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Acid Reflux and Your Diet

written by: Lucinda Watrous • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 9/29/2010

Having Acid Reflux disease does not mean your enjoyment of food has to be over. Paying attention to what you eat will help the condition, so read on to find out more about the acid reflux food to avoid and foods to eat with acid reflux.

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    What is Acid Reflux?

    Acid Reflux is chronic heartburn. It can be trigged by foods, medicines, obesity, and stress. Statistically, one in every ten Americans experience heart burn at least once a week for some reason or another. Frequent heartburn that goes untreated may actually lead to GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, as chronic heartburn is one of the symptoms. It is important that chronic heartburn be treated rather than ignored. Someone experiencing frequent heartburn should first identify food triggers.

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    Foods to Eat with Acid Reflux

    Foods that have low acidity are the foods that are less likely to cause heartburn and are generally healthy. These are good foods to eat with acid reflux. Fruits, such as apples and bananas, are not likely to cause heartburn. Vegetables that are not likely to cause heartburn are: baked potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans and peas. Meat options include extra lean ground beef, London Broil steak, skinless chicken breast, egg whites or substitutes, and fish that has no added fat. When it comes to dairy foods to eat with acid reflux, sufferers will want to look to goat, feta, soy, and cream cheese. Grains that are good for acid reflux are: bread, graham crackers, pretzels, rice and rice cakes, corn bread, and cereals. Low fat salad dressings are safe sources of fat, and sweets such as jelly beans, fat free cookies, and baked potato chips are good alternatives to the highly acidic foods that contribute to heart burn.

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    Foods to Avoid with Acid Reflux

    There are many foods to avoid if you have acid reflux. Different foods affect everyone differently, so something that causes heartburn for one person may not cause it for another. Common culprits for causing heartburn and aggravating acid reflux disease are citrus in nature such as orange or grapefruit. Tomatoes, spicy foods, and even chocolate may also contribute to heart burn. Caffeine laden beverages may also cause heart burn because they will increase the stomach acid and push it into the esophagus.

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    How to Identify Food Triggers

    To identify food triggers, simply pay attention to what foods you are eating and when the heartburn comes on. As you follow what you are eating and when the heartburn comes on, you will be able to notice trends and find the specific triggers. If you are suspicious of a certain food that triggers your heartburn, try it by itself and wait. Soon, you'll be able to isolate exactly what your food triggers are and learn to avoid them and replace them with foods to eat with acid reflux to reduce the frequency of heart burn and treat your acid reflux naturally.