Make small these tweaks to your eating plan to help ease GERD symptoms.

When it comes to manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your diet plays a big role in how well you can control your symptoms. The good news? Making just a few small swaps to your eating habits can have a big impact on how you’re feeling. Even better: You can still enjoy many of your favorite foods by making small adjustments to your diet.

Start with these tips. 

  1. Switch from breakfast pastries like croissants, biscuits, and donuts, to plain pancakes waffles, or French toast.
  2. If eggs seem to trigger your GERD symptoms, try preparing just the whites and tossing the fatty yolks. 
  3. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
  4. Instead of coffee, switch to decaffeinated tea—just make sure it’s not mint flavored!
  5. Swap out citrus juices, like orange juice, for non-citrus varieties, like apple or cranberry.
  6. While you’re at it, skip citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, as well as pineapple—instead, opt for apples, bananas, berries, and melon.
  7. When eating veggies, avoid preparation methods that involve cream sauces or deep-frying in favor for options like roasting—and avoid triggers like tomatoes and onion.
  8. Swap French fries for a baked potato.
  9. Top your baked potato with low- or non-fat sour cream instead of full fat varieties.
  10. Swap traditional cheese for low- or non-fat versions. 
  11. Avoid fatty cuts of meat and poultry, like steak and duck, for lean, skinless cuts, or even fresh fish.
  12. Instead of frying your meats, try grilling or broiling them. 
  13. Top your pasta with olive oil instead of tomato-, cream- or cheese-based sauce.
  14. Add flavor to meals by using mild spices and herbs like oregano and sage instead of things like hot peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, or mint. 
  15. Consider your condiments—swap gravy and cream-based dressings for low- or non-fat varieties.
  16. Skip creamy soups in favor for those made with low-fat or fat-free broth.
  17. Swap traditional cake and icing for angel food cake or sponge cake.
  18. Instead of ice cream or milkshakes, opt for sherbet or ice pops made from real fruit juice. 
  19. Instead of chocolatey deserts, try fruit-based options.
  20. A good rule of thumb? Swap out processed foods for whole, fresh foods whenever you can. 

Work With a Dietitian

Remember: Food triggers can vary from person to person. It’s important to work with your dietitian to identify your specific food triggers to know exactly which types of food swaps you’ll benefit from the most.