When it comes to acid reflux, there are certain foods that are almost universally problematic.
The best strategy is to avoid them entirely. But unfortunately, they often make up over half of many people’s diets.
In Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure, authors Jamie Koufman, MD, Jordan Stern, MD, and French master chef Marc Bauer share foods they consider hazardous, based on medical literature and their experience treating thousands of patients.
Soda and other carbonated beverages are some of the main causes of acid reflux. The bubbles of carbonation expand inside the stomach, and the increased pressure contributes to reflux. Sodas with caffeine and those that are acidic (almost all) are even worse.
Of the beverages that were tested, Coke, Tab, and Diet Pepsi were the most acidic. All carbonated beverages can be a problem, so the authors recommend abstaining completely to avoid acid reflux.
Beer, liquor, and wine are believed to contribute to reflux. Many alcoholic beverages are not very acidic. However, alcohol is believed to relax the valve at the bottom of the esophagus (where it joins the stomach), leading to reflux.
Abstain if you can; otherwise, have only one cocktail or glass of wine a day, and completely avoid acidic mixers like orange juice or soda.
All high-fat foods cause reflux. There is no reason to believe that one high-fat butter or cheese is better than another in this regard. If you have reflux and a serious cheese habit, something has to give.
Use a small amount of these foods as flavoring, but not as main ingredients. Low fat is better than no fat.