11 Types of Food You Can't Eat With Acid Reflux

Updated on December 3, 2017
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A foodie and a health nut—I love learning and writing about tips to keep my family and others healthy.

Photo: Mateus Bassan
Photo: Mateus Bassan | Source

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which acid in the stomach rises up into the esophagus. Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms. It generally occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes to allow painful stomach acids to flow into the esophagus. In the article below, I will identify 11 types of food to avoid if you suffer from this condition.

Avoid fried foods.
Avoid fried foods. | Source

9 Foods to Avoid

  1. Acidic foods: Avoid acidic foods such as oranges, lemons, orange juice, lemonade, cranberries, and grapefruits. These foods can trigger heartburn. Also juices or beverages made with these fruits should be avoided. Vinegar is also highly acidic and is found in salad dressings and other dishes. Apple cider vinegar is a good substitute.
  2. Spicy foods: Another food to avoid is spices such as chili powder, black pepper, mustard powder, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and mustard. Spicy foods can aggravate the stomach and weakens the lower esophageal sphincter.
  3. Tomato-based foods: Including tomatoes, pasta sauce, tomato soup and tomato juice.
  4. High fat foods: Cut back on fatty foods like salami, burgers, pizza and steaks.These foods tend to slow down digestion and remain in the stomach for longer period of time.
  5. Fried foods: Fried foods and fatty foods like french fries, doughnuts, processed foods, and margarine will provoke acid reflux. Instead of frying, you can bake, sauté, or boil in a pan.
  6. Dairy foods: Dairy foods may increase digestive enzymes causing an overproduction of stomach acid. Avoid drinking milk before sleep and be wary of whole milk, cheese, and milk shakes. Instead, use skim milk and low-fat dairy products.
  7. Caffeinated beverages: Avoid beverages that can irritate the stomach lining including coffee, tea, alcohol, and soft drinks.
  8. Oils: Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Use healthy oils such as canola oil and olive oil as an alternative.
  9. Crunchy foods: Crunchy foods like nuts, crackers, toast, popcorn, and cookies will make your acid reflux situation worse by scratching your lower esophageal sphincter.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling of fullness after a meal
  • Nausea after eating
  • Pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Belching

Tips to Reduce Acid Reflux

  • Eat small, frequent meals
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes

Understanding Acid Reflux

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    • profile image

      Linda 23 months ago

      Canola oil is not a healthy oil, it is usually a GMO product. I don't know why you are even using it. Makes the above message about Acid Reflux useless.

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      carole 24 months ago

      Had gallbladder taken out in November this year 2015 but have suffered from burning/itching where they cut me through just below rib cage in the middle and through the belly button area. The other problem is continuing sore and painfulness in the right side across where they cut it has formed a scab in healing but under the skin it feels very sore and painful every day even though it is a month since keyhole surgery. Not very inpressed with the operation so far only hope it does get better and to be free from pain it is bad enough having to watch what you eat and drink all the time without added pressure of soreness pain itching and burning. My name is Carole.

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      Crock of crap 3 years ago

      Cinnamon and honey (in hot water) soothe quite well.

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      Kat 3 years ago

      OMG the comments are hilarious. And true.

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      Josh 3 years ago

      I love how most of these types of articles always tell you what you cannot eat and never what you CAN eat!

    • profile image

      Frank 3 years ago

      Yeah, there are literally no meals you could actually eat using this list. Nothing cruncy, or with oils, or dairy, or red meat, or fried, or high fat, or spicy, or acidic. So basically you can eat noodles...with no sauce lol

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      Anne 3 years ago

      Sooooo basically, you can't eat anything at all. Nice.

    • profile image

      CJ 3 years ago

      There's nothing left after you eliminate that list!

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      Raj 5 years ago

      hi' Natasha, are u ok now, if u still have issues on acidity then do take Aloe vera. Here in india Aloe vera is everywhere and fresh middle bits are better than any juice in Western countries.

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      danesha 6 years ago

      @Natasha-I'be heard of babies having acid reflux, so I wouldn't be alarmed, but you should see your doctor so you can take the proper meds. Having a hernia can make it worse also.

    • profile image

      Natasha 6 years ago

      i also have a hiatal hernea, will it get better??

    • profile image

      Natasha 6 years ago

      well im suffereing from this, and im 19 years old and found out in 2010 about this problem, but i have had stomach issues since i can remember,but is this bad? since im only 19 and i think i have had this problem for years, but i have my meds which i only started taking very rescent, because of a family member getting read of them and i also didn't think it was this bad of a problem, will i be ok?? if i had cancer or any of that sort wouldn't i be in a lotttt worse pain??

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      reflux 6 years ago from USA

      Apple Cider Vinegar is the best remedy for acid reflux.

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      Scribe For Hire 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the info.

      Aloe Vera Juice is very soothing for esophagal problems. I find that by taking a 1/4 cup in the morning and a 1/4 cup before bed really helps when I have a flare up.