Holiday cuisine usually isn't lean. But all those fatty foods, including steaks and fried chicken, could trigger heart burn, according to Gress.
Foods that are prepared by frying in oil relax the lower esophageal sphincter, Gress explains. The lower esophageal sphincter is a ring at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the stomach and the tube that carries food from your mouth. The relaxation allows stomach acid to go into the esophagus, causing reflux.
Not only that, Gress adds that fatty foods slow gastric emptying, which means food mixed with acid stays in the stomach longer than it typically does, leading to a longer episode of acid reflux.