Foods You Can Enjoy in Moderation If You Have Heartburn

Eat These Foods Occasionally on an Acid Reflux Diet

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Certain foods can aggravate your heartburn symptoms, and when planning your acid reflux diet, it's best to avoid those foods and drinks that can result in heartburn. There are some foods that can be consumed with discretion, foods that you may be able to enjoy occasionally. The foods listed in the table below are those you may be able to enjoy occasionally, in moderation.

Foods To Be Consumed In Moderation On The Acid Reflux Diet

Food GroupFoods To Be Consumed With Discretion
Fruit• Orange juice, low-acid
• Apple cider
• Peach
• Blueberries
• Raspberries
• Strawberries
• Grapes
• Cranberries, dried
Vegetables• Garlic
• Onion, cooked
• Leeks
• Sauerkraut
• Scallions
Meat• Ground beef, lean
• Chicken salad
• Scrambled eggs, in butter
• Eggs, fried
• Fish, fried
• Tuna salad
• Hot dog, beef or pork
• Ham
Dairy• Yogurt
• Milk, 2 percent or skim
• Frozen yogurt
• Cottage cheese, low-fat
• Cheddar cheese
• Mozzarella cheese
Grains• Garlic bread
• Muffin
• Granola cereal
Beverages• Non-alcoholic wine
• Beer
• Non-alcoholic beer
• Cola
• Root beer
Fats / Oils• Ketchup
Sweets / Desserts• Cookie, low-fat

This is by no means a complete list, and in your personal situation, you may either find you can eat the foods from the "Avoid" group with no problem or have problems with foods not listed. It is a good idea to keep a food diary. For approximately two weeks, write down what you eat, when you eat and any symptoms you may experience. This will help you and your doctor plan your diet and decide on any change in eating habits you may need.

For a listing of foods that usually cause little or no heartburn problem, please check out the table for foods that have little potential to cause heartburn. For a listing of foods that you should limit, foods that have a higher risk of causing heartburn, please check out the table for foods that can be foods to be limited.

For how to incorporate these food suggestions, see:

Managing Your Heartburn

You can find relief from your heartburn with a few self-care remedies.

This involves making a few lifestyle and diet changes.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eat frequent smaller meals instead of three larger ones. This will help prevent excessive production of stomach acid.
  • Eat slowly. One way to help you slow down while eating is to put your fork or spoon down between bites.
  • Don't go to bed with a full stomach. Stay up at least three hours after eating your last meal or large snack before going to bed. This gives acid levels a chance to decrease before your body is in a position where heartburn is more likely to occur.
  • Raise the head of your bed several inches. With your head elevated, it will help prevent reflux during the night.
  • Avoid your heartburn triggers. Examples of foods and beverages that can trigger heartburn are coffee (including decaf), alcohol, fatty foods, caffeinated beverages and foods, onions, peppermint, chocolate, citrus fruits or juices, tomatoes. If you aren't sure what your heartburn triggers are, keep a food diary for a week or two.
  • Stop smoking. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach and prevents the acid-containing contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight clothing squeezes the midsection and tends to push stomach contents upward.
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve your symptoms.
  • Chew gum. Chewing gum can provide short-term heartburn relief by stimulating the production of saliva, which dilutes and flushes out stomach acid.
  • Drink warm liquids. Drinking a glass of lukewarm water or herbal tea after a meal can dilute and flush out stomach acid.


Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Adults. NIDDK NIH.