BBQ Without the Burn of Acid Reflux
A hot Georgia summer is the perfect time for a cookout, but for acid reflux sufferers, good food choices at a barbecue are a crucial part of avoiding heartburn. To stay symptom-free at any BBQ bash, it will help to remember all of your personal triggers and keep tips like these in mind.
Selecting Safe Snacks
At a cookout, the table is often full of food before anything even comes off the grill. As you chat with your friends or family members, remember not to overlook potential triggers in snack foods.
Try to avoid:
- Anything with tomatoes, spicy peppers, onions or garlic. These common triggers make chips and salsa a snack worth steering clear of. You should also be careful to check the ingredients in salads and pasta salads.
- Acid-producing fruits. Any kind of citrus will need to be avoided, but you should also be careful with watermelon, which can contribute to acid production.
- Alcohol. Though many people can have one drink without sparking heartburn, it’s best to skip alcoholic beverages for another refreshment like herbal iced tea. If you do decide to drink, avoid red wine and anything carbonated.
If you’re looking for a safe snack selection, try fresh veggies with a low-fat dip.
Firing Up the Grill
Grilling can actually reduce the amount of fat in our food by allowing fat to drip off as the food cooks. This makes grilling a relatively safe cooking method for acid reflux sufferers, but many barbecue favorites can still spark reflux regardless of how they’re cooked.
Try to avoid:
- Fatty meats. It’s best to find meats that are as low in fat as possible. Burgers can be fine, but look for low-fat varieties, or consider turkey burgers.
- Hot spices and marinades. Be careful of anything coated in a spicy seasoning, and marinades that contain hot spices or citrus juices. For the ideal marinade, use herbs like basil, rosemary or oregano with a little bit of olive oil.
- Ketchup. Instead of ketchup, try using a condiment like reduced fat mayo or guacamole.
- Big portions. When we eat more, our stomachs pump out more acid to help us digest. With so much food around, it can be tempting to go overboard at a cookout, but remember that eating smaller portions is one of the best ways to prevent acid reflux.
Chicken and fish tend to make great, low-fat barbecue choices. Also, don’t forget that many vegetables like corn, squash and mushrooms cook well on the grill.
By remembering your acid reflux triggers and making careful choices, you can enjoy a heartburn-free barbecue season. If you have any more ideas for reflux-friendly grilling, share them in the comments!