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People with frequent episodes of heartburn are generally advised to stay away from fatty and greasy foods, but what does that mean in practice?

Heartburn may seem like an uncomfortable, unpleasant, but largely harmless passer-by to people who get it once in a blue moon, but it's a different story for the third of Americans who experience acid reflux at least once a month, and especially for the 10 percent who suffer from heartburn every single day. For some people, heartburn isn't a passer-by at all, but a constant companion — and if you're one of the people who suffer from heartburn so often that it affects your work performance and keeps you from sleeping, you'll be desperate to get rid of heartburn fast. [1]

Many factors — from your posture to how often you eat — contribute to the onset of heartburn [2]. If you are serious about finding a heartburn remedy that permanently reduces your episodes of acid reflux, however, you simply cannot avoid taking a closer look at your diet. Following an acid reflux diet with the aim of waving heartburn goodbye will inevitably lead you to part ways with some (perhaps beloved) foods. 

Where do high-fat foods fit in if you are on an acid reflux diet? Do you need to say no to fat to get rid of heartburn?

Not All Fat Is Created Equal: What Do You Need To Know About Different Kinds Of Fat?

People who have been poking around the internet in a bid to discover how they can adjust their diets to minimize episodes of heartburn will almost certainly have come across the advice to "avoid greasy foods" [3].

Considering that there are many types of fat — and most importantly, that your body actually needs fats — might that advice be just a little too simplistic? 

Monounsaturated fats, which include canola oil, olive oil, sesame oil, and peanut oil, reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes [4]. They also enable you to feel fuller on a reduced-calorie diet [5]. 

Polyunsaturated fats include the omega-3 fatty acids gained from foods like soybeans, fatty fish, and chia seeds. They're essential for heart health [6]. 

Saturated fat, found in many meat and dairy products, has a bad reputation. It may increase your LDL ("bad") cholesterol [7], but it's not all bad — saturated fats aren't particularly bad for your health, research shows, and they may even increase your metabolic rate. [8, 9]

Trans fats, which you may find in donuts, pies, and other highly-processed foods, are what you really want to watch out for — whether you often suffer from heartburn or not. Trans fats are generally bad news, leading to weight gain and cardiovascular disease. [10]

So, What Fatty Foods Should I Avoid To Get Rid Of Heartburn?

People trying to follow an acid reflux diet in pursuit of natural heartburn remedies should avoid too many saturated fats and trans fats by avoiding highly-processed junk foods, research indicates [11]. Examples would be fried chicken, most pizza, highly refined vegetable oils, cookies, French fries, and candy bars. The intake of these foods leads to more intense episodes of heartburn in people diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the chronic form of acid reflux, as well. [12]

Omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats are, on the other hand, actively associated with reduced episodes of heartburn [13]. 

You should also know that being overweight or obese is one of the main risk factors for frequent heartburn and GERD [14], and the foods that were identified as leading to more severe episodes of heartburn are also the foods that contribute to weight gain if you overdo them. 

We'd love to give you more information about heartburn and high-fat foods, but the essence of the message is really quite simple — the same fats that are healthy for everyone else are healthy for you as a GERD sufferer or someone with frequent heartburn, and the fatty foods you should avoid to get rid of heartburn are the same foods everyone else is wise to avoid as well. 

An Acid Reflux Is About More Than Avoiding Unhealthy Fats

A balanced acid reflux diet encompasses more than avoiding bad fats alone. The link between heartburn and alcohol has been well-established, for example, and switching to low acid or decaffeinated coffee will help your heartburn too. People on an acid reflux diet are advised to steer clear of tomatoes, peppermint, spicy foods, and citrus fruits. 

That's a lot of "don'ts" right there, so what are you supposed to do? Eating smaller meals more frequently and chewing gum for 30 minutes after eating a meal are both natural heartburn remedies, along with not eating within three hours of going to bed. A fiber-rich diet is also extremely beneficial for people with heartburn. 

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