An acid reflux disease diet can help control the occurrence of acid reflux and decrease the risk of heartburn for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) sufferers. Following a controlled diet is a matter of determining which foods trigger symptoms, and which foods are safe to eat.
Creating a two-week food diary, where you make a record of all the foods you ingest and the symptoms that follow, is the best way to discover the foods to eliminate. After two weeks, you should then present your food diary to your doctor or dietician so he/she can help create a diet plan that is beneficial for you.
Although it is in your best interest to create a food diary, the following are 7 food categories and the related foods you should avoid, or are considered safe to eat in each. The seven categories are:
Vegetables and Fruit
Fats and oil
Sweets and snacks
By knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat within each food category is how you create an acid reflux disease diet that effectively relieves symptoms by stopping them before they start.
Foods you should avoid
The following foods should be eliminated or dramatically limited in an acid reflux disease diet, as ingesting them, even in small quantities, can aggravate symptoms and lead to recurring heartburn.
Dairy – Cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream and ice cream related products (I.E. milk shakes, floats, etc.)
Meat – Buffalo wings, chicken nuggets, ground beef, and marbled steak
Grains – Pasta with marinara sauce, macaroni and cheese
Vegetables & Fruit – Vegetables: raw onion, French fires, mashed potatoes. Fruits: Citrus fruits and juices which include lemon, lime, lemonade, orange, orange juice, grapefruit and grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato and tomato juice.
Fats and oil – Oily or creamy salad dressings, and essentially all fried or fatty processed Foods.
Sweets and Snacks – Chocolate, doughnuts, butter cookies, brownies, corn chips, and potato chips.
Beverages – Alcohol, regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, high-sugared drinks such as soda.
Foods considered safe
The following foods are considered safe to eat and shouldn’t aggravate your GERD symptoms; therefore, they can become a regular part of your acid reflux disease diet.
Dairy – Fat-free cream cheese, feta or goat cheese, low-fat soy cheese.
Meat – Extra lean ground beef, London broiled steak, skinless chicken breast, egg whites, imitation eggs, and fish without additional fat.
Grains – Whole grain or white bread, corn bread, oatmeal, bran cereal, white or brown rice
Vegetables & Fruit – Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cabbage, peas, green beans, and baked potato.
Fruits: banana, fresh or dried apple, apple juice.
Fats and oil – low fat salad dressing
Sweets and Snacks – Pretzels, baked potato chips, graham crackers, rice cakes, fat free cookies, red liquorice, and jelly beans
Beverages – Water
Last, but not least, the following is a brief list of foods you can occasionally enjoy in your acid reflux disease diet, but should be consumed with discretion and in moderation as they can aggravate symptoms:
Dairy – Yogurt, cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Meat -fired eggs, fried fish, hot dog, ham and tuna salad.
Grains – Granola cereal and muffin.
Vegetables & Fruit – Vegetables: garlic, leeks, and green onions. Fruits: low-acid orange juice, dried cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Fats and oil – ketchup
Sweets and Snacks – low-fat cookies
Beverages – non-alcoholic drinks and carbonated drinks
Finally, keep in mind that the above food lists are only general guidelines. Some of the foods considered safe to eat for one heartburn sufferer may not be the same for another. Therefore, make sure you keep a food diary to determine what the best acid reflux disease diet is for you, so you can effectively treat and prevent your symptoms.