Foods to Avoid with UTI (plus What to Eat & Meal Plan)

Updated in February 2024

The foods you should avoid when you are treating a UTI  are those that irritate the bladder and that promote inflammation in the body. These include coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and sugary foods. 

When treating a UTI, you should increase your fluid intake and opt for foods with naturally diuretic properties, such as watermelon, soursop, cucumber and carrots. These measures promote the elimination of excess bacteria through the urine. Cranberry juice, can also be a great ally to treat and prevent new infections, as it interferes with the adhesion of bacteria to the urinary tract.

Also recommended: 10 Best Home Remedies for UTI Treatment: Teas, Juices & More

In general, treatment for UTIs involves the use of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. A varied and balanced diet can prevent UTIs and help speed up the healing process. Learn more about UTI treatment that your doctor may recommend.

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What to avoid

Foods that should be avoided during UTIs are those that can irritate the bladder. These include:

  • Coffee and foods rich in caffeine, such as green, black or mate tea
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Spicy foods, pepper and chili powder
  • Alcohol

It is also important to avoid foods that are high in sugar such as refined sugar, soft drinks, cakes, breads, desserts, sweets and chocolates.

Processed meats, such as sausage, ham or mortadella, should also be avoided, as they are pro-inflammatory foods, that is, they promote inflammatory process in the body, which can interfere with recovery.

What to eat

Foods that can be consumed during a UTI are:

  • Water, as it increases urine production, favoring the elimination of bacteria that are causing the infection;
  • Diuretic foods, such as onions, watermelon, asparagus, parsley, soursop, cucumber and carrots. 
  • Cranberries and blueberries, as they help fight urinary tract infections and prevent recurrent infections, as they make it difficult for bacteria to adhere to the cells of the urinary tract.
  • Teas with diuretic and antibacterial properties, such as horsetail tea or parsley infusion. Check-out a list of teas for UTIs that you can prepare at home.

Taking a vitamin C supplement can also help improve and relieve UTI symptoms. Probiotic foods, such as natural yogurt, can also speed-up recovery.

Also recommended: 10 Probiotic Foods: Benefits & How to Consume Them

3-day meal plan

The following meal plan outlines a sample 3-day menu that incorporates foods that you should eat when you have a UTI:

Meals Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast 1 slice of whole grain bread + 1 slice of cheese + 1 cranberry smoothie with chia and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter 1 natural yogurt with 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts and chopped strawberries 1 cup of soursop smoothie + 1 slice of whole grain bread with 2 scrambled eggs 
Morning snack 3 rice caks with unsweetened fruit jam 1 cup of lemon juice + 2 brazil nuts 1 natural yogurt with 1 tablespoon of oats 
Lunch 1 baked medium fish fillet + 2 tablespoons of cooked quinoa + 4 tablespoons of grilled carrots, green beens and asparagus + 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 slice of melon 1 grilled chicken breast with homemade tomato sauce + 2 tablespoons of whole grain rice + a side plate of salad made with lettuce, chards and tomato, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 pear

3 tablespoons of stewed minced meat + 1 side plate of whole grain pasta + 3 tablespoons of cooked broccoli and carrots seasoned with 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 slice of pineapple

Afternoon snack 1 banana and oat pancake with peanut butter + 1 cup of lemonade 1 cup of green smoothie with lemon + 1 slice of whole grain bread and 1 slice of white cheese 1 cup of orange juice + 1 scrambled egg
Dinner 1 grilled chicken thigh + 1 medium potato baked with herbs + 1 side plate of red beans, tomatoes, onions, cucumber and salsa seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 kiwi 3 large slices of smoked tofu, grilled + 2 tablespoons of wholegrain rice + 3 tablespoons of sauteed spinach + 1 cashew 1 grilled fish fillet + 2 tablespoons of couscous + 1 sideplate of arugula, onion, cucumber and tomato, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 slice of melon

The types and quantities of food indicated in this meal plan may vary according to the person's age and health status. Therefore, it is important to consult a registered dietitian to create a meal plan that is suitable to you.

It is also important to highlight that UTI treatment is mainly possible with antibiotics, which should be prescribed by a doctor. Food should be utilized as a way to complement medical treatment and speed-up recovery.