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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet



Are Nutri-Grain breakfast bars safe for those with GERD?

Are Kelloggs Cherry Nutri-Grain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars good for Barrett's Esophagus and acid reflux?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a box of Nutri-Grain soft baked breakfast bars, cherry variety

It's hard to say for certain whether these breakfast bars might provoke your acid reflux. For most folks acid reflux triggers are individual, so one person might have a reaction to the Nutri-Grain product and another person might not.

The most common foods that people complain of as being triggers include:

Whole milk products
Acidic fruits and juices (orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon)
Onions
Tomatoes and tomato products
Vinegars or foods cured in vinegar (pickles, relish)
Foods very high in sugar
Fatty meats
Fried foods
Recipes that are very high in fat
Alcohol
Coffee
Tea
Carbonated sodas
Spicy foods
Peppermint
Chocolate

In general, I am not a big fan of cereal or breakfast bars, as it makes a lot of sense to sit down and have a meal that is satisfying rather than eating on the run. If you are going to choose a bar, it's a good idea to look for those that are lower in sugar and higher in fiber. Likewise, keeping an eye out for bars that contain acidic fruits might be a good strategy to help prevent your reflux.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet