Is Pizza Bad 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 produces too much stomach acid or the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus, becomes weak or relaxed.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and esophageal damage.

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

What you consume can affect your stomach acid production and the function of the 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.

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 about 10 grams of fat (15% of your daily needs), 4 grams of saturated fat (24% of your daily needs), 640 milligrams of sodium (28% of your daily needs), and 36 grams of carbohydrates (13% of your daily needs).

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

Saturated fat can also lower the tone of the LES and make it more prone to relaxation.

Acid can irritate and inflame the lining of the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort.

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

Gluten can cause inflammation and damage to the intestinal lining, which can affect the function of the LES and the digestion of food.

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye, which are used to make pizza dough.

Furthermore, pizza is a high-calorie and high-carbohydrate food and can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Obesity is a risk factor for acid reflux, as it can put extra pressure on the stomach and the LES.

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

Stick to one or two slices of pizza per week and choose thin crust, white sauce, and low-fat cheese and toppings.

You can also eat pizza with a salad or a glass of water to balance out the acidity and fat content.

Also, you shouldn’t eat pizza if you have severe or frequent acid reflux, or if you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), to prevent further complications.

Because pizza can aggravate your condition and cause more damage to your esophagus.

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

Always choose pizza with quality ingredients and avoid additives and preservatives.

Because they can affect the nutritional value and the taste of the pizza.

You can store pizza 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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