What It Really Means If Salads Upset Your Stomach

Salads seem like a solid option when you're trying to be healthy. There's also so many delicious types to choose from like a creamy Caesar salad, a classic Cobb salad or a feta cheese-filled Greek salad. The options are truly endless. But sometimes eating this healthy meal can lead to us not feeling so great after. So what gives? Apparently, stomach pain after eating salads can be caused by numerous things. 

Dr. Niket Sonpal, an internist and gastroenterologist in New York City, explained to LiveStrong that salads have a ton of fiber. "Eating salads and lettuce puts a heavy fiber 'load' on the intestines, and, if you are slightly backed up, your bowels will work a bit overtime to get it all out," he told the outlet. However, Sonpal said while it may seem like you should cut out the greens, he said the exact opposite is true and you should continue to help yourself to greens.

Other reasons salads may cause stomach pain

Your uncomfortable stomach bloat could also be caused by what you're putting on your salad. Gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutkan told Shape that you should check out what's in the dressing you're using. "You have to look at the [condiment] in terms of the amount of oil, salt, and sugar, because those are all things that can bloat you," she advises. Dr. Sonpal agreed with this, telling LiveStrong that the problem could also be creamy ranch dressing that can cause issues if you're lactose intolerant.

Likewise, your stomach pain could also be caused by what's in your salad. For example, croutons could be a problem for your stomach to digest if you're sensitive to gluten, per LiveStrong. Or spicy ingredients like hot peppers or jalapeños could be causing digestive issues. According to Insider, spicy foods contain capsaicin, which can irritate the lining of your stomach.

But if skipping these items has'n't helped your stomach, Sonpal said it could be because your salad is too large. He said this is a common mistake because people believe salad really healthy and are unsure of how large portions should be. Sonpal also suggested that your salad could have been contaminated with E. coli, so it's worth checking to see if there has been any recalls and to avoid lettuce on the banned list.