Acid Reflux Diet May Address Symptoms
Adopting an acid reflux diet is a positive lifestyle change you can make if you experience acid reflux, sometimes called heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Of course, before starting an acid reflux diet or changing any regular eating routine, check with your doctor for a complete definitive diagnosis of your condition and for dietary recommendations.
Medical experts can't pinpoint the exact cause of acid reflux, but they know that some fatty foods and some highly acidic foods and beverages can contribute to the ailment. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), or valve, allows acid and partially digested food to escape from the stomach into the esophagus. This irritates the esophageal lining, causing brief chest pain, and other symptoms.
If you receive a diagnosis of acid reflux, your doctor may suggest an acid reflux diet as part of your acid reflux treatment program.
Foods that may be eliminated from your diet include:
- Oranges, grapefruit, lemon, citrus juices, cranberry juice, tomatoes, and raw onion
- Ground beef chuck, marbled sirloin, and other high-fat meats
- Fried foods, cookies, chocolate, and potato chips
- Sour cream, milk shakes, ice cream, and pasta with tomato or cream sauce
- Liquor, wine, beer, and coffee and tea (regular and decaffeinated)
Alternative foods to eat include:
- Apples, bananas, baked potatoes, broccoli, carrots, green beans, and peas
- Extra-lean ground beef, skinless chicken breast, egg whites, broiled fish, feta cheese, and fat-free cottage cheese
- Multi-grain bread, bran, oatmeal, and brown or white rice
- Mineral water, water, and apple juice
- Low-fat salad dressing
- Fat-free cookies
Your acid reflux diet routine may also include eating frequent small meals throughout the day instead of three larger meals. And, since acid reflux causes partially digested food to re-enter the esophagus from the stomach, you may want to avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime or lying down. Placing your body in a prone position can increase the likelihood of acid and food from your stomach escaping into your esophagus.
In addition to an acid reflux diet, measures that may reduce your symptoms include exercise, quitting smoking, and losing weight. Before adopting any of the above lifestyle changes, check with your physician for a proper diagnosis and recommendations.