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Eating at a Mexican Restaurant Without Heartburn

Dining out without heartburn

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Updated May 21, 2013

Dining out at your favorite Mexican restaurant can mean be more difficult because you don't have as much control over your meal options. Sometimes the food served at this typs of restaurant can contain more ingredients that can trigger your heartburn. If you aren't sure what your trigger foods are, keeping a food diary (heartburn record) can be a good way to find out what foods trigger your heartburn. But knowing you should avoid and what is okay to eat before you dine out can mean an enjoyable meal that won't exacerbate your heartburn.

Remember, avoid foods that trigger your heartburn. It is important to avoid fried foods and spices. If you aren't sure what is in a dish or how the dish is prepared, don't be afraid to ask. Also, don't be afraid to request alterations or substitutions if any dish contains elements that can cause heartburn.

Here are some suggestions for dining out at Mexican restaurants:

What to avoid:

  • Chimichangas
  • Chorizo
  • Fried tortilla chips and taco shells
  • Cheese and sour cream toppings
  • Refried beans
  • Chile peppers
  • Salsa, tomato, and onions
  • Mole sauce
  • Flan, or other rich desserts
  • Sangria and margaritas

What is better:

  • Grilled chicken or fish
  • Low-fat refried beans and rice
  • Fajitas
  • Burritos
  • Tortillas
  • Mild Guacamole on a flour tortilla
  • Broth-based soups

Remember, avoid foods that trigger your heartburn. It is important to avoid fried foods and spices. If you aren't sure what is in a dish or how the dish is prepared, don't be afraid to ask. Also, don't be afraid to request alterations or substitutions if any dish contains elements that can cause heartburn.

In general, here are some guidelines for making your selections at any restaurant:

What You Shouldn't Eat:

  • Fried foods, such as burgers, fried chicken and fried fish
  • Foods prepared in butter or oil
  • High-fat side dishes, such as French fries
  • High-fat sauces, salad dressings, gravies and mayo
  • Creamy soups
  • Chili
  • Dishes with lots of citrus fruit
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Foods with a lot of extra cheese
  • Tomato-based foods, including ketchup
  • Citrus drinks such as orange juice and lemonade
  • Caffeninated beverages
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Chocolate

What it is Better to Eat

  • White meat
  • Lean cuts of meat
  • Sandwiches with turkey, chicken, or roast beef on whole grain bread
  • Grilled foods
  • Broth-based soups
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Baked potatoes topped with low-fat salad dressing
  • Low-fat or no-fat salad dressings
  • Lighter desserts, such as angel food cake

Managing Heartburn Triggered By Food
Many people can trace at least some of their heartburn episodes to what they ate. There may be foods they can never eat because heartburn occurs every time they do. Then there are some foods they can eat if they either don't eat them very often or only eat them in small amounts. And then there are the foods that are usually pretty safe. Sometimes, it's how or when they eat, rather than what they eat, that triggers the unpleasant symptoms. Learn how certain can trigger heartburn, and what you can do about it.

On a final note, remember to talk to your doctor if your heartburn is frequent (2 or more times a week) or worsens. You could be suffering from a more serious condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is important not to dismiss your symptoms as 'just' heartburn because untreated GERD can lead to serious complications, such as esophageal ulcers, esophageal strictures, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal cancer. It is, therefore, important to not self-diagnose, and inform your doctor of any change in symptoms or severity of your symptoms.

Share Your Tips!
Have you eaten in a Chinese restaurant, or any restaurant (sit down or fast food) for that matter? Have you learned how to eat in those restaurants without coming home with a bad case of heartburn backward? Then perhaps you would like to take a few minutes to share your tips on what you did and what you avoided. It may be of great help to someone else who is looking for advice because they have had a bad experience with "restaurant heartburn."

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Heartburn / GERD
  4. Good and Bad Foods
  5. Food Basics
  6. Eating at a Mexican Restaurant Without Heartburn (Eating in a Mexican Restaurant)

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