Acid reflux is a condition in which acid from the stomach leaks back into the esophagus. This can result in painful heartburn, and the condition may require more treatment than simply changing diet. However, it’s known that following a recommended acid reflux diet or one for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may help reduce incidence of heartburn and indigestion.
There are many acid reflux diets, but most have some similarities that can get you started. Most diets concentrate on eliminating certain foods that create more acid. Another focus of a good acid reflux diet is eating patterns — the way you eat can influence the degree to which you may suffer acid reflux.
An acid reflux diet may emphasize what you can eat without much fear of additional problems. Foods that are thought to be low risk include fruits like apples and bananas, most green vegetables, low fat meats, low fat dairy, and whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. Some diets add another list of foods that may not bother most people, and these include low acid citrus juices, onions and garlic, some cheeses, and even low fat cookies.
The main thing that an acid reflux diet will suggest people avoid is extremely high fat foods. It’s recommended you keep away from deep fried foods, most fast foods, and high fat cuts of meat. Some beverages should be skipped too, and these mostly include alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and wine.
There is some lively discussion about whether caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea and carbonated beverages are a wise idea. When you’re unsure about a certain food or drink you really enjoy, you may want to try it and see how it affects acid reflux symptoms. If you feel worse after consuming a “trial food,” you may want to avoid it in the future.
Another essential element of an acid reflux diet is focus on how to eat to minimize symptoms. Eating three medium-sized to large meals a day may prove problematic for most people. Instead, it’s often recommended that people eat smaller meals, perhaps four to six a day. It’s equally important to eat slowly, in a fully upright position. You should plan not to eat about two hours before bedtime, and keeping the head slightly elevated when you sleep may reduce symptoms further.
Since acid reflux usually requires some medical intervention, if you suspect you have it, you should first get diagnosis through a physician before treating yourself. Diet may be one way to reduce symptoms, but it isn’t the only way. It’s important to heed a doctor’s advice about other medical care and behavioral changes you can make to help tame this condition.