According to some research, eating an excess of acidic foods could detract from bone density, increase the risk of kidney stones, and trigger inflammation. Acidic foods have long been associated with acid reflux, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal complaints, and people who experience heartburn or other GI issues may benefit from reducing the number of acidic foods they consume.
Milk, cream, yogurt, hard cheese, and ice cream tend to be acidic and can cause acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues. Sheep and goat cheese are generally less acidic, so people who love dairy but whose stomachs aren’t such big fans can try those alternatives. If cow’s milk products are unavoidable, counterbalancing them with more alkaline foods such as cantaloupe or cauliflower could help.
The high sugar content in soft drinks is just one of the reasons doctors recommend avoiding these fizzy beverages. Soft drinks are some of the most acid-rich beverages you can buy. Too much acidity in the body can lead to brittle bones, brittle teeth, and an over-abundance of inflammation, which is linked to many diseases and health conditions.
Of all the cured meats and deli cuts, bacon could be the king of acidity. Many people have to stop eating bacon because it triggers severe bouts of acid reflux. Acidic foods are difficult for the stomach to digest, and the result is acid reflux and its telltale burning sensation. As hard as it is to imagine, relieving acid reflux could call for eliminating bacon.
Fried chicken, french fries, potato chips — these foods may be tasty, but they are highly acidic. Foods high in trans fats tend to be taxing on the digestive system. Because they require more time for digestion, they can lead to excess acid in the stomach and cause unpleasant symptoms like pressure in the belly and heartburn. Consumption of these foods should be limited if not avoided, and it is best to eat them along with alkaline foods when possible.
Coffee ranks high in acidity and is often linked to gastrointestinal flare-ups, especially acid reflux. Though not as acidic as soda, the caffeinated beverage is still one those with these issues should avoid. If it’s too ingrained in your lifestyle, know that coffee becomes more acidic the longer it sits in the pot.
Meat, particularly red meat, is highly acidic and can be difficult for the body to digest effectively. It’s not uncommon to devour a burger and promptly experience indigestion or acid reflux, though various components could cause these effects. Researchers suggest limiting meat for many reasons, but it’s definitely something to knock off the list on a low-acid diet. When eaten, the negative effects may be mitigated by chewing thoroughly and eating slowly, allowing the body to get a head start on the digestive process.
Alcohol in all its forms is high in acidity and something to avoid or limit on a low-acid diet. Acid reflux and alcohol, unfortunately, go hand in hand. Alcohol also increases uric acid, too much of which can lead to gout. People who suffer from acid reflux are likely to see their symptoms aggravated after just a single drink.
Chili peppers are notoriously acidic. Many people cannot eat spicy foods because they trigger acid reflux or other GI tract issues. Though fans of spicy food will be hard pressed to eliminate chilis from their diet, this is a big one when it comes to reducing acidity.
Processed Bread and Baked Goods
Processed bread and other baked goods contain enriched flour, refined white sugar, and preservatives, all of which can cause acid levels to spike. Foods like commercially made brownies, cakes, and cookies tend to score highest on acidity food charts. People avoiding acidic foods who are craving sweets are best off making their own snacks from less acidic ingredients.
Citrus fruits like oranges are refreshing and nutrient-rich, but many people sensitive to acidic foods must avoid them or risk toxic acid overload and a severe bout of acid reflux. More than 15 million Americans have heartburn on a daily basis, and these people will be best served to avoid oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Though citrus has other acidic effects such as enamel erosion, interestingly, they also have alkalinizing properties and are suggested on the alkaline diet!
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food, but people trying to avoid acidic meals may want to cut down on this grain. Oatmeal is high in fiber, and studies show it can lower cholesterol, but its acidity can cause issues, especially in instant varieties. Choosing old-fashioned toasted oats can make this a more pH-balanced meal, especially with the addition of refreshing fruit like bananas, berries, and mangos. Organic oatmeal with raisins and carrots is also a healthier choice.
Many people prefer roasted nuts over the raw variety for the improved taste, smell, and satisfying crunch. However, those who notice an increase in acid reflux may want to think twice before reaching for this snack. Although nuts are good for heart health, thanks in part to unsaturated fatty acids, several varieties may prove too acidic in large amounts. Cashews, pecans, walnuts, and almonds are more acidifying than alkaline nuts like chestnuts and peanuts.
White potatoes are often served boiled, roasted, or fried, but too many of them are never a good thing. Despite boasting many nutrients, white potatoes are a mildly acidic food, and overdoing the starchy vegetables can lead to upset stomach and digestive problems. Doctors often recommend replacing a serving of white potatoes with a hearty helping of sweet potatoes, which contain fewer calories and 400% of the daily vitamin A requirement.
This butter substitute is a must-have in many homes for cooking and topping bread products, but it is quite acidic. Margarine containing trans fats can harm cardiovascular health and also cause stomach issues and acid reflux. Plus, margarine is rich in omega-6 fatty acids that can lead to chronic inflammation. Even butter is not ideal in larger quantities, thanks to its high cholesterol and saturated fat content. Try to limit these fats and oils to three 0.2-gram servings a day.
Candy may satisfy cravings, but it can come with some pricey health costs. Not only is it chock full of sugar, but it’s also acidic, particularly the sour kinds. Some sour gummies and lollipops are acidic enough to cause damage to teeth and gums, especially in young children. With many candies coming in at a 5.5 pH level, if not lower, the risk of indigestion and dental problems is high. Tooth enamel can wear off at 4.0 pH, and all the additives in candy and chocolate can lead to chronic acid reflux and heartburn.