The food we consume and its interactions with the host and their gut microbiota affect normal gut function and health. Functional gut disorders (FGDs), including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can result from negative effects of these interactions, leading to a reduced quality of life. Certain foods exacerbate or reduce the severity and prevalence of FGD symptoms. IBS can be used as a model of perturbation from normal gut function with which to study the impact of foods and diets on the severity and symptoms of FGDs and understand how critical processes and biochemical mechanisms contribute to this impact. Analyzing the complex interactions between food, host, and microbial metabolites gives insights into the pathways and processes occurring in the gut which contribute to FGDs. The following review is a critical discussion of the literature regarding metabolic pathways and dietary interventions relevant to FGDs. Many metabolites, for example bile acids, SCFAs, vitamins, amino acids, and neurotransmitters, can be altered by dietary intake, and could be valuable for identifying perturbations in metabolic pathways that distinguish a “normal, healthy” gut from a “dysfunctional, unhealthy” gut. Dietary interventions for reducing symptoms of FGDs are becoming more prevalent, but studies investigating the underlying mechanisms linked to host, microbiome, and metabolite interactions are less common. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the recent literature to assist with further progression of research in this field.