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Does Honey Cause Heartburn? (Definitive Answer)

Eating low-acid foods is important for preventing heartburn and controlling acid reflux and GERD. This can be difficult in the age of highly processed foods. 

One way to improve your symptoms is to eat healthy and natural ingredients like honey.

While honey is high in sugar, it doesn’t seem acidic as you eat it. So, can eating honey help with heartburn? Or does it worsen it?

Does Honey Cause Heartburn?

Honey is a high-calorie ingredient that can be bad for those with acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. It’s deficient in most vitamins and minerals, so it’s often mostly unnecessary calories.

On the other hand, some people believe that eating honey can soothe your esophagus and help with acid reflux. At the end of the day, everybody has different foods triggers, so always listen to how your body reacts to all new foods you’re eating.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Is honey acidic?


Honey has an average pH level of around 3.70-4.20. While this is a low pH level, digesting honey actually makes it alkaline, thus good for people with acid reflux. 

As always, remember that everyone has different food triggers. So, even though some people can safely eat honey on acid reflux, that might not be the case for you.

Because of that, try slowly adding honey to your diet and check whether your heartburn worsens or not.

How can honey cause heartburn?

Almost all of the calories found in honey come from carbohydrates, including sugar. In fact, one tablespoon of honey contains 17.2 g of sugar, which is a lot.

Your body doesn’t really need sugar, so it’s best to limit it as much as possible. Sugar is also linked to much worse cases of heartburn. 

This is because this nutrient inflames and irritates your digestive tract, prompting your stomach to produce more gastric acid.

Honey is also rather caloric, leading to weight gain. Too much body weight has been associated with more severe GERD and acid reflux, so it’s important to keep that in mind. 

Does Honey Cause Heartburn?
Does Honey Cause Heartburn?

While honey is healthy in small amounts, consuming too much can lead to bad heartburn in people most sensitive to it.

Can honey help with heartburn?

Even though it’s rich in sugar, some studies believe that honey can have great medicinal properties when it comes to treating GERD and acid reflux.

Experts believe that it’s because honey fights against inflammation in your esophagus, coating it and preventing damage by any gastric acid that might rise up. It’s also a natural ingredient, which can be used along with other over-the-counter medications for heartburn.

Additionally, honey contains a lot of antioxidants, which, if not removed from your body, can cause damage to the cells in your digestive tract. 

Thanks to honey, these radicals are removed, and your esophagus and stomach remain healthy.

While more research needs to be done to confirm whether honey benefits everyone with heartburn, it’s a good start for those who want to try something new for their acid reflux or GERD.

Is honey good for you?

While most of its calories come from sugars, honey does possess some great health benefits. For example, it’s loaded with antioxidants that can do much more than just protect your digestive system.

These plant compounds remove free radicals from your body, preventing the development of various chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

Is Honey Good For You? Infographic
Is Honey Good For You? Infographic

Antioxidants also reduce inflammation in your body, keeping your cardiovascular system healthy.

Because of that, eating honey may improve the health of your heart. Other studies have found that regularly eating honey can help decrease the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your blood while increasing the levels of the ‘good’ kind.

This can mean a reduction in blood pressure and prevention of heart attacks and strokes, among other issues.

Honey is also rich in antibacterial plant compounds. Because of that, honey can promote wound healing. 

It can also make for a useful treatment for psoriasis, dermatitis, and herpes. This is as a result of the antibacterial properties that decrease the growth of microorganisms that may lead to infections.

Since it’s natural, honey is also so much better than table sugar. Although honey is high in calories and sugar, it still provides you with some health benefits and nutrients as opposed to white, refined sugar.

Because of that, swapping out sugar for honey can help with healthy weight loss and weight management. Eating honey instead of sugar can also be beneficial for people with diabetes, as it doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels as much.

With all that, honey is still high in calories, and many people consume more than a single serving in one sitting. 

Because of that, it’s important to practice moderation, as too much honey can have adverse health effects like weight gain and even type 2 diabetes.

Should you eat honey if you suffer from heartburn?

Should you eat honey if you suffer from heartburn?
Should you eat honey if you suffer from heartburn?

Some studies believe that eat adding honey to your diet can be very beneficial for treating heartburn. 

Researchers have found that honey’s texture and the plant compounds it contains can help keep acids down.

They recommend eating just one teaspoon of honey to experience relief from heartburn. If you don’t like plain honey, try adding it to low-acid teas or mix it with warm water. This can help with hydration as well as reduce hunger.

While some experts believe that honey can be consumed on a low-acid diet, make sure your body agrees. So, start with small amounts to check whether honey helps you or makes your heartburn worse before making it a regular part of your diet.


Honey is a natural ingredient that has always been considered to have wonderful medicinal properties. Because of that, many believe that it can also be used for treating heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.

While studies found some truth to it, remember that everyone’s body is different. While someone might benefit from honey in their diet, another may experience much worse heartburn. So, always add new food items to your diet carefully and slowly.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Sources: FDA, PMC, British Medical Journal, Nutrition Data, and National Library of Medicine