5 Foods To Avoid With Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal disease, is a common stomach disease or digestive disorder. According to research, more than 19 million Americans suffer from this condition per month. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscles below the food pipe, allows acid liquid to regurgitate back into the food pipe. It occurs as a result of weakened or damaged lower esophageal sphincter muscles. The liquid acid usually contains pepsin and bile from the stomach – these liquids can cause inflammation and damage of the esophagus lining resulting in chronic conditions like esophagitis. 

Negativities of dealing with acid reflux

People with this condition usually experience a burning sensation in the stomach and food pipe (esophagus). This burning sensation occurs when the acid liquid moves back up into the esophagus. Chest pains usually accompany the burn. Most of the time, if you suffer from acid reflux, you may also experience a bitter taste – the taste occurs when the liquid reaches your mouth. Acid reflux can also cause a wet burp and sometimes vomiting. These symptoms are usually prominent when lying down or after having a big meal. While acid reflux is not a life-threatening condition, it typically lasts for a lifetime. 

For this reason, the best thing to do would be to practice acid reflux treatment and management. The types of foods you eat can affect the condition. Certain foods can also make the situation worse. Therefore, below are five foods you should avoid if you have acid reflux.

Red meat

Red meat usually contains a lot of protein. For this reason, it is generally more difficult to digest. Therefore, it stays in the stomach for a longer time than most foods. When undigested food stays in the stomach for an extended period, it puts pressure on the LES. This increases the chances of the acid liquid rushing back to the esophagus. 

Red meats also contain high levels of cholesterol and fatty acids. These two components can easily irritate the stomach and cause acid reflux. Therefore, if you suffer from acid reflux, the best thing to do would be to switch red meats for leaner meats. Lean meats like chicken and turkey are usually easier to digest, and they contain adequate amounts of proteins. 

Dairy products and foods

Dairy foods like cow’s milk, butter, and regular cheese are usually rich in calcium and protein. Dairy foods cause the stomach to secrete excess acids. This may increase the risk of acid liquid flowing back up the esophagus. Note that sometimes people who are lactose intolerant may confuse their symptoms with acid reflux. Therefore, instead of conventional dairy foods, you can use alternatives like low-fat or non-fat milk.

High-fat and fatty foods

High-fat foods are usually fried in fats and oils. When you eat high-fat foods, they cause the LES to become relaxed. Their relaxation causes them to open up hence allowing acid liquid to slip upwards. On the other hand, fatty foods (foods containing fatty acids) tend to aggravate acid reflux symptoms. 


According to a 2016 study, spicy foods are very bad for people with acid reflux. They tend to worsen the condition and can cause burning symptoms and abdominal pain. This is because spices contain capsaicin – this substance slows down the rate of digestion and causes food to stay in the stomach for an extended period. As explained earlier, this causes increased symptoms of acid reflux. 

Acidic fruits

Acidic fruits and juices like lemon, orange, grapes, and tomatoes are usually rich in citric acid, high in fiber, and vitamin C, among other minerals. These fruits and juices usually increase the stomach’s acid level, which increases the esophageal PH levels. Therefore, if you suffer from this stomach condition, you may want to reduce your acidic fruit intake.

Final Word

You need to avoid several other foods like vegetables and herbs, carbonated drinks, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. Staying away from these foods is a great step towards acid reflux treatment. 

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