Heartburn and Your Diet

Why overeating is among the leading culprits of heartburn in Macon and Atlanta.

To Cut Out Heartburn, Cut Down the DietWhy overeating is among the leading culprits of heartburn in Macon and Atlanta.

For many people in Macon and Atlanta, heartburn is no stranger. The classic delicacies that make the South feel like home are often guilty of being spicy, fried and loaded with fats and oils. These foods are dangerous enough in small quantities, but many people aren’t able to hold themselves to just a bite or two.

The South has the highest density of overweight and obese people in the United States. The obesity rate in Georgia specifically is 28 percent, while Georgia has the second highest rate of obese adolescents in the entire country.

While overeating is likely to blame for much of this obesity problem, the woes of a poor diet doesn’t stop at your waistline. Being overweight increases your risk of experiencing frequent heartburn and acid reflux due to the increased pressure on the esophagus.

But overeating can exacerbate heartburn while the food is still in the process of digestion, long before it leads to extra weight.

When you eat too much, the digestion process becomes a bit more complicated than normal. Increased volume in the stomach leads to increased acid production and puts added pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This prevents the LES from closing appropriately, allowing the increased levels of acid to flow freely out of the stomach and into the esophagus, causing irritation.

There are many foods that cause heartburn, but when those foods are eaten in large quantities the situation can become worse than it has to be. To avoid heartburn, it is wise to alter the way you eat, not just what you eat.

Here are a few tips to help you stop overeating as you fight heartburn:

  • Eat smaller meals: This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting the meals you eat now in half and leaving it at that. Try not to wait so long in between meals. Eat smaller meals a few hours apart instead of having three large meals a day.
  • Slow down: Sometimes we eat so fast that we are overstuffed before we even realize we are full. This can lead to heartburn and unintentional overconsumption. Chew thoroughly, put your fork down between bites and stay mindful of your meal while you are eating.
  • Think about portions: Recommended portions are there to give insight as to how much is appropriate to eat at one time. Eat one recommended portion and give yourself a few minutes to digest before going for another bite. Usually one portion is plenty to calm your hunger pangs.

Overeating is a big problem throughout the entire country, but especially here in Georgia. You can overcome heartburn in Macon and Atlanta by being more mindful with your eating habits.

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