Cookies, Jelly Beans, Potato Chips, Oh My: Snacks for Acid Reflux Sufferers
Snacking with Acid Reflux
When a person is dealing with acid reflux, they need to understand where the burning sensation in their stomach and esophagus comes from and what they can do about it.
Heartburn occurs when people eat too much, too quickly, at mealtime. When this happens, there is a backflow, and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) starts to relax at inappropriate times, allowing for strong stomach juices to build up and rise into the esophagus. While taking a few antacids on the go may seem like a quick solution, it doesn't begin to cover the issue. Acid reflux is a chronic condition that, if left untreated, can lead to more serious medical complications.
Making the Most of Meal Time
Part of addressing the effects of acid reflux is making sensible meal choices. There are numerous dietary options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that accommodate stomach problems. However, most diets don't adequately factor in snack times, which are often some of our favorite times to eat. So the question then becomes: Are snack options available for acid reflux sufferers? .
Snack Attacks with Acid Reflux
With any acid reflux diet, it's important to remember that any foods that are baked, low fat, or fat free are generally acceptable for consumption. Among some acceptable sweets and dessert choices are such items as:
- Jelly beans
- Red licorice
- Graham crackers
For non-sweet snacks, there are other acceptable treat choices. Suggested snack options include:
- Potato chips (baked)
- Rice cakes
Fruit such as apples or bananas are also great healthy snack alternatives.
Snacks to Avoid
While there are several snack options in which you can indulge, there are also certain snacks to avoid, as they can instigate an episode of acid reflux. Certain candies, such as chocolate and peppermint, can cause problems for those suffering from heartburn. Caffeinated beverages should also be avoided. These include:
- Carbonated sodas
Fruits (such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit) and fruit drinks that are high in citrus can also cause acid reflux due to the high acidity found in them. You should also avoid gum, as the chewing motion can cause a person to take in and swallow large amounts of air, which builds more acid production.
Check with a Doctor
While there is no one set diet that will work for every person, a diet can be discussed with a doctor or nutritionist so that it is tailored to meet a person's individual needs. In addition, keeping a food journal will help to note any severity in symptoms or work as a process of elimination to remove unwanted foods from a person's diet. While acid reflux is a serious condition, it can be controlled with proper maintenance and care to prevent the onset of more severe symptoms.
Photo Credit: scubadive67