7 Reflux-Friendly Snacks With Zero WW Points

7 Reflux-Friendly Snacks With Zero WW Points

Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 by Kitty Broihier

Quick and easy snack combos that satisfy hunger, save WW Points, and don’t trigger reflux.

If you’re a member of Weight Watchers or follow the WW Points Program, you’re probably a pro at mentally tallying the number of Points you’ve consumed. But keeping track of all that plus thinking about what you’d like to eat and which foods to avoid to keep reflux at bay, can be a lot to juggle—especially when you’re hungry! For this reason, it pays to have a few staple snack ideas at the ready that check all the boxes. Luckily, the WW Zero Point foods list is extensive, and many reflux-friendly foods are on it, too. 

Smart strategies for snacks that won’t attack later

Snacking is a fact of life for many people— no shame there! Putting together a tasty snack is pretty easy, and without much extra effort, you can stack the odds in your favor (and against reflux) by doing the following: 

  • Keep your snack small. Snacks are not intended to be meal-sized; their role is to tide you over between meals. If you routinely eat large snacks, you’re less apt to want to eat a meal, which means you’ll miss out on the benefits and satisfaction of balanced meals. 
  • Don’t snack all day long. Most snacks don’t deliver the nutritional content of meals, but they still contain calories. Being a “grazer” increases the likelihood of taking in plenty of calories but not getting the nourishment you need. What’s more, snacking throughout the day instead of eating regular meals makes reflux more likely. How? Stimulating more frequent gastric acid releases provides more chances for acidic stomach contents to back up into the esophagus and cause reflux. 
  • Make smart food choices. Snacks can fill nutritional “holes” in your day, but only if you intentionally plan them wisely. Too many fun snacks and not enough nutritious snacks can lead to weight gain, a risk factor for GERD and reflux.
  • Avoid snacking within 2-3 hours of bedtime. Acid secretion is highest between 8 p.m. and midnight, and nighttime snacking is generally associated with increased reflux

Zero Points foods to combine into reflux-friendly snacks

Plenty of WW Zero Point foods work well for healthy snacks. Zero Point foods are generally low in fat and certainly aren’t fried, which is helpful. And don’t worry; there are GERD- and reflux-friendly options within each category of Zero Point foods. 

Here are the food categories we have to work with to make Zero Point noshes:

  • non-starchy vegetables
  • fruits
  • egg
  • yogurt and cottage cheese
  • fish and shellfish
  • chicken and turkey breast
  • beans, peas and lentils
  • tofu and tempeh
  • corn and popcorn

Keep in mind that the Zero Point foods are whole foods, so while some are fine for snacking on as they are, others may need a little jazzing up with ingredients that won’t cause you any reflux issues (and won’t add any WW Points, either). You can often do this by adding fresh or dried herbs, seasonings, or extracts.  

Also, the Zero Point foods list definitely does include some reflux-triggering options, including:

  • hot chili peppers
  • scallions and leeks 
  • salsa and tomatoes
  • citrus fruit  

An easy “formula” for Zero Point snacking

Generally, a healthy snack that satisfies but is reasonably sized is made up of at least two food groups. It should provide energy, some fiber, and some protein or fat for satiety. Fatty foods are not on the Zero Point list, so the simple formula for putting together a totally point-free snack can be simplified as: 

 1 Zero Point carbohydrate serving + 1 Zero Point protein serving

= Zero Point snack

Zero Point food serving sizes are noted on the list, so definitely keep an eye on that. You could also use smaller amounts of multiple Zero Point foods to concoct your delicious snack. Here are some examples of what counts as a serving:

Zero Point Carbohydrate servings

  • One piece whole fruit (a medium apple/banana//kiwi/plum, a small peach/pear/mango)
  • 1 cup berries/grapes/melon
  • 1 cup vegetables (leafy greens, mushrooms, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, coleslaw mix, asparagus, acorn/butternut squash, zucchini, snap peas, pumpkin, green beans)
  • 2 cups plain popcorn (popped with no fat, such as air-popped) or ½ cup frozen/fresh corn kernels

Zero Point Protein servings

  • 2 eggs/3 egg whites or ½ cup liquid egg substitute
  • ½ cup beans (including edamame and fat-free refried beans), peas, lentils; these foods provide protein but are also higher in carbohydrate than others on this list—you can count them as either a protein or a carbohydrate for the snack formula  
  • ½ cup fat-free, plain cottage cheese, 1 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt/regular yogurt, or ¾ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk yogurt or soy yogurt
  • 3 oz. of tuna/sardines/anchovies canned in water or fish, shrimp, cod, haddock, salmon
  • 2 oz. Deli-style sliced turkey breast or chicken breast

Zero Point snack combos that won’t trigger reflux

  1. Raw veggies and dip: Stir together a dip and serve with either raw or blanched vegetables. Try combining  ½ cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt or fat-free cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped dill, and salt to taste. Experiment with your favorite fresh herbs (or dried herbs that you use). You can also blend the cottage cheese in a small food processor or blender for a smoother dip. 
  2. Deviled eggs: Cut two hard-boiled eggs in half, remove the yolks, and mash them until smooth. Stir in 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt, ½ tsp. yellow mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the yolk filling into the hard-boiled egg halves and sprinkle with paprika or chopped, fresh parsley.
  3. Tuna salad lettuce boats: Stir together 3 oz. water-packed tuna (drained) and ¼ - ½ cup fat-free cottage cheese. Add a teaspoon of capers or chopped pickle or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the salad mixture into a few large lettuce leaves (such as romaine or green leaf lettuce).
  4. Deli chicken (or turkey) roll-ups:  Measure 2 oz. of deli-sliced chicken or turkey and wrap the slices around raw or lightly steamed green beans. Dip in mustard if desired (or a combo of mustard and Greek yogurt for a lighter flavor). Or, wrap the deli meat around slices of an apple or melon slices for a sweet-and-salty combo.
  5. Tropical smoothie: In a blender, combine ½ banana, ½  cup frozen pineapple chunks, 2 Tbsp. water, ¾ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk yogurt or soy yogurt (or 1 cup plain, fat-free regular yogurt), a dash or two of coconut extract or vanilla extract and blend. Add a little more water to reach the desired consistency. 
  6. Pumpkin yogurt pudding: Stir together 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt (or Greek yogurt) and ½ cup canned, plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling), ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce,  ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or a pinch each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves). Add more spice for a stronger pumpkin pie flavor. 
  7. Seasoned popcorn + a protein: The idea here is to prepare 2 cups of seasoned popcorn and have it alongside any Zero Point protein food you prefer (I’m partial to thawed edamame beans that I’ve sprinkled with a little seasoned salt since both items are eaten similarly, out of hand). Seasoned popcorn is adaptable to your tastes and easy to make. To do it, spritz the air-popped popcorn with a flavoring liquid, then simply shake on the seasonings of your choice. (Consider getting a small spray bottle just to spritz your popcorn if you eat popcorn regularly.) For the liquid, try soy sauce, tamari, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, lime juice, pickle juice, or just water. You can also dilute the liquids with a little water (such as 2 Tbsp. soy sauce plus 1 Tbsp. water) to decrease sodium or make it less strong-tasting. If you have a chute-type air popper, you can spritz the popcorn as it lands in the bowl; otherwise, just do your best to get some flavoring liquid on all popcorn pieces by spritzing and stirring the popcorn. For seasonings, try smoked paprika (delicious with lime juice or pickle juice), Everything But The Bagel seasoning, cinnamon, nutritional yeast (for a cheese-like flavor), seasoned salt, or one of the flavored popcorn salts that are widely available.  

The ideas provided are just a jumping-off point. Knowing your reflux trigger foods or ingredients and having the WW Zero Points food list for reference, you can apply your creative culinary skills and whip up even more tasty snacks. 

  1. Fiorentino E. (2019). The consumption of snacks and soft drinks between meals may contribute to the development and to persistence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Medical hypotheses, 125, 84–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2019.02.034
  2. Meet the zero point foods. Weight Watchers. Retrieved March 13, 2024 from https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/how-it-works/zero-point-foods# 
  3. Zhang, M., Hou, Z. K., Huang, Z. B., Chen, X. L., & Liu, F. B. (2021). Dietary and Lifestyle Factors Related to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Systematic Review. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 17, 305–323. https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S296680

Leave a comment on this article: