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Foods You Can't Eat with Acid Reflux

Updated on January 26, 2017
Acid reflux
Acid reflux

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which acid in the stomach rises up into the esophagus. Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms. Acid reflux generally occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows harsh stomach juices flow into the esophagus. Acid reflux Below you will find some of the foods you can't eat with acid reflux.


  • Heartburn - A burning feeling rising from the stomach
  • Regurgitation - Bringing food back up into the mouth
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • feeling of fullnes after a meal
  • Nausea after eating
  • Pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Belching

Acid reflux can occur in connection with the following activities:

  • After a heavy meal
  • Lifting objects
  • Bending over
  • Lying down, particularly on the back

Avoid lemons if you have acid reflux
Avoid lemons if you have acid reflux

List of foods to avoid with acid reflux:

1. Acidic foods: Avoid acidic foods such as oranges, lemons, orange juice, lemonade, cranberries, and grapefruits can trigger heartburn. Also juices or beverages made with these fruits should be avoided when you have acid reflux. Vinegar is also highly acidic and is found in salad dressings and other dishes. You can use apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar.

2. Spicy foods: Another food you can't eat is spices. Avoid spices such as chilli powder, black pepper, mustard powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mustard. Avoid these spices if they bother your stomach. Spicy foods can aggravate acid reflux and weakens the lower esophageal sphincter.

3. Avoid tomato rich foods: Avoid tomatoes, pasta sauces, tomato soups and tomato juice.

4. Avoid high fat foods: Cut back on high fat foods and meat. Some of the high fat foods are salami, burgers, pizza and steaks.These foods tend to slow down digestion. They remain in the stomach for longer period of time. Also avoid red meats on your diet.

Avoid fried foods - Acid reflux
Avoid fried foods - Acid reflux

5. Avoid fried foods: Avoid fried foods and fatty foods including french fries, doughnuts, processed foods and margarine. Instead of frying, you can bake, sauté or boil in a pan.

6. Dairy foods: Dairy foods may increase digestive enzymes causing an overproduction of stomach acid. Avoid drinking milk before sleep. Avoid whole milk, cheese, and milk shakes. Instead you can use skim milk and low fat dairy products. It is better to avoid high fat dairy products if they really bother your stomach.

7. Beverages: Avoid beverages that can irritate the stomach lining including coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, alocohol, soft drinks and alcohol.

8. Oils: Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. You can use healthy oils such as canola oil and olive oil.

9. Crunchy Foods: Crunchy foods can worsen your acid reflux. Nuts, crackers, toast, popcorn, and cookies will make your acid reflux situation worse by scratching your lower esophageal sphincter.

10. Smoking should be avoided if you have acid reflux.

11. Other foods: Other foods include brownie, chocolate, corn chips, all red meats, peppermint, spearmint, onions, garlic baked beans, peanut butter, ketchup, ice cream, eggs, artificial sweeteners and marbled sirloin.

Tips to reduce acid reflux:

  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes.


Understanding acid reflux or GERD:


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    • profile image

      Linda 21 months ago

      Canola oil is not a healthy oil, it is usually a GMO product. I don't know why you are even using it. Makes the above message about Acid Reflux useless.

    • profile image

      carole 22 months ago

      Had gallbladder taken out in November this year 2015 but have suffered from burning/itching where they cut me through just below rib cage in the middle and through the belly button area. The other problem is continuing sore and painfulness in the right side across where they cut it has formed a scab in healing but under the skin it feels very sore and painful every day even though it is a month since keyhole surgery. Not very inpressed with the operation so far only hope it does get better and to be free from pain it is bad enough having to watch what you eat and drink all the time without added pressure of soreness pain itching and burning. My name is Carole.

    • profile image

      Crock of crap 3 years ago

      Cinnamon and honey (in hot water) soothe quite well.

    • profile image

      Kat 3 years ago

      OMG the comments are hilarious. And true.

    • profile image

      Josh 3 years ago

      I love how most of these types of articles always tell you what you cannot eat and never what you CAN eat!

    • profile image

      Frank 3 years ago

      Yeah, there are literally no meals you could actually eat using this list. Nothing cruncy, or with oils, or dairy, or red meat, or fried, or high fat, or spicy, or acidic. So basically you can eat noodles...with no sauce lol

    • profile image

      Anne 3 years ago

      Sooooo basically, you can't eat anything at all. Nice.

    • profile image

      CJ 3 years ago

      There's nothing left after you eliminate that list!

    • profile image

      Raj 5 years ago

      hi' Natasha, are u ok now, if u still have issues on acidity then do take Aloe vera. Here in india Aloe vera is everywhere and fresh middle bits are better than any juice in Western countries.

    • profile image

      danesha 5 years ago

      @Natasha-I'be heard of babies having acid reflux, so I wouldn't be alarmed, but you should see your doctor so you can take the proper meds. Having a hernia can make it worse also.

    • profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago

      i also have a hiatal hernea, will it get better??

    • profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago

      well im suffereing from this, and im 19 years old and found out in 2010 about this problem, but i have had stomach issues since i can remember,but is this bad? since im only 19 and i think i have had this problem for years, but i have my meds which i only started taking very rescent, because of a family member getting read of them and i also didn't think it was this bad of a problem, will i be ok?? if i had cancer or any of that sort wouldn't i be in a lotttt worse pain??

    • profile image

      reflux 5 years ago from USA

      Apple Cider Vinegar is the best remedy for acid reflux.

    • Scribe For Hire profile image

      Scribe For Hire 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the info.

      Aloe Vera Juice is very soothing for esophagal problems. I find that by taking a 1/4 cup in the morning and a 1/4 cup before bed really helps when I have a flare up.