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Hiatal Hernia Diet Tips

Hiatal Hernia Diet Tips

It is difficult to diagnose hiatal hernia, for in majority cases, there are no visible symptoms of this condition. Of all symptoms of hiatal hernia, heartburn is the most common symptom. Using hiatal hernia diet tips, people with this type of hernia will be able to lead a comfortable life.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
Acid retention increases with hiatal hernia, due to which acid is pushed back into the esophagus. This is now turning out to be a very common ailment seen in a number of people, due to rapid change in food habits and amount of fried and fat saturated foods that are now consumed with regularity. When one is diagnosed with hiatal hernia, it is recommended, that one brings about some lifestyle changes to arrest the condition well in time. Here are some diet tips for hiatal hernia, which will help in dealing better with the problem. Before that let's get to know a little about hiatal hernia itself.
What is Hiatal Hernia?
There are different types of hernia. One of them is hiatal hernia. It is a condition, where the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm. This opening is called esophageal hiatus or diaphragmatic hiatus. This condition causes the acid produced in the stomach to push up through the hiatus. It is more commonly seen in middle aged people. Women are known to suffer from this condition than men. People who have undergone abdominal surgeries are also prone to hiatal hernia. At the same, it also affects obese people. The risk associated with hiatal hernia increases with age. Although in certain cases children are also affected with it.
Diet Tips
Here are some simple tips, which will help you deal with hiatal hernia better.
  • Do not drink water while having your meal. Drink water either half an hour before or after your meal.
  • Instead of three big meals, have six small meals. Your last meal should be at least two hours before you go to bed.
  • Do not lie down after your meal. At least for an hour sit up straight after your meals. If possible go for a stroll, this will prevent acid reflux disease.
  • Avoid bending after your meals. If you must bend avoid bending to your right as that promotes heartburn.
  • Alcohol and smoking should be avoided by people suffering with hiatal hernia. Remember production of stomach acid is stimulated due to smoking.
  • You can have an antacid if you feel you might experience heartburn.
  • While sleeping, keep your head and shoulder at an incline.
  • Avoid wearing clothes which constrict your stomach.
  • Avoid foods which cause acid reflux by following a GERD diet.
Diet Plan
When you plan diet for hiatal hernia, make sure that you have a well-balanced diet. Here is an example of a hiatal hernia diet plan.

Early Morning: Add lemon juice and honey to a glass of lukewarm water. Drink this first thing every morning.
Breakfast: You can choose fresh fruits of your choice. Also have a glass of milk, however, do not substitute fresh fruits and milk for a milkshake.
Lunch: For lunch have whole wheat tortilla or bread along with vegetables and a glass of buttermilk.
Early Evening (4 p.m.): Give your favorite coffee or tea a skip. Instead, opt for a glass of a healthier drink like fruit or vegetable juice.
Dinner: Have dinner as early as possible. Dinner should be light and you can include salads. To avoid the monotony in salads, you can also add sprouts to it.
Before Going to Bed: If you like milk, then have a cup just before going to bed. The other alternative is to have an apple just before bed time.
Food Tips
Food Group Safe Food Moderate Safe Food Food to be Avoided
Vegetables Baked potato, peas, French beans, broccoli, carrots, cabbages Garlic, onions (cooked), leeks, scallions, lemon Onions (raw), fried potato
Fruit Apples (in any form), Bananas Blueberries, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, peach, grapes, apple cider, cranberries Orange juice, tomatoes, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice
Dairy Low fat or skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt, feta, goat, fat-free cream cheese, soy products such as low-fat soy cheese Yogurt, skimmed or 2% milk, low-fat homemade cottage cheese, cheddar or mozzarella cheese Fat free sour cream, milkshake, ice cream
Grains Multi-grain or whole wheat bread, brown or white rice, oatmeal, bran or cereal, pretzels, corn bread, rice cakes, graham crackers Granola cereal, garlic bread, muffins Macaroni, spaghetti
Oils, Dressings Low fat salad dressing Ketchup Cream based salad dressing, salad dressing with oil and vinegar
Meat Egg white, lean skinless meat, chicken breast and wings, fish (without any added fat) Fried eggs, fried fish, tuna salad, ham, ground beef (lean), hot dog Buffalo wings, chicken nuggets, ground beef, marbled sirloin
Sweets Low fat sweets, without any chocolate or mint, fat-free cookies, jelly beans, red licorice Chocolate White sugar
Beverages Water Non alcoholic beer and wine, root beer, cola Liquor, Coffee, Tea
Cooking Tips
As it is necessary to know, which are the safe foods and the foods to be avoided, it is equally important to know, the right method to be used for cooking. It will make a vast difference to the person, suffering from hiatal hernia.

While steaming vegetables do not add any other ingredient other than water.
Get rid of excess fat, while cooking, especially meat.
Avoid frying food, instead you can broil or bake food.
Use seasoning, which is not spicy and in low quantities.
While cooking using cooking spray in place of cooking oil.

While choosing meat, you should only opt for lean cuts of beef like round, chuck, sirloin or loin, while opt for tenderloin or loin chop of cuts in pork. It is best to choose chicken or turkey as opposed to beef and pork. Limit the use of butter, oils, cream sauces, etc. A simple tip while sautéing food is to use cooking spray.
I would just like to mention that the list I have given above is not an exhaustive list. You will have to find out what suits your condition better. There is also a possibility, that a food item mentioned in the safe list above, can worsen your problem and on the other hand, a food item to be avoided will end up suiting you well.