Tips for Dining Out with GERD
Every once and a while, it feels good to take a break from cooking at home and dine out with friends and family at one of your favorite restaurants. However, if you suffer from severe symptoms of acid reflux or symptoms associated with GERD, dining out may be more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t confine yourself to your kitchen just yet!
Follow these tips on how to eat out while still following Dr. John Bagnato’s dietary guidelines for GERD.
- Educate Yourself – The most important aspect of dining out with GERD is knowing which foods trigger your symptoms of severe acid reflux. GERD affects everyone differently, so it is impossible to say what your trigger foods are going to be. Begin to keep track of which foods trigger your symptoms so that you will be able to make educated decisions when dining out at your favorite restaurant.
- Portion Control – Symptoms of severe reflux are often caused by overeating. Many restaurants are notorious for giving you more than your stomach can truly hold, yet we still find a way to put every last bite somewhere. Think twice about cleaning your plate as a full stomach will increase the pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter and quickly incite your symptoms of reflux. Actively controlling how much you eat is difficult, especially when it’s your favorite dish, but it’s important to make wise decisions to avoid overeating. Help keep GERD under control by asking the waiter for only a half portion, sharing your meal with another person or eating very slowly.
- Menu Management – Dr. Bagnato has probably informed of you certain foods to steer clear of to avoid flare ups when it comes to GERD. If you dare to dine out, make sure you pay close attention to your dietary guidelines if you want to eat in peace.
Just as a reminder, here are some general guidelines for avoiding GERD triggers on the menu:
- Keep away from acidic foods—many condiments such as ketchup, mustard and vinegar have high levels of acidity and may incite your reflux symptoms.
- Avoid citrus fruits—fruits such as limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruits will aggravate your symptoms so try to avoid them.
- Forget about fried foods—it may be hard but avoiding fried favorites such as French fries, onion rings, fried seafood and even foods sautéed in butter will help keep GERD symptoms in check.
- Steer clear of spicy foods—especially if you’re dining at an ethnic restaurant, spicy peppers, hot sauces, wasabi and salsa may stimulate your acid reflux.
Avoiding your favorite foods may seem disappointing at first, but there are still ways to enjoy dining out at your favorite restaurants while keeping GERD under control. Try some of these tips next time you visit your favorite local food spot and always consult Dr. John Bagnato if you have any questions concerning GERD.