Renowned Chef Offers Tips to Reduce Heartburn this Holiday Season

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthChef LaLa is an accomplished chef and author of several best-selling books such as, Latin Lover Lite, Best Loved Mexican Cooking with Chef LaLa. As a food consultant and certified nutritionist, Chef LaLa has traveled around the country offering nutritional tips to help families decrease the chances of heartburn and bring a new twist to Latino cuisine, which prove helpful around the holidays.

“It’s easy to get carried away eating your favorite meals during the holidays,” said Chef LaLa. “Unfortunately, overeating happens during this time which often results in heartburn, something I am very familiar with as some of my relatives experience it.

“Taking simple steps like reducing acidity and spices in foods can help stop the acid that causes heartburn.” Chef LaLa has partnered with Prilosec OTC to share her holiday tips on which “trigger” foods to replace in your favorite traditional dishes. Chef LaLa’s tips include:

Skip the chocolate –Some of our favorite antojitos include chocolate like more, use nut-based mole sauces instead.

Avoid tomato sauce –Tomato sauce has high acidity, choose other alternatives like fresh fruit, guacamole, or nut-based sauces.

Heavy Dishes –Substitute the heavy sauces for olive oil or herbs that will give the same flavor.

Chef Lala’s Tips to Managing Heartburn

    1. Don’t go to sleep on a full stomach. Eat 3-4 hours before going to bed or take a walk after dinner
    2. Drink plenty of water as it helps with digestion and washes out acid
    3. Practice portion control

Heartburn Myths Busted

Myth #1: Drinking milk is an effective way to get heartburn relief. Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) frequent heartburn sufferers believe milk to be an effective way to get heartburn relief. While temporary relief may come from a glass of milk, it, like any food, can increase acid production by the stomach, causing more heartburn.

Myth #2: Certain foods cause heartburn in all people. More than 1 in 4 (26%) frequent heartburn sufferers are not aware that the foods that cause heartburn vary from person to person. This is why it is helpful for those with frequent heartburn to keep a food diary in order to identify trigger foods.

Myth #3: Weight gain does not impact frequent heartburn. More than half of heartburn sufferers (53%) do not believe that symptoms can get worse as weight is gained. However, for many, maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and a healthy diet is one key to managing heartburn. It is important to note that high-impact exercises like running or jogging can stretch the esophageal sphincter, which may aggravate symptoms, so check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

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