Throat — 22 November 2011
Acid Reflux and Turkey

Thanksgiving is the annual day of gluttony. We gather ’round the table with family and friends and then proceed to gorge ourselves on a mix of delicious turkey, buttery breads, smothered potatoes laden with sour cream, chives, more butter and possibly gravy. Mix in cranberries, alcoholic drinks and sodas, plus a few helpings of pumpkin and apple pie and you have a recipe for a long afternoon nap.

And yes, if you’re an acid reflux sufferer, a long afternoon of heartburn.

Acid reflux is more common than you might expect. Estimates peg the number of acid reflux sufferers at approximately 60 million in the United States alone. In Utah, we see plenty of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease sufferers. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center diagnoses and treats acid reflux patients daily.

If you count yourself among the sufferers, chances are you view Thanksgiving and other large holiday meals with a mix of excitement and angst. You love the food; the food simply doesn’t love you back. A big meal often results in indigestion, heartburn, feelings of bloating and general discomfort.

Read: The Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
Fortunately, the hero of Thanksgiving day, your old friend turkey, is actually quite easy on most people’s stomachs and is a good substitute for beef in many dishes. That’s largely due to the lower fat content of turkey compared to beef.

But turkey tastes great, too, which is why we recommend acid reflux sufferers experiment with turkey recipes in order to find a few favorites. If you’re ready to adjust your diet, try a few of these turkey recipes including mushroom and cheese turkey burgers, turkey meatballs and spaghetti and turkey tetrazinni.

Many restaurants are starting to offer turkey as a substitute for beef. For instance, Carl’s Jr. is famous for their beef burgers. But look closely at their menu and you’ll find tasty concoctions like a Turkey Guacamole Burger or a Turkey Terriyaki Burger. We’ve sampled both and they’re tasty and lighter than the traditional burger. Add a low-fat cheese and you have a tasty concoction literally in your hands. But stay away from the fries since greasy french fries are a common trigger for heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

Read: 11 Foods that Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Enjoy the annual rite of turkey day and enjoy yourself. But think wisely about what you should and shouldn’t eat if you want to enjoy the afternoon’s football game in peace instead of heartburn pain. And stay away from the pizza. Your body will thank you later.

Of course, in Utah, our ear, nose and throat doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah can help you learn more about treatment options for acid reflux disease. Call us at 801-328-2522.

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