Eating An Effective Acid Reflux Diet
© 2006 by Doug Smith




Background

Diet and acid reflux attacks are related. The human body operates under a delicate series of balances to keep your systems running smoothly. Acidic stability seems to be the healthiest condition.

Excess acid production can disturb the delicate balance. Smoking and overeating can create excess acid production. If untreated, persistent acid reflux can develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). An acid reflux diet can help minimize the symptoms of heartburn sufferers. These heartburn victims need to learn the difference between safe foods and foods that can trigger their heartburn.

The right acid reflux diet can decrease the occurrence and severity of heartburn. The heartburn sufferer must be able to give up certain foods and food types. In many cases these acid reflux diet omissions alone are effective in controlling heartburn.



Which Foods Are Safe?

Many dietitians recommend alkaline or chemically basic foods in an acid reflux diet. A base is the opposite of an acid in chemistry, and the two solutions neutralize each other. Acid reflux diets have the main characteristics of low fat and non-spicy foods.

Heartburn sufferers can usually consume the following acid reflux diet foods without difficulty. These foods include but are not limited to the following:

Cabbage
Green beans
Broccoli
Peas
Apples
Bananas
Carrots
Lean grilled meat
Fish without added fat
Egg whites
Low-fat cheeses (e.g., feta)
Low-fat salad dressings
Multigrain breads

What Foods Should You Avoid?

Some foods trigger acid reflux attacks by aggravating the digestive process. Acid reflux sufferers should limit or completely avoid these types of foods and drinks in their acid reflux diet. Foods to avoid include (but are not limited to) the following:

Foods with extra cheese (e.g., pizza)
Junk food
Processed foods
Citrus fruits (citrus is acidic)
Catsup or Ketchup-based foods (tomatoes are acidic)
Chili peppers
Caffeine (a tough one to give up)
Fried foods
Alcoholic drinks
Tobacco
Mint
Onions

All of the above are know to aggravate or start an acid reflux attack.



If you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, start keeping a food diary. Record your food intake for 2 weeks or more. Write what you eat, when you ate it, and what time any heartburn symptoms appear, and how long they last. This will help you and your doctor plan your acid reflux diet. Your food diary will show trends as to which foods cause your heartburn. You can then try eliminating those foods one at a time and recording the results to identify the problem foods.

Acid Reflux Diet Conclusions

Eating too much can also start or worsen your acid reflux discomfort. Changing your perceptions of food portions is another important part of your acid reflux diet. The following eating techniques can help:

Eat slow so that you begin to feel full
Skip the second helping of food
Avoid fatty foods
Drink plenty of water (this has many other health benefits too).

Making these simple yet sensible changes when creating your acid reflux diet and eating habits can profoundly decrease your instances and severity of acid reflux. Exercise is also an important part. A life that is free of heartburn, or greatly reduced heartburn, is within reach if you make simple changes and begin an acid reflux diet.





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Today's News About Acid Reflux


Related Definitions, Terms and Acronyms:
  • Hydrochloric acid - the major component of gastric acid.
  • ICD - International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ICD-10 indicates the 10th edition of this list.
  • Medical diet - used for the control of acid reflux, and includes the selection of foods that either contains or lacks certain characteristics or chemicals (e.g., eliminating spicy foods).
  • Common antacids - Aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel ®, AlternaGEL ®), Magnesium hydroxide (Phillips’ ® Milk of Magnesia), Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox ®, Mylanta ®), Aluminum carbonate gel (Basajel ®), Calcium carbonate (Tums ®, Titralac ®, Calcium Rich Rolaids ®), Sodium bicarbonate (Bicarbonate of soda), Hydrotalcite (Mg6Al2(CO3)(OH)16 · 4(H2O), Talcid ®).
  • Esophagus - also the gullet, the muscular tube in vertebrates through which ingested food passes from the mouth area to the stomach.


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