Acid Reflux

By Dean L. Jones

The recurring outbreaks of food borne illnesses reported on a hefty number of companies like Blue Bell Creameries, Chipotle, Costco, Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Sams Club, Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, and 7-Eleven heightens personal decision of when, where and what to eat.  This becomes even more critical for over 60 million Americans who suffer from acid reflux and are really cautious about consuming something that might cause serious discomfort.

Over 20% of society suffers from acid reflux at least once a month, which basically is an unpleasant condition that causes a sour or bitter taste in the back of the throat, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, chronic cough and sometimes regurgitation.  Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus, sometimes reaching all the way to the throat or mouth.

Commonly called heartburn, there are many acidic foods that can cause acid reflux, including obesity and smoking have also been linked to acid reflux and symptoms can substantially improve after weight loss and the discontinuance of smoking.  The challenge with acid reflux is that we eat every day, but unfortunately too many think it is their birth right to eat whatever and whenever, no matter the possible physical disorders that may ensue.

The thing is acid reflux can best be treated the better informed you are about the causes for acquiring it in the first place.  It is highly recommended to follow an alkaline diet that emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density.  Improving the digestive function will serve to reduce and hopefully avoid the overall symptoms of acid reflux.

Cutting out all fried foods seems obvious, but this is so socially accepted as the ‘go-to’ treat that it is not easy to avoid or resist the temptation to eat.  Nonetheless, fried foods are normally high in trans-fats and slow down the overall digestive process, leaving excess acids that can eventually move upward into the esophagus.

Nearly equally as harmfully to fried comes the many ways in which processed baked goods cause problems with acid reflux.  Sweets like brownies and cookies create an acidic environment, especially if they are processed baked goods that are full of artificial colors and preservatives.

By avoiding all forms of processed sugar and enriched flour acid reflux will become a thing of the past.  Processed sugar ranks highest on the acidic list of foods, over meat (pork, lamb, beef, chicken, turkey), crustaceans, milk, eggs, cheese, ice cream, white pasta, white/whole meal bread, biscuits, soy sauce, artificial sweeteners, coffee, carbonated sodas, spicy foods, chili peppers, milk and of course alcohol.

From experience, making excuses for refraining from eating popular foods can often seem uncomfortable not eating foods like the crowd, but the rewards of feeling good and healthy pays dividends by living SugarAlert!
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.