You experience acid reflux when the acid in your stomach rises back to the esophagus. When the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes more than it should, it pushes the stomach acids used to digest foods back into the esophagus, leading to a burning sensation. If this happens more than two times in a week, you probably suffer from GERD or gastroesophageal disease. Certain factors can lead to acid reflux. These include the type of food that you consume, your body’s position after meals, and the portion size of your meal.
Foods to avoid for acid reflux
Despite being a common issue, there is still some confusion about what food items can aggravate the condition and need to be excluded from the diet. So, what foods to avoid for acid reflux? Let’s find out.
Fried foods or high-fat meals
Consumption of fatty food or fried food delays the stomach emptying and relaxes the LES. This can cause certain acid reflux symptoms. To prevent this situation, you should keep a check on your overall fat intake. Some fat-rich food items that you should avoid include the following:
- Ice cream
- French fries
- High-fat sour cream
- Potato chips
- Whole milk
- Onion rings (deep-fried)
- Creamy dips or sauces
- Red meat
- Creamy salad dressings
Chili powder or chili pepper has an ingredient in them called capsaicin that adds to its spiciness. It can lead to heartburn or acid reflux. Whenever you plan your meals, add only the minimal amount of spice to avoid worsening the symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables
A balanced diet cannot be completed without the consumption of fruits and vegetables. However, there are a few fruits and vegetables that can aggravate your GERD symptoms. Some of these foods to avoid for acid reflux include:
- Citrus fruits, such as limes, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit
- Tomato or tomato-based items, such as chili, salsa, pizza sauce, or tomato ketchup
If there’s ever a doubt, you can seek help from your dietician or a doctor.
Certain beverages, too, trigger symptoms associated with GERD in people. These are:
- Tomato juices
- Citrus juices
- Carbonated drinks
Coffee, both with or without the caffeine, can cause acid reflux symptoms. However, there are a few people with GERD who do not get any acid reflux symptoms on coffee consumption. Thus, it is important to keep a close check on your symptoms and then consume the beverages that your body can tolerate well.
Other food items, medicines, or supplements
There are a few other food items or supplements or medicines that can lead to acid reflux. These include:
- Peppermint or other mints
- Processed foods
- Pain relievers or aspirin
- Calcium channel blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
At times, you will be tempted to quit your current supplements or medications only to get rid of acid reflux symptoms, but before you cut out any medication from your routine, you should consult your doctor.