7 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

“Acid reflux occurs when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus…

The foods you eat affect the amount of acid your stomach produces. So eating the right kinds of food is key to controlling acid reflux or gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), a severe, chronic form of acid reflux.” – Healthline.com

We’ve all experienced the potent feelings of acid reflux. The regurgitation of soured food and the burning sensation travelling from the chest, through the throat and into your mouth.

If you are like most people, you’ve probably asked yourself why this uncomfortable feeling actually occurs.

First, we will explain it with science. At the inlet of your stomach there is a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES.

Most of the time when we eat, this valve closes as soon as the food passes it. When the LES doesn’t completely close or if it opens often, the acid produced by the stomach can move upwards towards the esophagus.

This ‘trespassing’ of the acid is what causes heartburn.The common risk factors for acid reflux disease, a chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD are:

  • Consuming large meals
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Certain drinks, such as alcohol, coffee, tea, or carbonated drinks
  • Smoking
  • OTC and prescription medications, including aspirin, ibuprofen, blood pressure medications, or muscle relaxers
  • Eating certain foods

It is the last factor that we will focus here.

Here Are the Seven Foods and Drinks That Cause Acid Reflux

Chocolate

We are sorry, chocolate lovers, but this delicious treat causes more reflux than any other food. It is how it is because:

  • Common ingredients in chocolate, including stimulants caffeine and theobromine may induce reflex.
  • Chocolate is high in fat.
  • Chocolate contains cocoa, a bean known to produce a reflux response.

Dark chocolate doesn’t really produce the same amount of reflux episodes, but the difference is significant.

Carbonated Drinks

You knew this one had to be on this list. Carbonated beverages, including our loved sodas are among the leading causes of acid reflux.

This is because:

  • Carbonated bubbles (culprits of that “burp” reflex) expand inside of the stomach, which can stimulate a reflux response.
  • Almost all sodas are acidic, and acidic ingredients contribute to reflux.

Alcohol

Booze might not be too acidic, but almost every form of it, beer, liquor, wine and others, can cause acid reflux.

Alcohol can produce an acid reflux response by relaxing the pathway that joins the stomach and esophagus. However, this isn’t the type of relaxing we had imagined and it can produce some nasty reflux.

High-Fat Dairy Products

Basically, all foods with a high-fat content are responsible for a reflux. This can include any kind of high-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, ice cream and others.

Low-fat is a far better alternative, but it can still cause a reflux. The best advice here is to not consume dairy products very often.

Caffeine

I’m sorry to inform you, but caffeine is on the list here too.Medical professionals claim that up to 3, 8oz cups of coffee are fine for the health.

Chamomile tea is a healthier option or a cup or two of green tea per day is also fine.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat, no surprise here. French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, basically anything that is fired and delicious is among the culprits of reflux.

The extremely high fat content of fried foods is exactly what makes them the top causes of heartburn, the chest pain from an acid reflux.

Meats

Like dairy products and fried foods, the high-fat content of meats can also be an instigator for acid reflux. Meat such as beef, pork and lamb can take longer to pass through the stomach during digestion and this increases the risk for a reflux response.

The better alternative is to choose lean cuts of meat, such as chicken, turkey, tenderloin beef and pork, Canadian bacon, extra lean ground beef and others, and limit the consumption of meat to once a week.

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