The Worst 9 Foods That Can Trigger Acid Reflux

These are the worst foods that can trigger acid reflux: 

Have you ever felt a nasty burning in your upper stomach that escalated up to the throat and concluded with dizziness? If your answer is yes, then most probably you suffer from acid reflux, which is a very common medical condition. According to tests, more than 60 million Americans are experiencing this at least two times a month.

Now, we get to the part that nobody likes, which is dieting. Unfortunately, a bad diet can make your stomach produce excess acid. Let’s take a look together at all the foods that can trigger acid reflux and see if they resemble your diet as well.

foods that can trigger acid reflux
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1. High-fat foods

Foods high in fat slow down digestion, slowing the emptying of your stomach and causing it to remain there longer. The likelihood of experiencing symptoms of reflux increases with the amount of time food stays in your stomach. Furthermore, eating a lot of fat may relax your LES, making it easier for stomach acid to escape into your esophagus.

Some of the high-fat foods that can trigger acid reflux are high-fat meats like pork belly, as well as lard, sausages, and bacon. Fried foods in general, like french fries, are so delicious that it’s recommended to avoid eating them completely or having them as a meal as rarely as possible.

Salad dressings and gravy also contain a lot of fat, especially the ones that you find in bottles at supermarkets. However, if you enjoy eating them, prepare them at home with fresh ingredients.

The last but not least of these high-fat foods that can trigger acid reflux is pizza. While being so delicious and easy to refuse, pizza contains tomato sauce, which can be very acidic and harm your stomach even more.

2. Acidic fruits and vegetables

A healthy, well-balanced diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables, but steer clear of high-acid fruits and vegetables since these may make your symptoms worse. Kiwi and pineapple are super-acidic fruits that you should avoid if you have acid reflux. Also add to the list of foods that can trigger acid reflux lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.

As previously mentioned, tomatoes and tomato sauces, especially salsa, contain a lot of acid that will trouble the stomach for sure, so avoid it as much as possible or consume it in small quantities.

3. Sugar (and sugary items)

Sugar is a cause of acid reflux symptoms in certain people. Nevertheless, no scientific investigation has demonstrated that sugar causes acid reflux on its own. Reduce your intake of added sugar for overall wellness.

Foods high in fat, like ice cream and pastries, often have a high sugar content. And maybe the root cause is the fact that sugar is frequently mixed with citrus, chocolate, mint, and caffeine in candies, gums, coffees, and teas.

4. Spicy foods

If you love spicy foods but also have acid reflux, you’re not going to like this. Among all the foods that can trigger acid reflux, spicy foods are pretty high on the list. The ingredient that gives food its spicy flavor, capsaicin, irritates the esophagus and causes burning and discomfort. Keep your diet to simple, mildly seasoned items.

5. Chocolate

By now, you’re probably ready to dismiss this tab and go on to a list of chocolate’s health advantages. But if you have had acid reflux for a long time and know a lot about the topic, you would also know that chocolate is a major source of heartburn.

Chocolate can relax your LES, which can lead to reflux since it includes caffeine and other chemicals that function as stimulants. Additionally, chocolate contains a lot of fat, which might slow down stomach emptying.

foods that can trigger acid reflux
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6. Caffeine

Stomach acid production increases when caffeine is consumed. Coffee, tea, and soda are examples of caffeinated beverages that might make acid reflux symptoms worse. Try switching to decaffeinated versions of your favorite drinks rather than giving them up completely.

Are you experiencing symptoms of acid reflux regularly? Besides changing your diet, you can also try to ameliorate them by taking Gaviscon. It helps soothe and provide long-lasting relief from pain and discomfort. Take it according to what’s written on the label. 

7. Alcohol

Acid reflux is frequently brought on by alcohol since it relaxes your LES and increases the production of stomach acid. Furthermore, alcohol is known to harm your gastrointestinal system and heighten intestinal inflammation.

8. Garlic and onions

Garlic and onions are often mentioned as reflux-causing foods but if you enjoy eating them in your meals, whenever you want to enhance the flavor of your food without giving you heartburn, consider adding different herbs and spices.

9. Carbonated beverages

Carbonated drink bubbles grow in your abdomen, like air pockets. Acid reflux into the esophagus is made more likely by this increased strain on the esophageal sphincter. Add some cucumber slices to tap water or try decaf iced tea.

On the other hand, some foods help you soothe the symptoms of acid reflux, and some of them are:

High-fiber foods

…especially oatmeal which can absorb stomach acid faster. Green vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are high-fiber foods, as are whole-grain bread, brown rice, and quinoa. Make sure you drink lots of water since fiber cannot function properly if your diet is low on fluids.


Just to name a few benefits, those heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This pinkish and tasty fish is usually a wise choice, as are other lean meats like chicken and turkey. Because salmon is quick to digest and doesn’t stay in your stomach for a long time, it lowers your chance of developing reflux.

If you don’t like fish and you find more appealing chicken or turkey, don’t forget to take off the fatty skin and bake, broil, or grill it rather than frying it. If spices upset your tummy, add flavor using herbs (think parsley and basil) instead.

Root vegetables

Carrots, beets, and potatoes are three of the best root vegetables that help you soothe the acid reflux symptoms. They contain boast soluble fiber which is very easy to digest. Eating these foods will help you feel full and prevent overeating, which can lead to heartburn.

Do you need more pros to eat these foods? These superfoods are rich in nutrients without being spicy, acidic, or fatty.

Bottom line:

Besides all these foods that can trigger acid reflux, some other habits can harm it even more. Some of them include being overweight, smoking too much, taking certain pills like Ibuprofen too often, or sleeping after a heavy meal.

If changing your diet to healthier foods won’t change or at least relieve your symptoms, it’s better to talk to a doctor. Since it is a medical condition that can affect the lower esophageal sphincter, which in most cases isn’t closing properly, surgery can be effective to get rid of it. We don’t want to scare you, but an untreated condition like acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer!

If you find this article useful, we recommend you check out why Your Fish Oil Supplements Are Probably a Waste of Money, According to Experts.


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