How to Stay Heartburn Free when Eating Out
Having your meals at home is an extremely healthy (not to mention financially sound) practice. However, there are times when you feel the need to take a break and head out to your favorite restaurant to indulge your taste buds. Pleasant as this might sound to most people, for those suffering from acid reflux, the decision to eat out isn't always so easy. They are persistently haunted by the fear that the symptoms of this condition will interfere with their dining experience and leave a bad taste in their mouth (sometimes almost literally).
That said, it's not necessary for acid reflux patients to stay cooped up inside and confine themselves to only home cooked meals. If you follow these tips and suggestions, you just might be able to enjoy a good meal and come away with pleasant memories of it.
Identify Foods that Trigger Acid RefluxIn acid reflux, there is no one-size-fits-all policy. Different foods will affect different people in different ways. For this reason, it's extremely important to identify the ones that trigger heartburn in you. This will help you choose wisely from the menu, while steering clear of foods that could do damage.
Avoid OvereatingMore often than not acid reflux symptoms are caused by a person's tendency to overeat. Add to that the generous portions restaurants lay out in front of you and it's a recipe for disaster.
Before you get ready to pile second and third helpings onto your plate, you should know that a full stomach exerts greater pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which triggers the symptoms of acid reflux.
Therefore, instead of getting carried away in the moment of merriment, it would be better if you exercised portion control. This can be done by ordering only half portions or sharing your meal with someone else.
Eat in a Relaxed MannerAlong with how much you eat, the manner in which you eat your food is also important. Few ever take the time to linger over their meals and savor the experience. Most people tend to wolf down their food like there was no tomorrow.
While taking small bites and chewing properly is a healthy habit in general, it becomes all the more crucial for those suffering from acid reflux since it prevents heartburn.
Focus on AppetizersLight hors d'oeuvres and nibbles, such as steamed salmon/shrimp and veggie trays, are always a better bet for people who suffer from heartburn. They are light, delicious and quite satisfying. However, go easy on the dips and sauces, since they can contribute to acid reflux symptoms.
On a more general note, people suffering from heartburn should take care to avoid the following foods:
- Acidic foods such as mustard, vinegar, and ketchup
- Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, grapefruits, and lemons
- Fried food or foods sautéed in butter
- Spicy foods, hot sauces, peppers, salsa, etc.
Statistics show than one in five Americans suffers from heartburn. If you happen to be part of this group, you might look forward to meals at restaurants with more queasiness than anticipation. However, if you keep these tips in mind, you might be able to relax, sit back, enjoy your meal, and return satisfied with a great dining experience.
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