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“Advanced meal planning will ensure that people with stricter diets have items to enjoy,” said Dr. Mohamed Othman, assistant professor of medicine – gastroenterology at Baylor.
Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus, which can result in heartburn or belly discomfort. By standing upright after eating, gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down.
“Do not lay down immediately after your meal,” Othman said. “It takes four hours for the stomach to empty solid contents and two hours for liquid content.”
For those with diabetes, overindulgence can lead to more serious health concerns, said Dr. Alan Garber, professor of medicine – diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at Baylor.
“Holiday food tends to be rich in carbohydrates and fats, and both of these may increase insulin requirements,” he said. “You should be aware of the amount of sugar in holiday treats.”
What to do
Modifying eating habits can alleviate reflux symptoms. If suffering from acid reflux, Othman recommended avoiding the following foods and drinks:
* Fried foods
Brief walks after meals and adopting a more active lifestyle in general can improve reflux symptoms, he said.
Garber offers these tips to help diabetics manage holiday eating:
* Look for sugar-free items at the grocery store
* Control your portions
* High-fat meals independently produce insulin resistance and raise insulin requirements, so be sure sugar-free items are not high in fat
* Avoid alcoholic drinks
While it is important to be aware and cautious of what you are eating and how it affects your health, Baylor experts advise focusing on the fun of the holidays rather than the restrictions.