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Reflux Diet

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

Good Foods for Reflux

  • Agave

  • Alkaline water

  • Aloe Vera (read label to make sure no vitamin C or acids are added)

  • Avocados

  • Bagels and (non fruit) low fat muffins

  • Bananas (great snack food)

  • Beans (black, red, lima, lentils, etc)

  • Bread (especially whole-grain and rye)

  • Caramel (maximum of 4 tablespoons per week)

  • Celery

  • Chamomile Tea (most other herbal teas are not acceptable)

  • Chicken (grilled/broiled/baked/steamed without skin)

  • Chicken stock or bouillon

  • Coffee (maximum on cup per day, best with milk)

  • Egg whites

  • Fennel

  • Fish (including shellfish, grilled/broiled/baked/steamed)

  • Ginger (ginger root, ground or preserved)

  • Graham crackers

  • Herbs (excluding all peppers, citrus, garlic and mustard)

  • Honey (Manuka honey is preferred)

  • Melon (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon)

  • Mushrooms (raw or cooked)

  • Oatmeal (all whole-grain cereals)

  • Olive Oil

  • Parsley

  • Popcorn (plain or salted, no butter, no microwave popcorn)

  • Potatoes (all of the root vegetables are good, except onions)

  • Rice (especially brown rice, can be a staple during detox)

  • Skim milk (alternatively soy or lactaid skim milk)

  • Soups (homemade with noodles and low acid vegetables)

  • Tofu

  • Turkey breast (no skin)

  • Vegetables (raw or cooked, but no onions, tomatoes, garlic or peppers)

  • Vinaigrette (maximum 1 tablespoon per day, toss salad yourself)

  • Whole-grain breads, crackers and breakfast cereals (1 serving pre day, limit wheat)

Worst and Best Foods for Reflux

All phases of Dr. Koufman's Acid Reflux Diet are relatively low-fat and generally exclude "bad fats". You must always limit trans fats, and they are strictly prohibited during the detox program. Meanwhile, Olive oil, avocado and fish all contain "good fat", and are rarely associated with reflux and are allowed.

I can only recall two patients who felt that olive oil caused reflux. Consequently, I no longer limit olive oil, even during detox. Avocado is an excellent source of good fat, and it does not seem to be associated with reflux either. Listed below are the worst and best food for reflux.

Worst-for-Reflux Foods and Beverages to Avoid

  • Onions (a common trigger food that affects some people, not others)

  • Peppers/hot sauce (all "pepper" including bell and black pepper)

  • Citrus Fruit/juice (these are naturally too acidic for the detox diet)

  • Fried food (no deep-fried, sautéed in olive oil is permitted)

  • Fatty meats (beef, bacon, pork and lamb)

  • Alcoholic beverages (none during detox, and only 3 per week after that)

  • Chocolate (one of the worst reflux trigger foods)

  • All bottled or canned beverages except water (all soft drinks are acidified). Especially avoid all carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, including seltzer)

  • Anything that you eat before bed is a "worst for reflux" food

Best-for-Reflux Food and Beverage List

  • Bananas (a rich, low-acid fruit, but a trigger food for some people)

  • Melons (best fruits for most refluxers: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.)

  • Aloe Vera leaf (great thickener and good for digestion, make sure no acid added)

  • Salads and vegetables (a staple, excluding onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers)

  • Rice and whole grains (best is brown rice, bulgur wheat, whole-grain bread)

  • Oatmeal (one of the best breakfast foods and great with bananas)

  • Ginger (spicy, zesty flavor but good for reflux-try ginger tea, jam, etc.)

  • Poultry (baked, grilled, but never fried, skinless preferred, high in protein)

  • Tofu (coagulated soy milk in many forms, a vegetarian protein)

  • Fish (all seafood, raw, grilled, baked, broiled, or boiled, and smoked salmon)



This information is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace traditional treatment, and has not been approved by the FDA or HPB.

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