With any acid reflux, including GERD, what you eat seems to be less important than what you don’t eat (per WebMD). Managing GERD symptoms may be as simple as avoiding certain foods that increase stomach acid levels and trigger inflammation. The Keto diet allows for plenty of low-carb fruits and veggies, which is ideal for managing GERD. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends managing GERD by eating watery foods like celery, cucumber, and lettuce, along with alkaline foods, such as cauliflower, nuts, and melons, all of which are allowed in a ketogenic diet. Keto foods that are considered aggravating to GERD include salty, high-fat foods like bacon, sausage, and cheese.
Dr. Elias Dorido of the Houston Heartburn & Reflux Center notes that small studies confirm a reduction in GERD symptoms when obese patients followed a keto diet. Combined evidence suggests a low-carb, high-fat diet may effectively reduce symptoms in obese and insulin-resistant people.
For individuals within the average body weight range, making simple food swaps, like leaving out the bacon in favor of chicken or salmon, could make keto a good choice (per Johns Hopkins Medicine), but can a keto diet help reduce your risk of GERD? The jury is still out, but the keto diet is known to help with weight loss and balancing blood sugar and insulin. A 2013 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology suggests it can prevent obesity, eliminating a significant risk factor for GERD.