Safe Foods for the Acid Reflux Diet
Eating with Acid Reflux
The chronic condition known as acid reflux occurs when a backflow of stomach acid moves up into the esophagus. When stomach acid is produced, it is used to digest the food that is consumed during mealtime. However, if too large a meal is eaten, or eaten too quickly, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes at the wrong time, allowing for strong stomach juices to build up and overflow in the esophagus. This causes the burning sensation known as heartburn. If acid reflux is left untreated, the symptoms can lead to more serious medical complications. The most effective way of managing the negative effects of acid reflux is by making changes in dietary and eating habits. A large part of this is finding food that considered safe to a sensitive stomach.
Finding the Right Kinds of Food for Diet
Acid reflux sufferers take heart: There are several common and easy to find foods that are beneficial to eat for acid reflux relief that contain slight to no acidity. These are more commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Foods that have little potential to cause heartburn are:
- Fruit: Apples, bananas
- Vegetables: Baked potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans, peas
- Meat: Ground beef, steak, London Broil, chicken breast, egg whites, egg substitute, fish
- Dairy: Cheese (feta, goat), cream cheese, sour cream, soy cheese
- Grains: Bread (multi grain or white), cereal, oatmeal, corn bread, graham crackers, pretzels, rice (brown or white), rice cakes
- Beverages: Mineral water
- Fats and oils: low fat salad dressing
- Desserts: Cookies, jelly beans, red licorice, potato chips
Any foods that are usually low fat, fat free or baked are usually considered safe on a person's stomach.
Foods to Avoid
It is important to recognize the difference between safe and unsafe foods. Unsafe foods can irritate symptoms of acid reflux or even start an all new wave of stomach discomfort. Foods to avoid are as follows:
- Fried foods
- Fatty foods
- Citrus fruits
- Tomato products
- Coffee or carbonated sodas
- Alcoholic beverages
- Citrus fruit drinks
- Spicy foods
However, foods that trigger heartburn are highly individualized and foods that trigger your heartburn may differ from the foods listed here.
Making a Change in Diet
Controlling acid reflux is not only possible from controlling the kinds of food that a person eats, but how they choose to eat. It is advisable to consume smaller meals more frequently. By lowering the amount of food and avoiding overeating, the stomach will produce less acid. Body positioning is also important. It is important to remain upright while eating and to remain upright for a minimum of forty five minutes after a meal. When going to sleep, it is suggested to keep the head elevated from six to eight inches.
There Is No One Set Diet
People suffering from acid reflux should keep in mind that there is no one absolute list of foods that will work for all people affected by this condition. Some instances of acid reflux may be more severe than others. The best thing to do is to keep a food journal to log what works best and what does not for an individual to maintain a healthy (and safe) dietary balance.
Photo Credit: moonjazz