Call 612-339-2836 -or- 866-316-0789
Paparella Ear Head & Neck Insitute - For Comprehensive ENT Care Watch our videos on YouTube! Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Call us at 612-339-2836! Patient Resources

Our Expertise




Patient Resources


Reflux disease results when acid gets past the one-way valve at the bottom of the esophagus and escapes the stomach.  Small amounts of acid in the esophagus or throat can cause injury to the lining of these structures and cause symptoms of heartburn, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, excessive mucous in the throat, chronic cough, chronic throat clearing, sensation of a lump in the throat, etc.  Laryngopharyngeal Reflux refers to acid coming all the way up into the throat and causing symptoms due to injury of the voice box or throat.

The following nutrition guidelines for Reflux disease and LPR are recommended to lessen the likelihood of reflux and to avoid irritation of sensitive or inflamed esophageal tissue and throat injury.  Listed below are recommendations that may help to manage Reflux disease and LPR:

  • Decrease total fat intake
    High fat meals and fried foods tend to decrease LES pressure and delay stomach emptying thereby increasing the risk of reflux.

  • Avoid large meals
    Large meals increase the likelihood of increased gastric (stomach) pressure and reflux.

  • Avoid chocolate
    Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which has been shown to reduce LES pressure by causing relaxation of smooth muscle.

  • Avoid coffee if needed
    Coffee, with or without caffeine, may promote reflux.

  • Avoid other known irritants.
    Alcohol, peppermint, spearmint, carbonated beverages, citrus juices and tomato products all may aggravate reflux disease.  Chili powder or black pepper may also cause discomfort.

Other lifestyle modifications that can help manage reflux disease/LPR include:

  • Eat several small meals throughout the day.
  • Exercise at least three to four times each week.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, especially in the abdominal area.
  • Wait 3 hours after eating before lying down.
  • Maintain upright posture during and after eating.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Raise the head of your bed 6-9 inches by placing wood or cinder blocks under the headboard and sleep on your left side.
  • Stop smoking.

It is important to note that there is not one specific diet that will prevent all symptoms of reflux disease or LPR.  The best way to design a meal plan that is appropriate for you is to discover which foods you tolerate well and which foods aggravate your reflux.  One way to identify these “trigger” foods is through journaling.  The dietitian will provide you with a food journal.

Food Group

Recommended Foods

Foods to Avoid

Milk and Milk Products

Skim/1% milk
Soy milk
Nonfat/lowfat yogurt
Lowfat cheeses
Lowfat ice cream

2% and whole milk
High-fat cheeses
Chocolate Milk
Regular ice cream

Meat and other protein foods

Tender, well-cooked lean meats prepared without fat (poultry, fish, eggs)
Dried beans and peas
Nuts and nut butter

Fried/breaded meats
Bacon or Sausage
Salami or Bologna
Hot dogs
Buffalo wings


Whole Grains prepared without added fat

Any prepared with whole milk or high fat


All other vegetables

Deep fried or cream style vegetables
Onions (raw)


Apples, berries, melons, bananas, peaches, pears



Heart-healthy vegetable oils such as olive or canola oil

More than 4 tsp of oil or butter per day
Creamy salad dressings


Caffeine free herbal teas (no mint)
Juice (no citrus or tomato)

Coffee if causes symptoms
Cola/caffeinated or carbonated beverages
Hot Cocoa


Low fat desserts

Doughnuts, pastries and other high-fat desserts
Chocolate / Brownie


All condiments except pepper
Low fat soups

French Fries
Cream based soups
Corn or potato chips
Mint chewing gum

Sample Day-1 Menu for Reflux Disease




1 cup oatmeal w/ raisins
1 cup skim or 1% milk
Caffeine-free herbal tea (no mint)


Chicken salad (made with low-fat mayo) and lettuce on whole grain bread
1 cup skim or 1% milk


6 oz apple juice
1 ounce lowfat cheese
4 whole wheat crackers

Evening Meal (Eat at least 3 hours before bedtime)

½ cup Green Salad
1 Tbsp Vinegar and oil dressing
Baked, skinless chicken breast (4oz)
½ cup herbed brown rice
½ cup steamed broccoli
½ cup lowfat frozen yogurt
½ cup Fresh fruit salad (no citrus)

Food/Symptoms Journal


Time of Day































































© 2017. All Rights Reserved. Paparella Ear Head & Neck Institute, PA
Paparella Minneapolis
Riverside Park Plaza
701 25th Avenue South
Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55454
866-316-0769 toll-free