Eat like an Italian. The incidence of reported heartburn among Italians is only 14.8 percent, versus 38 percent in much of northern Europe and 42 percent in the United States. One reason could be that Italians eat small portions, making it easier to enjoy even trigger foods without difficulty. (Having too much food in your stomach at any one time will likely cause an attack.) They also add just enough sauce to coat pasta lightly, rather than drowning noodles in sauce, and begin most meals with a small serving of vegetables. Dessert is usually fresh fruit, and afterwards, Italian families like to take a walk together. A slow walk aids digestion, research suggests.