Heartburn food diary made simple - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Heartburn food diary made simple

Write down everything you ingest. Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't.  © iStockphoto.com/Paul Piebinga Write down everything you ingest. Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't. © iStockphoto.com/Paul Piebinga
  • RecipesMore>>

  • Marc Haynes' Loaded Creamed Potatoes

    Marc Haynes' Loaded Creamed Potatoes

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:59:06 GMT
    Ingredients
    6 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
    Salt
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup butter
    1 (6 ounce) carton sour cream
    More >>
    Ingredients
    6 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
    Salt
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup butter
    1 (6 ounce) carton sour cream
    More >>
  • Almond Horse Shoe Cookies

    Almond Horse Shoe Cookies

    Saturday, April 12 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-04-12 15:44:41 GMT
    by: Julianne Bitely juliannebitely.com 2 1/2 cup Almond Four 3 Egg Whites 1/2 cup Honey handful of slivered almonds Mold in the shape of a horse shoe Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutesMore >>
    by: Julianne Bitely juliannebitely.com 2 1/2 cup Almond Four 3 Egg Whites 1/2 cup Honey handful of slivered almonds Mold in the shape of a horse shoe Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutesMore >>
  • Zach Pullam of Capital Bar and Grill makes pimiento cheese

    Zach Pullam of Capital Bar and Grill makes pimiento cheese

    Friday, March 28 2014 1:53 PM EDT2014-03-28 17:53:40 GMT
    1 lb. Grated sharp cheddar cheese 3/4 cup Roasted red bell peppers—roughly chopped or pulsed in a food processor. Be sure to let them rest to remove excess liquid. 2 Tsp. Onion powder 2 Tsp. GarlicMore >>
    Zach Pullam of Capital Bar and Grill makes pimiento cheeseMore >>

By Susan Male-Smith
 

It's ironic -- perhaps even poetic justice -- that I used to suffer from heartburn. As a registered dietitian, I knew all the coping tips and typical trigger foods. But the truth is, not all trigger foods bother every heartburn sufferer, and I wasn't about to give up chocolate without a fight! The solution? I kept a food diary to discover my personal heartburn triggers. A food diary helped me, and it can help you too. Here's how to do it right:

1. Write down everything you ingest.
Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't. You may also discover that foods that triggered heartburn in one situation are fine under different circumstances.

2.
Be specific about what you eat and how it was prepared. Was it fried or baked, with cheese sauce or plain, with butter or low-fat margarine, etc.

3. Don't forget beverages.
Note if it was cold or warm, carbonated or flat, caffeinated or not.

4. Don't wait until heartburn symptoms occur to write things down. By then you won't remember accurately, and your expectations may influence you.

5. Include details of your symptoms.
Write down how severe they were and how long they lasted, and include any symptoms other than heartburn (e.g., hoarseness, stomach pain, asthma).

6. Record how long it took you to eat and how much you ate.
This could prove as important as -- or more important than -- what you ate.

7. Write down your mood
at each meal. Were you stressed? Relaxed? Rushed? Mental state can be a powerful heartburn influencer.

8. Pay special attention to oft-cited heartburn trigger foods.
These include high-fat foods, peppermint, chocolate, caffeine, tomatoes, citrus, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

9. Note what you did right after you ate.
Did you lie down on the sofa to watch TV? Or did you head to the gym to work out? These might be the real culprits.

10. Keep this diary for at least three days.
You may even end up keeping it for as long as three weeks, depending on how often your heartburn happens.

11. Make a chart so you don't forget any important stuff.
Divide it into at least four columns: date and time, what you ate, circumstances, and symptoms.

12. Evaluate diary entries by looking for patterns.
Doing this might help explain your symptoms. Don't just look at the foods. Look also at how much and how fast you ate, what foods you had together, your mood, your activity afterward and even the day of the week. The results may surprise you, and they almost certainly will help you.

Susan Male-Smith is a registered dietitian and freelance nutrition and health writer. She has written for Family Circle, Redbook, Child and American Health, and she is a former editor of the Environmental Nutrition newsletter and co-author of Foods for Better Health.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.