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Foods to Avoid for Acid Reflux in Singapore

As a doctor, I have seen first-hand the discomfort and inconvenience that acid reflux can bring to individuals. Often known as heartburn or indigestion, acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the oesophagus. This can happen due to a weakened valve between the stomach and oesophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Symptoms of acid reflux may also include regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and coughing.

Managing diet is crucial for individuals with acid reflux as certain foods can trigger or worsen symptoms.

In Singapore, where hawker centres are abundant and local delicacies are highly sought after. It is important to be aware of which foods to avoid in order to better manage acid reflux.

In this article, I will be discussing common trigger foods for acid reflux and highlighting local dishes that should be avoided. I will also provide suggestions for alternative options and stress the importance of consulting a doctor for personalised advice.

Common Trigger Foods for Acid Reflux

While each individual may have different trigger foods, there are some common ones that tend to cause acid reflux symptoms. As a general rule, spicy foods and acidic fruits are known to worsen symptoms of acid reflux. This is because they can irritate the lining of the oesophagus and increase stomach acid production.

Some examples of trigger foods for acid reflux include:

  • Spicy foods such as curry, hot pepper, and chilli
  • Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits
  • Fried foods like fried chicken, french fries, and deep-fried snacks
  • Fatty meats such as beef, pork, and lamb
  • Carbonated drinks like soda and beer

Local Foods to Avoid for Acid Reflux in Singapore

In Singapore, where food culture is deeply rooted, it can be challenging to avoid local delicacies that are known to trigger acid reflux symptoms. However, being aware of these dishes and their alternatives can make a huge difference in managing acid reflux.

Some local foods to avoid for acid reflux include:

  • Hawker food favourites like laksa, char kway teow, and prata
  • Traditional snacks like curry puffs and samosas
  • Popular drinks like teh tarik and bubble tea

Hawker centres are a go-to spot for many Singaporeans, and dishes like laksa and char kway teow can be tempting. However, these dishes typically contain spicy ingredients that can cause discomfort for individuals with acid reflux. Traditional snacks like curry puffs and samosas are also fried foods that should be avoided.

When it comes to drinks, Singaporeans love their teh tarik and bubble tea. However, both of these drinks are made with milk and sugar which can trigger acid reflux symptoms. It is important to note that even healthy options like fruit juices can be high in acidity and should be avoided.

Suggestions for Alternative Options

While it may seem challenging to avoid these popular local dishes, there are alternative options that individuals with acid reflux can opt for. Here are some suggestions:

  • Choosing less spicy alternatives in hawker centres, such as fish soup or porridge
  • Opting for grilled or steamed versions of local dishes instead of fried ones
  • Seeking out fruit options that are low in acidity, such as bananas and melons
  • Trying non-carbonated drinks like soy milk

These alternative choices may not offer the same spice or flavour as the originals. But they can still give a satisfying meal without discomfort. For example, choosing grilled or steamed versions of dishes like chicken rice. It can lower the oil and spice content, aiding digestion for those with acid reflux.

Importance of Consulting a Doctor

While avoiding trigger foods can help manage acid reflux symptoms, it is important to consult with a doctor for personalised advice. Some individuals may have more specific trigger foods. It is also possible that medication may be necessary in addition to dietary changes to better manage acid reflux.

Additionally, certain underlying health conditions may also contribute to acid reflux, such as hiatal hernia or gastroparesis. It is important for individuals experiencing acid reflux to consult with a doctor to rule out any other potential causes and receive proper treatment.

In conclusion, managing acid reflux through diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. You can still enjoy the vibrant food culture of our country by being aware of common trigger foods and making healthier choices. By choosing alternative options and consulting with a doctor for personalised advice, individuals can better manage their acid reflux symptoms and improve their quality of life.

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Here at KYM Surgery, we believe in providing holistic & comprehensive medical care for all patients.