5 Healthy Foods that are Making Your Reflux Worse

Show Notes

If you are new to this site, you should first read my How I Cured My Silent Reflux article as it explains the underlying root causes of acid reflux, its corresponding treatments, and provides the necessary context to follow some of the concepts in this episode.

Episode Transcript

(Note this is not a word-for-word transcription - it's loosely paraphrased. Alternatively, feel free to watch on YouTube).

What Foods Are Healthy for Acid Reflux?

I feel that the world is obsessed with health food, but a quick look around confirms we’re not eating the right things. Who do you trust? Food manufacturers? Health influencers? The Food and Drug Administration? Let’s take a look at the science through the lens of five healthy food categories making reflux worse. By the end of this video, you’ll feel confident flipping food labels for the best option for you.

Do you ever feel like all your food is out to get you? No surprise, when medical world's answer to reflux is blocking digestion (acid blockers). Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy more of the foods and drinks you love, with less of the indigestion?

I know because I was were you are for more than 15 years. That's why I created Digestion Transformation Checklist. In it, you'll find 19 actionable tips to boost your digestion, from the start to finish.

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“Healthy Foods”

We’ll begin with Kombucha, a widely recommended reflux remedy. Check the ingredients to ensure it has probiotics. Avoid added sugars and synthetic additives.

Moving to granola, it appears healthy but often contains added sugars and vegetable oils that harm your gut. Look for natural ingredients, avoid added sugars.

Next, Fiber powders might seem beneficial, but it’s better to get fiber from fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes. Watch out for synthetic additives.

Now, let’s focus on condiments. Many popular options contain soybean oil, canola oil, and synthetic emulsifiers. Avoid these like the plague, they are known microbiome disruptors.

 I’ve got tinnitus in my ears. Is that caused by LPR?

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by ringing or buzzing in the ears and can be caused by various factors, including underlying diseases or exposure to loud sounds or flashing lights. It’s not immediately apparent to me that it could be caused by your LPR, but the acid vapors from LPR can circulate and affect various areas connected through the Eustachian tube, such as the nose, mouth, and ears. While I’m not aware of a direct connection, I can’t rule it out due to the Eustachian tube’s possibility of causing issues in those areas.

Is sugar from fruit okay during the healing process?

Yes, absolutely. The sugar found in fruits is not the same as refined sugar and is generally okay to consume in moderation. The fiber found in fruits is also crucial for feeding beneficial bacteria and promoting healing from reflux.

I have chronic postnasal drip from LPR. Any advice on managing it?

Postnasal drip and excess mucus are common symptoms of LPR. They can be persistent and bothersome. Healing your reflux may eventually help alleviate these symptoms, but it might take time and patience as everyone’s healing journey is different. The burning sensation associated with LPR can be more severe, but postnasal drip can be equally troublesome. Focus on a healthy diet and lifestyle changes to encourage healing.

What is a good alternative to vegetable oil?

The best alternative to vegetable oils is extra virgin olive oil. It is a part of the Mediterranean diet, which is known to be beneficial for acid reflux. Be mindful of what you consume and consider a Mediterranean-inspired diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

What about sugar alternatives like erythritol or xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar that doesn’t negatively impact the microbiome and is a better option compared to refined sugar. It’s sweeter than sugar, so you’ll need less of it. However, it’s still important to minimize sugar intake and focus on whole foods, especially fruits, for your sweetness needs.

Postnasal drip is one of my worst LPR symptoms

Yes, I can relate. Postnasal drip can be extremely uncomfortable and distracting. However, when I began my healing journey, the postnasal drip and mucus gradually subsided after about two weeks following the healing program in my book. Healing times can vary for individuals, but keep up with your healthy lifestyle changes and give your body time to heal.

Is it safe to eat eggs during healing?

Eggs are a good source of protein, but they can be harder to digest. During the healing process, it might be best to minimize harder-to-digest proteins like red meat and focus on plant-based options. Remember that breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Feel free to have fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds as well.

Regarding fiber supplements, is there a preferred one?

While fiber supplements can be considered, they should not replace the diversity of fiber obtained from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

What is the best way to deal with Globus sensation?

Globus sensation, the feeling of something stuck in the throat, can be frustrating. Focus on healing your reflux to reduce inflammation in the area. Minimize acidic foods, particularly canned items, sodas, and alcohol, to avoid additional irritation. Allow time for your body to heal and consider seeking support from a healthcare professional.

What are your thoughts on apple cider vinegar for reflux?

I do not recommend drinking apple cider vinegar as it is highly acidic and can worsen reflux symptoms. Instead, consider apple cider vinegar capsules that deliver the acidity directly to your stomach without harming your throat or teeth.

What do you think of starting a day with fiber powder, before coffee, as a way to coach your stomach first?

First of all, thank you, for the question. I’m not a big fan of fiber powder in general. I would much rather suggest eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes as our source of fiber and aim for about 50 grams of it daily.

The key to building a diverse microbiome is consuming a diverse range of foods, so that should be your priority. Regarding the idea of coaching the stomach with supplements like Gavascon, it’s not a viable solution in many cases. Your stomach is a constantly moving muscle, and you cannot coat its surface with anything. As for coffee, it can be a challenge due to its caffeine content, which can reduce the closing pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter and lead to more reflux.

Ironically, coffee itself is good for digestion, but not recommended for those with poor digestive health, especially when trying to heal.

Condiments

Let’s take a look at the next category, condiments. Americans love their condiments, especially when consuming health foods. But let’s examine some popular salad dressings and see what they contain.

For example, an Italian dressing contains soybean oil and canola oil, both problematic ingredients. Instead, opt for healthy alternatives like extra virgin olive oil and spices to season your salads and vegetables.

Another example is chunky blue cheese dressing. It contains sugar and has soybean oil, which should be avoided.

When choosing condiments, watch out for synthetic emulsifiers, such as polysorbate, and avoid vegetable oils like canola oil. Opt for health promoting options like extra virgin olive oil instead.

Canned Foods

Moving on to canned foods, these can also be problematic due to their acidity and preservatives. While canned fruits and vegetables may seem like a healthy option, their acidity can cause issues with the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to more reflux. Look for canned fruits and vegetables in their own juice to minimize added sugars.

Canned chicken and rice may seem convenient, but be cautious of the additives and preservatives they may contain. Opt for homemade versions using natural ingredients.

Boxed / Bagged (Packaged) Foods

Now let’s talk about packaged foods. These can be convenient, but often come with synthetic ingredients that are not beneficial for your healing journey. For instance, certain types of bread may seem healthy, but they can contain added sugar and chemicals. Look for bread with simple, natural ingredients.

When it comes to taco seasoning, some brands may contain added sugar, so it’s better to make your own seasoning using natural spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika.

Bonus

While navigating the grocery store, stick to the outer walls where you’ll find raw ingredients like fruits, vegetables, meat, and eggs. Avoid the value-added foods in the middle aisles, as they often contain harmful additives and preservatives. Pay close attention to ingredient labels, and when possible, choose fresh and whole foods for a healthier diet and better reflux healing journey.

I hope this helps you make better choices on your healing journey. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Thank you for joining, and remember, we’re all in this together. Let’s support each other on our reflux healing journeys. See you next time!

Medical Disclaimer: The content of this site is for informational purposes only, and to give you ideas for you and your physician to research. It is not intended as individualized advice to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any medical condition.

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Don is a best selling author of 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux,' and a former acid reflux sufferer for more than 15 years. With several family members with the disease, and a medically diagnosed hiatal hernia he resigned to the fact that he would take acid blockers for the rest of his life. Dissatisfied with medical advice, he researched the root causes of acid reflux and by solving them was able to eliminate his acid reflux for good!
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