General advice

  • Avoid large meals, preferring small and frequent meals (4-5 per day)
  • Do not have meals and snacks in 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Reduce or avoid the intake of foods rich in fats.
  • Avoid too hot or too cold food and drinks.
  • Avoid the intake of large amounts of liquids during meals, but sip them slowly throughout the day.
  • Eat slowly and chew well your food.
  • Avoid wearing very tight clothing or belt.
  • If you suffer from night-time reflux is advisable to slightly raise the headboard of the bed and avoid snacks before bedtime.
  • Avoid exercise immediately after food.
  • In case of overweight or obesity, it is advisable to gradually reduce weight and waist circumference through a balanced diet, associated with regular exercise.

 

Carbohydrates

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-White or brown bread, sourdough bread, English muffin, bagels, pitta bread, plain naan bread, plain chapatti, white or wholegrain flour.

-Breakfast cereals such as: Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K, rice porridge, All- Bran, Weetabix, muesli, oat porridge.

-White rice, basmati or jasmine rice, pasta and noodles, sweet potatoes and potatoes, plain crackers or breadstick, cous cous, semolina, polenta, quinoa, buckwheat, wholegrain rice and noodles.

-Bread crumbs, highly leavened industrial foods including toast bread. -Some patients may have problems with the wholegrain products, white bread, corn or products containing dried fruit or nuts, so please try to use them in moderation or avoid them if they are triggering any symptoms.

-Sometimes normal pasta, bread and noodles can give to patients feeling of fullness after meals, so in this case you may need to reduce the portion size.

 

Vegetables

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
– Cooked or raw vegetables. -Tomato and tomato based products, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, bean sprouts, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, spring onion, onion, garlic, chili, curry, pepper and mint.

– Vegetables with fatty sauces, cream, cheese, bacon or lard.

-Pickled or fermented  vegetables like kimchi or sourkrauts and others prepared in oil or brine.

-Small amount of those foods can be tolerated, but generally they need to be avoided because they increase the acid production.

-Mint and spices reduce the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter increasing the gastric reflux.

-Sometimes raw vegetables, can be difficult to be digested, so please try to alternate them with the cooked one.

 

Fruits

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Cooked or raw fruit.

-Nuts, seeds, nuts spread.

-Citrus and citrus juices, grapes, mango, cherries, water melon. -Sometimes raw fruit or dried fruit, nuts or seeds can be difficult to be digested, so please try to use them in moderation if they are triggering any symptoms. Alternatively you can use cooked foods and use smooth peanut butter, nuts butter or seeds butter instead.

 

Milk and dairy products

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Lactose free milk, yogurt and hard cheese.

-Vegetable alternatives like almond, oat and rice milk.

-Coconut milk.

– Normal full fat milk and dairy.

– Whipped cream, milkshakes, smoothies and other foods rich in air.

-Sometimes even low fat and lactose free milk and dairy can increase the symptoms, in this case avoid milk and dairy.

 

Meat and alternatives

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
– All meats, poultry (choose leaner cuts like sirloin, round and loin), fish, eggs.

-Legumes (to use in moderation)

– Tough meats with fat and smoked or cured deli meats, stews, goulash, boiled meat, ragout. Skin of the chicken, fatty meat, processed meat or fish. Organs, kidney, brain and liver. – Cook the meats without adding sauces or other fatty gravies.

– Remove all the visible fat before cooking, especially the skin of the chicken and fish.

-Legumes can give bloating and gas, if so, please avoid them, because this can increase stomach pain.

 

Snack, Sweets, Condiments and Beverages

Food allowed Food not allowed/ to reduce Tips/other info
-Water (1,5-2 liters/day), including herbal tea, light barley coffee, chamomile, fresh vegetables/fruit juices, coconut water.

– Salt, herbs (like oregano, sage, thyme, basil leaves, rosemary, coriander, etc..), ginger.

-Oils (olive oil, avocado oil are good options) to use in moderation.

-Alcohol, carbonated beverages, soft drinks, coffee, black tea, citrus juices.

-Chocolate, chewing gum, candy sweets in general, foods sweetened with sugar like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol.

-Fatty food like: fried food, coconut milk or cream, sauces, sauces with cream, oily foods, margarine, butter, lard, desserts with creams, broth high in fat.

-Chewing gum and candy can worsen the symptoms because the sucrose contained, fermenting, increases the production of air in the stomach, and prolonged chewing stimulate the production of acids.

-Fats, heavy condiments and sauces need to be avoid because they can slowing down gastric emptying, increasing the symptoms.

– Use low fat cooking methods like boil, bake, grill, steam and stir-fry (max few times per week).

-Usually Chamomile, Melissa and Valerian herb tea can help in reducing the discomfort.

 

How does my plate look like?

 

Portion size

Half plate of vegetables

 

  • Take 1 portion of vegetables in every main meal
  • Take 1 portion of fruit as a snack during middle morning and/or afternoon. Prefer the whole fruit instead of fruit juices.

 

A quarter plate of grains

  • Depending on your age and gender, take 4-6 portions a day

 

A quarter plate of protein to choose among:

Eggs

 

  • Use not more than 3-4 egg yolks per week. If you want to exceed the consumption, you can take egg white
  • Portion size: 2 eggs or 1 egg + 1 white.

 

Poultry and meat

  • Limit red meat like beef, pork, mutton, duck to 1-3 times a week. Prefer chicken and turkey.

 

Fish and seafood

  • Consume fish 3-4 times per week

Dairy Products

  • Use 1 portion of low-fat and lactose free milk or yogurt per day (preferably during breakfast or snacks)
  • Use not more than 1-3 portions of hard cheese per week. Please avoid soft cheese.

 

Legumes

  • Please try to reduce the intake of legumes, especially if they give you intestinal discomfort or stomach pain.
  • You can have lentils, red lentils, chickpeas, peas or beans or other legumes few times per week after a long soaking and boiling.
  • You can try to have once a week firm or plain tofu (that usually is well tolerated) and monitor your symptoms. Portion size 120 – 140 g.

Healthy fat

  • Use one portion of nuts, seeds or nuts spread for breakfast or as a snack.
  • Use 3-4 tablespoons of good oils per day.

Source pictures: www.healthhub.sg; www.eatrightontario.ca