12 Foods to Avoid on an Acid Reflux Diet: Stop Heartburn by Cutting These Foods and Habits Out of a Diet

Acid reflux disease is rapidly becoming one of the most recognized ailments in America. The treatments for it are well known even by those who are not afflicted with chronic heartburn. Many people believe that a diagnosis entails drastic dietary changes or the daily ingestion of medication with dubious side-effects. However, this is not so.

The effects of the disease can be mitigated by carefully determining which foods exacerbate your symptoms and which do not. The offending foods vary from person to person and it is important to discover which ones adversely effect the frequency and intensity of your heartburn.

12 Foods and Dietary Habits Known to Cause Heartburn Associated with Reflux Disease

A good starting point for this personal dietary analysis is a knowledge of the most frequently offending foods and habits. These include:

  • Coffee and any other drink that contains caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Red sauces
  • Peppermint
  • Smoking
  • Spicy food
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fatty foods
  • Carbonated drinks (regular and diet soda, ginger ale, etc.)
  • Eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime
  • Eating large meals
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli

This is a daunting list, and if every person who suffers from acid reflux were to follow it to the letter, most people would undoubtedly be healthier, but lifelong abstension from the foods and beverages they love would drive many to question whether a docile esophagus was worth spending the rest of their days munching on hummus. Luckily, this list represents only a set of guidelines and not a series of universal commandments.

Keeping a Food Diary Is the Best Way to Identify Problem Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

The most effective way to determine which foods cause heartburn problems is to keep a food diary. Many people are already aware of certain foods that give them consistent trouble, but are unsure of others because a number of suspect foods and beverages are consumed during the same meal. A dutifully compiled food diary will allow for cross-indexing of these foods with heartburn attacks.

Each bout of heartburn should be noted in the diary along with its severity, the treatment used to counter it (TUMS, Pepcid AC, Pepto-Bismol, etc.), and the elapsed time between treatment and the dissipation, if any, of the symptoms. This will allow for an analysis of not only the cause, but also the most effective treatment for each individual’s unique set of heartburn triggers.

The degree to which any diary will help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux will depend on the diligence employed by the individual compiling it and their willingness to abide by the conclusions it renders. No one is expected to cut all these dangerous foods out of their diets forever, but by adhering to the verdicts yielded by a food diary, the frequency of heartburn attacks can be reduced considerably.

Other Reflux Symptom Remedies to Stop Stomach Acid and Prevent Heartburn

The timing and size of meals can also have a significant bearing on the frequency and severity of heartburn attacks. By abstaining from eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime, you can give your stomach time to break down the food sloshing around in your stomach and allow the level of stomach acid to return to normal before turning in for the night.

Reducing the size of meals can also help since the amount of stomach acid present at any one time is proportional to the amount of food that needs to be broken down. By limiting the quantity of food in your stomach you can keep the acid level from crossing the threshold between a state of relative comfort and having a fire in your throat.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition