Trigger foods are foods that cause an allergic reaction in certain people, but they differ from person to person. Although sugar is commonly contained in trigger foods and drinks, it does not cause acid reflux on its own. What you need to know about sugar and acid reflux is outlined below.
Can I eat sugar if I have acid reflux?
Sugar, when consumed in tiny amounts and without other trigger substances, has no effect on acid reflux. Pure honeys, jams, and maple syrup, for example, are unlikely to cause your symptoms. Symptoms may arise when sugar is present in triggering foods or when sugar is paired with triggering components. Because of this, you should limit or avoid:
- Citrus fruits
- Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea
- Fatty foods
What the research says
Acid reflux can be caused by a variety of factors, including your nutrition. Researchers came to the conclusion that changing your food is a good way to alleviate acid reflux without taking medication. Controlling your weight has an effect as well. A research study on acid reflux, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, indicated that losing weight improved acid reflux symptoms.
Risks and warnings
Sugar restriction can assist you in maintaining a healthy weight. Added sugars generally raise the overall calorie content of a food item. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, sugar should not account for more than 10% of your daily calories.
If you think sugar is contributing to your acid reflux symptoms, talk to your doctor, who may request that you keep a food journal to keep track of what you consume and any side effects that may correlate. This can assist you and your doctor in determining whether sugar or other foods are causing your symptoms.
How to use sugar substitutes when cooking
Consider using sugar replacements when cooking or baking if you wish to reduce your sugar intake. Many artificial sweeteners have few or no calories; splenda and equal are two popular artificial sweetener brands.
You can also replace table sugar with honey, maple syrup. These can provide the sweetness your recipe requires without the negative nutritional consequences.
What can you do right now?
If you suffer from acid reflux, there are several treatment options available. You may be able to find relief through lifestyle changes or medication, depending on your specific needs. If you think sugar may be affecting your symptoms, consider:
- keeping a food diary to track what you eat and how your body reacts
- introducing sugar substitutes into your diet
- removing sugar from your diet completely
If you're concerned about persistent acid reflux problems, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can examine your diet and assist you in identifying potential trigger foods. They can work with you to develop a dietary and weight-loss plan if necessary.