Can you eat tuna with diarrhea?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you eat tuna with diarrhea?” and discuss the benefits and risks of eating tuna with diarrhea.

Can you eat tuna with diarrhea?

Yes, you can eat tuna with diarrhea. The ingestion of solid foods during an episode of diarrhea does not seem to be negative or worsen the symptoms, according to studies. 

In addition, the ingestion of proteins can help recover and prevent malnutrition caused by losses during the disease (2,3,4). 

What are the benefits of eating tuna with diarrhea?

The benefit of eating tuna with diarrhea is that tuna is a source of proteins. During diarrhea, the body loses nutrients and is susceptible to weight loss and malnutrition. There is a loss of nutrients and proteins due to the infection and breakdown of the body tissues (3).

To accelerate the recovery, a proper and balanced nutrition is necessary, besides increased hydration (4). 

The body is not able to absorb all the nutrients from the food, and therefore an adequate intake of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins is important to improve the recovery and re-establishment of health. 

What are the risks of eating tuna with diarrhea?

The risk of eating tuna with diarrhea is the case of allergy to animal proteins, which could worsen the diarrhea. 

Allergy to fish is not unusual, especially in children, however, it is manifested by gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or other symptoms, such as skin rashes, urticaria and even anaphylaxis, in severe cases (5).

If you have an allergy to fish, you should not ingest tuna, especially when suffering from diarrhea. 

In addition, if the fish is spoiled, it can cause the symptoms of diarrhea to worsen, as spoilage by microorganisms or their toxins can lead to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal and flu-like symptoms (6).

Pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes as well as parasites are commonly found in fish.

What are the recommendations when having diarrhea?

If you are suffering from diarrhea, the following recommendations are to be followed (1,4):

  • Consume increased volumes of fluid and liquid foods. Water is the finest option.
  • Consume food containing minerals (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium) and vitamins (vitamins B, A, C, D and E), such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat smaller meals spaced out throughout the day rather than a few larger ones.
  • Examples of foods that are high in salt content include pretzels, soup, and sports drinks.
  • Potassium can be found in high concentrations in bananas, potatoes without the peel, and fruit juices.
  • If you want to enhance your nutrition, you should talk to your primary care provider about whether or not you should take multivitamins or drink sports drinks. 
  • Probiotics are recommended to reduce the stool frequency and recover the gut microbiota

What kinds of foods should you eat and what foods should you avoid if you have diarrhea?

Soft foods are recommended, including bananas, rice, noodles, boiled potatoes, cooked vegetables, chicken meat, cooked egg whites, cottage cheese, soups and broths, yogurt and gelatin (1,4,7).

It is not recommended to ingest acid foods or caffeine containing drinks or foods and greasy foods, sweets and foods containing a high quantity of fibers. 

Other FAQs about Tuna that you may be interested in.

Can you eat tuna without cooking it?

Can you defrost ahi tuna?

Can dogs eat ahi tuna?

Why is tuna so expensive?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you eat tuna with diarrhea?” and discuss the benefits and risks of eating tuna with diarrhea.


  1. Managing Diarrhea. Michigan State University.
  2. Islam, Mahfuza, et al. Dietary intake and clinical response of hospitalized patients with acute diarrhea. Food nutr bull, 2008, 29, 25-31.. 
  3. Molla, Ayesh, et al. Intake and absorption of nutrients in children with cholera and rotavirus infection during acute diarrhea and after recovery. Nutri Res, 1982, 233-242. 
  4. Alam, Nure H., and Hasan Ashraf. Treatment of infectious diarrhea in children. Pediat Drugs, 2003, 5, 151-165. 
  5. Sharp, Michael F., and Andreas L. Lopata. Fish allergy: in review. Clin rev allergy immunol, 2014, 46, 258-271. 
  6. Prasad, M. M. Microbial hazards in fish and fishery products and its importance in fish trade. ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, 2018. 
  7. What I need to know about Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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