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For patients who need a diet for acid reflux or who want an acid reflux disease diet that will not hurt them, consider these foods, known to be a good option for most people.

  • Consider non-acid fruits including bananas and apples.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables including carrots, beans, baked potatoes, cabbage and broccoli, all known to be safe GERD diet foods.
  • You can also eat most meats such as chicken breast, lean ground beef, and London broil steak. Fish is particularly a good option.
  • Some cheese seem to be good GERD diet foods including cream cheese, feta or goat cheese and soy based cheeses.
  • Grains are always a good option as is water for drinks.
  • Look for all of your GERD diet to be low fat for the best results.

Here are some of the most common foods that trigger GERD pain and illness.

  • In fruits, juices in particular, you will find acid like foods to be a problem such as tomato and tomato juice, lemons and lemonade, grapefruit, orange and cranberry.
  • For vegetables, avoid French fries, raw onions and sometimes mashed potatoes.
  • Some meats can be painful for gerd sufferers, too, especially buffalo wings, chicken nuggets, ground chuck and marbled sirloin.
  • Be very careful with liquor and wines, coffee, tea and dairy products, all known to cause problems for the GERD patient.

Additional tips:

  1. Stop using tobacco in all forms. Nicotine weakens the lower esophageal muscle.
  2. Avoid chewing gum and hard candy. They increase the amount of swallowed air which, in turn, leads to belching and reflux. 
  3. Do not lie down immediately after eating. Avoid late evening snacks. 
  4. Avoid tight clothing and bending over after eating.
  5. Eat small, frequent portions of food and snack if needed. 
  6. Lose weight if overweight. Obesity leads to increased reflux. 
  7. Elevate the head of the bed six to eight inches to prevent reflux when sleeping. Extra pillows, by themselves, are not very helpful.

Food Groups

Group Recommend Avoid
Milk or milk products skim, 1% or 2% low-fat milk; low-fat or fat-free yogurt whole milk (4%), chocolate milk
Vegetables all other vegetables fried or creamy style vegetables*, tomatoes
Fruits apples, berries, melons, bananas, peaches, pears citrus*: such as oranges, grapefruit, pineapple
Breads & grains all those made with low-fat content any prepared with whole milk or high-fat l
Meat, meat substitutes low-fat meat, chicken, fish, turkey cold cuts, sausage, bacon, fatty meat, chicken fat/skin
Fat, oils none or small amounts all animal or vegetable oils
Sweets & desserts all itmes made with no or low fat (less than or equal to 3 g fat/serving) chocolate, desserts made with oils and/or fats
Beverages decaffeinated, non-mint herbal tea; juices (except citrus); water alcohol, coffee (regular or decaffeinated), carbonated beverages, tea, mint tea
Soups fat-free or low-fat based chicken, beef, milk, or cream-based soups

*Individually determined


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