One of the main goals of any acid reducing diet is to maintain a certain nutritional balance that helps stabilize acid levels in the stomach.
This brings us to one of the major misconceptions about GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). The stomach is supposed to produce acids to aid in the digestion of food and excess acid production is not the cause, but it is the source of the symptoms. Gastric acids are not supposed to move back into the esophagus because there are a series of esophageal muscles or sphincters that are supposed to remain closed except when food passes through into the stomach. For reasons that medical science isn't quite able to explain these sphincters begin to weaken and fail in some people, allowing stomach contents the opportunity to move back into the esophagus causing acid reflux disease.
Unfortunately once this begins to happen controlling excess stomach acid production is the key component to minimizing symptoms and the first step is finding an acid reflux diet that works for each individual. Other risk factors that can come into play include over eating or gorging oneself at meals, smoking, alcohol, and stress.
According to most dieticians the safest foods to eat are alkaline or basal in make up and should make up a large part of any diet for acid reflux disease. They also suggest that sufferers of GERD eat a low fat diet and try to avoid the more spicy foods that seem to exacerbate this condition. Cabbage, green beans, peas, apples, broccoli, bananas, carrots, lean meat and fish, egg whites, low fat dairy products and salad dressings and multi grain breads are all good choices to avoid acid reflux complications.
There are certain foods that do need to be avoided or eaten in extreme moderation if you suffer from acid reflux disease. These foods include those with high fat content, junk foods, foods with lots of refined sugars, citrus fruits, ketchup based foods, chilies, fried foods, mint, and onions. The levels to which these foods cause symptoms are individualized to each person. What causes burning or discomfort in one sufferer may not affect someone else at all.
Keeping a food log for several weeks is a good way for anyone to find out which foods cause their acid reflux symptoms. With a log patterns will emerge with respect to food choices helping to create a list of foods that should be avoided and helping those who suffer from GERD adjust their diet accordingly.
Creating a diet for acid reflux disease is a combination of trial and error for those who suffer from its painful symptoms. Avoiding those foods known to cause symptoms is a good start as well as eating smaller portions and drinking plenty of water are also good practices to follow.