Sore throat

When you have a sore throat, your throat may feel painful, scratchy, or irritated. It may get worse when you swallow. Sore throats also increase in frequency as the temperature drops. In order to improve your chances of recovering more quickly, you may want to avoid eating some particular food. The following 6 foods should be avoided when you have a sore throat.

1. Spicy foods

jars hot sauce

Some people need to avoid using hot sauce or sriracha when they have a sore throat. These kinds of foods may irritate the already inflamed throat tissue or aggravate it further. If that describes you, cut out the spicy foods from your diet temporarily while the sore throat lasts.

2. Acidic foods

Tomato sauce

Just like citrus fruit, acidic foods like tomato sauce may be irritating to your throat. If they are, then temporarily avoid until your pain subsides—and then bring on the (healthier) pizza!

3. Citrus fruit

citrus fruits

They are packed with vitamin C, which is great for when you’re ill. However, if the acidity of fresh fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes enhance the tickle in your throat when you eat them, then it’s best to pass on them. Juices, ice pops, and smoothies made with citrus fruit may also be irritating, so temporarily hold off if they bother you. To soothe a sore throat with citrus, squeeze a wedge into warm tea or even with plain warm water and honey. You can also turn to other foods with vitamin C that are softer like mashed potatoes, or sautéed peppers.

4. Crunchy snacks

chips and pretzels

Foods like chips, crackers, and other such foods may feel sharp when swallowed and cause more pain and irritation. The jagged edges of these foods can poke into your already sore throat making it painful. Softer foods tend to fare better with a sore throat. If crackers are all that you’re in the mood for while sick, you can dip them in warm tea to soften them up.

5. Hard raw vegetables

carrots and celery sticks

Carrot and celery stalks are certainly healthy, but their toughness may be bothersome if brushed on the area of your throat that is irritated. If their toughness bothers your sore throat, then opt for cooked veggies or even pureed veggies like mashed potatoes for the time being. You can go back to dipping those raw veggies in hummus once your throat is on the mend.

6. Breaded and Fried Foods

fried foods

Although fried chicken and fried onion rings may be comforting to eat when you’re sick, the coarse coating may be irritating to your sore throat. Steer clear until your symptoms ease up—and remember to choose fried foods in small amounts as they aren’t the healthiest option, especially when you’re sick.


When you have a sore throat, avoiding these foods while choosing healthier ones is your best bet to help your body mend. As sore throats can vary in how painful they are, avoid any food that may irritate your throat until you start feeling better.

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