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Almost everything we do during special occasions increases the chances of having heartburn. From eating large, indulgent meals, drinking too much alcohol or coffee -- to simply eating late at night -- heartburn can make you feel miserable when you want to be at your best.

But heartburn doesn’t have to put a damper on your party plans. A few basic rules of thumb can help you manage heartburn: Eat slowly -- don’t rush your meals. Stick with small meals instead of huge portions. Pump up the fiber whenever possible. If certain foods that weaken the lower esophageal sphincter muscle bother you, try to avoid them. Common heartburn trigger foods include:

  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic and onions
  • Citrus and tomato
  • Chili peppers and other spices
  • Beverages such as coffee, caffeinated tea and cola drinks, alcoholic beverages, citrus and tomato juice. Instead, choose plain tap water, which dilutes acid in the stomach and helps remove any acid coating the esophagus.

Remember, you can enjoy the party without the “burn” by making smart choices when celebrating. Try these easy and delicious recipes which replace high-fat, greasy, or creamy ingredients with heartburn-friendly alternatives.

Heartburn-Friendly Recipes for Every Occasion

Rich and fatty foods and foods with garlic, onions, and certain spices, can trigger heartburn in some people.

Heartburn-Friendly Macaroni Salad:

This higher-fiber macaroni salad features a low-fat and lightly seasoned dressing. You can easily add additional ingredients as tolerated.


3 hard-boiled eggs, higher omega-3 if available

2 cups dry whole wheat macaroni noodles

2 teaspoons parsley flakes or 2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste and as tolerated

3 tablespoons real or light mayonnaise

1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (fat free sour cream can be substituted)

Optional Additions: (if tolerated):

3 finely chopped green onions (white and part of green)

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet or dill pickles


  1. Boil your eggs if you haven’t done this already. Then boil the macaroni noodles, following directions on the bag (boil noodles for about 8 minutes). Drain noodles well and rinse with cold water and let cool.
  2. Place noodles in serving bowl along with parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and any optional additions that are well tolerated.
  3. In small bowl, blend mayonnaise with Greek yogurt well, then stir into the noodle mixture in serving bowl.
  4. Peel shells off eggs and remove half of the yolks. Chop remaining eggs and stir into the macaroni mixture. Cover and let macaroni salad sit in refrigerator overnight (if you have the time).

Yield: 8 side servings (double recipe to make 16)

Per serving: 129 calories, 6 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 2.4 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, .9 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g fiber, 142 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 17 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids = .1 gram Omega-6 fatty acids = .8 gram