Greasy food stomach ache

Why You Might Want to Think Twice Before Eating Greasy Food

Chris Kissell September 6, 2018 Nutrition Email Print Twitter Pinterest Facebook

The heavenly taste of a cheeseburger and french fries masks a hellish reality: These greasy foods – and many others – put us at risk for a slew of serious health woes, ranging from obesity to heart disease.

Meals that end up greasy almost always are prepared in the same way, says Caroline West Passerrello, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“If the word ‘fried’ is in the name, the food will likely be greasy,” she says.

Fried foods tend to be high in saturated fat and are energy dense – meaning they have a lot of calories, but few nutrients.

Eating greasy foods in place of more healthful options can prevent you from getting the proper balance of nutrients. That can alter your gut microbiome, the population of microbes in your intestine that help you digest foods.

“Fat slows down digestion and takes a toll on your digestive system, which in turn can leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable,” Passerrello says.

As greasy foods upset your stomach, you may find yourself running to the bathroom more often. This is particularly a problem for people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, who may experience cramps, diarrhea or constipation after eating greasy foods.

Some studies also have found links between eating greasy fast foods and a decline in both learning ability and memory function.

Perhaps worst of all, eating greasy foods is associated with many chronic – and even deadly – conditions.

“There is a relationship with fried-food consumption and many chronic diseases — coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity,” Passerrello says.

A 2017 study even found a link between eating fried potatoes – including french fries, fried potatoes and hash browns – more than twice a week and an increased risk of early death.

Not all of the alleged negative effects of eating greasy foods are grounded in sound science, however. For example, most experts say it is a myth that eating greasy foods leads to acne.

How to avoid greasy foods

French fries, fried chicken, potato chips and doughnuts are well-known greasy foods. But some healthful goods also can be greasy if they are not prepared the right way.

“Skip the veggies if it’s fried zucchini, mushroom poppers or onion rings,” Passerrello says.

Finding alternate ways to cook foods can cut back on or eliminate the grease. In addition to using the “super trendy air fryer,” Passerrello suggests preparing foods by baking, broiling or sautéing them.

When eating out, try to order items that are not fried. “If you have no other options available, take a napkin and try to soak up any excess oil before eating it,” Passerrello says.

Although it’s OK to occasionally eat greasy foods such as fries or doughnuts, make it a rare treat.

“Try to limit your greasy food intake to no more than a few times a week,” Passerrello says. “And on those days, be sure to balance those foods out with a lot of produce, whole grains and lean proteins at your other eating occasions.”

Just remember that simply adding healthful foods to a greasy diet is not enough. So, don’t think that ordering a salad with your cheeseburger and fries is going to help much.

In fact, doing so might just put more calories on your plate than your body needs.

“More calories in than out leads to weight gain,” Passerrello says.

Chris Kissell

Chris Kissell has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and on many news websites, ranging from to Fox Business. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Chris Kissell has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and on many news websites, ranging from to Fox Business. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Similar articles

How to Safely Increase Fish in Your Diet

January 7, 2019

Get Hooked on the Health Benefits of a Seafood-Rich Diet

October 14, 2019

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Another Diet

September 23, 2019

5 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Greasy Food

Sometimes, a juicy cheeseburger and an order of hot, crispy fries simply call your name. (Greasy foods are so beloved that they have an entire day devoted to them; National Greasy Foods Day is October 25.) While it’s fine to give in to your cravings now and then, it’s important to know how your nutrition choices, and those greasy foods in particular, affect your health.

Does greasy food cause acne? Why does it make your stomach feel weird? And why is greasy food bad for you, anyway? We consulted Ayla Barmmer, a Boston-based registered dietitian, to find out. Here’s what eating greasy foods does to your body.

It strains your digestive system

“When we eat greasy foods like fried food, the sheer volume of fat puts a lot of pressure on our digestive system,” Barmmer said in an email to TIME. Of fat, carbs and protein, fat is the most slowly digested, and it requires enzymes and digestive juices, like bile and stomach acid, to break it down, she says. Everything from stress to medication can lower levels of these digestive juices, so many people are deficient to begin with, Barmmer says. Add in fat, and your digestive system will be working overtime, often leading to bloating, nausea and discomfort.

It makes you run to the bathroom

The most common symptom of digestive strain is an unpleasant one. “Not only will food just sit in your stomach, but it may enter the intestines inadequately digested,” Barmmer says. “Sometimes you wind up seeing greasy or oily stools in these cases.” Many people also experience diarrhea and stomach pain after eating greasy food.

It throws your gut bacteria out of whack

More and more evidence suggests that what you eat affects your gut bacteria, also known as your microbiome. Downing a cheeseburger and fries, Barmmer says, isn’t doing those microorganisms any favors. “Greasy foods do not contain the nourishing, healthy fats that we find in things like avocados, fish, extra virgin olive oil and even butter,” she says. Eating more refined vegetable oils than nourishing fats, she says, tips the body’s balance of fatty acids, which in turn may throw off everything from hormone levels to immune health.

Greasy food may cause acne

You may not see zits directly after a big meal, but Barmmer says that greasy food likely does play a role in acne. “The effect is indirect, occurring over time and as a result of a dietary pattern of eating,” she says. “Acne is largely caused by hormonal imbalances and/or bacterial imbalances, so greasy foods cause acne by way of harming gut health.”

It raises your risk for heart disease and diabetes

If your diet consistently includes greasy foods, Barmmer says, you’ll likely see your risk for chronic conditions—particularly heart disease—go up. A 2014 study from researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that people who ate fried foods between four and six times per week saw their risk for Type 2 diabetes climb 39%, and their risk for coronary heart disease increase by 23%. For people who ate it every day, those percentages only got higher.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected]

An Informative Guide to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Up to 15 percent of people in the United States live with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a bowel disorder that has frustrating and debilitating symptoms, including: (1,2)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping or bloating
  • Excess gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation, or alternating bouts of each

But not all IBS is the same. There are four types: (2)

  1. IBS-D may involve loose stool, an urgent need to go to the toilet, cramps, and stomach pain.
  2. IBS-C may cause an inability to move the bowels or an urge to go but you can’t.
  3. IBS mixed includes both diarrhea and constipation symptoms.
  4. IBS unspecified symptoms follow an irregular pattern.

IBS doesn’t cause permanent harm to the digestive tract nor does it increase the risk for colorectal cancer, unlike inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is sometimes confused with IBS but is an entirely different disorder. (3) Still, IBS may be burdensome, affecting a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. (4)

Who Is Most Likely to Get Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

People with IBS tend to be extra sensitive when it comes to their gut. IBS can hit at any age, but people younger than 50 are more likely to develop it. The chances of getting it increase if you have a family member with IBS, a history of stressful life events, or a severe abdominal infection. (2)

The frequency of IBS seems to be the same across race and ethnicity, although women are twice as likely to develop it than men. The reason why women are more affected than men is still up for debate, but some research suggests that hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, which fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, also reside in the digestive tract and can contribute to IBS flare-ups.

There’s also evidence that people with IBS tend to suffer from mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. “There is a high overlap between the two,” says Jeffrey Baumgardner, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. “A significant number of people with IBS also have a history of some kind of abuse —emotional, physical, or sexual.”

Though he isn’t sure why, Dr. Baumgardner does think that IBS has something to do with how people process stress.

How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?

Although there is no standard test to diagnose IBS, your doctor will likely perform tests such as a colonoscopy, abdominal CT scan, or MRI to rule out more serious conditions such as diverticulitis, IBD, and colon cancer. (5)

Once other conditions are ruled out, doctors sometimes use the guidelines known as the Rome criteria, which are a set of symptoms that help doctors give an accurate IBS diagnosis.

According to the latest revision, the Rome IV symptoms such as abdominal pain should occur, on average, at least one day per week in the last three months, accompanied by at least two of the following symptoms: (6)

  • Abdominal pain related to a bowel movement
  • Changes in the frequency of bowel movements
  • Changes in the appearance of the stool

Possible Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Scientists don’t know exactly why some people get IBS, but they speculate that stress, certain foods, and nerve signals between the gut and brain may trigger symptoms. (7)

Some of the potential causes include:

The Brain and Gut Connection Millions of nerve cells reside in the lining of the GI tract, almost like a second brain. It is called the enteric nervous system, and it controls digestion and tells the bowels when to contract, move, and secrete fluids. There’s emerging evidence that the brain and gut communicate back and forth through this major network of nerves. (8)

“When we describe our emotions, we tend to say that we feel sickened or nauseated, or gut-wrenching, which makes sense since our emotions seem to occur from our gut,” says Judith Scheman, PhD, the director of behavioral medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute in Cleveland.

Some experts think that IBS is caused when there’s a glitch in that communication.

“We all respond to stress physically, and some of us physically react with our gut, like diarrhea or constipation, while others get headaches or back pain,” Dr. Scheman says.

The problem is that the stress response in the gut can create a vicious cycle, in which the stress causes symptoms and vice versa, also known as a feedback loop. “Each time you go around it gets worse, like a downward spiral,” she says.

An Imbalance of Bacteria in the Gut Millions of microbes populate the gut. While these bacteria normally protect against infection and help the immune system, studies suggest that bacterial imbalances can result in IBS. (9) Conditions like bacterial gastroenteritis, also called the stomach flu, seem to alter the bacterial balance in the gut. In a review published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers found that the chances of developing IBS increased sixfold after an episode of gastroenteritis. Although experts aren’t sure how this change occurs, some speculate that damage to the nerves in the gut causes IBS symptoms to develop.

Other studies show that some people with IBS could also have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition in which a large quantity of bacteria moves up to the small intestine and causes bloating, stomach pain, and excessive gas. A review published in March 2017 in the journal Gut and Liver found that 4 to 78 percent of people with IBS also had SIBO.

The relationship between the two conditions remains unclear, but the use of antibiotics has proved effective in reducing symptoms. (10)

Stomach pain / bloating after eating? It might not be what you think it is

Do you have stomach pain or aches after eating a fatty meal? If you answered yes, this may be an indication that your gallbladder is having some problems.

Located near the liver, the gallbladder plays on important role in the human body, where it stores bile and works alongside the pancreas to help digest and absorb food. After eating a meal, hormones are released that signal the gallbladder to release bile into the small intestine, facilitating the digestion and absorption of fats.

Poor gallbladder health leads to dysfunction and results in pain when the gallbladder is stimulated to release bile after eating fatty foods or meals. The cause of dysfunction is unclear but research has suggested it may be due to abnormal cholesterol metabolism, leading to an overload of cholesterol in body fluids, including bile. Left untreated, gallbladder dysfunction may lead to other health consequences including gallstone formation, and the development of gallbladder disease.

Individuals with gallbladder dysfunction do not typically present with abnormal blood tests, imaging or endoscopic examinations. The tell-tale signs of dysfunction are the symptoms, such as abdominal pain that may move to the back and shoulder soon after eating a high fat meal, lasting several hours and is not relieved by bowel movements, postural changes or antacid medications. As well, individuals may experience pain periodically during the night. However, symptoms may come and go and do not leave lasting signs, making diagnosis difficult. Further, non-specific symptoms associated with dysfunction such as nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and bloating may be mistaken for other ailments. Thus, due to the sporadic and ambiguous nature of these symptoms, many individuals with this condition are unaware until more serious complications arise such as gallstone formation, or inflammation and infection of the gallbladder.

As a consequence of the 21st century Western diet and lifestyle, the prevalence of gallbladder dysfunction is on the rise. Gender, age, weight, and genetics are identified as risk factors for gallbladder disorders. Specifically, women have more than twice the risk of men and risk has been shown to increase with weight, with those over 40 at highest risk. Further, a family history of gallbladder disease or gallstones increases susceptibility to dysfunction. Therefore, if you are female, overweight or obese, have a family history of gallbladder disease, and are over the age of 40 you may be at high risk of developing gallbladder dysfunction.

While regular exercise and a low fat diet may be beneficial in symptom management by reducing the frequency and severity of symptoms, they cannot correct for existing dysfunctions. KGK Synergize Inc. in London, offering expert assistance through human clinical trials since 1997, is currently conducting a clinical research study to evaluate the effect of an investigational supplement containing the natural ingredients betaine and betalains to improve gallbladder function. KGK’s clinical trials are conducted under the direction of a medical director and principal investigator. All studies are reviewed by an independent ethics review board, Health Canada and follow Good Clinical Practice. We are currently looking for participants who would be interested in being a part of this exciting new research.

All records relating to your identity and study participation are confidential as required by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Each study has its own guidelines and eligibility criteria. To ensure the strongest results, researchers want study participants to be alike in key ways. Examples of eligibility criteria for a treatment trial might be age, gender, weight/height ratio and/or your previous medical history.

To participate in KGK Clinical Trial Centers’ clinical research on gallbladder dysfunction, you must be 40 to 75 years old (male or female); have a family history of gallbladder or previous history of gallbladder attacks; and do not currently have gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder also called cholecystitis. Additional information will be determined upon telephone screening. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for you to join this clinical trial, other than your travel expenses to and from the clinic site. Parking at One London Place will be validated, and participants will be compensated up to $500 for their time.

Join Our Study Here!

‹ Back

Bhatti GI Blog

That little “tummy ache” could be attributed to eating too much or too fast, but it could also be a sign of a more serious health problem. In this article, we take a look at the possible causes of stomach pain after eating.

Over Eating

Stomach pain is often caused by simply eating your food too quickly. When you overeat, you might not take the time to chew through your food properly and you might notice that the food generally disappears from your plate very quickly. Take your time and chew slowly when you eat.

Food Intolerances

It is estimated that nearly 20% of the population is intolerant or sensitive to certain foods. Stomach pain and cramping are common symptoms of food intolerances or sensitivities, which are often associated with dairy, gluten, nuts, yeast, and tomatoes.

Food Allergies

Dairy products, nuts, eggs, peanut butter, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten are common food allergies that can cause symptoms such as stomach pain. A food elimination diet or an allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody test can be conducted to determine whether you are allergic to a particular food or substance.

Celiac Disease

Stomach pain is a common symptom of celiac disease. The condition is characterized by gluten sensitivity. People with celiac disease will immediately react to a specific protein found in gluten called gliadin—it is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately 15% of the population. Some symptoms include gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, abdominal pain, or stomach pain after eating. Candida, food allergies, and food sensitivities are also associated with irritable bowel syndrome.


Stomach pain after eating can also indicate pancreatitis, especially when the pain lasts for over six hours. Pancreatitis is known as pancreas inflammation. People with pancreatitis will experience pain that begins around the upper abdomen; the pain will then spread to the back. Other pancreatitis symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting.


Diverticulitis is a condition where pouches in the colon become inflamed from bacteria. The pouches are also known as cysts or diverticula. Some symptoms include fever, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, bowel habit changes, and cramping pain, especially around the lower left area of the abdomen. Stomach pain after eating is also common.

Intestinal Obstruction

When there is a blockage in your colon or small intestine, it can be difficult for foods to be digested properly. When you eat too fast, large pieces of food may not be broken down. A hernia or tumor can also lead to intestinal obstruction.

Chronic Candida

Abdominal pain can also be a symptom of chronic candida—a condition also known as yeast overgrowth. Other common symptoms associated with candida include chronic fatigue, bloating, gas, and depression.


Heartburn is also sometimes referred to as acid reflux, or acid indigestion. Heartburn is the result of too little stomach acid, and it can produce burning chest pain after eating. The pain may only last a few minutes, or up to several hours. Stomach pain after eating can also be attributed to gallstones, eating spicy foods, a stomach flu, lactose intolerance, food poisoning, appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease, and peptic ulcers. Stomach pain after eating may also be the result of a blocked blood vessel.

What are greasy foods?

Greasy foods are foods that are high in fat content. These are usually the fairly obvious foods that you think of at first e.g. french fries (fried in hot oil), fried chicken, all forms of sausage, potato chips, pizza. There are also “healthy” foods that has a high-fat content, like avocados, cheese, eggs, and nuts.

Greasy foods are typically foods that you would fry in oil or have been fried in oil at some point in the cooking process. When you cook them, even in an oven, they would also have grease come out e.g. most meats besides chicken. Grease aka fat flavors your food, so most people enjoy eating greasy food.

Why are they bad for your body?

Fatty foods are bad for your body because they are an actual, physical strain on your digestive system. This is caused by the fact that it is very difficult for your body to digest fat by itself.

Out of anything you can digest, fat always takes the slowest. This means it takes extra enzymes and digestive juices to digest it, which strains your body more than usual, causing chest pain or stomach pain.

Because of this difficulty, it means that sometimes your food goes to your intestines not wholly digested, which can give you the runs. It also affects your gut bacteria, as well as your fatty acids, which disrupts your overall health.

Overall, your chances of developing heart problems, discomfort in your abdominal and other related diseases rise the more you eat greasy foods.

How can greasy foods cause chest pain?

Chest, stomach or heart pain after eating greasy foods is down to how difficult it is to digest fatty or oily foods in general. Chances are the more you eat this type of food regularly, the more you will experience this problem.

Chest pain occurs when the greasy food that you have eaten did not digest fully, or at all, moves through your digestive tract, and when it goes to the intestines, acid reflux is triggered – which is the source of your chest pain. During an acid reflux attack, acid from your stomach goes into your esophagus.

What to do in such cases?

If your chest hurts while or shortly after eating greasy foods, you should visit and consult with your doctor. But in the meantime, you should chew slowly and thoroughly – the more you chew, the easier it is for your food to be digested.

You should also eat less, if any, greasy foods. Everyone needs fat in their diets, however, you should get it from healthy sources. After you are finished eating, you should not make any sudden movements for a few minutes, as your body is still digesting your food.

How and what to eat to avoid this problem?

As stated before, you should reduce the amount of greasy foods you eat, if not entirely do away with them from your diet.

There are several high-fat content foods you can eat, that are healthy additions to your diet. Eggs, nuts, and avocados, for example, are excellent examples of a healthy, high-fat content addition to your diet.

When you cook, try to cook without oil, cook with water or broth if you have to sautee food in the pan. Try to bake foods, instead of frying them. From now on, greasy foods are a treat for you, not an everyday meal.

You Might also be Interested in:

  • Chest pain on the right side – the reasons of right side chest pain might completely differ from the causes of pain on the left part of the chest.
  • Chest pain on the left side – feeling pain in the left side of the chest could be a more serious condition than right side pain. Usually medical attention is advisable in this case.
  • Heart pain after eating – read more about the most serious reason why your chest might hurt.
  • Stomach pain – more often than not this is caused by either eating too much or eating unhealthy food.
  • Causes of chest pain – there are many reasons why your chest could hurt. See a few possible reasons in our article.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *