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How to Do Keto with GERD: Tips and Tricks for Success
Keto has become a very popular diet worldwide, with many people experiencing significant weight loss and improved health from following this low-carb, high-fat eating plan. However, if you suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), the symptoms may worsen when following a keto diet. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing how to do keto with GERD and offering some tips and tricks to help you succeed.
GERD is a digestive disorder that causes heartburn and acid reflux. It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t close properly, allowing stomach acids to travel upward into the esophagus. If you have GERD, you’ll know that certain foods can trigger symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation; these can include spicy and acidic foods, processed foods, and high-fat foods. With that said, it’s essential to be careful when following a high-fat diet like keto if you have GERD.
So, how can you successfully do keto with GERD? Here are three tips that may help.
Method 1: Gradually Adjust Your Fat Intake
One of the most common triggers for GERD symptoms is a high-fat diet. This is because fat slows down the emptying of the stomach, and if you have a weak LES, fatty foods can sit in the stomach for longer and cause symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux. For this reason, it’s essential to start with a lower fat intake when starting a keto diet.
While most people on keto aim to consume between 70-80% of their calories from fat, it’s okay to start with a lower percentage of around 50-60% until your body adjusts. Also, remember to choose healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, rather than processed and unhealthy fats like fast food and fried foods.
Method 2: Be Mindful of Your Carb Choices
When following keto, it’s essential to avoid high-carb foods like bread, pasta, and sugar. However, many keto-friendly foods can also be triggers for GERD symptoms. For instance, dairy products like cheese and yogurt, which are high in fat and protein, can be problematic for some GERD sufferers. Also, high-fiber foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts may cause bloating and acid reflux in some people.
The best approach to take is to be mindful of what triggers your symptoms and to choose low-carb foods that are less likely to cause GERD flare-ups. Examples include protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, and tofu, fibrous vegetables like leafy greens and bell peppers, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Method 3: Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Another trick that may help you do keto with GERD is to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Large meals can put pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux, stomach pain, and other GERD symptoms. By eating more frequently, you’ll be less likely to overeat and will help keep your stomach from getting too full.
Additionally, you should also avoid eating too close to bedtime, as lying down can worsen GERD symptoms and make it harder for you to sleep. Try to eat your last meal at least two to three hours before bed, and elevate your pillow or mattress to keep your head and chest slightly elevated while you sleep.
As with any dietary change, starting keto will require some careful planning and adjustment if you have GERD. But by gradually adjusting your fat intake, choosing low-carb foods that work for you, and eating smaller, frequent meals, you can minimize GERD symptoms while still enjoying the many benefits of keto. In addition to weight loss, following a keto diet has been shown to improve blood sugar control, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health.
If you’re struggling with GERD symptoms and are considering starting a keto diet, be sure to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian first. They can help you design a personalized meal plan that works for you and can help you stay on track while minimizing GERD symptoms. With a little effort and some thoughtful planning, you can do keto with GERD and enjoy all the benefits that come with this low-carb, high-fat way of eating!