Prevention Articles


Expert Advice

Smart Substitutions: Avoid Heartburn with Easy Holiday Season Swaps

Sponsored By: PRILOSEC OTC ®

how to avoid heartburn

Article Highlights
Whether you’re at home or dining out, you can make smart substitutions for foods that are known to be heartburn triggers. Learn what to avoid so you can enjoy eating this holiday season.

Substitute Foods that Cause Heartburn with These Healthy Alternatives

Just because you have frequent heartburn doesn’t mean you have to avoid holiday festivities. With a little planning, you can avoid the foods that may cause heartburn and never miss a beat throughout the festive season. When you know what foods trigger your frequent heartburn, making substitutions can be a simple solution.

BYOF (Bring your own food). Before the holidays, stock up on healthy foods, such as veggies, raisins and non-citrus fruit. Bring your own snack, lunch or dinner when you know rich, spicy or fatty foods will be served. Supply a heartburn-friendly dish for the party potluck to ensure you’ll have a trigger-free meal.

Spice it up. Fresh seasonings such as black pepper, fresh ginger, curry, parsley and raw onions are known heartburn triggers. But many dried herbs and spices, including ground cinnamon, ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder or dried onion pieces, basil, tarragon and thyme, are less likely to trigger symptoms.

Sweet treats. Rich desserts may be higher in fat, meaning they can trigger heartburn. For a quick sweet-fix, suck on a piece of hard candy instead—this encourages the production of saliva, which acts as a natural barrier to acid. Just be sure to avoid mint candies, which may trigger heartburn symptoms.

Dining out. When friends and family go out to eat, there’s no reason your heartburn has to ruin the party. If possible, suggest a restaurant where you know grilled or broiled veggies, chicken or fish will be on the menu. (White meat is lower in fat and therefore less likely to trigger your frequent heartburn.) Ask the wait staff about “hidden” trigger ingredients, such as onion, peppers or other spices that you know may cause heartburn. Consider splitting an entrée to avoid overeating—another common heartburn trigger—and leave off the rich gravy or sauce.