Also called acid indigestion, Heartburn is a burning sensation felt in the chest, usually behind the breastbone. The pain that emerges from the chest radiates to the neck, throat and jaw. It is generally linked to the regurgitation of gastric acid juice. This is the leading symptom of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If you have GERD, you’d want to avoid heartburn or acid reflux triggers at all times. Food is number one on the list, which is why it’s a must to modify one’s diet and stay away from these edible triggers. Below, you will find a list of the most common foods that cause acid reflux.
If you have GERD and you love chocolates, you’re going to mourn over this fact: chocolates cause reflux more than any other food. It’s a triple threat. For one, it contains caffeine and other stimulants like theobromine that can cause reflux. It is also high in fat (particularly white and milk chocolate) and that can also cause reflux. Finally, it’s rich in cocoa, and yes you guessed it right, that can cause reflux too.
Soda is another culprit. The bubbles in soda and other carbonated drinks expand inside the stomach. This brings increased pressure that can up the risk of reflux. Soda that contains caffeine and acidic ingredients are much worse. There was a study done on the acidity of several cola brands and it was found that Coke, Diet Pepsi, and Tab were the most acidic of all. If you have GERD, it’s best to stay away completely from all types of soda drinks.
Fried food is bad for another reason – it increases bad cholesterol in the body, shoots up risk for heart disease, and makes you more prone to high blood pressure among others. Other than that, it’s also a major cause of reflux. Next to chocolate, it’s the next food that is most commonly linked to heartburn. Deep fried foods are the worst of their kind. Buttered chicken, French fries, and doughnuts are just few of the many examples.
Although most of alcoholic beverages are not very acidic, alcohol can trigger reflux because it weakens the valve between the stomach and esophagus. The best thing to do is to abstain from alcohol beverages like beer, wine, vodka, and so on. But if you must drink, a glass of red wine a day isn’t that bad.
High-Fat Dairy Products
Anything that’s high in fat can cause acid reflux. If you have GERD, you need to remember to stay away from anything fatty and that includes high-fat dairy products like milk and cheese. If you want to drink milk and eat cheese so you can get the calcium and other nutrients that you need, go for those that are low in fat. You’ll find these options plenty in the market.
Same is true for high-fat meats. Don’t forget that these meats also stay longer in the stomach so there’s greater chance of reflux with these. It’s best to cut back on meat and go for leans ones. Try to limit eating it once a week.