More than medicines, simple changes in one’s diet can do wonders in controlling the gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. This is why in most cases, one is advised to make some simple yet beneficial lifestyle and dietary changes to get long lasting relief from GERD. It is interesting to note that a GERD diet is not very different from a general heart-healthy diet and involves many common factors, which has been mentioned below.
o Identifying the food items that can aggravate GERD symptoms and minimizing their intake is very critical.
o Making changes to the frequency of eating and imposing limits to the amount of each serving.
o Following a separate plan of diet for obese people with GERD.
After being diagnosed with GERD, one of the first steps is the elimination of problematic food items from one’s diet. Some of these items are mentioned below.
o Citrus fruits and their juices, including orange juice and pineapple juice
o Fast food such as fried and fatty snacks
o Tea, coffee and other beverages containing caffeine
o Raw onions and garlic
o Potato chips and French fries
o Tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato sauce and ketchup
o Most types of processed food items, including processed meat such as Salami
o Cheese and Macaroni
The right amount of serving should be dictated by the severity of the condition and will vary from individual to individual.
The effects of GERD on obese people are usually far more serious and complicated than on non-obese people. However it is necessary to keep in mind that GERD and obesity should not be confused with each other as they are two very different conditions. However, the obesity of the patient should be taken into account while formulating a diet plan for his or her acid reflux condition.
One of the best ways of implementing a GERD-friendly diet is to eat a wide variety of nutritious, low-calorie foods in restrained amounts. These should ideally include whole grains, skimmed fat-free milk, fresh vegetables and fruits (non-citrous), legumes, dry beans, lean meat, poultry and fresh water fish. Here are the constituents of a balanced GERD diet.
o 30% or less of the day’s total calories from fat
o 8% to 10% of the day’s total calories from saturated fat
o Less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily
o Sodium intake of 2,400 mg per day or less
o Enough calories to sustain healthy weight and maintain a proper cholesterol level
Besides following a well-planned diet, people who are suffering from GERD should also pay attention to a few other relevant and important issues that would help them to have a healthy life that is free from heartburn. These include:
o Smaller meals taken at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than having one or two large meals are always advisable. Actually, larger meals tend to loosen the lower esophageal sphincter muscles and may cause it to malfunction, thereby allowing stomach contents to reflux back into the esophagus.
o Don’t eat just before going to bed. Eating meals well before one’s bed time gives ample time to the consumed food to get digested and find its way into the large intestines, thereby eliminating the chances of acid reflux.
o Opting for a holistic lifestyle to complement the GERD diet.
While following a systematic GERD diet plan will help in lessening the acuteness and frequency of acid reflux attacks, they cannot eradicate them completely. That is because the main problem due to which this is happening remains within the body. For a fuller cure, one needs to adopt the holistic way of treatment that reaches deep within the body and identifies all the contributing factors of GERD and then treats them to cure the patient from deep within. Holistic remedies work much better than conventional medications for GERD.