Silent Reflux: A Hidden Epidemic

Jamie Koufman, MD, F.A.C.S. Founder & Director, Koufman Reflux Director, Voice Institute of New York

Posted on | By Jamie Koufman, MD, F.A.C.S. | Comments ()

Reflux Can Be Cured Through Healthy Eating

Healthy eating. What’s that when it comes to reflux? First, no late-night eating. If you go to bed with a full stomach, you are likely to reflux all night. Besides, reflux is the most common cause of disturbed sleep and it is even associated with snoring and sleep apnea. Second, restrict all highly acidic foods and beverages. If you have reflux, the only thing you should drink out of a bottle is water, and alkaline water is best. Alkaline water kills off pepsin; look for alkaline waters with a pH above 8.0. After over-eating, soft drinks (all of them) are the next greatest cause of reflux. Finally, your diet should be low-fat as well as low-acid. It works! Do a strict, two-week induction ("detox") low-acid diet, and then follow it up with a moderate low-acid, low-fat, pH-balanced diet for 3-6 months.  

Table 1 shows the recommended reflux diet in a nutshell, and Table 2 shows the best-for-reflux food list.


Table 1: Basic Elements of Dr. Koufman's Reflux Diet

  • Nothing out of a bottle or a can except water (alkaline is best)
  • Alcohol in moderation (one drink), and no late-night eating
  • Eat lots of fish, poultry, vegetables, breads, and grains  
  • Use and order all dressings, cheeses, and sauces on the side
  • Minimize fatty meats; some beef and pork, and portion control!
  • Avoid excessive consumption of acidic foods like citrus fruit
  • Avoid reflux-causing foods like mints, chocolate, and fried food

Table 2: Dr. Koufman's Short Best-For-Reflux Food List

  • Grilled/baked/broiled/boiled fish, shellfish, and poultry
  • All veggies (except onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers)
  • Breads, rice, grains (low-sugar cereals), oatmeal, and tofu
  • Alkaline water, low-fat cow, soy, almond, and coconut milk
  • Melons, bananas, ginger, chamomile tea, Manuka honey

Finally, if you are going to be on a low-acid diet, you must know if there is acid added to something. You have to read the ingredients on labels. What should you look for? Phosphoric acid, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and “vitamin C added or enhanced” all mean that what’s in the bottle may be as acidic as stomach acid. And if you have significant reflux symptoms, avoid it! Learn more about silent reflux prevention. 

Try these recipes from Dr. Koufman’s cookbook, Dropping Acid, The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure

Jamie Koufman, MD, F.A.C.S.

Article written by Jamie Koufman, MD, F.A.C.S.
Founder & Director, Koufman Reflux Director, Voice Institute of New York