According to WebMD, individuals suffering from a hiatal hernia benefit from eating low-acid-producing foods that are less likely to aggravate their symptoms. Examples include non-citrus fruits such as bananas and apples. Preparing food in a healthy way also helps to avoid the heartburn and indigestion that comes with this condition.
Grains, such as pasta, bread, rice and cereals, are an important source of carbohydrates and provide energy for the body. Safe proteins include egg whites, lean meats, chicken, fish and low-fat dairy products, including low-fat cheeses. Vegetables, including green beans, peas, carrots and broccoli, generally do not cause any problems. WebMD states that it is even possible for hiatal hernia sufferers to enjoy snacks, including pretzels, baked potato chips and desserts, as long as peppermint, chocolate and fatty foods are avoided. Sufferers also need to limit their salt intake and their use of spices and fat in food preparation.
The Mayo Clinic suggests lifestyle changes to help reduce the pain of a hiatal hernia. Eating smaller meals throughout the day often reduces the chances of heartburn. In addition, sufferers benefit from avoiding meals and snacks at least two hours before heading to bed. Both alcohol and tobacco use have the potential to make the pain worse.