Trim the Fat for Heartburn Relief
Though many things you eat and drink can spark heartburn in Macon or Albany, fat is one of the most common triggers. This is because fatty foods take longer for your stomach to digest, leading to acid backup. They also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular ring that prevents stomach contents from refluxing into the esophagus.
Because of these effects, a low-fat diet can be a big help in keeping acid reflux symptoms at bay. Unfortunately, fatty foods are very common in the American diet—if you’ve never tried to eat a low-fat diet before, you may not know where to start.
To trim some fat from your diet for heartburn relief, start by:
- Picking lean proteins. Animal proteins are often high in saturated fat, especially beef and pork. By choosing leaner meats, you can give your body the protein it needs without overloading on fat. Fish is significantly lower in fat than other meats, but does contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Though poultry is also a good low-fat choice, it’s best to remove the skin to further reduce the fat content of chicken and turkey. Other low-fat sources of protein include: legumes (beans and peas), soy products (tofu and tempeh) and nuts.
- Cook away the fat. Sometimes, fat doesn’t come from what we’re cooking, but rather the way we cook it. Fried and sautéed foods retain a great deal of the oil or fat they’re fried in, which makes them best avoided if you suffer from heartburn and acid reflux. Instead of frying, cook proteins on the grill. This will allow fat to drip away from the meat as it cooks, while baking and broiling can also better alternatives.
- Skip the fatty toppings. Your low-fat proteins will do no good if covered in a fatty sauce. Cheese is loaded with fat, as are butter, sour cream, salad dressing and mayonnaise. Do your best to avoid fat-filled add-ons like these whenever possible, or switch to low-fat or soy-based versions. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice flavor—you can add some kick without fat or calories by seasoning your dishes with herbs and spices.
Our bodies do need some amount of fat to function properly, but many of us eat far too much. To help yourself stay healthy and find relief from acid reflux, try cutting down on fat and focusing your diet on lean proteins, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
How else have you cut fat from your diet to relieve acid reflux and heartburn in Macon or Albany? Share your suggestions in the comments below.