Is Pizza Good for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Pizza is bad for acid reflux because it has fat, acid, and gluten and they can increase stomach acid production, relax the LES, and delay stomach emptying.

Acid reflux is a condition that affects your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

In acid reflux, your body allows stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus.

This can irritate and damage the lining of your esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing.

This can lead to various health problems, such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, strictures, and esophageal cancer.

One of the key factors in managing acid reflux is diet.

What you consume can affect your stomach acid production and the function of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which can impact your acid reflux symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage acid reflux, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, vegetables, and fruits and avoid fat-rich foods like cheese, fried foods, and chocolate.

Now, pizza is a popular dish that consists of a crust, tomato sauce, cheese, and various toppings.

People usually eat pizza as a main course or a snack, either fresh or reheated.

Pizza is bad for acid reflux because it contains fat, acid, and gluten.

These ingredients can trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms by increasing stomach acid production, relaxing the LES, or delaying stomach emptying.

One slice of regular cheese pizza can give you 285 calories, 10.4 grams of fat, 640 milligrams of sodium, 35.6 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, 3.8 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.

Fat can increase the pressure on your stomach and weaken your LES, allowing acid to reflux into your esophagus.

Fat can also slow down your digestion, making you feel full and bloated.

Acid can irritate and inflame your esophageal lining, causing pain and discomfort.

Tomato sauce, a common ingredient in pizza, is highly acidic and can worsen your symptoms.

Gluten can cause inflammation and damage your intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome.

This can impair your digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as increase your risk of food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases.

Furthermore, pizza is a high-carbohydrate food and carbohydrates can stimulate the release of insulin, a hormone that can lower your blood sugar and increase your hunger.

Insulin can also relax your LES, making it easier for acid to reflux.

That’s why I suggest you limit your pizza intake to avoid aggravating your acid reflux.

Stick to one or two slices per week and choose thin crust, low-fat cheese, and vegetable toppings.

Avoid eating pizza late at night or lying down after eating, as this can increase the chances of acid reflux.

Also, you shouldn’t eat pizza if you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or lactose intolerance to prevent adverse reactions.

Because these conditions can cause digestive issues, inflammation, and allergic symptoms that can worsen your acid reflux.

You can buy fresh pizza in your local pizzeria or can order it from online.

Always choose pizza made with whole wheat flour, low-sodium sauce, and low-fat cheese.

Because these options can reduce the fat, acid, and gluten content of your pizza and make it more nutritious and digestible.

You can store leftover pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care is key to managing acid reflux effectively.

I always recommend my acid reflux patients to follow an acid reflux-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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