Acid reflux is a term used to describe when the acid from a person’s stomach climbs up into their esophagus causing extreme discomfort, and in severe cases can damage the valve separating the stomach and esophagus as well as the throat. It is often triggered by stress and diet choices. There are some things a person can do to help control how often and severe they get acid reflux.
Acid Reflux Diet
The acid reflux diet is a diet that you won’t find nearly as many “must-haves” on the list as you’ll find “must avoid.” This is simply because there are a lot of foods out there that can trigger acid reflux. In addition, this diet is highly individualized and often involves the person keeping a diary of what they have eaten so that they don’t get a hold of foods that are constant triggers. By paying attention to what causes problems, you are far more likely to be able to live more healthfully than by trying to just eat right.
What Experts Say about the Acid Reflux Diet
Most experts agree that people respond to different foods differently. Because of this you should bear in mind portion control and not overdoing it on foods that you aren’t sure how you’ll react to. There are a host of foods thought to be general triggers of acid reflux, but in fact, less than 12 have been proven to trigger it. Some of these are coffee, alcohol, chocolate, mint and deep-fried foods.
Pros and Cons of the Acid Reflux Diet
- Often weight loss will happen naturally
- Frequent snacking curbs hunger and appetite
- Caffeine dependence may be stopped
- General health and well-being is increased
- Weight loss lowers acid reflux attacks
- Better rest without night time acid reflux
- Comfort foods that are high in fat or greasy will be lost
- Eating more frequently can be difficult
- Low fat items will often have to sub for full fat
- Citrus and acidic fruits are often off the menu
- Tomatoes and spices, even in sauces, should be avoided
- Coffee, caffeine and alcohol will need to be limited
Sample Acid Reflux Diet Meal Plan
You can have a few options for breakfast with acid reflux. Remember to keep it small so you are able to feel good and avoid coffee unless you use a lot of cream. Apples, pears or bananas are fine, especially paired with oatmeal. You can have an egg white scrambled, but avoid the bacon or sausage. Toast and bagels are also good.
Remember a snack in between breakfast and lunch is good. A simple string cheese, yogurt or granola bar is fine. For lunch a turkey sandwich will work, soups that are cream based and not too heavy or salads with light dressings are also fine.
Again it’s a good idea to snack in between lunch and dinner. A handful of nuts or grapes are great. For dinner, broiled fish or baked chicken are perfect. Make sure to serve it with a crisp salad that uses light salad dressing. Also, it’s a good idea to make sure you get your dinner in at least two hours before bedtime.
After dinner snacks are only okay when they are small and way before bedtime. Popcorn is usually good as long as it’s not spicy. Lean cheese and crackers are also fine.
Things to Know
Do not over eat. This is one of the biggest problems with acid reflux. Small meals that are light and not acidic are the best.