No- brainer dietary intervention for GERD

Can we all breathe out a collective, “DUH,” to this new headline: “Cutting Dietary Simple Sugars May Relieve GERD Symptoms.”

Because, duh!

The authors are saying this is the first trial to investigate the amount and type of carbohydrate influence on acid reflux (also known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease).

And one of only a few to analyze the effect of dietary intervention on GERD.

But isn’t this plain common sense?

Let’s talk about it…

What you eat matters

I have been in this business close to 30 years—and I learned this concept on my very first day training at the Atkins Center…

What you eat matters. And that’s especially true when it comes to GERD.

Yet researchers are acting like this is a brand-new concept.

So, to analyze the effect of diet on GERD, 98 symptomatic subjects were assigned to follow one of four diets for nine weeks.

The diets looked at total carbohydrate intake and total “simple sugar” intake.

(Simple carbs, also knows as ‘simple sugars,’ are found in processed foods like pastries, soft drinks, and jams. Meanwhile, ‘complex carbs’ are found in whole foods.)

Here was the breakdown:

  • High total carb/high simple sugar (control group)
  • High total/low simple
  • Low total/high simple
  • Low total/low simple

The average carbohydrate consumption was nearly 44 percent of all calories and the average simple sugar intake was 116.5 grams daily.

(Can you imagine? Those numbers are staggering—no wonder these participants were suffering from GERD!)

Ultimately, the two groups with a dietary intervention—either reduced total carbs or reduced simple sugars—noticed improvements.

More specifically, heartburn frequency and severity, regurgitation, pain in throat/chest, and sleep disturbances all lessened.

But… is that at all surprising?

Diet saves the day

I have been preaching for decades about how your dietary choices impact your health. And GERD is no exception.

Of course, many mainstream docs will tell you to eat smaller and more frequent meals, don’t lie down after you eat, and lose weight.

These suggestions are all well and good. But allow me to truly emphasize how diet can save the day here.

Start by making smart choices that work for you… not against you.

If nothing else, CUT ties with sugar. (The easiest way to do so is to avoid sugar sweetened beverages.)

In addition, focus on an elimination diet to help pinpoint any trigger foods. One study found this led to complete improvement in 64 percent of GERD patients and significant improvement in 78 percent.

For more detailed dietary advice, check out my A-List Diet (if you haven’t already). I can bet it’s the most delicious path to permanent (and totally drug-free) indigestion relief you’ll find.

Until next time,
Dr. Fred

“Cutting Dietary Simple Sugars May Relieve GERD Symptoms.” Medscape, 07/11/2022. (