Gastric Esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux is a common condition that affects many people today. Many people experience a burning feeling in their chest which as coined the phrase “heartburn.” Incorporating an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has shown promising results of naturally getting rid of GERD. In the Body Reboot book, we discuss how a low carb diet can not only help with inflammation, but it can improve your health overall. There are so many foods that not only cause acid reflux but cause us to make unhealthy decisions every day. Sometimes transforming your health means stepping out of your comfort zone, and we want to help you get there.
Before we further dive into what may help counteract acid reflux, Keto Diet App gives us a brief description of what causes acid reflux. If you’ve ever experienced it yourself, then you’ll likely understand these symptoms all too well.
Contrary to popular belief, many individuals with acid reflux don't have too much stomach acid; they have too little.
If you have too little stomach acid, or the acid you produce is not sufficiently acidic, food will remain in the stomach longer than it should. Some of the carbohydrates you consume — especially grains, but also other starches — may begin to ferment as they remain in your stomach for an extended period of time, and this creates gas.
This gas may put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a small bundle of muscles between your esophagus and your stomach. This sphincter is supposed to remain closed except after you swallow and food presses against it, causing it to open and allow the food to pass into your stomach. Most of the time, this is a unidirectional process — one way: food and beverages go from the esophagus into the stomach.
But it's not always unidirectional. Food and liquids can move from the stomach back up into the esophagus. If you've ever vomited, then you've had personal, unpleasant experience with the two-way action.
If you’re wondering what foods cause inflammation in the gut, then keep reading, because Ketogenic Diet Resource lists them below. The author also mentions how going on a low carb diet, specifically the ketogenic diet, has eliminated his GERD symptoms. That’s fantastic!
The foods that inflame the gut for many people include:
Grain based foods, particularly gluten grains such as wheat, rye and barley. The food products made from these grains are strongly associated with acid reflux, and a growing list of health issues and autoimmune reactions. There's an excellent article by noted expert Dr. Alessio Fasano here on the relationship between gluten and autoimmune disease. Eliminating gluten reduces gluten intolerance symptoms can relieve the symptoms and help treat diseases associated with autoimmune reactions.
Nightshade vegetables. The Nightshade family includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers.
Sugar and sweet foods. Sugar also lowers the pH of your mouth which is what contributes to tooth decay.
Dairy products. This is usually due to a milk allergy or intolerance.
Avoiding these foods is a good start for anyone who feels they need to go on an acid reflux diet. Grain and sugar are totally eliminated on a ketogenic diet, so you can see why adopting a low carb, ketogenic diet is so effective for treating acid reflux. Heartburn goes away, and for most people, all it takes is removing flour and sugar based foods from the menu.
I can attest that it really does work. I suffered from GERD for years, but after switching to a low carb, no grain acid reflux diet, I no longer have any symptoms. Unless I accidentally eat some kind of wheat gluten or other grain based food, I am heartburn free.
Keto Diet explains why a ketogenic diet works so well at helping people overcome GERD. A lot of it has to do with eliminating carbs and grains, which are two big culprits of frequent heartburn.
It may sound counterintuitive at first that a ketogenic diet could be beneficial for acid reflux. After all, conventional medical advice recommends avoiding fatty foods, so you might think a ketogenic diet would be contraindicated for individuals with acid reflux or GERD. Plus, some of the foods people frequently enjoy on ketogenic diets are cautioned against in traditional advice for reflux, such as the aforementioned coffee, dark chocolate, tomato sauces, garlic and onions. (According to that conventional thinking, butter in your coffee would be the worst thing you could do!)
Anecdotes abound on various blogs and forums, but there's also a solid body of scientific research corroborating what many people have discovered for themselves: However illogical it may seem at first glance, low-carb and ketogenic diets have proven very effective for relieving GERD and reflux.
If grains and other starchy carbohydrates are among the foods that increase pressure on the LES, it makes sense that eliminating them from the diet or dramatically reducing consumption of them would have a beneficial effect on acid reflux. (Some people on low-carb or ketogenic diets choose to consume grain in the form of low-carb, high-fiber wraps and tortillas, but even if these are part of someone's diet, the total amount of grain they're eating is still significantly reduced from a standard Western diet.)
Mark’s Daily Apple offers further discussion on the topic by arguing that if we cut out carbohydrates, then a body is less likely to suffer from GERD. Here’s his reasoning behind that and he also provides examples of people he has known who have improved symptoms or are now symptom-free.
Am I going to tell you going low carb is the answer? Partly, yes. There’s been scant research done in this area (as is generally the case with low carb eating). One small study highlights the effectiveness of eating low carb, but the connection has been noted for years in the low-carb community (check out some of the reader success stories) – but without clear rationale. Sure, obesity is a clear culprit, and a low-carb diet will undoubtedly address that condition. Yes, there’s the potent anti-inflammatory power of a low-carb diet. We’ve always known there’s more to the story, however.
Although the research will continue to hone in on the exact mechanism, one microbiologist expert presents a compelling explanation. Dr. Michael R. Eades has written in the past about researcher, Norm Robillard, and his book Heartburn Cured. Like Dr. Eades, I believe Robillard’s theory provides the most sound explanation for the growing incidence of GERD in Western society. If you have GERD, I’d encourage you to read the entire book, but the gist is this. When we eat a high carbohydrate diet, our digestive systems can become overloaded with their breakdown. (Remember, of course, that our systems aren’t evolutionarily designed to consistently handle the common 250-350 grams of carbs per day). The malabsorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine (the seat of many digestive ills) can result in a damaging overgrowth of bacteria. As anyone who’s suffered from digestive bloating knows, gas is created in the process and can be excessive when something is awry. According to Robillard’s theory, the gas “pressurizes the upper digestive system,” which sets in motion the reflux mechanism. Robillard, a long-term GERD sufferer himself, reports being fully cured by adopting a low glycemic diet.
It’s not only diet websites that explain how a low carb diet can prevent acid reflux, but a study in 2006 also revealed the same results:
Obese patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience resolution of symptoms utilizing a very low-carbohydrate diet. The mechanism of this improvement is unknown. This studied aimed to prospectively assess changes in distal esophageal acid exposure and GERD symptoms among obese adults initiating a very low-carbohydrate diet. We studied obese individuals with GERD initiating a diet containing less than 20 g/day of carbohydrates. Symptom severity was assessed using the GERD Symptom Assessment Scale–Distress Subscale (GSAS-ds). Participants underwent 24-hr esophageal pH probe testing and initiated the diet upon its completion. Within 6 days, a second pH probe test was performed. Outcomes included changes in the Johnson-DeMeester score, percentage total time with a pH<4 in the distal esophagus, and GSAS-ds scores. Eight participants were enrolled. Mean Johnson-DeMeester score decreased from 34.7 to 14.0 (P=0.023). Percentage time with pH<4 decreased from 5.1% to 2.5% (P=0.022). Mean GSAS-ds score decreased from 1.28 to 0.72 (P=0.0004). These data suggest that a very low-carbohydrate diet in obese individuals with GERD significantly reduces distal esophageal acid exposure and improves symptoms.
Since reducing carbs helps fight body inflammation, it can also prevent GERD. The reason why the keto diet can help with acid reflux is that it focuses on you eating veggies, healthy fats, and clean proteins, as Dr. Jockers discusses:
An anti-inflammatory lifestyle incorporates a diet rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, & purified omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and free range poultry and eggs. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, oregano & garlic are also powerful aids. Non-processed pink salts, sea vegetables, sea algae and cereal grasses should be used regularly to provide an abundance of critical trace minerals.
If you’ve suffered from GERD, then you know how unpleasant it is. No one likes feeling uncomfortable with acid in their throat! It’s nice knowing that a low carb diet may help prevent heartburn, as well as provide other benefits. At the time of writing this post, we're giving away free copies of the Body Reboot book. If you cover the cost of shipping, we’ll send you a FREE book. Visit this page and check to see if there are any copies left.
There are 4 secrets being kept from you about why a modern diet is making us fatter, more tired & sick.
Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally get healthy and achieve your weight loss goals!
Discover how to activate your body's “Reboot Switch” that flips on a fat burning inferno so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals!