As part of your treatment for GERD, you may be asked to follow a special diet, which some people call a "diet for GERD." This includes eating a heart-healthy diet, avoiding foods that make symptoms worse, eating smaller meals more often, and avoiding eating before bedtime. If you are overweight, losing weight while on this diet may improve your symptoms as well.
Is There a Specific Diet for GERD?Lifestyle and dietary changes are usually the first choice of treatment for GERD. As part of this treatment, your healthcare provider may recommend a special diet. A GERD diet is similar to any other heart-healthy diet. It involves the following:
- Understanding foods known to worsen GERD symptoms
- Avoiding food that makes your symptoms worse
- Changing when and how much to eat
- If you are overweight, losing weight.
Healthy Choices for a GERD DietAs part of a diet for GERD, you should choose a wide variety of low-calorie, nutritious foods in moderate amounts. This should include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk, as well as fish, lean meat, poultry, or dry beans. Also, choose foods that are low in fat and added sugars.
A healthy diet includes the following:
- Eight to 10 percent of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
- Thirty percent or less of the day's total calories from fat.
- Consuming fewer than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
- Limiting sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams a day.
- Choosing sensible food portions.
- Consuming just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and reduce your blood cholesterol level. (Ask your doctor or registered dietitian to recommend a reasonable calorie level for you.)