Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure (2010): What to eat and foods to avoid

by Penny Hammond on April 1, 2013 · 56 comments

in Diets

Dropping Acid - The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure - book by Jamie Koufman MD, Jordan Stern MD, and Marc BauerDropping Acid (2010) by Jamie Koufman MD, Jordan Stern MD, and Marc Bauer is a book that describes a diet to cure acid reflux:

  • Low fat
  • Low acid
  • Avoiding other foods that may trigger reflux
  • Foods are listed in the book – good foods in green, bad foods in red

This diet avoids discussion of sugar, refined foods, and processed foods and makes no recommendations one way or the other on them, except for suggesting people should eat whole grains.

Get a copy of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure for the full details – this is an outline of the food recommendations in the book.

Also see their blog at www.refluxcookbookblog.com.

The reasoning behind Dropping Acid

The authors estimate that 100 million Americans have reflux, many of them unaware of it, and many of them incorrectly diagnosed. The incidence is on the rise, and they believe it has largely to do with excessive acid in our diets as prepared foods have been increasingly acidified to prevent bacterial growth and add shelf life. The real villain is the digestive enzyme pepsin, not acid, so an antacid won’t help many reflux symptoms. Pepsin breaks down proteins, and can only do its job when acid is around to activate it. Once a pepsin molecule is bound to, say, your throat, any dietary source of acid can reactivate it – and eat at your digestive linings.

Dropping Acid – acid reflux diet – food list

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently, instead of large meals. Avoid overeating and especially overdrinking
  • Do not eat anything 3 hours before bedtime, have a light dinner, and avoid alcohol before bedtime
  • Generally, organic is preferable
  • Average at around 10% fat content

Foods to eat in Dropping Acid – induction

Begin with 2-4 weeks on a very strict, acid-free diet – The Induction Reflex Diet. This gives the membranes lining your throat, esophagus, etc. a chance to heal

  • Eat only foods with a pH of 5.0 or more
  • All the foods below except: agave nectar, bell peppers, yogurt

Foods to eat in Dropping Acid – maintenance

In the third week, go to the “maintenance” phase of the diet by choosing your foods from “good” and “bad” food lists

  • Proteins
    • Eat only organic poultry and fish
    • Chicken – grilled/broiled/baked/steamed, no skin
    • Egg whites (for some people, eggs may trigger reflux)
    • Fish (including shellfish) – grilled/broiled/baked/steamed/sushi
    • Tofu
    • Turkey breast – organic, no skin
  • Carbs
    • Bagels
    • Beans – black, red, lima, lentils, etc.
    • Bread – whole grain, rye, unprocessed wheat
    • Graham crackers
    • Muffins – non-fruit, low-fat
    • Oatmeal and all whole-grain cereals
    • Pancake batter
    • Pasta – with non-acidic sauce
    • Popcorn – plain or salted, no butter
    • Rice
    • Whole-grain breads, crackers, and breakfast cereals
  • Low-acid fruits
    • Bananas (a small number of people with reflux need to avoid them)
    • Melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon (a small number of people with reflux need to avoid them)
    • Pears (max. 4 per week, only if ripe)
    • Raspberries
  • Low-acid vegetables
    • Beets
    • Bell peppers (some people may react to green bell peppers)
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage – green, red, savoy
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Corn
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Endive
    • Fennel
    • Green beans
    • Mushrooms
    • Olives
    • Parsley
    • Parsnips
    • Peas
    • Potatoes – and all of the root vegetables except onions
    • Radish
    • Squash – acorn, butternut, spaghetti
    • Turnips
    • Yams
    • Zucchini
  • Condiments and dressings
    • Italian dressing
    • Vinaigrette – 1 tablespoon per day
  • Other
    • Agave nectar
    • Aloe vera
    • Artificial sweetener (max 2 teaspoons per day)
    • Caramel (less than 4 tablespoons per week)
    • Chamomile tea
    • Chicken stock or bouillon
    • Ginger – ginger root, powdered or preserved – one of the best foods for reflux
    • Herbs – excluding all peppers, citrus, and mustard
    • Honey
    • Milk and yogurt – 2% or fat-free, Lactaid lactose-free, or soy milk
    • Olive oil – 1-2 tablespoons per day
    • Soups – homemade with noodles and low-acid veggies
    • Water – non-carbonated
  • Fatty foods that may be used in small amounts
    • Butter, olive oil, whole egg, toasted nuts, salad dressings, toasted sesame seeds, citrus oils from zest (orange, lemon, lime), Italian Parmesan or Romano cheese, cheddar cheese extra sharp

Note this is not a salt-restricted diet

Foods to avoid or limit with Dropping Acid

Notoriously bad reflux foods

  • Fatty foods
    • Deep-fried foods
    • Fatty meats – bacon, sausage, ribs, high-fat hamburgers
    • Cream sauce e.g. Alfredo
    • Butter, margarine, lard, shortening
    • High-fat nuts, including peanut butter
    • Avocados
  • Acidic foods
    • Carbonated beverages including all sodas
    • Citrus fruits/juices – lime, lemon, nectarine, grapefruit, orange
    • Alcohol – beer, liquor, and wine
    • Vinegar
  • Chocolate, especially high-fat milk chocolate
  • Caffeinated beverages – coffee, tea – limit to one cup a day, best with milk
  • Mint, especially peppermint and spearmint
  • Hot sauces and pepper (cracked black, white, or red peppers)

Idiosyncratic, usually bad foods for reflux

  • Acidic foods
    • Tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice
    • Onions
    • Apples and applesauce
  • Garlic
  • Nuts
  • Cucumber
  • Green peppers
  • Spicy food
  • Some herbal teas (chamomile is the best tea for refluxers)

Other acidic foods that may be bad for reflux

  • Condiments and sauces
    • Barbecue sauce
    • Caesar dressing
    • Hot sauce
    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Pickles
    • Ranch dressing
    • Russian dressing
    • Salsa
    • Thousand island dressing
    • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fruits
    • Blackberries
    • Blueberries
    • Cherries
    • Cranberries, cranberry juice
    • Grapes
    • Kiwi
    • Mango
    • Peaches
    • Pineapple
    • Pomegranate
    • Strawberries
  • Iced tea
  • Milk, full-fat
  • Yogurt, full-fat
  • V8 vegetable juice

Reflux-related symptoms and conditions (LPR and GERD):

  • Symptoms: heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, shortness of breath, choking episodes, hoarseness, vocal fatigue, voice breaks, chronic throat clearing, excessive throat mucus, post-nasal drip, chronic cough, dysphagia, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, choking episodes, globus, food getting stuck, a sensation of a lump in the throat, intermittent airway obstruction, wheezing
  • Conditions include esophagitis, dental caries and erosions, esophageal spasm, esophageal stricture, esophageal cancer, reflux laryngitis, larynx (laryngeal) cancer, endotracheal intubation injury, contact ulcers and granulomas, posterior glottis stenosis, arytenoid fixation, paroxysmal laryngospasm, globus pharyngeus, throat cancer, vocal cord dysfuntion, paradoxical vocal fold movement, vocal nodules and polyps, pachydermia laryngitis, recurrent leukoplakia, polypoid degeneration, laryngomalacia, sudden infant death syndrome SIDS, sinusitis and allergic symptoms, sleep apnea, asthma

Health benefits claimed in Dropping Acid

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks for: acid reflux/GERD, atypical reflux disease, extraesophageal reflux disease, gastric reflux, heartburn, indigestion, laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), reflux laryngitis, silent reflux, supraesophageal reflux disease, other reflux-related symptoms and conditions (see bottom of page)

As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, and does not endorse it.

Get a copy of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure for more information on medical issues of reflux and for recipes

Buy now from Amazon
The book’s website is http://www.refluxcookbook.com, and Dr. Koufman is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RefluxDoctor.

How has this diet helped you with acid reflux? Please add a comment below.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Warren May 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

There are a few things I still find confusing after reading this book. What dried fruits if any are allowed and could you tell me the PH value of these. In Australia we can buy low fat ricotta and cottage cheese are these allowed. They are well less than the 10% mentioned. In the book it mentions parmesan and blue vein cheese. I would have thought they were too high in fat. Also a couple of the recipes use citrus, orange and pineapple juice. They are very acidic and this surprises me. I await your answer to my questions.


Penny Hammond May 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hi Warren,

There isn’t any clear guidance on what dried fruits are allowed. If a fresh fruit is allowed, a dried version should probably also be okay – although note that everything is more concentrated in dried fruits than fresh ones.
Some fruits trigger reflux in certain individuals and not in others, so when you’ve cleared up your symptoms you should check to see what your triggers are.
Fruits are more acidic than vegetables, so it may be better to limit them. There are lots of tables and charts online giving the pH of different foods – eg http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/business_food/files/Approximate_pH.pdf.

Low-fat and no-fat ricotta and cottage cheese should be fine for most people.

Certain foods are triggers in large amounts but may be okay in small amounts, “diluted” as it were with other lower-fat or lower-acid foods. These foods are: Butter, olive oil, whole egg, toasted nuts, salad dressings, toasted sesame seeds, citrus oils from zest (orange, lemon, lime), Italian Parmesan or Romano cheese, cheddar cheese extra sharp.


Renee Little July 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Been diagnosed with LPR. Hoarseness and chronic cough. Ordered the book…can’t wait for it to get here. I am taking Zantac twice a day, but I want to CURE this….not just cover it up!! I am planning a complete lifestyle change.


Penny Hammond July 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Great – good luck!

I used to have chronic acid reflux / GERD. First I worked out what were my trigger foods and avoided them (as well as sleeping with the head of the bed raised etc.). After a few months I was off the acid reducers (and happy because that acid is there for a reason – to kill bad stuff). Then when I felt fully healed I slowly started reintroducing my trigger foods – and because my esophagus had healed I could cope with them a lot better. After a while, there was only one food that regularly acted as a trigger – onions – and only in spring and fall (weird, huh?). Now it’s pretty rare for me to have issues – sometimes there are foods that I look at and realize that this isn’t the day to eat them, but I haven’t popped a pill for the issue in years.

Can’t promise that exactly the same will happen to you, but it’s definitely worth avoiding what’s causing the irritation and letting yourself heal. I hope it works for you.


Thomas September 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

Hello: For years I had IBS and, briefly, colitis, but 15 yrs ago I went on the Specific Carbohydrte Diet (“Breaking the Vicious Cycle”, by Elaine Gottschall), and the problems were corrected. This diet allows very little in the way of grains. Thus my breads and muffins have been made with various nut flours. Stomach problems preceded this dietary change. Recently I read “Dropping Acid”, and am in my second week of the Induction diet. My main questions/concerns pertain to nuts, grains and canned foods. 1) MANY cannot tolerate grains, particularly wheat, and certainly not the gluten; yet this is not addressed in the book. After reading “Dropping Acid”, I wasn’t sure if I should change that, so I just made a bread out of several flours (coconut, brown rice, soy, potato, flax), reducing the almond flour from 3 cups to 1. It is delicious, but I’m wondering if any of these are not on the ‘good’ list. Also, I recently began eating wild Alaskan salmon and wild tuna. Both are organic, but are packed in a can. Would that be on the ‘bad’ list because it is canned? Thank you for your help.


Penny Hammond September 9, 2013 at 11:26 am

If you can’t tolerate grains, then you should continue to avoid them – no need to create symptoms when trying to avoid other symptoms.

Nuts and seeds tend to be fatty, some more than others – the authors say that because fatty foods can trigger reflux, nuts are only supposed to be eaten in small amounts on this diet.
So if you’re baking bread with coconut flour, almond flour, and flax meal, you should only have a small amount. If you want to eat more, you could try other alternate flours – chestnut flour is probably the lowest-fat nut flour, or you could try a bean flour such as garbanzo flour / fava bean flour. You could try a gluten-free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill – the only grain that contains is sorghum.

According to an FDA document http://www.foodscience.caes.uga.edu/extension/documents/fdaapproximatephoffoodslacf-phs.pdf, canned salmon and canned tuna have pHs above 5, so they meet the low-acid requirements of this diet. There are canned foods in many of the recipes in this book, including canned tuna.

Hope that helps.


Penny Hammond September 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Just realized that on the specific carbohydrate diet you can’t have chestnut flour, garbanzo flour or fava bean flour, or the gluten-free flour.
So that means that in your case you could only have a very small amount of the bread you made; no alternatives come to mind.
You could try eating low-nut and the rest of the recommendations in this book to give your reflux a chance to heal, then testing a higher amount of nuts to see if they’re a trigger for you.


Roah September 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi Penny,
So, when you say an average of 10 % content, is that per meal or overall diet for the day? Also, how long did it take you to heal everything? How can you know if something is your trigger because my symptoms are nothing but constant changing to my epiglottis or mucus in the throat. I think I am night time refluxer.


Penny Hammond September 12, 2013 at 7:59 am

Hi Roah,
You should probably have around 10% fat content per meal, rather than per day – a concentrated amount of fat can be the trigger.
It’s many years since I went through an elimination program to overcome reflux, but I remember it taking months to heal. I had a burning sensation, so it was easier for me to tell the trigger. Try getting to a baseline diet where you’re not getting any symptoms (elimination diet), then trying a food you might think is a trigger several times a day for 3 days to see whether you start getting the symptoms again (reintroduction).


Sara September 17, 2013 at 6:41 am


I’ve been diagnosed with silent reflux 3 months ago. I was prescribed Omezaporole, which has only dampened symptoms not taken them away, which I am still on. I wasn’t given any information from the hospital about how I might have got it or how diet might help so I looked on the interenet and found ‘Dropping Acid’. I have followed the induction diet for a week and a half. The first week I really noticed a difference and even had a couple of days without any symptoms then I ate something that was too fatty and since then (4 days later) everything I seem to eat sets my symptoms off. I have really reduced the foods that are on the reduction list as they seem to set off my symptoms (feeling of something stuck in my throat, clearing of throat, croaky voice) like wheat and coffee. I am nearly at the end of my 2 week induction and am just wondering if I need to do the induction for another week or so?


Penny Hammond September 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hi Sara,
The authors suggest doing the induction for 2-4 weeks to allow healing. It sounds like you could benefit from it for a little longer.


Ro October 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm


It has been suggested to me to drink apple cider vinegar to help with silent reflux. I have read the book Dropping Acid and I thought vinegar was to be avoided. Can you clarify this?


Penny Hammond October 22, 2013 at 7:18 am

As with any medical condition, there are a number of different opinions on which foods are beneficial and which are harmless for this condition.
The authors of this book say that although there is a claim that apple cider vinegar / ACV is good for reflux because it causes the lower esophageal sphincter to tighten up, this does not appear to be the case (p.38)

See for yourself how it affects you personally – do you notice an increase or a decrease in symptoms when you drink it regularly?


Ro October 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Thank you for your response. I have not trialed the ACV until I heard back from you. I have read the book Dropping Acid several times but did not recall that section on page 38 -until you pointed it out- because until my well meaning friend suggested ACV I had no intention of ingesting any vinegars. Thank you again!


Marilyn Stevens October 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi Penny or whoever…I have had silent reflux for years and have done quite well on 20 mg. Of Losec for several years; however, recently I went to emerged with severe pain in my back and chest and difficulty breathing. I had previously been to an ENT specialist and he put me on 80 mg. of Losec a day but I cut back to 40 after two weeks and now am having a lot of discomfort and trouble sleeping because of this awful pain (they ruled out heart problems). Do you think 80 mg. Is a little too much to be taking…the ENT wants me on it until the middle of December and the doctor in emerged told me to go back up to 80 mg. I desperately need answers as I have a lot of discomfort after eating and belching a lot as well. I wait your answer. I am going out right away to buy the book so hopefully it will help in the healing process.


Penny Hammond October 27, 2013 at 8:00 am

Hi Marilyn. Sorry to hear about your issues; I imagine it’s a little scary to be going through this. I can’t help you with your medication questions (I look at the food side of things) but I hope you find a resolution soon.


Marilyn Stevens October 27, 2013 at 10:47 am

On the food side, on the 2-3 week induction program, would I be allowed to have quinoa, light maz cheese, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil and almond butter.


Penny Hammond October 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

Quinoa – grains are allowed and it’s not a fatty food, so this should be okay
Light mac & cheese – pasta is okay, 2% or fat-free milk is okay, cheese is okay in small amounts as a flavoring – if you’re getting it in a package, check the ingredients and fat levels
Eggs – egg white only
Maple syrup – the authors don’t discuss sugars, but they’re not in the “don’t eat” category. However, for induction, you’re not supposed to have agave nectar – perhaps maple syrup would be in the same category
Coconut oil – this is a fat and the diet says keep fatty foods to a minimum
Almond butter – you can have toasted nuts in small amounts (as they’re a fatty food) so small amounts of almond butter should be okay
Overall, average around 10% fat content.


Marilyn Stevens October 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I truly appreciated it!

Cass November 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm

I just came across your posting and I too have been suffering from silent reflux for years which I have been managing quite well on this diet (I bought the book 4 years ago and changed my diet immediately and came off medication) however 5 weeks ago I started suffering from pain in my chest and back and difficultly breathing. I’ve been in A&E and had various tests run ruling out blood clots, heart etc. and I am currently waiting to see a respiratory specialist and an ENT specialist. But seeing your post has just clicked that this may be related to the reflux – none of the medical professionals had put the two together. I am feeling quite hopeful now as I was beginning to think I was imagining things and making myself ill!! I will be booking an appointment with my gastro specialist tomorrow and going back to the induction phase. Thank you!


Marilyn Stevens October 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

One more question Penny…may I have no-fat or low-fat yogurt during these two weeks? Thanks!


Penny Hammond October 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Yogurt is one of the 3 foods you’re NOT supposed to eat on the induction but that are okay for the maintenance diet. The other two are agave nectar and bell peppers.


Marilyn Stevens October 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

And is the 10% content of fat for each item that I would be eating or 10% for the entire day. How much fat would be acceptable on this two week routine per day?


Penny Hammond October 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

It looks to me like it should be for each meal. The authors say that fat is a trigger – so if you have a fatty snack it’s likely to set you off. If that’s the case, it makes sense to spread a small amount fat across all your meals.
This isn’t a calorie controlled diet, so there aren’t guidelines on how much to eat – the total amount of fat would depend on how much you eat in total.


Marilyn Stevens October 28, 2013 at 7:04 am

Thanks so much for your help and have a great day!


Shayneesa November 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

So is a grilled chicken Caesar salad good to eat & what dressings should you use


Penny Hammond November 8, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thinking of the ingredients of grilled chicken Caesar salad in terms of the recommendation of this diet:
- Grilled chicken should be fine; it should be skinless
- Lettuce is fine
- Croutons should be made without fat
- Dressing – that’ll be the issue. Caesar salad dressing usually consists of parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper. Cheese, olive oil, and egg all contain fat and should be limited. Lemon juice is listed as a notoriously bad reflux food. So look for a low-fat, low-acid dressing to use.


Janet Walls November 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm



sandra daeschler January 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

I dont know anymore if I still have Gerd or if I now have an ulcer! However I notice when i eat a high fiber diet and alot of whipped peanut butter my stomach feels fine.How come? Thank you


Penny Hammond January 23, 2014 at 7:54 am

Everyone’s different. There are some foods that are triggers for a lot of people, and others that are less common triggers – you have to work out what’s right for you.

You should check with your doctor to see which condition(s) you have…


Jamie A January 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm


I am new to acid reflux/ heartburn. It started about a month ago during christmas vacation, which I’ll admit I wasn’t eating the best! I came across this list of food and I find it very helpful when choosing what to eat. I was also taking prilosec but didn’t like the feeling it was giving my stomach, so I am now trying Zantac.
My question is if I am eating this diet and taking medication will this eventually go away and I can slowly eat things that I used to eat??
I also find it strange that this happened all of a sudden that I can’t eat all these things without acid reflux, when I used to be able to have any amount of coffee and spicy food! Or is this normal?
I know this is not a medical website, sorry for the long note, just wondering about your opinion

Thank You!!


Penny Hammond January 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Hi Jamie,
I had a similar personal experience – it’s as though you’ve got an injury in your esophagus, and the foods you’re eating keep re-opening the scab. The first step is to work out what irritates you, your trigger foods, eating habits, and lifestyle issues for acid reflux. For me, onions are the worst, tomatoes are not far behind; eating too much and lots of fatty foods can also set me off; and lying down after eating too much is a really bad idea for me. I found that when I avoided my trigger foods/conditions the injury eventually healed itself. When it was completely healed, I could eat the foods again. But sometimes the “scar” would threaten to open up again – I would feel a tingling in my throat when I ate my trigger foods, and know I was at risk – so I’d avoid the trigger foods/conditions for a few days to a week and then it would heal and I’d be okay to eat the trigger foods again.
Some people may have to avoid certain foods completely, others may be able to reintroduce some foods after they’ve healed.


Jamie A January 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for the quick reply! I have found it has gotten somewhat better by changing my diet, so I guess as time goes on it wil heal more and more. I too found out I can not eat onions, spicy things and wine! I will definitely keep track more of what I’m eating!


Kim January 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Is Yacon syrup acceptable on maintenance?


Penny Hammond January 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Apparently it has a pH of 5.4 – so you shouldn’t eat it on the induction diet, although it may be okay for maintenance. Test it to see that it isn’t a trigger for you.


Kim January 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Thank you so much for the quick response. I heard that agave causes some inflammation in the body so I wanted to try a new sweetener. Best regards!


Amber February 16, 2014 at 2:25 am

Hi Penny! I just ordered this book a couple days ago. I’ve had GERD/Silent Reflux for probably about 10 months now. I always have the feeling of something stuck in my throat, and always spit phlegm/mucas. I’m excited to try this diet because I’ve been worried sick about this for months. I haven’t been eating much because of the feeling in my throat, I am always afraid I will choke on food. Because of that, I have lost A LOT of weight which isn’t healthy. With this diet I’m determined to get back on track and start eating (better), but one thing I’m worried about is medication. Will this diet alone reduce/cure my symptoms or do you need to take pills as well? I have a huge pill-phobia, I’ve never been able to take them. If I need to take pills along with the diet to get better, do you think the pills like Prilosec and similar pills will be as effective crushed/cut open as they are whole? Sorry I know you mainly focus on food but I just thought you might have an answer.


Penny Hammond February 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Hi Amber!

If you have a big problem with phlegm, you could follow this diet but you may also want to try seeing whether avoiding dairy products and/or grains can help you – these are often considered to be phlegm-causing foods, especially milk products. Try avoiding them as well as following this diet to see whether you improve; if you improve try slowly re-introducing them one at a time to see how you react to them. It’s good to know your personal triggers and not just avoid all foods that are possible triggers, which may make your diet too restricted.

To help reduce your fear of choking, chew your food really well so it’s basically a thick liquid by the time you swallow it. Don’t eat while distracted (e.g. while watching TV). If you’re super-concerned about swallowing, see the Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew Cookbook for tips on making sure your foods won’t cause you swallowing difficulties – the aim should be to make sure you can eat enough to get nutrients and maintain a healthy weight while you work out which foods cause you problems, then to eat a more normal diet that avoids trigger foods.

Hopefully you’ll be able to find your trigger foods and won’t need to take pills any more. In the meantime, check the guidelines for medications – Prilosec specifically says it shouldn’t be crushed or chewed.


Kathy February 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

I completed the induction diet exactly by the book for 2 wks. Most of my symptoms are getting better but I still am coughing more then I would hope to at week three. Does the coughing take awhile to get better? I am also doing a tsp of manuka honey daily … Also can I roast veggies and add a white onion during roasting but remove it after and not eat any of the onion? Thanks…Kathy


Penny Hammond February 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

The coughing can take a while to get better according to Dr. Kaufman’s new book, The Chronic Cough Enigma.
By adding an onion to your roast veggies, there’s probably something from the onion that’s causing the veggies to have some onion flavor – you could try using herbs or another flavoring instead. It’s possible that onions aren’t a trigger food for you, but it’s a very common trigger and worth avoiding to see if it helps.


PJ February 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

Was diagnosed with LPR in February. Bought “Dropping the Acid”, but didn’t realize I needed to stop yogurt altogether. Have been eating all organic, low-acid foods since January, with minimal improvement. I will stop the yogurt for a couple weeks and see if that helps. I also drink a lot of soy milk. Is there any issues with soy?



Penny Hammond February 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Soy milk is allowed on this diet. There are also recipes in the book with soy sauce and edamame.


robin March 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi Penny,
I was diagnosed with mild acid reflux several yrs. ago and have been managing it with a whole food diet, organic-non GMO etc.I’m a big foodie, love spending hours in my kitchen,cooking all sorts of wonderful dishes. We juice a lot as a
family and I also use my vita mix,lots of green veggies, kale,parsley,cucumbers,avacados, fresh ginger, lemons or limes. I’m frustrated and so confused, because I was also told that all of these foods are very alkaline and healing! When i juice or vitamix the above, I still notice the slight burning in my throat. Could it be the lemon, lime, cucumber and avacados? After learning about the Kaufman induction diet, I was puzzled and again confused, can you please help and clarify for me. I also soak and slow roast my own nuts, Is this ok? please help and offer insight for me. Thanks so very much.


Penny Hammond March 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

Hi Robin,
Different people have different trigger foods which set off acid reflux for them, although there are some that are common triggers such as tomatoes, onions, and citrus fruits. Some people need to avoid their trigger foods all the time, and others may be able to eat them (at least occasionally) after their body has healed. These may be perfectly healthy foods for most people, but if they cause a problem for you personally that’s going to override the “most people” as you’re eating for yourself.
The citrus fruits in your smoothies may cause you issues, and if you have a lot of fat (which might include significant amounts of avocados and/or nuts) that could possibly be an trigger for you. Cucumbers will be fine for most people with acid reflux.
Go on the induction diet to heal, and then reintroduce foods one at a time to see what are your personal triggers.


Lisa March 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for all the information, I found out I have Silent Reflex, I never heard of it and thought the doctor was nuts..
Still having a hard time on what to eat that has all these acids in it… I love favored water and know I read that I can’t have that! I have always been a hard body, work out and so what is with this? lol Thanks and have a blessed day! :)


Erika March 11, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Hi penny,

Try making gluten free bread out of corn and lentil flour it’s amazing! Anyone know why butternut squash isn’t on there? I’ve been eating it :$ hope it’s ok


Penny Hammond March 11, 2014 at 5:51 pm

You’re right, it’s in one of the recipes although it’s wasn’t in the overall list in the book – I’ve added it above.


Terri March 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

This list of foods is so different depending where you look online. I have a hard time believing many of the items on it.


Penny Hammond March 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I think that different people have different trigger foods – it’s worth experimenting with the alternate suggestions to see which ones work for you personally.


Judith April 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Hello. I was diagnosed with Barrets in February (no dysplasia), and plan on buying the book. My question: can I drink decaf green tea? I’ve also heard good things about Manuka honey – and Aloe Vera Juice, but the brand I looked at at citric acid in it (as a ph stabalizer) – what does that mean? I have cut out all coffee, alcohol, chocolate, high acid/fat foods and peppermint. Can I eat a red apple with my toast in the morning? And can I eat pinto or garbanzo beans with my green salads? I am very dedicated and committed to making the necessary changes (I am also on Prilosec 2x day). I’m hoping this book will help. Thank you for your help and assistance.


Penny Hammond April 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Hello Judith,

The book advises you to avoid caffeine because it’s a very common trigger food, and green tea contains caffeine (even if it’s less than black tea). The authors suggest you limit to one cup a day, and that it’s best with milk.

Manuka honey isn’t mentioned in the book.

Citric acid is often used as a stabilizer to stop foods from decomposing. Aloe vera juice is mentioned in the book as a healing agent that the authors use in recipes; they refer on page 50 to a blog post about it on their website but it appears to have been removed. You could use a pH tester to test the pH of the store-bought aloe vera juice; alternatively try finding fresh aloe vera leaves (you can often find them in hispanic stores) and juicing them yourself.

Apples are a food that are often a trigger for reflux. So they might be okay for you, or they might not. Try avoiding them until you’ve healed, and reintroduce them to test your reaction to them.

Beans are listed as okay to eat – there are a number of recipes with garbanzo beans/chickpeas; pinto beans aren’t mentioned but as beans in general can be eaten these should be fine.

Hope that helps!


Dee April 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

I have had severe GERD for 13 years, it has gotten worse over the last year. I am on Aciphex and over-the-counter GERD meds at night, abuterol and a steroid and still had difficulty day to day. I had cardio tests and its definitely GERD with asthma problems. I bought “Dropping Acid” about a month ago and it honestly saved my life! The acid foods list are very helpful. I switched out pickles for cucumbers, use non-fat mayo and low-fat dressings. I had never stopped drinking decaf coffee this whole time, once I cut back to one cup of regular decaf a day and stopped with tomato and vinegar products everything greatly improved. You can make low-acid coffee at home yourself (search for this online), easy to do with a French Press. This way along with the herbal tea I can have a second cup of low-acid coffee a day with no problems. I had quite a bit of back pain and chest tightness from GERD, all better because of following the book guidelines. I found that using a heating pad on my chest or back helped relieve and loosen up the gunk in my lungs and decreased the pressure in my back and chest. As someone who was at the end of my rope dealing with severe complications of this disease I highly recommend this book for any GERD sufferer.


Alex April 6, 2014 at 1:08 am

I am struggling with motivation and discipline. my LPR is worsening. I can’t sing at all, my throat hurts and u cough. I think I need standard induction meals: oatmeal for breakfast ? lunch – gotta be fast and easy – maybe a tuna sandwich with like 1/8th tablespoon mayo? dinner salad with what dressing? and like a tofu dog? poach the fish? so to avoid fat? someone scare me into giving up flavor and enjoying food for a longer life where I can sing again? just in the car and shower fun singing. you don’t know how much of your soul is lost when you can’t sing with the radio, your kids or the campfire. thank you.


Penny Hammond April 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Sorry to hear that.
The book has a lot of recipes, but doesn’t help you with quick and easy sandwich recipes. How about a sandwich made with chicken or other protein and salad or leftover roast veggies, or a soup as an alternative to a sandwich. There are a few salad dressing recipes in the book – they tend to have oil but limited amounts. Poached fish should be fine, or any broiled protein. Look for casserole recipes, maybe something you can put in a slow cooker if you have one – when you’re cooking with liquids you don’t need to add fats. Cook in bulk when you have time, and freeze in portion sizes for easy access. Go heavy with herbs for flavor, and try out spices as well (except chili and anything else listed as a food to avoid).


Carol Cohen April 6, 2014 at 4:28 pm

I just bought “Dropping Acid ” and am anxious to begin the two week elimination diet. Being highly lactose intolerant, I have been drinking almond milk. Am I to understand that all nuts are to be avoided or are some less
acidic and harmful than others?


Penny Hammond April 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I think the issue with nuts is the fat, not acid. High-fat nuts are the most common triggers, including peanut butter.
You can have toasted nuts in “small amounts”, although how much that is is not defined.
Almonds are fairly fatty; chestnuts are the least fatty nut but they’re not usually used to make milks.
You could try rice milk or soy milk, or possibly hemp milk although that may be slightly higher fat because it’s from a seed.


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