diet for acid reflux disease

diet for acid reflux disease:

Special GERD or gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to the return of some of the contents of the stomach to the esophagus. Due to the acidity of the gastric juice, it causes inflammation of the esophagus and unpleasant symptoms such as burns, nausea, abdominal pain, etc. The GERD regimen is designed to counter acid reflux to the esophagus and reduce symptoms by avoiding irritating foods, fats, and alcohol, among others.

pie-chart test | amCharts

The essential points of the special diet GERD(diet for acid reflux):

  • Promote low-fat foods
  • Practice regular physical activity
  • Split the diet
  • Avoid alcohol and irritating foods
  • Adopt good reflexes not to encourage reflux (postures, habits, etc.)

Benefits of eating in case of GERD

The special diet RGO has many benefits, it allows:

  • Reduce inflammation and irritation of the esophagus
  • Alleviate pain and prevent it
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid irritating foods that can cause pain
  • Promote protective foods of the gastric mucosa

Several dietary recommendations and suggestions have been issued in recent years to counteract gastroesophageal reflux. Even though the diet alone is often insufficient to solve the problem, it can help. Among the suggestions, adopting a high-fiber, low-fat diet and regular physical activity appears to be the most important. For the rest, the following recommendations have to be adapted case by case, test the changes and see if the symptoms decrease or not.

The ANTI-GERD diet (Diet for acid reflux) also helps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

The main recommendation for reducing gastroesophageal reflux is to lose weight if necessary, ie in the overweight or obese person. Abdominal obesity plays a key role in worsening GERD symptoms. Weight loss achieved through the GERD regimen should allow you to relieve these symptoms effectively.

The GERD regimen is also indicated for people with Hiatal hernias. This condition is characterized by the sliding of the upper part of the stomach out of the abdominal cavity. Generally, the hiatus hernia causes similar symptoms relieved by the adoption of the anti-GERD regimen.

Gastroesophageal reflux and diet: our recommendations

Gastroesophageal reflux can make eating delicate and painful. This is why the special GERD regimen aims to avoid irritating foods and tend to aggravate symptoms. On the other hand, a diet rich in micronutrients, selected foods and fiber can provide a better life.

Which foods to fight against gastroesophageal reflux?

To fight against gastro-esophageal reflux, it is recommended to favor foods that are easily digestible and that protect the digestive system. This is the case of foods rich in soluble fiber, lean protein, and Omega-3 that are included in the context of the diet for GERD. In addition, regular physical activity and split feeding can prevent GERD-related discomfort.

Low-fat diet

A diet high in fat is associated with a higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux. Fats interfere with lower esophageal sphincter (OSI) tension because of the long digestion they require and the time they spend in the stomach. It should be consumed less than 45g per day.

Lean protein sources

To ensure a balanced diet, it is essential to prioritize sources of lean protein. Namely, foods rich in protein stimulate the secretion of gastrin, a hormone that promotes the tension of the esophageal sphincter.

Diet for acid reflux
diet for acid reflux disease

Here is a list of foods suitable for the RGO special diet:

  • Poultry without skin
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Milk and skim milk products
  • Vegetable milks
  • Lean cheeses
  • legumes
  • Tofu
  • Game
  • Lean cuts of meat (roast, fillet, etc.)

Fibers in diet for acid reflux

To prevent constipation and bloating related to abdominal pressure, it should consume at least 30g of dietary fiber per day. In addition, be sure to drink at least 2 liters of water well distributed over the day and between meals preferably.

Here is a table of high fiber foods to fight against gastroesophageal reflux:

Food categories servings Quantity of fiber per serving (in g)
Vegetables 100g 2
legumes 1/2 cup 8
Breads and whole grains 1 slice of bread
30g of cereals
100g of pasta
2 to 3
Fruits and oilseeds 1 fruit
1 handful of nuts

Omega 3 in diet for acid reflux

To avoid deficits in Omega-3, be sure to consume a sufficient amount of vegetable oils and oilseeds every day. Two servings of oily fish a week also help cover Omega-3 needs. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and can protect the gastric mucosa and esophagus from irritation.

As part of the anti-GERD diet, make sure to include the following foods:

  • Colza oil
  • Linseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Nut oil
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Flax and chia seeds
  • Mackerel, salmon, trout, herring, sardines
  • Lawyer

Snacks in diet for acid reflux

Splitting the diet helps not to overload the stomach at mealtimes. By making three small meals plus one to two snacks a day, you may notice a decrease in gastroesophageal reflux. Always be sure to incorporate a source of fibre and a source of lean protein into your snack.

For example, as part of the diet for GERD (diet for acid reflux), here are some examples of snacks:

  • Yogurt or white cheese + fruit
  • 1 bowl of cow’s milk or soy + fruit
  • A handful of oilseed + compote
  • Slice of whole bread + cheese
  • 30g of whole grains in milk
  • Raw vegetables + Hummus

Other recommended foods in diet for acid reflux :

  • antioxidants
  • Natural sugars
  • Low sugar products
  • Physical activity

What foods to avoid in case of gastroesophageal reflux?

Some foods should be avoided in case of gastroesophageal reflux. Either because they are irritating or because they promote overweight and abdominal pressure. This is the case of fatty foods, refined, alcohol or some drinks. Reducing their consumption can help reduce the symptoms of GERD.

Irritating food

Under the special GERD diet, certain foods are to be avoided. They can actually worsen the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux such as burning or pain by increasing inflammation. To prevent irritation of the inner lining of the esophagus and to preserve it from aggressive acid juices, avoid irritating foods.

Here is a list of foods to avoid in case of gastroesophageal reflux:

  • Coffee, even decaffeinated
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits and citrus juices
  • Spices
  • Mint products

Replace these products with herbal teas, plain water, herbs or even better-tolerated fruits. Remember to consume enough other fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C such as kiwi, pepper, spinach, melon, cabbage, etc. Vitamin C supplementation may also be considered if citrus fruits are not tolerated at all.

Read more about diet for acid reflux …

Trans and saturated fats

The following table gives the fat content of some common foods, it is very easy to consume more than 45g per day if you are not careful. Yet 45g is a limit that should not be exceeded under the special GERD plan.

Food Amount Fat content (in g)
Cooked ground beef 100g 15
Pork ribs 100g 28
Lamb chops 100g 28
Grilled chicken with skin 100g 10
Cheese type Cheddar 30g 10
Whole milk 250ml 9
Butter and oils 10g 10
Vinaigrette 1 tablespoon 7
Lawyer 1/2 15
Full cream 2 tablespoons 10
Black olives 10 units 7
Mayonnaise 1 tablespoon 10
Peanut butter 1 tablespoon 8
oleaginous 1 handle 10
Butter croissant 1 unit 12
Fries 1 medium fried 20
Dark chocolate (70%) 30g 12
Milk chocolate 1 notch (50g) 9
eggs 2 units 10
Pizza 1 part 10

Fine products

In order to consume more dietary fiber, refined products should be avoided. Indeed, they bring much less fiber but also nutrients.

Diet for acid reflux
diet for acid reflux disease

To make the right choices here are some tips:

  • Replace refined products with bread and whole starchy foods
  • Consume whole fruits rather than juice
  • Choose cereals fortified with dietary fiber
  • Add wheat bran to your dishes and desserts
  • Choose products containing at least 2g of fiber per serving
  • For the best sources of fiber, check out our Nutrients Facts page.

Fermentable foods

Bloating can be caused by excessive fermentation in the intestine. They aggravate gastroesophageal reflux by increasing pressure in the abdomen. Fermentation is generated by certain types of so-called fermentable carbohydrates: soluble fiber, sorbitol, fructose, etc.

Here is a table of foods to avoid and favor in case of gastroesophageal reflux:

Fermentable foods to avoid Low fermentable foods to favor
Oat bran products: bran, bread, cereals, flour
Cabbage vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.
Garlic, onion, turnip, leek green
Apple, pear, melon, cherry, grape
Dried fruits
Wheat and products derived from it: bread, pasta, flour, bran, etc.
Corn, rice, rye, spelled, millet, quinoa, Kamut
Lettuce, spinach, eggplant, celery, carrot, squash, zucchini, green beans
Red fruits, pineapple, banana, apricot, peach, kiwi

Other foods not recommended:

  • Acidic foods
  • Citrus
  • Soups at dinner
  • Sparkling water
  • Sweet products
  • Industrial products
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Daily practical tips to follow the GERD diet (diet for acid reflux)

  • Avoid bending after meals
  • Doing activities after meals, but low intensity
  • Dinner at least 3 hours before bed
  • Sleeping with the bust slightly elevated with a pillow
  • Do not wear tight clothing that compresses at the waist
  • Take smaller meals and add snacks to avoid too much food in the stomach that promotes reflux
  • Eat and drink slowly
  • Avoid anything that causes gas: drinking straw, chewing gum, drinking soda, etc.
  • Drink rather between meals
  • Develop lean protein snacks: cheese, yogurt, soy milk, eggs, etc.
  • Practice regular and moderate physical activity

RGO special diet: recipe ideas

Menu adapted to the special diet RGO

Morning “Alaska” breakfast (peach or apricot, whole wheat bread, peanut butter, milk)
collation strawberries
Midday Salmon Pave with Honey, Quinoa, Grilled Asparagus and Banana
collation Yogurt and red berries
Evening Watercress soup, crispy bread slice, Japanese grilled chicken skewers, parboiled brown rice, green beans with tarragon

To go further: gastro-esophageal reflux or eosinophilia esophagitis?

In some people, gastroesophageal reflux can be confused with another disease: eosinophilic esophagitis. Drug treatments and dietary recommendations are not the same. Because of this, eosinophilic esophagitis is usually caused by food allergies. In this case, allergy tests may establish a list of foods in question. It is most often milk, soy, eggs or wheat.

To find out about changes in eating habits and habits to lose weight, consult the factsheets: Weight-obesity and overweight: taking on new lifestyle habits and diet recommendations.

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