Heartburn Eating Guide for the Holidays

12. 15. 2014

One of the things we love best about the holiday season is the food. Comforting casseroles, savory side dishes and delectable desserts help set the mood for our celebrations and family gatherings. Everyone wants to partake in the festivities, but it’s difficult to eat, drink and be merry when you know that heartburn is lurking just around the corner.

For most people, all it takes is a little dietary adjustment to keep heartburn at bay. Here are some tips to help you navigate the dinner table at your next holiday celebration:

Look for low-fat options

Foods that are high in fat take longer to digest and can contribute to heartburn. Choose white meat instead of dark meat, steamed vegetables instead of sautéed, and go easy on the sauces and gravies.

Think about ingredients

Mashed potatoes might seem heartburn-friendly, but not if they are loaded with butter, heavy cream and fresh chives. Some dishes that appear harmless may actually contain trigger foods, so be wise about what goes on your plate.

Don’t overeat

Moderation is not a word frequently used around the holidays, but when it comes to managing heartburn, it is key. Overeating places pressure on the stomach and increases the likelihood of reflux. Practice portion control and most importantly, stop eating as soon as you start to feel full.

Be wise about dessert

Peppermint and hot cocoa may be seasonal favorites, but they are also common heartburn triggers. For a heartburn-friendly dessert with all the flavor of the holidays, choose a warm slice of apple pie or baked pear crisp. Both apples and pears contain pectin, which have been shown to relieve the symptoms of heartburn.

Avoid alcohol

New Year’s toasts are a tradition, and a pretty good one at that. Unfortunately, alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle that prevents stomach acid from creeping back into the esophagus. Toast with a glass of sparkling cider for a more heartburn-friendly option. If you do decide to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, avoid red wine, which is the biggest heartburn culprit, and limit yourself to just one drink.

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