Develop Your Own Heartburn Diet

For some people, every meal seems to lead to painful heartburn and for others, only certain foods bring the agony. Still others only suffer when they fail to abide by reasonable portion sizes.

There are some foods that are safe for almost everyone and it's a good idea to start with these foods. If you are heartburn-free for a time, you can begin to add foods that are more likely to spark a heartburn attack one at a time. Those that do not cause a problem can stay on your heartburn diet. Those that cause pain will have to go. Combined with good eating habits and careful food preparation, this can help anyone start a successful heartburn diet.

Safe and Not So Safe Foods

Foods that are fatty, spicy, salty or too dry can kick up a bit of heartburn. Of course, foods that are high in acid can problems for some people, too. Apples and bananas are safe fruits. Some vegetables can be hard to digest; the safest being baked potatoes, cabbage, green beans, peas, broccoli and carrots. Remember to avoid adding fat - just low-fat salad dressing should be okay.

Fat is a problem in the meat category too - lean beef like London broil is good. White meat chicken and fish are also lean. Egg yolks are fatty so stick to egg whites and egg substitutes. Low-fat and fat-free dairy products are a better choice. High fiber grains are the best alternatives for your carbs - multi-grain bread, graham crackers, pretzels, bran cereals, rice and oatmeal should work out well for most people.

Your heartburn diet has to exclude caffeine. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and colas are out except in decaffeinated forms. Water will help in digestion and should be included in every heartburn diet. Snacks can include low-fat cookies, red licorice, baked potato chips and jelly beans.

The Preparation

Never, never, never fry your food. Until you can determine that fried foods don't trigger your heartburn, avoid them. Even if you are sure that fat isn't bad for your own heartburn, limit it on your heartburn diet. While simple pasta dishes are rarely a heartburn problem, acidic tomato sauce can be. Low-fat cream sauces are safer choices.

Often, cooking takes some of the acid from the tomatoes, but add tomato sauce cautiously back to your diet and eliminate it if it causes a problem. Boiled foods add water to your meal and that's a good thing and to add flavor, use fresh herbs.

The Habits

A heartburn diet doesn't only restrict what you eat but can specify how you eat. A full stomach will push out air to make room. That will open the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus which can lead to acid reflux. Eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full. If your doctor has diagnosed a condition that causes your stomach to empty slowly, eat smaller meals more often during the day. A good heartburn diet can give you back your life.