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Hiatal Hernia Diet Tips

Hiatal Hernia: Cooking Tips

A good way to enjoy the foods listed above is to cook them in a healthy way. Here are some heartburn-friendly cooking tips:

  • Choose lean meats, such as skinless chicken, meat with little visible fat, ground turkey instead of ground beef, and fish. Lean beef cuts include round, chuck, sirloin, or loin. Lean pork cuts include tenderloin or loin chop.
  • Bake or broil foods instead of frying.
  • Skim off fat from meat during cooking.
  • Go easy on seasoning. Most seasonings are OK as long as they are not spicy or salty, but should be used in moderation.
  • Substitute low-fat dairy foods, such as low-fat yogurt, for ice cream.
  • Steam your vegetables with water only.
  • Limit butter, oils, and cream sauces. Use cooking spray instead of cooking oil when sautéing.
  • Choose low-fat or nonfat ingredients over full-fat products.
  • Get creative. There are all kinds of ways to modify recipes. Don't be afraid to try new things.

Hiatal Hernia: Lifestyle Tips

In addition to making adjustments to what you eat and how you cook, changing certain habits may lessen heartburn symptoms too, including:

  • Do not overeat. Instead, eat small, frequent meals. And take your time. Eating fast can make heartburn symptoms worse.
  • Avoid lying down or going to sleep for at least three hours after a meal.
  • Do not bend over right after eating.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Lose weight, if necessary.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes so as to not add extra pressure on your stomach.
  • Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches with wood blocks or some other sturdy objects. Propping your head up with pillows probably won't give you the relief you need.

If these diet and lifestyle tips don't help, or you need additional relief, over-the-counter antacids and acid-reducing or blocking drugs may help control your heartburn symptoms. Talk to your doctor to learn more about over-the-counter or prescription medications to treat your symptoms. Surgery may be needed in rare cases.

Hiatal hernia symptoms can be bothersome. But most people feel better after they adjust their diet and lifestyle.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 24, 2013
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