Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Can Acidic Foods Cause Heartburn

Must read

Can You Eat Canned Food On Acid Reflux

Heartburn and hiatal hernia

Whether you should consume canned food on a low-acid, GERD-friendly diet depends on how severe your symptoms are.

Some people might be able to tolerate slightly more acidic foods than others. So, always check how your body reacts to any new food you add to your diet.

Other healthy people dont have to worry about canned foods in terms of their acidity.

But some of them might contain harmful substances especially if theyre not properly preserved so make sure not to base your whole diet around them.


Foods Those Help In Relieving The Heartburn

Many foods trigger the heartburn symptoms at the same time some foods are available to reduce or relieve the heartburn problem.

  • Ginger: Ginger can reduce acid reflux. It is used extensively against nausea and vomiting.
  • Bananas: Banana is high in sugars and low in acids and can be used for reducing reflux.
  • Melons: Melons are also high in water and carbohydrates with less acid and can relieve the heartburn problem.
  • Green vegetables: All green vegetables are low in fats and acid with high amounts of water. They can reduce the sensation of heartburn, especially when consumed as a salad. Many vegetables like broccoli, celery, and spinach, etc. can work for this purpose.
  • Grains: One study has shown that consumption of grains reduces 42% of risks of gastroesophageal acid reflux. It is part of the United States National Library of Medicine.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are enriched with starch and have a negligible percentage of acid and fats. They are helpful in reducing heartburn problems.

What Kind Of Treatment Can Be Provided

Acid reflux is a digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. This is typically caused by a combination of stress, caffeine, spicy foods and the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Acid reflux is also caused by the eating of acidic foods, such as oranges and tomatoes. Heartburn usually occurs after consuming a heavy meal, such as one that includes fatty foods. When there is a build up of acid in the stomach, it can be painful and in severe cases, it can lead to ulcers. Additionally, acid reflux can sometimes cause esophageal cancer.

Recommended Reading: Is Frequent Diarrhea A Sign Of Cancer

What Does Conventional Wisdom Have To Say About Acidic Foods And Acid Reflux

Okay so picture yourself sitting down to meal of veal parmesan at a fancy Italian restaurant. You have a glass of red wine with your plate of battered and fried veal topped with globs of marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and garlic, over a large plate of handmade wheat pasta.


In this scenario, there are a number of reasons why one may experience acid reflux. I wont even get into those reasons in this article, although Im sure youre counting them in your head right now! What Im getting at is that its highly likely this meal will provoke acid reflux.

If I logically think this through, without reading any of the scientific literature, I presume that the acidic marinara sauce causes irritation to the esophagus and the stomach, provoking acid reflux. And if I make that presumption, then all acidic foods coming into contact with a damaged surface area are going to hurt/sting/irritate.

But are acidic foods actually the CAUSE acid reflux?

Watch What You Drink Too

Foods fight heartburn

Certain beverages can make heartburn more likely. Drinks with caffeine boost acid in the stomach. Alcohol can relax the valve between your esophagus and stomach, letting acid escape more easily. And carbonation from fizzy drinks can bloat your stomach, which may lead to heartburn. Tomato and citrus juices have acid, too.

Don’t Miss: Are Microbiome Tests Worth It

Heartburn Relief: Food Facts

Though heartburn triggers can vary from person to person, certain food and drinks are more prone to allowing stomach acid to splash up into your esophagus, including:

  • Meats. Ground beef, marbled sirloin, chicken nugget-style, and chicken/buffalo wings.

  • Fats, Oils & Sweets.Chocolate, regular corn and potato chips, high-fat butter cookies, brownies, doughnuts, creamy and oily salad dressings, fried or fatty food in general.

  • Fruits, Vegetables & Juice. Orange juice, lemon, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato, mashed potatoes, French fries, raw onion, potato salad.

  • Other Beverages. Liquor, wine, coffee, and tea.

  • Grains. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with marinara sauce.

  • Dairy. Sour cream, milk shake, ice cream, regular cottage cheese.

Foods and beverages like these contribute to heartburn by lessening the effectiveness of the LES to keep stomach contents in the stomach. Smoking also plays a large role, and carbonated beverages should be added to the list as they can put pressure on the stomach, forcing stomach acid back up into the esophagus.

Avoid the foods and beverages above — and eat smaller meals — and you may decrease the amount of reflux from your stomach into the esophagus.

Yet changing what you eat isn’t the only way to avoid the horrors of heartburn, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make as well.

Surgical Treatments For Gerd And Acid Reflux

With advances in robotic and laparoscopic surgery, treating GERD is easier than ever. At The Surgical Clinic, we offer several types of surgical procedures to strengthen the weakened LES and other causes of GERD.

One of our providers, Dr. Trudie Goers, is board-certified in general surgery and specializes in minimally invasive gastrointestinal repair. If you need treatment for GERD or acid reflux, Dr. Goers would be happy to meet with you.

To learn more about GERD, acid reflux treatment, GERD surgery, and acid reflux surgery in Nashville, visit the Virtual GERD Center here on our website.

You dont have to live with acid reflux forever. The providers at The Surgical Clinics of Middle Tennessee are here to help you get the care that you need. Visit one of our many locations across the Greater Nashville Area, including Mt Juliet, Downtown, Franklin, Cool Springs, Hermitage, as well as Columbia, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna.

Also Check: Is Granola Good For Constipation

Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux

Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.

Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:

  • certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
  • being overweight
  • an increase in some types of hormones, such as progesterone and oestrogen
  • some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest

What Is The Ph Level Of Canned Food

11 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux/Heartburn | Acid Reflux Foods To Avoid | Gerd Diet

The pH level of canned food depends strongly on the type of food and how low the pH level has to be to prevent bacteria growth. Most canned foods, though, have a pH level below 7 to ensure the safest food.

For example, raw carrots have a pH level of 5.88-6.40, but canned carrots average around 5.18-5.22.

This is because they have to be prepared in a special way that involves adding some acidic liquid, such as vinegar or lemon juice.

The canning process varies depending on the food, but it usually involves processing, sealing, and heating up the can to preserve it, prevent spoilage, and kill any harmful bacteria.

This allows the food to remain edible and fresh for anywhere up to five years or sometimes even longer.

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Cure Leaky Gut Syndrome

Do Coffee And Teas Cause Heartburn

You may want to rethink your regular cup of joe if you’re a heartburn sufferer as caffeine relaxes the LES, triggering acid reflux10. Switching to decaffeinated coffee has been shown to lower your risk of heartburn significantly. Drinking tea, with its lower levels of caffeine, can help too but avoid peppermint tea. Despite its popularity for soothing an upset stomach, peppermint relaxes the LES making heartburn worse11.

Top 10 Foods That Cause Heartburn

Fried food A southerners worst enemy. The same fried foods that we love to eat in the south are brutal for someone with acid reflux. These foods retain a lot of oil in the coating. Foods high in fat such as fried foods take a longer time to digest, which in turn puts pressure on your stomach and esophagus. With your stomach staying full for longer, it increases the risk of heartburn.

Mint Have you heard of mints being able to settle upset stomachs? This may be true, but this herb can also worsen heartburn. When looking for natural ways to treat heartburn, try ginger.

Spicy food Some people find that after eating spicy food, there is massive heartburn. Others find that eating spicy foods may help to calm chronic heartburn. The spice in foods can affect the acid levels in your stomach. This creates somewhat of a hostile environment that can promote acid reflux. Try to reduce the spice in your food if you find that it triggers heartburn.

Cheese Any foods that are high in fats, like cheese, can delay digestion by sitting in your stomach. This puts pressure on your LES and can let acid in. Gouda, Parmesan, cream cheese, stilton, and cheddar are high in fat. Cottage cheese, ricotta, and other cheeses have reduced fat. Dont order or cook anything with a cheese sauce if you are not looking for heartburn!

Here you can learn more about the Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD Diet .

You May Like: Is Probiotic Vitamins Good For You

Fermented Foods: Enjoy Some Avoid Some

Some fermented foods are good for your tummy others can create problems for certain people, according to an article published by Harvard Medical School. Fermented foods include wine, cheese, vinegar, miso, yogurt, sauerkraut, and pickles. In yogurt, milk is combined with bacteria that break down some of the lactose, so what remains may be easier for your stomach to process. So fermented foods such as yogurt are often considered probiotic foods that are good for your gut. Look for dairy products that are low in lactose and your digestion should be A-OK.

What Type Of Canned Food Is The Best For People With Acid Reflux


If youre prone to acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, make sure to choose foods packed with water or juice instead of syrup.

This can help lower the amount of sugar youre taking in from them.

Sugar is not only bad for your health, but it also takes much longer to digest, forcing your stomach to produce more gastric acid.

This acid can then reflux up your esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.

When youre buying foods like tuna and mackerel, choose those packed with water or brine. This reduces the calories and the amount of fat youre consuming.

Research shows that those who follow a high-fat, low-protein diet have a higher risk of severe acid reflux symptoms.

In addition, consuming fewer fatty foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid various health issues.

Whats more, those with acid reflux and GERD should avoid foods like pasta sauces, canned tomatoes, canned tomato concentrate, as theyre very high in acid.

These are also loaded with sodium, which may not only irritate your digestive system but also increase your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

While small amounts of these foods might be OK, try limiting them.


Read Also: Can Probiotics Fix Leaky Gut

What Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn

If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:

  • Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.

There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.

Overview Of Dietary Composition And Metabolism

In addition to understanding the pathophysiology implicated in GERD development, an understanding of nutritional composition is helpful when discussing dietary manipulation. The human diet is composed of three main types of macronutrients, which have differing caloric density and biochemical compositions. These dietary components are broken down to produce energy and support cellular metabolism. The three macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Also Check: Can Ibs Cause You To Gain Weight

What Are Acidic Foods

Those who suffer from acid reflux are commonly told to stay away from acidic foods amongst other irritating foods. Acidic foods include coffee, tea, soda, tomato products, and citrus fruits.

However, the term acidic is confusing when it comes to foods.

Every food has a pH that may be measured both before and after digestion. Before digestion, the pH of a food can be assessed with a pH test strip fairly easily. Heres a list by the FDA that presents the pH scale of various foods prior to digestion. Foods like fruits and vegetables have a pretty low pH , versus eggs, milk and fish have a higher pH .

Measuring the pH after digestion is commonly referred to the acid ash of a food. Think of your body like a furnace. When you put food into the furnace, it burns and the residue leftover is the ash. To measure this acidity level, researchers use a metric called the potential renal acid load based on consuming 100 grams of that food. The PRAL, on a scale of -3 to 23.6, predicts the effect of the food on the acidity of the urine.

Here is a list of the PRAL of common foods:

Food group
Vegetables 2.8

Essentially, commonly perceived acidic food like tomato products actually have a alkalizing effect on the body after digestion. The same switch goes for lemons and other acidic fruits. They start out as acidic, but after digestion, have an alkalizing effect.

Can Fruit Cause Heartburn

Acid Reflux & Heartburn : Acid Indigestion Causes

Healthy and as vitamin C-rich as they are, the amount of acid in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines make them prime contenders for increasing gastric acid. Evidence shows even a glass of seemingly innocent-looking orange juice can lead to heartburn in those who are prone to it. Swap your OJ for something more stomach-soothing such as carrot and ginger or melon juice.8 Another healthy but surprisingly acidic fruit is the tomato. And not just in its raw form either in ketchup and cooked tomato sauces, including pizza topping, it can aggravate heartburn9. All fruits are highly nutritious, so don’t stop eating them. Opt instead for less acidic fruit including berries, apples, and bananas.

Don’t Miss: Is Pepto Bismol Good For Diarrhea

How Can You Get Relief From Acid Reflux

How you eat your meal can affect the symptoms of acid reflux, which is an acidity problem in the lower part of the esophagus. The heart normally maintains an acidic environment in the esophagus to digest food. But some people dont produce enough saliva, which can lead to an acidic condition in the esophagus. Some foods that increase the acidity of the esophagus include spicy and sour foods, heavy foods and drinks such as coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks. The symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn, regurgitation and chest pain. You can improve the symptoms of acid reflux through a few different ways. The first is to try to avoid acid foods for a few days at a time. The second is to drink more water. That can help you flush out the esophagus, which will help control the symptoms of acid reflux. In addition, you can lower the amount of fat you eat, and make sure your body stays well hydrated. When possible, you should try to eat smaller meals. And if you have a lot of acid reflux symptoms, you can try proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs.

How Common Is Gerd

GERD is very common. The condition and its symptoms touch a huge number of people: 20% of the U.S. population.

Anyone of any age can develop GERD, but some may be more at risk for it. For example, the chances youll have some form of GERD increase after age 40.

Youre also more likely to have it if youre:

  • Have overweight/obesity.
  • Smoking or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Taking certain medications that may cause acid reflux.

Don’t Miss: Does Plan B Make You Bloated

Do High Fat Foods Cause Heartburn

Are pizza, fried chicken, burgers, and fries the foods most likely to trigger heartburn? Certainly, fatty and deep-fried food is likely to be harder to digest and will trigger more stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn4. The confusing thing though, is that many highly nutritious foods including nuts, cheese and avocados are also high in fat and can similarly trigger symptoms5. Heartburn is triggered because high-fat foods relax the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which acts as a barrier between your food pipe and your stomach. If this muscle relaxes, stomach acid can escape from the stomach to the esophagus causing acid reflux. Making small changes to your diet, such as reducing portion size, can significantly help reduce your risk of heartburn.

Does Lemon Cause Heartburn


Most of us have experienced heartburn at least once in our lives. This unpleasant, burning sensation in our esophagus and chest is often caused by spicy and acidic foods.

So, its a good idea to avoid them, especially if you suffer from acid reflux.

But how can you know if a certain food will cause heartburn? Looking at the pH level itself isnt a great indicator of that.

Lets look at lemons as an example. They have a very low pH level, but do they actually cause heartburn?

Recommended Reading: How To Pick A Probiotic

Assessing A Hiatal Hernia

Your doctor may perform an upper endoscopy and order a video X-ray that can show the functioning of the esophagus and the valve. These tests help determine the presence and severity of a hiatal hernia , which can contribute to your symptoms.

Small hiatal hernias can often be repaired during the TIF procedure. Hiatal hernias larger than 2 centimeters cannot be treated with an endoscopic TIF procedure alone and may need to be repaired before TIF, during a laparoscopic surgical procedure called cTIF .

More articles

Popular Articles