How to Avoid Heartburn
By Maria Anderson
The sour, burning sensation of heartburn can be very painful and uncomfortable. If you have been following the Bodytrim system for a while then you may have noticed that heartburn has become more or less frequent.
Why is that?
The way in which you prepare your food and what type of food you choose will affect heartburn. Here are some cooking tips for people who suffer the symptoms of acid reflux. Following them can make a big difference in the way you feel when the meal is over.
Go Shopping for the Right Foods
Stock your refrigerator and pantry with foods that won't provoke heartburn symptoms. First you can go wild at the grocery store over high fibre foods such as beans, whole grains and vegetables. Then skip the shelf with fruit juice (you probably don’t get them anymore anyway). Pick up broths to use in place of tomato sauces (tomatoes are acidic and a common heartburn trigger). In the dairy aisle, choose lower fat versions of products. It’s best to skip the soda aisle and frozen fried foods altogether.
Spice it Right
Many people who have heartburn are bothered by hot spices; black and crushed red pepper, chili powder, Tabasco sauce. Likewise, fresh garlic and onions are known to cause heartburn for some, though you may be able to substitute dehydrated or dried versions (garlic powder and dried onions). You can also add flavour to foods with herbs such as ground cinnamon, basil, dill, parsley and thyme, which don’t usually cause acid reflux symptoms.
Replace Acidic Foods
Heartburn results from too much acid in the stomach, so you don’t want to make it worse by eating foods that are highly acidic, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, pineapple) and vinegar. Some people with heartburn can tolerate small amounts of tomato sauce and vinegar, but it may be safer to use reduced fat mayonnaise or mustard instead.
Go for Low Fat
Fat stays in the stomach longer, causing more digestive juices to flow. The juices contain acid, which causes heartburn. It’s important to have some dairy in your diet, but if you have heartburn, you're better off choosing the low fat versions of milk, yogurts and cheese.
Trim the Fat
If you have heartburn, you should choose leaner cuts of meat. This is also important when it comes to reducing saturated fat and calories in your diet. Cut any visible fat from your meat and discard the skin of chicken and turkey.
Lighter Cooking Methods
You should prepare your foods with as little fat as possible. Deep frying and frying are out. Sauté sparingly, or even better, use nonstick sprays instead of butter and oil to coat the pan. To prepare meats and vegetables, try steaming, grilling, roasting, and microwaving because these methods require little, if any, fat. For flavour add broths and juices rather than oils and fats.
Portion control is a key to avoiding heartburn. When you eat big meals, the food stays in your stomach longer, just as fatty foods do. The longer the food sits in your stomach, the more your stomach fills with acid that causes heartburn. Follow the recommended serving sizes of 100g of protein for women and 150g for men to help minimise heart burn.