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Dr. Aviv guides readers through healthy dietary choices with targeted recipes, helping them balance their bodies and minds for optimal health and break acid-generating habits for good.

Do you suffer from abdominal bloating; a chronic, nagging cough or sore throat; postnasal drip; a feeling of a lump in the back of your throat; allergies; or shortness of breath? If so, odds are that you are experiencing acid reflux without recognizing its silent symptoms, which can lead to serious long-term health problems, including esophageal cancer.

In The Acid Watcher Diet, Dr. Jonathan Aviv, a leading authority on the diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux disease, helps readers identify those often misunderstood symptoms while providing a proven solution for reducing whole-body acid damage quickly and easily.

His 28-day program is part of a two-phase eating plan, with a healthy balance of both macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants), that works to immediately neutralize acid and relieve the inflammation at the root of acid reflux.

Review

" The Acid Watcher Diet both explains how the varied symptoms of acid reflux arise, and details a program for healing and prevention that can help many, if not most, people avoid the medications commonly prescribed to treat it." —Jane Brody, The New York Times

“Dr. Aviv’s Acid Watcher Diet is a blueprint for using “food as medicine” to not only heal and prevent acid reflux disease but to prevent and heal inflammation throughout the body.”  —Steve Kroft, CBS news, 60 minutes

The Acid Watcher Diet is a great, fast read that functions as both an indispensable voice care roadmap as well as a guide to an empowering lifestyle for acid reflux sufferers, featuring a simple healing diet that benefits not only recording artists, but everyone’s overall health and well-being.” —Craig Kallman, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records

"An illuminating book. The Acid Watcher diet is an easy-to-follow, easy-to-prepare healing diet that is vital not only to treating your acid reflux disease but also to maintaining your overall health." —John Turturro, actor-director

About the Author

Dr. Jonathan E. Aviv, MD, FACS is a world-renowned physician, surgeon, educator, inventor, speaker, and author. He is the clinical director of the Voice and Swallowing Center of ENT and Allergy Associates, the largest ear, nose, and throat private practice group in the United States. He is also clinical professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Dietary Acid Damage

Why We Should All Fear It

Dietary acid damage is one of the foremost health challenges Americans face, affecting more people than heart disease, diabetes, and celiac disease. Recent statistics reveal that incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most common form of acid damage, has more than doubled since 1995; in the United States alone at least sixty million people have acid reflux (the common name for GERD), and worldwide that number leaps to 1.4 billion people. Some researchers have even gone so far as to declare that a global GERD epidemic is taking place.

Since there are no external signs of acid damage, you may not know how pervasive it is. But experts in gastroenterology and otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat [ENT]) see it in their patients every day. Even more alarming than the increase in the frequency of the occurrence is the severity of the symptoms. Over the last year, in my practice alone, I have diagnosed Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially precancerous condition of the esophageal lining, in nine patients under age thirty. That’s a big number for a disease that was once considered rare in people under age fifty, and a startling revelation of how young people with the disease have become. All of these patients had only throat-based symptoms and no heartburn complaints (more on this shortly). Ten years ago this would have been a reportable finding, but not anymore.

 

Acid Damage 2.0: It’s Not Just Heartburn Anymore

What is acid damage? It’s a broad range of conditions that contribute to inflammation and disease in various parts of the body. You’ve likely heard of acid damage in the context of GERD, a condition that a doctor will typically diagnose you with only if you’re experiencing the symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation. Surprisingly, though so many people experience the symptoms, they don’t always know what causes them. Many of my patients ask: What are heartburn and regurgitation exactly, and how will I feel if I have them?

The simple answer is that heartburn occurs when gastric acid from the stomach goes the wrong way, or refluxes, up into the delicate tissues of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation at the bottom of the chest and rib cage that can emanate out through the middle of the chest and toward the throat. Regurgitation is the sensation of food coming back up into your chest and throat after you’ve already swallowed it.

These symptoms are the poster children of acid reflux, but they aren’t the only symptoms related to acid damage--in fact, they’re not even the most common. In my practice, where we see up to seventy thousand people a month in more than forty different offices, over 90 percent of the people diagnosed with acid reflux disease do not have these typical symptoms. They are more likely to have throat-related complaints such as feeling a lumplike sensation in the throat severe enough to cause dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Other common symptoms are chronic cough (which, diagnostically speaking, is cough that persists longer than eight weeks), hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, and sore throat.

If you are experiencing symptoms in which the epicenter of discomfort is your throat, you may have another type of reflux referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), or throatburn reflux. The presence of throatburn reflux doesn’t mean you’re clear of any gastrointestinal acid reflux red flags; in fact, more often than not, a person experiencing throatburn reflux still has heartburn reflux--they just don’t know it, because they can’t feel it. This is because the esophageal tissues have likely been exposed to acid for such a length of time that they’ve been numbed to its effects. This is a symptom of chronic inflammation (discussed in chapter 3). Only an examination of your esophagus could tell for sure if you have heartburn reflux without knowing it.

Undetected or apparent heartburn reflux, or the nagging throat-centered symptoms, can disrupt your sleep, interfere with your enjoyment of food, annoy your significant other, and affect your energy and activity levels. If, like many of my patients, your voice or public speaking is a source of income, even your livelihood may be affected. What most people don’t realize is that their symptoms are the result of years’ and sometimes decades’ worth of damage that has deteriorated cellular integrity and function, initiated disease-causing chronic inflammation, and, in the most serious cases, created conditions for an aggressive and increasingly common form of cancer of the esophagus. While you may not hear a lot about it now, esophageal cancer will be making news headlines in the years to come--unless we do something to stop it.

The good news is that it’s completely within your power to put an end to the symptoms caused by refluxed acid and to curtail the type of internal damage that can leave your esophagus vulnerable to cancer. The solution lies in your diet and learning how to use a different type of measurement than you’re accustomed to in order to gauge whether a food or beverage is “good” or “bad” for you. Instead of letting calories, carbohydrates, or fat dictate your dietary choices, the Acid Watcher Diet will teach you to use a substance’s acidity or pH value to determine whether it will be harmful or healing to you. This practice, which I call being an Acid Watcher, will help you take back control of your health by alleviating symptoms associated with acid reflux without requiring long-term reliance on over-the-counter or prescription medication.

Whether you realize it or not, you already know a little something about this approach to eliminating symptoms of acid reflux. Have you ever noticed, through trial and error, that certain foods “trigger” your reflux? And that eliminating them has produced some relief, even if it’s temporary? Then you’ve been an Acid Watcher in training all along.

What you probably don’t know is that the common understanding of trigger foods doesn’t take into account some of the most popular and frequently consumed foods that can cause and worsen acid reflux. You may have been ingesting these foods and beverages every day for months, even years, without knowing that they’re contributing to your reflux symptoms. Worse, they could have caused enough damage at this point that your esophagus has been numbed to the effects of refluxed acid--which is why your heartburn symptoms have mysteriously disappeared, while your throat symptoms have flared up.

The substances I’m talking about are processed foods and beverages, and not just any processed foods, but those that have been infused with an invisible chemical known as dietary acid. Many of your favorite items that line the shelves of your grocery store have been acidified, by nature and by chemical process, which means so have you. When dietary acid is added to foods and drinks, the result is a diminished pH value and consequently a greater toxicity to your internal tissues. Most vulnerable to this toxicity is the lining of your esophagus, which is the small tube through which all substances pass before they reach your stomach (you’ll learn more about the esophagus in chapter 2).

 

How Dietary Acid Slipped into Your Every Snack and Meal

Dietary acid is in many of the most commonly consumed foods and drinks, even though you probably don’t know it’s there. It’s in canned and jarred soups and vegetables especially if they’ve been pickled, marinated, or fermented. It is in all carbonated beverages and industrially produced fruit juices. It’s present in every product that contains high-fructose corn syrup, even in items that don’t seem to be sweet at all. This ubiquitous and overused sweetener is produced using sulfuric acid and you’ll find it in the most unexpected places, such as in condiments, barbecue sauces, cocktail sauces, spice mixes, even baby food.

You’ll find dietary acid in breads, salad dressings, juices, yogurts, and candy bars, and in the most deleterious acidic substance of all: soda. And that includes all sugar-free and colorless varieties such as flavored seltzer water, which so many health watchers and dieters falsely presume to be safe.

When you consume, on a daily basis, foods and beverages that contain dietary acid, you invite acid damage into your body. The consequence of letting this seemingly innocuous damage continue eventually turns into more than a postmeal nuisance that a few antacids can control.

 

Using Food to Heal--and Prevent--Acid Damage

Changing how we eat and what we eat will hasten the healing, recovery, and prevention of acid reflux. The important first step in reversal and prevention of acid damage is to understand where acid originates in our food supply. One general rule to remember is that the more processed the food is, the more severely it is going to exacerbate acid damage to your aerodigestive tract and beyond. (Aerodigestive is a medical term for the anatomic pathway from your mouth to your stomach, including your vocal cords, windpipe, and lungs.)

An easy way to gauge the level of processing is to consider how likely you would be to find an item growing on a farm, whether from a tree or plant or in the soil, or in a stream. For example, could you pluck an Oreo as though fruit from a tree, or unearth a bushel of fresh-grown spicy nacho cheese chips? Not in a million years. Will you ever stumble upon a refreshing Coca-Cola-filled creek? Only if you’re in a game of Candy Land. It might sound silly, but this thought exercise can be a practical process of elimination when you’re selecting what to eat and drink each day.

Of course, an easier way to know what to eat is to follow the eating plan you’ll find in this book. The Acid Watcher Diet’s primary function is to reduce whole-body acid damage, to help treat acid reflux disease naturally, and to aid in preventing its possible long-term ramifications, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. To meet this function, the diet has been designed to be, first and foremost, low-acid. It eliminates a whole range of dangerous processed foods, invites you to expand your table and palate with natural, delicious, and low-acid alternatives, and reins in the destructive sugar cravings.

Yet the fact that it highlights and eliminates high-acid, processed foods from your diet isn’t what makes this program a standout in the crowded field of health, diet, and nutrition books. After all, most health-conscious people, whether they are medical professionals or enlightened consumers, already know that processed foods are generally bad for you because, being chemically altered, they are a source of inflammation. There are three other angles that give the Acid Watcher program a distinctive edge. First, it identifies food items that are considered healthy by general nutritional standards but are nevertheless extremely harmful to individuals with acid reflux--for example, wine, citrus fruits, raw garlic, raw onion, and tomato. Even the most admired diet plans with a sustained record of benefits--such as the Mediterranean diet--can be bad for Acid Watchers.

The second crucial feature of the Acid Watcher program is that it uses the pH value of foods to identify those that heal or injure consumers in an entirely different way. In other words, just because the food is high in pH doesn’t always mean it is good for an Acid Watcher. Read on.

And the third critical feature is that the diet plan is designed to keep pepsin--the enzyme meant to digest food--in your stomach, so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your body if it ends up in the wrong places. If your diet is too acidic--and it is for most people--pepsin is guaranteed to end up in places you don’t want it. Pepsin awareness is crucial to fighting dietary acid overload and inflammation.

There are two phases of the Acid Watcher Diet. The first is the Healing Phase, which you will follow for 28 days, the minimum needed to heal the tissue that has been damaged by dietary acid. The second is the Maintenance Phase, in which you can bring back some of the foods that have been excluded from the Healing Phase and set up a solid foundation for an Acid Watcher lifestyle for life. Here’s a preview of how each phase will work:

The Healing Phase is a 28-day phase that will feature low-acid foods rich in regenerative phytochemicals ideal for repairing damaged esophageal tissue. Guided by the Rule of 5, you will focus on enjoying foods with the pH of 5 and higher, including lean animal proteins, whole grains, and a range of fruits and vegetables; abiding by this principle will help you keep pepsin in check and drastically curtail any continued acid damage. Foods that promote indigestion and acidification will be eliminated, including carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, mint, and raw onion and garlic. A variety of delicious, whole foods and low-acid, aromatic herbs and spices will be added to expand your repertoire in the kitchen. With three complete meals and two mini-meals per day, you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry or deprived.

Some of my patients initially question the need for 28 days of low-acid eating and have cut short the Healing Phase, especially after they see how quickly it produces desired outcomes of weight loss, higher energy, and bloating reduction. Their improved symptoms trick these patients into thinking that the quick fix has been accomplished. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that 28 days is the minimum amount of time needed for healing tissues that have been exposed to years, decades, and even a lifetime of acid damage. You will typically begin to feel better early on, with symptoms of indigestion and heartburn and throat clearing beginning to subside in a matter of 21 days (depending on severity), but this is simply evidence that the diet is working, not that it should be over.

Needless to say, those patients who’ve tried to take a shortcut to success have actually ended up following the Acid Watcher Diet for longer. It takes just one high-acid slipup to slide your progress back. With the detailed 28-day menu guide, the program has been automated for you--make the commitment to yourself to stick with the plan as it is designed.

Two additional benefits are that the menus are meant to be inexpensive (most daily snacks and meals averaging twenty dollars) and preparation time minimal (most recipes are under thirty minutes). Remember: over four thousand patient success stories and counting (and not a one from someone who’s cut the diet short). Should you fall off the wagon, rest assured that you were not the first and will not be the last.

The Maintenance Phase should last a minimum of two weeks or can be extended for the rest of your life if you want to truly live your best, acid-free life. During this phase, you’ll discover strategies for reintroducing caffeine, select alcoholic beverages such as potato- and corn-based vodka, and cooked garlic and onions into the diet. You will get to include slightly more acidic fruits and vegetables and other dietary staples. This includes select dairy products, fruits such as apples and peppers, and sweeteners like honey and the occasional sliver of dark chocolate.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
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Jill
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This diet saved my life!
Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2017
To say that last year was very difficult for me is quite an understatement. Beginning on NYE 2014, I found myself unable to swallow solid food. After multiple tests and doctors, nobody could quite figure out what was wrong. They would look in my throat, see no blockage,... See more
To say that last year was very difficult for me is quite an understatement. Beginning on NYE 2014, I found myself unable to swallow solid food. After multiple tests and doctors, nobody could quite figure out what was wrong. They would look in my throat, see no blockage, and shrug. One doctor recommended esophageal dilatation and was sure this procedure would solve all my swallowing issues. It didn''t. It was now late August and I had gone almost a full year subsisting on smoothies, Ensure and ice cream. And my frustrated doctors began to suggest it was all in my head. It wasn''t.

Since none of my doctors couldn''t find anything wrong, I began to see a Speech Pathologist for swallow therapy. It was working okay, and I was able to eat some solid food, but I still didn''t feel "normal". After about a month, the Speech Pathologist recommended I see Dr. Aviv. Before Dr. Aviv looked inside my throat, he said, "I already know what''s going to happen, because I''ve seen it a million times. I''m going to look at your throat, it''s going to look like an IED went off in there, and we''re going to cure it with food." Just like that. Totally confident. His confidence inspired mine. And I loved the idea of solving my 9 month saga with heatlhy food instead of drugs or surgery... but would it really work?

In a word... YES! And better than I had hoped. Things I couldn''t dream of swallowing just a month earlier (like salad and chicken) were sliding down nice and easily, because they weren''t harming my throat on the way down. And I was eating so healthy --the healthiest I''ve ever eaten. Nothing processed. Just good, whole foods. And what made it easy to stay on the diet is the fact that all of the recipes are DELICIOUS.

I would thank Dr. Aviv and his life-changing diet for giving me my life back, but that wouldn''t exactly be accurate. I didn''t return to how I was -- I was a better version of who I had been before the swallowing problems occurred, because I became so much healthier. The weight dropped off, and all these months later, my diet is almost exclusively made up of unprocessed foods. I''ve never felt better. I cannot thank Dr. Aviv enough, and I have recommended this book and this diet to more people than I can count at this point. It is a godsend. It saved my life.
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J. McIsaac-Kierklo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
So Worth Reading..
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2018
I rarely write reviews but my experience with this book is worth the time. A little personal background....I visited my doctor 4 years ago complaining of pretty serious distress at the base of my breast bone...thought I was having a heart attack. She told me I had silent... See more
I rarely write reviews but my experience with this book is worth the time. A little personal background....I visited my doctor 4 years ago complaining of pretty serious distress at the base of my breast bone...thought I was having a heart attack. She told me I had silent reflux and instructed me to purchase Prilosec at the pharmacy and take them for 14 days. I did as instructed and once I stopped I began to feel horrible again. She told me to keep taking them..so I did...for 4 years! I attempted to stop and suffered from the worst rebound reflex...was forced to go back on them. Well, it seemed that my 20mgs wasn''t working so well so she put me on a 40mg prescription drug. Yikes! I took them for 2 months and FINALLY decided to take matters into my own hands. I found this book (and dozens more!) and began reading. This book made such sense to me that I decided to give it a try. After about 20 days on this diet I started weaning myself off those damn pills. It''s been 50 days on diet and 30 days on pill weaning. I feel like a different person! I''m expecting that in the next 10 days I''ll be off the pills completely. I''ve had a few rough days, but nothing like what I went through previously. I didn''t make any of his recipes, but followed his advise to the letter. No cheating! It''s a joy to wake up every day feeling great. Oh, and I even dropped a few pounds! I wish I could thank this man in person!!
166 people found this helpful
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AlwaysUseWisdom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
READ THIS BOOK "PRIOR" TO TAKING ALL SORTS OF MEDICATIONS FOR ACID REFLUX or GERDS. My people perish from a lack of knowlege!
Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2018
Okay, this is what happened to me one day...I was just minding my own business. Then suddenly I felt this horrible stuff come in my throat. It burned so badly. WHAT WAS THIS? My daughter had ordered some spicy cuisine and shared it with me. Within, minutes, I was... See more
Okay, this is what happened to me one day...I was just minding my own business. Then suddenly I felt this horrible stuff come in my throat. It burned so badly. WHAT WAS THIS? My daughter had ordered some spicy cuisine and shared it with me. Within, minutes, I was experiencing this awful pain.
Well, as it turns out...it was GERDS! I had noticed that I put on a few pounds over the years..and that I couldn''t eat spicy foods like I use to.
Something was terribly WRONG with my health.

I read this book..did exactly what the authors (M.D.''s) suggested.

Not only did the "acid reflux" subside, but I lost about 18-lbs and I''m still losing!
Can I still eat "spicy" foods" Yes, but in moderation; however, I did give up carbonation and a lot of "unneeded" carbs & sugar.
I''m elated to say I GAINED my health back!:-D

If I hadn''t read this book-The Acid Watcher Diet"...I more than likely would have been prescribed all sorts of MEDICATIONS.
I''m so grateful I ordered this book. It truly helped me overcome acid reflux! There is a lot of TRUTH in that scripture (my people perish from a lack of knowledge).
Get some knowledge from this book-The Acid Watcher Diet!
90 people found this helpful
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Satya Kumar
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good information but hard to follow.
Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2017
Dr. Aviv’s definitely provides a thorough understanding of what is happening to our bodies if you have gerd/lpr/ or related illnesses. My problem with the book is that he suggests a specific test over an endoscopy which does not allow for the scope to look far enough down... See more
Dr. Aviv’s definitely provides a thorough understanding of what is happening to our bodies if you have gerd/lpr/ or related illnesses. My problem with the book is that he suggests a specific test over an endoscopy which does not allow for the scope to look far enough down your stomach, and also scaring you into believing you can get an illness from bacteria. As an educated woman, I had to read his book twice to better understand the diet and I still feel confused. Of course, there’s the overwhelming piece of it all, but his healing phase is all over the place. There’s a food list on page 141 that you take to the grocery store which is very limited. A few pages later, there are more foods and then every further in there are others. For instance nowhere on the grocery list does it say peas are allowed or black beans for instance but yet they are allowed. It’s also not clear how to pair some of the foods that are rally not allowed unless paired correctly (honey, berries etc). It would be nice to know how to pair these so they can be eaten outside of his own recipes. The book struggles to accommodate for anyone who suffers from food intolerances such as eggs and nuts and doesn’t provide any details on if sunflower seed butter is ok (sunflower oil is not, but sunflower seeds are!). It’s a very hard diet and it projects a one size fits all approach. There are many people who have been on the diet for months longer than suggested per stage who still suffer from daily dibitating symptoms. I hope his upcoming cookbook is not at difficult to follow. And any future editions could stand to be better organized. All in all, it’s worth a read, or two and I’m willing to commit to it for now.
135 people found this helpful
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Don
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Changed My Life - Nothing Short of a Miracle For Eliminating Acid Reflux !!
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
I''ve been an Amazon customer for over a decade and never wrote a review, but this book changed my life and solved the mystery of my Acid Reflux and so since I couldn''t thank Dr Aviv in person, at least I could write a sincere public thank you for better educating me on Acid... See more
I''ve been an Amazon customer for over a decade and never wrote a review, but this book changed my life and solved the mystery of my Acid Reflux and so since I couldn''t thank Dr Aviv in person, at least I could write a sincere public thank you for better educating me on Acid Reflux and helping me figure out what the heck was causing it. I knew for the most part over the last ten years what typically caused acid Reflux and even since I was a child I knew there were just certain things I couldn''t eat or I would pay dearly for it. However, this book helped identify foods I never thought could cause Acid Reflux and also helped me better understand Ph levels of foods to just finally enjoy life again without the nagging Acid Reflux monster lurking in the background. I absolutely do not like taking any medication and always thought my body was simply trying to tell me that some foods I just couldn''t eat, but who would have thunk it could have been "good for you" foods like Citrus, Fruits, etc. Further enlightening was the fact that while some foods are great for you, too much of them can cause acid Reflux - for me that was bananas - 1/2 banana vs a whole made all the difference - incredible!

Thank you Dr Aviv. I have shared my discovery of your book and how it has helped me with anyone and everyone I can. Beating Acid Reflux "naturally" has been a wonderful achievement in life and not relying on big pharma or having to remember to carry antacids with me like they were some kind of life saver has been such a relief.

The book is well written and easy to follow. Dr Aviv explains the root causes of Acid Reflux and provides historical background on how our food has changed over the past decades, contributing to the Acid Reflux problems many of us experience today. The Ph scales/levels are extremely helpful and make for a quick reference for determining acidity of common foods. The recipes are easy, ingredients are readily available and simply work. The healing and maintenance schedules make it easy to succeed and follow along.

I highly recommend this book to anyone experiencing Acid Reflux, indigestion and/or heartburn. I''ve tried everything over the last ten years to figure it out and nothing worked as well as what Dr Aviv suggests in his book.
83 people found this helpful
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talos72
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read with a grain of salt...
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
There is a bit of scaremongering and marketing involved in this book...a bit much for comfort. The author spends time scaring the reader about the rise of esophageal cancer as a major epidemic (mind you obesity and heart disease handily beat throat cancer in probably every... See more
There is a bit of scaremongering and marketing involved in this book...a bit much for comfort. The author spends time scaring the reader about the rise of esophageal cancer as a major epidemic (mind you obesity and heart disease handily beat throat cancer in probably every survey). Maybe as an ENT your view is shaded by your practice since you see throats all day.

Beyond that the book spends a good deal talking about the science of GERD and related ailments while attempting to draw conclusions about acidification of processed food and acidic foods in general as the main culprit of GERD ailments. Call me a skeptic as the science here is not as clear cut. Yes, some acidic foods are obvious triggers for GERD sufferers, but to whole sale condemn citrus, wine, tomatoes, onions and garlic as the bane of stomach and throat problems and drawing a line to throat cancer is at best suspect. Yes it is good to reduce consumption of processed food, but does it make a difference if you salt your food with kosher salt versus Celtic salt?

I can''t help but seeing this anti acid crusade as yet another fad in the color of Atkins a generation ago.

You can save yourself the money and follow simple rules to reduce GERD and LPR:
Lose weight, avoid trigger foods, avoid fried foods for a while, eat more fiber. The book offers little more than what can be found with bit of research. Following the diet strictly will be challenging as it is painfully restrictive not to mention how a lower income person will have difficulty accessing expensive ingredients or stores to prepare many of the recipes: good luck finding organic almond milk with no preservatives. I found the diet to be as stressful and difficult as dealing with my original symptoms, especially having to follow it over months. The author confesses that in most cases the healing period can take much longer than the marketing friendly number of 28 days the title suggests.

Does the diet work? Maybe. Can you achieve similar results by following certain basic tenets known for years? Probably.

Take the information in the book especially the part pertaining to its science and logic with a grain of salt. There are some interesting recipes there however.
41 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Get this book to heal yourself
Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2017
Anyone who has throat burn, a lump in their throat or difficulty swallowing MUST get this book. My acid reflux symptoms started with post nasal drip after a heavy meal fifteen years ago. Five years ago I was losing my voice for no reason at all after one or two glasses of... See more
Anyone who has throat burn, a lump in their throat or difficulty swallowing MUST get this book. My acid reflux symptoms started with post nasal drip after a heavy meal fifteen years ago. Five years ago I was losing my voice for no reason at all after one or two glasses of wine, which progressed to fullness and bloating with horrible nighttime acid reflux and for the past few months along with throat burn and regurgitation. I started the diet on a Sunday and by Wednesday my issues were practically non-existent. I had just had an upper endoscopy a few months prior which came back negative. I''m so grateful for Dr. Aviv''s expertise, and the healthy plan he has put together in this book. NOTHING else has ever worked for me - not PPI''s, not TUMS, not apple cider vinegar (Dr. Aviv''s MD insights on ACV are in the book), not paleo, not grain brain (straightforward insights on eliminating specific nutrients from your diet are also included, as well as why your body needs all macro and micro nutrients), not even other MD formulated acid reflux diets worked for me. I can not remember when I felt this good (and I''m only four days into the four week healing phase of the diet). I sleep better, have more energy, my skin looks amazing, my mood is fantastic. The best part is that I am experiencing very little chest pain (and no throat burn...that scared me so much). I hope you get this book for yourself. This is the diet that will absolutely cure your acid reflux and heal your body. Just this past week in all news channels new research came out that said that the American junk filled diet is the biggest cause of all major diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke). The Acid Watcher Diet is a diet you can live off of for the rest of your life and feel good about. At the end the second phase of the diet, the healing phase, you get to add some things back into your diet that are not allow in the healing phase or the maintenance phase.
238 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
THE book on Silent Reflux...
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2017
If you are reading this, you are probably one of the increasing number of people looking for relief from the epidemic known as "Silent Reflux". If so, look no further. Dr. Aviv has written the definitive prescription for relief with "The Acid Watcher... See more
If you are reading this, you are probably one of the increasing number of people looking for relief from the epidemic known as "Silent Reflux".
If so, look no further. Dr. Aviv has written the definitive prescription for relief with "The Acid Watcher Diet". It is scientifically cutting-edge research, yet immensely readable with practical advice, delicious recipes, and a 28-Day eating plan to jumpstart the healing process.
If you are suffering from chronic cough, postnasal drip, hoarseness, or "heartburn" of the throat, this inexpensive book may save you thousands in Dr. visits and medications. Do yourself or a loved one a favor and check it out.
169 people found this helpful
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J. Hopwood
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book was not for me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2018
Well written and informative book which gives one ideas for eating a low acid diet and following a regime which can prevent acid formation. Unfortunately this is an American book written by an American author and some of the recipes are clearly written with the American...See more
Well written and informative book which gives one ideas for eating a low acid diet and following a regime which can prevent acid formation. Unfortunately this is an American book written by an American author and some of the recipes are clearly written with the American palate in mind. There is clear product placement within these recipes with reference to Celtic Salt, which is a registered product, along with a link to the manufacturer Selina Naturally. Celtic Salt is in almost every recipe. It is sea salt, described as being rich in vital minerals and trace elements. Having read a lot about it''s benefits I cannot see that it is any different to normal sea salt for its benefits AND it uses quite large quantities which, for people with hypertension is NOT healthy. Would I recommend it - No. There are many books out there which explain acid reflux. Sufferers seem to be clutching a straws hailing this book as a bible. The AWD, as it is referred to, is being touted as THE answer. It is not, and I find the Americanism of it unhelpful.
127 people found this helpful
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Caroline
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The 4 week plan works - give it a try
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 9, 2019
I bought this book as the author correctly stated that I had silent acid reflux (which I have unknowingly had for many years but had not been diagnosed by any of the doctors I have seen - mainly because my symptoms are a constant cough, thick mucus in my throat, post nasal...See more
I bought this book as the author correctly stated that I had silent acid reflux (which I have unknowingly had for many years but had not been diagnosed by any of the doctors I have seen - mainly because my symptoms are a constant cough, thick mucus in my throat, post nasal drip, shortness of breath etc.) He was the first person to make me put two and two together and realise what was happening to me. The beginning of the book just made me feel so much better, before I even started the Meal Plan, as it meant someone out there knew and understood on a medical level what I had been going through. I have tried to stick to the 4 week “healing” diet as strictly as I can ..... and ITS DEFINITELY WORTH IT. The first week is expensive and I thought “Wow” ... I don’t know if I can afford this - but if I had spent more time going through the recipes and suggested weekly Meal Plan in detail, I could have seen that I didn''t really need to buy. For example, Agave Nectar [1 tbsp a week) or the Bragg’s Liquid Amino ..... I could have replaced those meals with other ones in the book with less unusual ingredients. (Most of the unusual ingredients I found in Holland & Barrett or Waitrose). Organic chicken is expensive wherever you buy it! Also, many things last for the 4 weeks and beyond, so it was only the first week that was more costly. The Meal Plan can be hard work in the first week .... constantly checking ahead to see what you need to soak or cook the night before to prepare your meals for the next day or for later that day. However, once the first week is over it becomes easier, as you know more about what you are doing and what you enjoy eating, so you can start to replace some of the recipes on the Meal Planner with others given in the book. It is fairly easy to make the recipes vegetarian or stick to the fish recipes instead of using the organic chicken ones, if you want to. I am now at the end of my third week - and my life is changing. I feel SO much better. I am eating horribly healthily, which I would never have imagined in a million years! Many of my symptoms have gone, or are definitely better - and as an additional bonus, I have lost about 12lbs in weight whilst still eating well and not starving! The weight has gone from around my middle “tyre” and not from my wrists (or somewhere else you can’t notice, which is what usually happens!) I can really see the physical difference and my trousers are now too big at the waist. I am now looking forward to the “Maintenance” phase, where I can start re-introducing foods and drink that I have cut out over the last few weeks. I am determined to keep this going in some form or other, after making all this effort to finally help myself. I have been in denial about my conditions for so many years and have not previously had the determination to see something like this through. I am only going to introduce one or two things a week, so I can’t get confused if any symptoms re-occur. I will know what acts as a “trigger” and that I have to stop eating/drinking it. I’m not sure what I’m going to start with - but it may just be a cup of weak coffee or a cheese sandwich for lunch (in brown bread, of course!) I am happy to continue with the breakfasts and evening meals - it’s lunchtime food, especially if I’m out, that I would struggle with. We’ll see. Anyway, if you have also decided/reached the stage where you have to do something, as you cannot bear another day of sore throats, acrid sour taste in your mouth etc. then this is for you. You will at least give your oesophagus, throat and mouth a respite from acid for a while. 4 weeks is an easily manageable timescale to give it a try. Even if you only read the first part of the book and don’t even try the Meal Plan, you will learn a lot about how modern foods are causing the reactions in our bodies today. A very interesting read which is set out in an orderly, easy to read and understand format.
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Skylark
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Helpful, but again American.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2018
This book is extremely helpful for those with no understanding of the underlying causes of reflux. For those who have had a problem for sometime the most useful information is the list of food ph values (and of course recipes, it would be good if hospitals and doctors...See more
This book is extremely helpful for those with no understanding of the underlying causes of reflux. For those who have had a problem for sometime the most useful information is the list of food ph values (and of course recipes, it would be good if hospitals and doctors handed that out here). From these you are able to create your own meals to fit your budget. The Americanism is bearable, just don''t understand why we are not producing this type of information here. My main criticism is that as with most advice to reflux/heartburn suffers, overweight, fast food consumption (poor diet), alcohol and smoking are seen as the main causes. Unfortunately none of these apply to me so there isn''t much left for me to give up. So while increasing my fruit and veg intake and sticking to the list of foods on the ph value food lists has helped, there is no advice for those who actually don''t need to loose weight. All in all this is a very useful tool and I would suggest give it a go, it will certainly be of benefit to most people.
55 people found this helpful
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P.C. W.
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hate to give this book 2 stars, but...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2019
Even though I had high hopes when I bought the book sadly it has done nothing for me and I am getting very downhearted. I have been on this diet for 3 weeks, it is hard to follow but I have been doing my best. My hoarseness is actually getting WORSE along with the throat...See more
Even though I had high hopes when I bought the book sadly it has done nothing for me and I am getting very downhearted. I have been on this diet for 3 weeks, it is hard to follow but I have been doing my best. My hoarseness is actually getting WORSE along with the throat clearing and cough... I have looked for a contact email to Dr Aviv but have not been able to find one. (Frequently at the end of books such as this there is a contact address). I am also taking Nizatidine 150mgms at night and have risen the head of my bed 6 inches, so I am really trying hard with this LPR but nothing has worked yet. This book dwells a lot on oesophageal cancer which is a downer to start with, I want to concentrate on the positive not the negative, but now that the idea has been planted I have this horror all the time at the back of my mind and when after suffering this regimen for 3 week I seem to be getting worse not better it is very scary. I feel as though I need to tell Dr Aviv (since he wrote the book) and let him write an answer to that. I recently had a full count blood test and my doctor said that if anything sinister had been going on it would have shown up in the test, and as the test turned out to be normal I should have been placated, but when symptoms continue and even get worse in spite of my best efforts, then what do to? Where to turn...? My considered opinion is that the chances of being helped by a doctor are slim to none. I have literally seen dozens. It is about time more money was poured into researching this terrible acid reflux condition which affects millions and must cost a fortune in missed time off work because the pain is so debilitating, not to mention the erosion of the vocal cords! I am still thumbing through this book, marking passages, underlining recipes, vegetables and fruit that I can eat. Like so many others I had little to give up, I am not a smoker, I do not drink alcohol, I do not eat processed food, I am seriously under weight, (the last thing I want is to lose more weight) I have only been drinking water for years. Sooooo as I said,2 stars from me so far, but I will try longer, as they say, (and I seriously mean it) "never say die". P.S. The recipe for Dr Aviv''s Power Bar is very good indeed.
22 people found this helpful
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Sheilagh Armstrong-Jones
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very informative and easy to follow with up to date health information.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2018
Well put together, informative, up to date book. I am currently 3 weeks into the acid diet and feeling much better after being diagnosed with a sliding hiatal hernia and being told to change my eating habits. I have downloaded a copy to my Kindle and would definitely...See more
Well put together, informative, up to date book. I am currently 3 weeks into the acid diet and feeling much better after being diagnosed with a sliding hiatal hernia and being told to change my eating habits. I have downloaded a copy to my Kindle and would definitely recommend this book to anyone with GERD etc.
22 people found this helpful
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Description

Product Description

Dr. Aviv guides readers through healthy dietary choices with targeted recipes, helping them balance their bodies and minds for optimal health and break acid-generating habits for good.

Do you suffer from abdominal bloating; a chronic, nagging cough or sore throat; postnasal drip; a feeling of a lump in the back of your throat; allergies; or shortness of breath? If so, odds are that you are experiencing acid reflux without recognizing its silent symptoms, which can lead to serious long-term health problems, including esophageal cancer.

In The Acid Watcher Diet, Dr. Jonathan Aviv, a leading authority on the diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux disease, helps readers identify those often misunderstood symptoms while providing a proven solution for reducing whole-body acid damage quickly and easily.

His 28-day program is part of a two-phase eating plan, with a healthy balance of both macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants), that works to immediately neutralize acid and relieve the inflammation at the root of acid reflux.

Review

" The Acid Watcher Diet both explains how the varied symptoms of acid reflux arise, and details a program for healing and prevention that can help many, if not most, people avoid the medications commonly prescribed to treat it." —Jane Brody, The New York Times

“Dr. Aviv’s Acid Watcher Diet is a blueprint for using “food as medicine” to not only heal and prevent acid reflux disease but to prevent and heal inflammation throughout the body.”  —Steve Kroft, CBS news, 60 minutes

The Acid Watcher Diet is a great, fast read that functions as both an indispensable voice care roadmap as well as a guide to an empowering lifestyle for acid reflux sufferers, featuring a simple healing diet that benefits not only recording artists, but everyone’s overall health and well-being.” —Craig Kallman, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records

"An illuminating book. The Acid Watcher diet is an easy-to-follow, easy-to-prepare healing diet that is vital not only to treating your acid reflux disease but also to maintaining your overall health." —John Turturro, actor-director

About the Author

Dr. Jonathan E. Aviv, MD, FACS is a world-renowned physician, surgeon, educator, inventor, speaker, and author. He is the clinical director of the Voice and Swallowing Center of ENT and Allergy Associates, the largest ear, nose, and throat private practice group in the United States. He is also clinical professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Dietary Acid Damage

Why We Should All Fear It

Dietary acid damage is one of the foremost health challenges Americans face, affecting more people than heart disease, diabetes, and celiac disease. Recent statistics reveal that incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the most common form of acid damage, has more than doubled since 1995; in the United States alone at least sixty million people have acid reflux (the common name for GERD), and worldwide that number leaps to 1.4 billion people. Some researchers have even gone so far as to declare that a global GERD epidemic is taking place.

Since there are no external signs of acid damage, you may not know how pervasive it is. But experts in gastroenterology and otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat [ENT]) see it in their patients every day. Even more alarming than the increase in the frequency of the occurrence is the severity of the symptoms. Over the last year, in my practice alone, I have diagnosed Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially precancerous condition of the esophageal lining, in nine patients under age thirty. That’s a big number for a disease that was once considered rare in people under age fifty, and a startling revelation of how young people with the disease have become. All of these patients had only throat-based symptoms and no heartburn complaints (more on this shortly). Ten years ago this would have been a reportable finding, but not anymore.

 

Acid Damage 2.0: It’s Not Just Heartburn Anymore

What is acid damage? It’s a broad range of conditions that contribute to inflammation and disease in various parts of the body. You’ve likely heard of acid damage in the context of GERD, a condition that a doctor will typically diagnose you with only if you’re experiencing the symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation. Surprisingly, though so many people experience the symptoms, they don’t always know what causes them. Many of my patients ask: What are heartburn and regurgitation exactly, and how will I feel if I have them?

The simple answer is that heartburn occurs when gastric acid from the stomach goes the wrong way, or refluxes, up into the delicate tissues of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation at the bottom of the chest and rib cage that can emanate out through the middle of the chest and toward the throat. Regurgitation is the sensation of food coming back up into your chest and throat after you’ve already swallowed it.

These symptoms are the poster children of acid reflux, but they aren’t the only symptoms related to acid damage--in fact, they’re not even the most common. In my practice, where we see up to seventy thousand people a month in more than forty different offices, over 90 percent of the people diagnosed with acid reflux disease do not have these typical symptoms. They are more likely to have throat-related complaints such as feeling a lumplike sensation in the throat severe enough to cause dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Other common symptoms are chronic cough (which, diagnostically speaking, is cough that persists longer than eight weeks), hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, and sore throat.

If you are experiencing symptoms in which the epicenter of discomfort is your throat, you may have another type of reflux referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), or throatburn reflux. The presence of throatburn reflux doesn’t mean you’re clear of any gastrointestinal acid reflux red flags; in fact, more often than not, a person experiencing throatburn reflux still has heartburn reflux--they just don’t know it, because they can’t feel it. This is because the esophageal tissues have likely been exposed to acid for such a length of time that they’ve been numbed to its effects. This is a symptom of chronic inflammation (discussed in chapter 3). Only an examination of your esophagus could tell for sure if you have heartburn reflux without knowing it.

Undetected or apparent heartburn reflux, or the nagging throat-centered symptoms, can disrupt your sleep, interfere with your enjoyment of food, annoy your significant other, and affect your energy and activity levels. If, like many of my patients, your voice or public speaking is a source of income, even your livelihood may be affected. What most people don’t realize is that their symptoms are the result of years’ and sometimes decades’ worth of damage that has deteriorated cellular integrity and function, initiated disease-causing chronic inflammation, and, in the most serious cases, created conditions for an aggressive and increasingly common form of cancer of the esophagus. While you may not hear a lot about it now, esophageal cancer will be making news headlines in the years to come--unless we do something to stop it.

The good news is that it’s completely within your power to put an end to the symptoms caused by refluxed acid and to curtail the type of internal damage that can leave your esophagus vulnerable to cancer. The solution lies in your diet and learning how to use a different type of measurement than you’re accustomed to in order to gauge whether a food or beverage is “good” or “bad” for you. Instead of letting calories, carbohydrates, or fat dictate your dietary choices, the Acid Watcher Diet will teach you to use a substance’s acidity or pH value to determine whether it will be harmful or healing to you. This practice, which I call being an Acid Watcher, will help you take back control of your health by alleviating symptoms associated with acid reflux without requiring long-term reliance on over-the-counter or prescription medication.

Whether you realize it or not, you already know a little something about this approach to eliminating symptoms of acid reflux. Have you ever noticed, through trial and error, that certain foods “trigger” your reflux? And that eliminating them has produced some relief, even if it’s temporary? Then you’ve been an Acid Watcher in training all along.

What you probably don’t know is that the common understanding of trigger foods doesn’t take into account some of the most popular and frequently consumed foods that can cause and worsen acid reflux. You may have been ingesting these foods and beverages every day for months, even years, without knowing that they’re contributing to your reflux symptoms. Worse, they could have caused enough damage at this point that your esophagus has been numbed to the effects of refluxed acid--which is why your heartburn symptoms have mysteriously disappeared, while your throat symptoms have flared up.

The substances I’m talking about are processed foods and beverages, and not just any processed foods, but those that have been infused with an invisible chemical known as dietary acid. Many of your favorite items that line the shelves of your grocery store have been acidified, by nature and by chemical process, which means so have you. When dietary acid is added to foods and drinks, the result is a diminished pH value and consequently a greater toxicity to your internal tissues. Most vulnerable to this toxicity is the lining of your esophagus, which is the small tube through which all substances pass before they reach your stomach (you’ll learn more about the esophagus in chapter 2).

 

How Dietary Acid Slipped into Your Every Snack and Meal

Dietary acid is in many of the most commonly consumed foods and drinks, even though you probably don’t know it’s there. It’s in canned and jarred soups and vegetables especially if they’ve been pickled, marinated, or fermented. It is in all carbonated beverages and industrially produced fruit juices. It’s present in every product that contains high-fructose corn syrup, even in items that don’t seem to be sweet at all. This ubiquitous and overused sweetener is produced using sulfuric acid and you’ll find it in the most unexpected places, such as in condiments, barbecue sauces, cocktail sauces, spice mixes, even baby food.

You’ll find dietary acid in breads, salad dressings, juices, yogurts, and candy bars, and in the most deleterious acidic substance of all: soda. And that includes all sugar-free and colorless varieties such as flavored seltzer water, which so many health watchers and dieters falsely presume to be safe.

When you consume, on a daily basis, foods and beverages that contain dietary acid, you invite acid damage into your body. The consequence of letting this seemingly innocuous damage continue eventually turns into more than a postmeal nuisance that a few antacids can control.

 

Using Food to Heal--and Prevent--Acid Damage

Changing how we eat and what we eat will hasten the healing, recovery, and prevention of acid reflux. The important first step in reversal and prevention of acid damage is to understand where acid originates in our food supply. One general rule to remember is that the more processed the food is, the more severely it is going to exacerbate acid damage to your aerodigestive tract and beyond. (Aerodigestive is a medical term for the anatomic pathway from your mouth to your stomach, including your vocal cords, windpipe, and lungs.)

An easy way to gauge the level of processing is to consider how likely you would be to find an item growing on a farm, whether from a tree or plant or in the soil, or in a stream. For example, could you pluck an Oreo as though fruit from a tree, or unearth a bushel of fresh-grown spicy nacho cheese chips? Not in a million years. Will you ever stumble upon a refreshing Coca-Cola-filled creek? Only if you’re in a game of Candy Land. It might sound silly, but this thought exercise can be a practical process of elimination when you’re selecting what to eat and drink each day.

Of course, an easier way to know what to eat is to follow the eating plan you’ll find in this book. The Acid Watcher Diet’s primary function is to reduce whole-body acid damage, to help treat acid reflux disease naturally, and to aid in preventing its possible long-term ramifications, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. To meet this function, the diet has been designed to be, first and foremost, low-acid. It eliminates a whole range of dangerous processed foods, invites you to expand your table and palate with natural, delicious, and low-acid alternatives, and reins in the destructive sugar cravings.

Yet the fact that it highlights and eliminates high-acid, processed foods from your diet isn’t what makes this program a standout in the crowded field of health, diet, and nutrition books. After all, most health-conscious people, whether they are medical professionals or enlightened consumers, already know that processed foods are generally bad for you because, being chemically altered, they are a source of inflammation. There are three other angles that give the Acid Watcher program a distinctive edge. First, it identifies food items that are considered healthy by general nutritional standards but are nevertheless extremely harmful to individuals with acid reflux--for example, wine, citrus fruits, raw garlic, raw onion, and tomato. Even the most admired diet plans with a sustained record of benefits--such as the Mediterranean diet--can be bad for Acid Watchers.

The second crucial feature of the Acid Watcher program is that it uses the pH value of foods to identify those that heal or injure consumers in an entirely different way. In other words, just because the food is high in pH doesn’t always mean it is good for an Acid Watcher. Read on.

And the third critical feature is that the diet plan is designed to keep pepsin--the enzyme meant to digest food--in your stomach, so that it doesn’t wreak havoc on your body if it ends up in the wrong places. If your diet is too acidic--and it is for most people--pepsin is guaranteed to end up in places you don’t want it. Pepsin awareness is crucial to fighting dietary acid overload and inflammation.

There are two phases of the Acid Watcher Diet. The first is the Healing Phase, which you will follow for 28 days, the minimum needed to heal the tissue that has been damaged by dietary acid. The second is the Maintenance Phase, in which you can bring back some of the foods that have been excluded from the Healing Phase and set up a solid foundation for an Acid Watcher lifestyle for life. Here’s a preview of how each phase will work:

The Healing Phase is a 28-day phase that will feature low-acid foods rich in regenerative phytochemicals ideal for repairing damaged esophageal tissue. Guided by the Rule of 5, you will focus on enjoying foods with the pH of 5 and higher, including lean animal proteins, whole grains, and a range of fruits and vegetables; abiding by this principle will help you keep pepsin in check and drastically curtail any continued acid damage. Foods that promote indigestion and acidification will be eliminated, including carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, mint, and raw onion and garlic. A variety of delicious, whole foods and low-acid, aromatic herbs and spices will be added to expand your repertoire in the kitchen. With three complete meals and two mini-meals per day, you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry or deprived.

Some of my patients initially question the need for 28 days of low-acid eating and have cut short the Healing Phase, especially after they see how quickly it produces desired outcomes of weight loss, higher energy, and bloating reduction. Their improved symptoms trick these patients into thinking that the quick fix has been accomplished. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that 28 days is the minimum amount of time needed for healing tissues that have been exposed to years, decades, and even a lifetime of acid damage. You will typically begin to feel better early on, with symptoms of indigestion and heartburn and throat clearing beginning to subside in a matter of 21 days (depending on severity), but this is simply evidence that the diet is working, not that it should be over.

Needless to say, those patients who’ve tried to take a shortcut to success have actually ended up following the Acid Watcher Diet for longer. It takes just one high-acid slipup to slide your progress back. With the detailed 28-day menu guide, the program has been automated for you--make the commitment to yourself to stick with the plan as it is designed.

Two additional benefits are that the menus are meant to be inexpensive (most daily snacks and meals averaging twenty dollars) and preparation time minimal (most recipes are under thirty minutes). Remember: over four thousand patient success stories and counting (and not a one from someone who’s cut the diet short). Should you fall off the wagon, rest assured that you were not the first and will not be the last.

The Maintenance Phase should last a minimum of two weeks or can be extended for the rest of your life if you want to truly live your best, acid-free life. During this phase, you’ll discover strategies for reintroducing caffeine, select alcoholic beverages such as potato- and corn-based vodka, and cooked garlic and onions into the diet. You will get to include slightly more acidic fruits and vegetables and other dietary staples. This includes select dairy products, fruits such as apples and peppers, and sweeteners like honey and the occasional sliver of dark chocolate.

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