GERD Home > Diet for GERD

You may be asked to follow a GERD diet as part of your treatment plan. This diet calls for avoiding foods like peppermint, chocolate, alcohol, and tomato products, and emphasizes foods that are low in fat and added sugars. This diet includes eating heart-healthy foods, eating smaller meals more often, avoiding foods that worsen symptoms, and not eating right before bedtime.

An Overview of the Diet for GERD

Lifestyle and dietary changes are usually the first choice of treatment for GERD. Your healthcare provider may recommend a special diet (often referred to as the GERD diet). A diet for GERD is similar to any other heart-healthy diet, but it also includes the following:
  • Understanding foods known to worsen GERD symptoms
  • If you are overweight, losing weight
  • Changing when and how much to eat
  • Avoiding food that worsens your GERD symptoms.

Foods to Avoid on a GERD Diet

Certain types of food can cause acid reflux or make it worse. As part of your diet for GERD, you may want to avoid:
  • Fried and fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Tomato products
  • Foods and drinks that contain caffeine
  • Alcoholic beverages.
Coffee and alcohol actually stimulate your stomach to make more acid than usual. Alcohol, chocolate, and fatty foods are believed to cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken. The combination of too much stomach acid and a weak lower esophageal sphincter can increase the symptoms of GERD.
Other foods can make your symptoms worse. These include:
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Carbonated beverages, such as soda
  • Mustard
  • Certain spices
  • Vinegar
  • Citrus fruits and juices.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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