written by: Genevieve Van Wyden
• edited by: Stephanie Mojica
• updated: 9/29/2010
You have already learned that you have an issue with spicy foods like spaghetti sauce, fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers and Mexican food. Now that your doctor has given you a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux, your task is to learn what foods to eat with acid reflux.
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Definition of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux disease is a condition that develops when the lower esophageal sphincter or LES does not close fully after you have eaten. When the LES does not close completely or when it opens too frequently, stomach acid and some stomach contents can back up into your esophagus, causing that characteristic burning pain known as “heartburn".
If you get heartburn more than twice a week, your doctor will tell you that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux. Your condition can be caused by one of several factors. These include eating large meals, then lying down immediately after; a hiatal hernia, where the LES and upper part of your stomach move above your diaphragm, snacking too close to bedtime, being overweight or obese, smoking, eating certain foods that make your condition worse, drinking carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee or tea and bending over at the waist or lying on your back after eating, according to WebMD. Thus, learning what foods to eat with acid reflux may reduce or even eliminate some of the most unpleasant symptoms such as heartburn, bloating, regurgitation, burping, bloody or black stools or vomit, hiccups that don’t stop, nausea, weight loss for unknown reasons, narrowing of your esophagus, wheezing, dry cough, chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
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Fruits and Vegetables
Choose fruits and vegetables with as little natural acid as possible. These vegetables can include: peas, broccoli, baked potato, carrots, cabbage and green beans. Safe fruits can include banana, fresh and dried apples and apple juice.
This means you have to stay away from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and tangerines. Strawberries and kiwi may also make your condition worse. Stay away from tomatoes and sauces made from tomatoes. Onions, scallions, berries and grapes can also make you get worse.
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Meats and Dairy
You can still get a large amount of your protein intake from extra-lean ground beef, skinless chicken breast, egg whites and egg substitute, fish with no added fats and steak (London Broil), according to About.com. Avoid fried meats, hotdogs, pork, ham and scrambled eggs.
When you look at the dairy products you can eat, choose fat-free cream cheese, feta or goat cheese, fat-free sour cream and low-fat soy cheese, according to About.com. Any other dairy product will cause your acid reflux to get worse.
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Grains and Oils
The best grains for you to eat include corn bread, rice (brown or white), rice cakes, graham crackers, bran cereal or oatmeal, pretzels and multi-grain or white breads, according to About.com.
The grains that could give you trouble include garlic bread, granola cereals, pasta with tomato sauces and muffins.
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Fats, Oils and Sweets
Stick with low-fat salad dressing when choosing what foods to eat with acid reflux, according to About.com. In general, stay away from oils and fats, as these aggravate your reflux condition, making you feel worse.
You can drink water and mineral water as well as apple juice, according to About.com. If you choose non-alcoholic beers and wines, you can safely drink these.
If you want sweets, choose fat-free cookies, baked potato chips, red licorice or jelly beans. These snacks are free of fats and spices, and will give you few problems, according to About.com.