Not Soy Painful

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If dairy is aggravating your heartburn in Atlanta and Macon, it might be time to take soy products for a spin.

Avoiding Dairy to Avoid Heartburn

Dairy foods are a favorite in our American culture—especially here in the South. On a hot summer day there is nothing as satisfying as a cup of ice cream, and during the fall most of us look forward to Saturday for the opportunity to fire up the grill and enjoy some old fashioned tailgating with cheeseburgers and chili-cheese dogs.

Unfortunately, if you are struggling with heartburn in Macon and Atlanta, then enjoying those favorite comfort foods might not be so easy.

The Painful Truth about Dairy

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and cream are high in saturated fat, which is a heartburn and acid reflux trigger. These products are also high in calories, and since these products are usually an added ingredient to more filling meals, the extra calories can quickly add up to weight gain.

Fatty foods like dairy products can worsen acid reflux by encouraging the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax. The LES doesn’t close correctly when this happens, permitting stomach acid to backwash out of the esophagus.

Because dairy is a staple in the American diet, it is difficult to eliminate in its entirety. Dairy replacements are a great way to get the functionality of dairy products without the high sugar and fat content. There are a few dairy replacements available that are all very popular, but not all of them are great for acid reflux patients.

Almond milk, while high in calcium and low in calories, is not generally ideal for avoiding heartburn. Since almonds are oily in nature, it’s often recommended that those trying to avoid heartburn eliminate them from their diet entirely, something that is true of all tree nuts as we discussed earlier in our article Nuts about Heartburn.

On the other hand, soy products are looked at as a haven of relief for many heartburn sufferers. Soymilk contains only half of the fat content that whole milk has, but is much creamer and more tasteful than skim milk. This makes it a more palatable option for many who don’t prefer the watery taste of fat free and one-percent milk.

Dairy isn’t a problem for everyone, but if you find that you experience heartburn shortly after consuming dairy products, then you might want to consider trying non-dairy options like soy products. Before you start making any changes to your diet, be sure to double check with your GERD surgeon that it is a good idea for your heartburn and acid reflux treatment plan.

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