Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Good Nutrition Key to Managing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
November 21, 2023
CHICAGO – Diet and nutrition play a pivotal role in managing gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy is raising awareness and providing guidance to those dealing with this digestive disorder during GERD Awareness Week, November 19-25.
“Diet plays a crucial role in the management of GERD. Certain foods and eating habits can exacerbate symptoms, while others can provide relief and improve the overall quality of life for individuals dealing with GERD,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Julie Stefanski, a national Academy Spokesperson in Baltimore, Md.
GERD is a widespread digestive disorder characterized by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, nausea or vomiting. If left untreated, GERD can cause inflammation of the esophagus, which is a risk factor for developing esophageal cancer.
With approximately one-third of the population affected by this chronic condition, Stefanski shares the positive impact that dietary choices can have on alleviating symptoms and improving overall quality of life for those living with GERD.
Stefanski offers the following tips for managing GERD:
- Avoid Trigger Foods: “Certain foods can trigger or worsen GERD symptoms. Common culprits include mint, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, acidic foods and spicy foods.”
- Eat Smaller, Frequent Meals: “Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help reduce the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which is responsible for preventing acid reflux.”
- Limit Fatty Foods: “Choose baked, broiled or steamed options instead of fried foods. Eat lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu and beans as protein sources. Limit the amount of added butter and oil in your meals.”
In addition to dietary choices, Stefanski emphasizes the importance of consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist to develop a personalized nutrition plan tailored to an individual’s specific needs and triggers.
“By making informed dietary choices and working closely with a RDN, individuals can gain better control over GERD symptoms and enjoy a more comfortable and fulfilling life,” Stefanski says.
To find an RDN near you, visit the Academy’s Find a Nutrition Expert directory.
Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
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