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Hiatus hernia diet

Updated April 17, 2017

A hiatus hernia, also known as a hiatal hernia, is when part of your stomach bulges out through your diaphragm at your hiatus, which is where your oesophagus passes through. This happens when the muscles and tissues of your hiatus are weak. Living with a hiatal hernia can be difficult because you consistently experience heartburn, that uncomfortable burning sensation under your chest bone. Eating a diet designed to curb this heartburn will make your life much easier.

Foods to avoid

Many different foods will aggravate your heartburn. Orange juice, lemonade, tomato juice, grapefruit juice, and cranberry juice should be avoided. French fries and onions should also be avoided, as should ground beef chuck, chicken nuggets and any fried foods. The dairy products you should avoid are ice cream, sour cream, milk shakes and cottage cheese. Avoid macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with red sauce, and salad dressing. Liquor, wine, coffee and tea will also aggravate your hiatal hernia. Chocolate, doughnuts, corn chips and potato chips are on the list too.

Safe foods

You may wonder what is left! Apples and bananas will not aggravate your hiatal hernia. Baked potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans and peas are all safe for you to eat, as are extra-lean ground beef, lean steaks, chicken or turkey breast, egg whites or egg substitutes, and fish. Cheese, as long as it is low in fat, is good for your hiatal hernia diet. Bread, bran cereal, cornbread, oatmeal and rice are excellent foods for your diet. For a drink, mineral water will not disturb your hiatal hernia.

Good tips

Do not overeat. It will stretch your stomach out and relax your oesophageal valve. Do not eat your food too fast, and chew your food completely. If you don't, your stomach will have to produce more acid to break the food down. Have a glass of water 30 minutes before your meal. This will help the digestive process and reduce your heartburn. Eat five small meals a day instead of two or three. Large meals extend your stomach, and they cause your stomach to produce more acid, something you are trying to avoid. Eat your last meal of the day three hours before you go to bed. By then, most of the food you have eaten has moved down into your intestines and is no longer going to cause the acid reflux.

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About the Author

Residing in Joplin, Missouri, Cheryl Gregory writes articles that touch on women and their relationships for a non-profit organization that deals with domestic violence. She majored in English and cultural literature at West Texas State University.