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Warning: These 10 Foods Make You Stink – No. 7 Totally Shocked Me

Have you ever noticed how some people smell bad even on a cold day while others have a neutral odor even after an intense workout? It’s not genetics. It’s most likely their nutrition.

You see, there are foods that make you smell bad. These foods may include various components which, when you eat too much of them, change the odor of your sweat and breath. If you see people turning away from you after a workout (or on any hot day), you may be eating the wrong food.

To help you smell as closely to roses as possible (without spending a fortune on perfume), you need to avoid these foods or eat them in moderation. Let’s go over some of the main culprits here.

1. Coffee

black coffee I’ve never been a big fan of coffee, so this is something that doesn’t bother me personally. For many people, however, coffee is a natural part of their diet routine. Now, coffee, when drunk in small quantities, may be perfectly harmless. However, it can make your sweat smell bad and give you bad breath.

When you drink coffee, you will likely feel that your mouth dries up. This gives bacteria a chance to build up in your mouth, which leads to an acidic, unpleasant breath. Try drinking water after coffee to negate this response.

2. Junk Food and Process Food

This is not a specific food, but an entire group of foods. This may seem too broad to be useful, but it does serve a purpose: the more processed your food is or the more “stuff” that gets added to it, the harder it is for your body to process it. This means that these foods tend to stay in your system for a long time, during which they release a variety of chemicals that permeate through your system and are released through your glands when you sweat.

Naturally, junk food is unhealthy for a variety of reasons and it is also very bad for your waistline. The fact that it can make you stink is just one more reason to give it up.

3. Red Meat

steak A lot of guys won’t like reading this, but if steaks are your thing, then your love life may suffer for it. As a study from the Czech Republic showed, red meat can make you less appealing to women.

In the study, two groups of men were placed on different diets: a meat diet and a non-meat one. 30 women were given scent samples of these men. The findings were conclusive: women tend to find the odor of guys on a non-meat diet as “significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense”.

This is likely due to how long it takes the body to digest red meat. During the lengthy digestive process, certain chemicals are released from the meat and these react with your sweat to produce an unpleasant odor.

4. Alcohol

Have you ever smelled the stale breath of someone who’s had too much to drink? Well, if you like drinking too, this person can be you. Alcohol is bad for fat loss, bad for your health, it reduces your self-control, and it makes your breath and sweat smell bad. It has a lot to do with how your mouth gets dry, but also with the type of drink you have.

5. Garlic

garlic I love garlic. It simply makes every dish taste better. It also has tremendous health benefits and may even boost your metabolism a bit. However, there’s no doubt that eating garlic is a dangerous business, as far as the sense of smell is concerned. I wouldn’t eat anything with garlic before a first date (and a second), let’s put it that way.

Garlic makes you smell bad because it contains a few chemical elements, namely allicin and others, which are released when you prepare and eat it. This increases the bacteria in your sweat which results in a rather distinct and unpleasant odor.

6. Dairy Products

Dairy is a topic of great controversy. Some people say it’s fantastic because it contains protein and calcium. Others say that it leads to weight gain and various health issues. Apart from moldy cheese, however, the effect of dairy on your body odor is rarely discussed. Eat too much of it, though, and you may be headed for some foul breath in your near future.

The protein in dairy is often hard for your body to process quickly. It tends to break down into various sulfurous compounds in your stomach which give out a smell similar to… yes, you guessed it: sulfur. Not the kind of breath that would elicit many kisses, that’s for sure.

7. Asparagus

asparagus This one actually surprised me a lot. I never expected to find out that this vegetable can make you smell bad. However, it seems that asparagus has more than meets the eye (and nose).

Now, the offensive smell by-product of asparagus isn’t a problem as some of the others listed here, mainly because it effects the urine, for the most part. So, you may not even be bothered by it if you eat it at home. However, if you go to a restaurant and you care what the guy or girl in the next stall thinks about you, this is a vegetable that needs to be eaten with caution.

8. Onions

Some people love them and some hate them. I never liked onions myself, and my mother could never understand why. Well, mom, it seems that I had a reason after all: the stink that onions leave behind (can you tell I dislike them?).

When you eat onions they leave behind substances similar to sulfuric acid. These go through your blood stream and can leave your breath and sweat far from pure for many hours.

9. A Low Carb Diet

As this is a site about weight loss tips, I feel that I should include this non-food smell inducing diet-genre. The low carb diet has many fans and foes. However, let’s put the weight loss issue aside and talk about how a low-carb diet may make you smell. According to Livestrong, when you go on a low-carb diet, especially extreme ones, your body may go into ketosis.

Ketosis is a state in which your body produces ketones as a replacement for the easily accessible energy that carbs provide. In the process, acetone is released as well. This gives your breath a fruity smell which is quite unpleasant. Ketosis may be unhealthy, so this is worth remembering.

10. Cruciferous Vegetables

I love cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. They’re healthy, they’re tasty and easy to work with. They may also help you lose stomach fat or reduce the storage of it. However, it seems that these vegetables may make you pass a rather smelly gas. So, don’t eat too many of these when socializing.

Few More Words

Some of these foods are part of my regular diet routine and I am not about to stop eating them. They’re very healthy and I want those benefits. However, I do plan to eat them in moderation and to plan when and with whom I do so.

Are some of your favorite foods on that list? Do you know of any other foods that make you smell bad? Leave me a comment and share.


Image credits: DeaPeaJay, Javelina, mdid, jamesonf

Date published: April 3, 2012. Last modified: April 18, 2012


  1. Wow, I have been eating raw and I always feel like I smell. This list surprise me. I love and eat almost all the foods on this list.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Pamela,

      I know what you mean. I was pretty surprised myself at a couple of these. What’s your favorite on the list?

  2. Hey Jonathan!

    Yes, I do see some foods on this list that I like eating. I love cooking with onion and garlic, the flavor it gives to food is great. But there are also milder versions of these items I can use too.

    I also enjoy eating broccoli, cabbage and some others, but I eat them in moderation too. I love asparagus, but I don’t eat it that much because it causes urine to smell. But I won’t stop eating it, just in moderation.

    Thanks for sharing this list and I’ll keep these items in mind.

    Take care,


  3. I need to lose belly fat and arm flab in two months

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