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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Why are onions and garlic in a recipe labeled "safe for those with GERD?"

The Six Bean Soup recipe says that it's safe for those with GERD / Acid Reflux, but wouldn't the onions and garlic both be GERD triggers?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a wooden spoon full of a variety of dried beans

For a lot of people with GERD, cooking onions for a prolonged period of time will keep them from being as much of a trigger. This, combined with the fact that there is actually very little onion per serving (less than 1 ounce per serving), means that it may be safe.

The key to cooking for yourself with GERD is for many people trial and error. The research is not well defined, unfortunately. You can start with a recipe like this one with little onion or garlic that has been cooked for a long time to see how it might affect you.

As with all recipes, if these two are major triggers another good strategy is to simply leave them out and see if you still like the recipe.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet