Cooking Tips for Heartburn-Friendly Meals
For someone who struggles with chronic acid reflux and heartburn, meal time can be especially stressful. Certain foods are known as heartburn triggers. This means they are likely to either increase acid production or relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus.
When these foods are consumed, one’s risk of experiencing acid reflux is heightened. However, sometimes these triggers aren’t so easy to identify. Certain cooking practices can make a meal especially difficult for someone with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If someone in your family or a guest at your dinner table suffers from heartburn, you may want to adjust your home cooking to prevent their acid reflux symptoms.
Reduce the risk of heartburn from your meals by:
There are certain triggers that are especially likely to cause heartburn among those with GERD. These triggers include:
- Tomatoes and tomato based sauces
Try serving apples, pineapples, or other non-citrus juices and offering tea as an alternative to coffee. You can also search for recipes for no-tomato casseroles, lasagna, homemade pizzas, and other main courses. For dessert, try serving fruit slices instead of chocolate treats. Of course, you may find that someone in your family has a trigger that isn’t on any “Heartburn Foods” list, so you’ll need to tailor your substitutions to fit your family’s needs.
Cutting out the fat.
Fatty foods stay in the stomach longer and take longer to digest, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn. To cut the fat-and the heartburn-from your meals, bake or broil your foods instead of frying. Substitute high-fat dairy ingredients with low-fat or no-fat alternatives. Avoid fatty cuts of meat and add more vegetables (instead of meats) to casseroles and stir-fries.
Serving smaller portions.
Large meals put added pressure on the LES, the valve between the stomach and esophagus that’s designed to prevent acid reflux. Use smaller plates and bowls to keep portion sizes in check and use measuring cups to limit how much you cook.