Keep Yourself Heartburn Free with These Diets

How Your Diet Can Help Heartburn

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If you suffer from heartburn, a special acid reflux diet can help. There are foods you should avoid, and many other that are safe to eat. Also, the way you prepare your foods is important. Find out tips for heartburn-free eating, along with recipes and suggestions for meals that are heartburn-friendly.

Foods That Are Safe to Eat with Heartburn

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There are some foods that have little or no potential for causing heartburn. The foods listed in the Safe Foods Table are generally safe for heartburn sufferers to eat. It's by no means a complete list, and every heartburn sufferer is different. If you experience heartburn symptoms when eating these foods, take note. Also, you may find you can eat foods from the "Avoid" group with no problem. Keeping a Food Diary can help you learn your safe foods and trigger foods. For approximately two weeks, write down what you eat, when you eat and any symptoms you may experience. 

These foods are unlikely to cause heartburn:


  • Apple, fresh or dried
  • Apple juice
  • Banana


  • Baked potato
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Peas


  • Ground beef, extra lean
  • Steak, London Broil
  • Chicken breast, skinless
  • Egg whites
  • Egg substitute
  • Fish, no added fat


  • Cheese, feta or goat
  • Cream cheese, fat- free
  • Sour cream, fat-free
  • Soy cheese, low-fat


  • Bread, multi-grain or white
  • Cereal, bran or oatmeal
  • Cornbread
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Rice, brown or white
  • Rice cakes


  • Mineral water

Fats / Oils

  • Salad dressing, low-fat

Sweets / Desserts

  • Jelly beans
  • Red licorice
  • Potato chips, baked

For a printer-friendly of this chart, click here. 

Foods to Moderate with Heartburn

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Some foods might be fine for you in small amounts, but which might trigger heartburn symptoms when you eat them frequently or in large amounts at a time.The foods listed in the Moderation Foods Table are the most common foods that can be eaten in moderation. Again, you may find in your personal situation that you can eat some of the foods from this list with no problem, or you may find that you have to avoid certain foods on this list entirely. 

For a printer-friendly of the chart pictured below, click here.

Foods That May or May Not Cause Heartburn:


  • Orange juice, low-acid
  • Apple cider
  • Peach
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Cranberries, dried


  • Garlic
  • Onion, cooked
  • Leeks
  • Sauerkraut
  • Scallions


  • Ground beef, lean
  • Chicken salad
  • Scrambled eggs, in butter
  • Eggs, fried
  • Fish, fried
  • Tuna salad
  • Hot dog, beef or pork
  • Ham


  • Yogurt
  • Milk reduced fat or skim
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Cottage cheese, low-fat
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese


  • Garlic bread
  • Muffin
  • Granola cereal


  • Non-alcoholic wine
  • Beer
  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Cola
  • Root beer

Sweets / Desserts• Cookies, low-fat

Foods to Avoid with Heartburn

box of donuts
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Certain foods can aggravate your heartburn symptoms, and it's best to limit or avoid completely those foods and drinks that result in acid reflux. The foods listed in the Foods To Avoid Table are the most common foods that can produce heartburn. 

For a printer-friendly of this chart, click here.


  • Orange juice
  • Lemon
  • Lemonade
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Tomato


  • Mashed potatoes
  • French fries
  • Onion, raw


  • Ground beef, chuck
  • Marbled sirloin
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Buffalo wings


  • Sour cream
  • Milkshake
  • Ice cream
  • Cottage cheese, regular


  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Spaghetti with sauce


  • Liquor
  • Wine
  • Coffee, decaffeinated or regular
  • Tea, decaffeinated or regular

Fats / Oils

  • Salad dressing, creamy
  • Salad dressing, oil & vinegar

Sweets / Desserts

  • Butter cookie, high-fat
  • Brownie
  • Chocolate
  • Doughnut
  • Corn chips
  • Potato chips, regular

Heartburn-Friendly Recipes

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For the heartburn-safe diet, it isn't just the foods you select that help you with the heartburn. It is also important how the foods are prepared. For a list of heartburn-free recipes, you can go to the heartburn recipe index. The recipes are grouped into the following categories:

Creating Heartburn-Friendly Meals: Daily Menus

Another important step in creating your heartburn-safe diet is preparing complete meals with foods you are able to eat. To help you plan your meals, check out these sample menus to get ideas for heartburn-friendly meals. The dinner menus include links to recipes for the entrees, and the daily menus give suggestions for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.

Daily menu resources include:

Creating Heartburn-Friendly Meals: Weekly Menus

These menus provide suggestions for heartburn-friendly meals for the acid reflux diet, so you can get an idea of what a whole week of eating to reduce heartburn symptoms looks like. 

You can choose weekly menus from the following formats:

Keep a heartburn record

Record what you eat and when you eat it for a period of seven days. Record what triggers your acid reflux episodes, the severity of each episode, how your body reacts and what gives you relief. The next step is to take this information to your doctor so the both of you can determine what lifestyle changes you will need to make and what treatments will give you maximum relief. To get you started, you can use this ​Heartburn Record.​​

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