eat you body starts digesting itself and creates oder

Teresa Gambaro and THAT comment | Love versus Goliath : A Partner Visa Journey January 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm

[…] will find plenty of health articles stating we smell how we eat, Does Diet Affect Body Odour and Top 15 Foods That Make You Smell Bad being just two of many!  On the other hand, it seems some scientists believe our smell is like […]

Pynk Nymphette January 22, 2012 at 5:11 am

This article is insane. It practically lists every food known to man. The author of this article could have saved everyone valuable time by listing the food that does not make you smell. I say “food” and not “foods” specifically because it seems like there are not many foods left to choose from once you eliminate everything in this article. All I can think of is FISH, but I imagine a diet consisting of only fish would not make you smell very good.

Steve January 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Foods that aren’t on the list above:
– Breads made with cornmeal
– Almonds
– Fish
– Chicken

That’s about it.

But you need a good amount of carbs, so something a fish sandwich three times a day should do the trick.

Cat January 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm

How about water, honey, chocolate and sugar??? Those were some of the few things left that I consume! But seriously, I think Maureen makes some valid points and I’d be nterested to know what HER diet looks like. As an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I won’t be able to cut out all fibrous fruits and veggies, beans, nuts and some dairy products like eggs cheese & yogurt, And I use dental gum and drink coffee and the occasional glass of wine… however I shall do so in moderation and chew everything I eat, well, to avoid scaring my friends away! And all this time, I’ve been avoiding bread and that’s on the edible list. 😀 p.s. I find that taking enzymes at every meal (no matter what food choice) always helps improve digestion to prevent gas and bloating.

Head Health Nutter February 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Thanks for chiming in positively, Cat; sounds like you’re ahead of most of us because of your ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. 🙂

And thank you for suggesting enzymes to aid our digestion!

Perishable Sweatman February 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

This list is stupid. Sure, some of the things listed on here make you smell bad. But what you are saying is pretty much everything makes you smell bad. So why bother listing them at all?

Head Health Nutter February 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Most of Maureen’s list could have been simplified by naming acidic foods, the rest she lists (fruits, veggies, beans and nuts) are alkaline foods and only cause bad odour when too much is consumed or the body isn’t used to them.

We need both acidic and alkaline foods in our system in order to balance our phH levels. When we’re too acidic, that’s when we start to release odour through our pores,

Reesie Harris March 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

You have a pretty good list, they are foods that will technically make you smell bad. However, a lot of those foods mainly the beans and garlic is very important for our overall health. Plus, if someone minds that you “fart” then they probably shouldn’t matter. My husband, children, and dog thinks its quite comical when I pass gas.

Head Health Nutter March 31, 2012 at 3:27 am

Hee hee, Reesie!

5 Foods That Make You Smell Not So Hot | Kirsten Hudson March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

[…] bad breath? If so, it could be caused by consuming dairy products. Dairy products contain proteins that your stomach breaks down into stinky sulfurous compounds, which can lead to funky-smelling […]

Nick April 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

This is interesting really, the list provided here includes most of the foods known to the average North American. However, there are many alternatives that can be eaten that are not included here – some of which belong to the complex carbohydrates; like sweet potato, casaba and other roots, ginger etc. The funny part however is that is basically impossible to stay away from the list above which makes the article a bit ridiculous.

In order to stay clean and away from foul odors one has to stay away from dairy foods, detox one’s body through herbs and as much as possible make sure one is having the correct number of bowel movements per day (2-3). Try including a bit of fiber, fruits, protein and pro-biotic for digestion and everything should be fine. If odor persist consult your doctor there could be a secondary problem such as peptic ulcer or a bacteria such as H.Pylori causing problems in your acid levels.

Head Health Nutter May 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Thanks Nick for sharing!

thando mlambo May 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

To me this list agrees with the point that too much of everything is not healthy….all we need is a balanced diet thats all. Thanks Mauren

Ameera May 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Beef makes me smell funny. It has gotten worse. I hate it.

ReasonSeason June 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

This is extremely misleading. Yes, sweating is a natural and necessary process, however most offensive body odor is caused by specific sweat glands (apocrine glands, found densely in the armpit region) producing a cocktail of substances that certain bacteria find tasty. The bacteria go nuts, and the resultant byproducts simply stink.

Sure, certain diet choices can make you more or less gassy, but won’t do much to control actual body odor. Here’s a tip – wag regularly, use deodorant in those particularly smelly areas, and don’t pass gas in public. There isn’t a single deodorant on the market that if used correctly will even mildly impair the body’s ability to sweat for the purpose of temperature regulation.

ReasonSeason June 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Beyond which, the body has two perfectly good systems to expel ‘toxins’ – the endocrine and gastrointestinal. The amount of solute in sweat in a healthy person is so minimal that it would function only very, very poorly as a means of ‘cleansing’ the body or blood.

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[…] Top 15 Foods That Make You Smell Bad http://livelighter.org/top-15-foods-that-make-you-smell-bad/ […]

Sierra December 16, 2012 at 12:05 am

Things You Should Eat:
?Lots of Water
?Pineapple, papaya, cranberry, melon, apples and grapes
?Cinnamon, cardamom, peppermint and lemon
?Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits

Things To Avoid:
?Nicotine and illegal drugs
?Red meat
?Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and asparagus
?Junk Food (preservatives!)

(hope this helped)

christian December 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Listen to me !
Eat less !

That’s all.

Eat once per day! [+ 2 apples in the morning + 2apples by night]

Ellie January 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

i know one thing that makes people smell bad is poor hygene and dirty living space, lack of water and sedentary life style. Those toxins cause bacteria that leads to oder and sickness in the lymphatic system. Clorine and floride from shower and drinking water causes the PH balance to become depleted so yeast candida over growth can occur and therefore smells body oder can be a result. It’s not from eating veggies or fruit those are needed to cleanse and detoxify and keep the fule for energy and help the excretion of waste to be norma and function correctlyl. (If Eating lots of fruit and veggies were making body oder then Rawvegans, Rawtarians, Fruitarians would have an over abundance of body oder and disease). As for shower i use a declorinating shower head the filter last for almost a year it has a limit of about 200 showers before it needs to be changed filters can be baught online or if your store carries rainshower filters then pick some up. i notice since i been using my new shower filtering system my rash is clearing up and i feel more fresh than when i did not have it installed. And to add a comment some soaps and shampoo cause really bad body oder

Head Health Nutter January 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Thanks Ellie for your experience and suggestions!

YONA March 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

I want to know the factors which cause the body to smell like a dust, and the solution..!!

Parsa March 31, 2013 at 6:04 am

Dumb article listed everything I’ve got in my kitchen!!
There should be a suggestion list at the end to decrease the negative impact.

Cindy June 18, 2013 at 4:24 am

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and detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Appreciate it!

Raven July 20, 2013 at 12:23 am

?All foods such as fruits [apples, peaches, citrics; oranges, pineapples, grapefruits ect] certain beans, leafy greens [parsley] ginger, pepermint and a great amount of water are all equally efficient for detoxifying the body and ridding it of odor- especially chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is found in leafy green vegetables. In order for the body to be sufficiently cleansed and directly ridding odors you should be consuming fibers, such as fruits and nuts. The author wasn’t making the statement that these special foods are to be forbidden from our diet. But, that they should be equally proportioned with a good amount of water. If these foods are eaten enough without drinking much water, then there will be a problem as for hygeine and health. Blessings, and thanks for this list


James August 4, 2013 at 4:08 am

Stupid article, totally useless for all the reasons mentioned above

Kenny Ray (Oxenrider) August 11, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Any reputable medical doctor will tell you that rancid, decaying food as described in this article does not stay in your digestive system. Simply put, if it did, you would die very soon. It has to be expelled in a timely fashion or, again, you would simply die from the toxins. Scaring the hell out of people with articles like this sells a lot of ‘cleanser’ though. Follow the money.

5 Foods That Make You Smell Not So Hot | theorganicauthority.com - Organic Living November 10, 2013 at 12:49 am

[…] bad breath? If so, it could be caused by consuming dairy products. Dairy products contain proteins that your stomach breaks down into stinky sulfurous compounds, which can lead to funky-smelling […]

Dobrinka November 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm

As I was reading, I felt that it was too much and can’t all be true. Some people might have a medical condition so they can’t digest some foods properly. Processed or junk food might give you bad breath but that’s because so often they are heavily flavored with garlic. However for the general population who have no medical conditions I would say what gives body odor are:
Onion not as bad as garlic but it should be cooked (foods that are stored for another day seem to lose that potency from the onion)
Spices – like cumin, and curry type.
Perfumes, might be nice at first but after they settle down on the skin they can make you have a strange odor.
Not bathing once a day
Not brushing teeth once a day and the occasional floss
Not wearing some kind of deodorant
Bacteria in the nose which needs a prescribed antibiotic cream
Colds especially towards the end
Not washing clothing regularly

Rhea December 8, 2016 at 4:02 am

Hi, Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I have a few questions though. If consuming 2 garlic cloves a day for 3 months make my body smell though I shower and wear deodrant everyday?

Personal Trainer August 31, 2017 at 4:43 am

I completely disagree with this list. The liver’s metabolism will largely determine how different people react to ingesting different foods.


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