A Reflux Diet and Foods to Avoid

Those of us that suffer or have suffered from acid reflux know that there are some foods that we should avoid. Here are some reflux foods to avoid and help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. Keep in mind that a reflux diet need not be overly restrictive.


One of the major culprits causing acid reflux is alcohol, too bad for the drinkers among us. Although, recent studies show that a couple of glasses of wine with your dinner will not hurt you. I still enjoy a glass or two of wine with my meal and it is probably only excessive drinking that is to blame.

It’s curious that even nutritionists do not agree whether red or white wine is better for you. Personally, I prefer red wine. It has resveratrol, which fights cancer. I do not plan on completely eliminating red wine from my reflux diet.

I find white wine more acidic to my taste buds and I assumed that it would be more likely to cause acid reflux. However, it is the alcohol content and not its acidic taste that prevents the esophageal sphincter from working properly causing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.

It just makes sense that when drinking alcohol, acid reflux sufferers should limit their alcohol intake. You can dilute it with water or a mixer to lessen its impact on your acid reflux. You can also dilute wine with water or lemonade. Bubbly drinks like champagne and beer should be avoided.

Foods To Avoid

There are other culprits, other reflux foods to avoid. They include: chocolate, peppermint, coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks like colas and citrus fruit juices. These acid reflux foods also inhibit the normal workings of the esophageal sphincter. Moderation of these foods should be a part of your reflux diet.

The esophageal sphincter is the valve that allows food and drinks to enter the stomach. Normally it stops the stomach contents from reentering the esophagus. If you cannot give them up completely, keep intake of those foods to a minimum.

Here is another curious tidbit. Chewing gum and eating hard sweets allow excessive air to be swallowed and can potentially cause gas and reflux.

Unfortunately, for those of us that like meat, fatty and fried foods also delay the emptying of the stomach, so avoid any fatty meat in your reflux diet. Salamis, sausages and pat├ęs found on the delicatessen counter should also be avoided. Fatty acid reflux foods also include whole milk, cheese, cream, butter, and margarine.

In some people, tomatoes can aggravate the condition, as can spices such as fresh or dried chilies and chili powder and any derivatives like Tabasco. Moderation is recommended with condiments like Worcestershire and soy sauces and any sort of horseradish or mustard.

All is not bad news and prohibitions. With a reflux diet you can eat, as much as you want, of vegetables (tomatoes are a fruit), fish, skinless chicken and turkey, apples, peaches, melons, pears and berries. You can eat low fat spreads and cottage cheese. You can drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, and water. You can drink as much water as you want. In fact, drink more than you want. It’s good for you.


Here are some other things to consider:

* Eat smaller meals and more often

* Don’t eat just before going to bed.

* Raise the head of the bed or use pillows to raise your head when you sleep.

* Avoid tight clothing around the waistline.

* Quit smoking. Nicotine weakens the lower esophageal muscle.

* If you are overweight, lose it. Being overweight will only worsen your heartburn and acid reflux.


Moderation is the key in any reflux diet. Only in extreme cases do we need to maintain strict and rigid reflux diets. Everyone is different. Foods that some people can tolerate others cannot. Some foods cause incredibly painful indigestion others do not. Just be aware of those foods that adversely affect you. Make a list. Only you can tell.

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