Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) develops when acid in your stomach travels back into the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. The result? Irritation to the lining of your esophagus.
This condition affects about 20% of America’s population, but that percentage could decrease simply by knowing which foods to avoid and which ones to eat.
Dr. Scott Stowers leads our team at The Bariatric Experts in Frisco, Denton, and Abilene, Texas, providing expertise, experience, and care for your GERD. We have dietary guidelines that can help decrease or eliminate your symptoms altogether.
How GERD develops
To digest your food successfully, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) loosens and opens slowly when you swallow, and then it tightens and closes after.
When your LES fails to function correctly, your digestive fluids and the food in your stomach rise into your esophagus, causing acid reflux. When this happens, you might feel a burning sensation in your chest and throat, have difficulty swallowing, or vomit.
Your diet plays a large role in how you can control your symptoms.
Foods to avoid
Triggers that cause heartburn are typically foods high in fat, spice, or salt. To keep your symptoms at bay, you should avoid:
- Fried food
- Processed snacks
- Fast food
- Bacon, sausage, and fatty meats
- Spices, such as chili powder and pepper
You can also experience GERD when eating citrus fruits, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and peppermint-flavored beverages or food.
We recommend that you eat small-portioned meals throughout the day instead of eating large, heavy meals just a few times a day. You should also eat food in moderation and avoid eating too late in the evening.
Foods that can help prevent GERD
You can prevent symptoms of GERD by stocking your kitchen with delicious, healthy food, that includes:
Food high in fiber
Fibrous meals and snacks can fill you up quickly and help prevent overeating. High-fiber foods include green vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, green beans), whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal), and root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, beets).
Food that contains alkaline
Alkaline foods decrease the acid content in your body. These include:
On 0-14 scale, you want to keep your pH level at a 7.
Food that contains water
Water helps dilute acid in your stomach. Water-based foods include:
You can also eat broth-based soups and drink herbal tea to break down acid.
If you have symptoms of GERD, contact us by phone or online today for an appointment at your preferred location. We can consult with you and map out a customized plan to help overcome your discomfort. We also provide telehealth if you need a more convenient option.