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Is Bread Acidic? (How Bad Is It)

When having trouble with acid reflux, it is important to try to avoid acidic foods, which can make acid reflux worse.

If you are a fan of bread, you may be wondering if bread is acidic and if it’s good for acid reflux. Read on for more information on the acidity of bread and its ingredients.  

Is Bread Acidic?

Bread is slightly acidic, with a pH usually ranging from about 5 to 6.5, but it is also close to the neutral score of 7. Gluten-free bread is the most neutral of all types of bread, with a pH of around 6.5. 

RELATED: Is Bread Processed Food? (Which one is the Best?)

What is the pH of bread? 

Since “bread” is such a broad category, the different types of bread have different pH levels. Wheat bread has a pH of about 6, whereas rye bread has a pH of about 5. The pH of white bread usually falls around 5 to 5.5 on the pH scale. Gluten-free bread is the most neutral of all types of bread, with a pH of around 6.5. 

The acidity of an item is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 14. On this scale, which was developed by Soren Sorensen in 1909, a score of 0 means that an object is very acidic.

An object with a score of 14 is the complete opposite and is very alkaline or basic. An object with a score close to the in-between point (7) is considered neutral.  

RELATED: Why Doesn’t Bread Fill Me Up?

What is the pH of the ingredients in most breads? 

Making Bread
Making Bread

Again, since there are so many different types of bread, there are many different recipes, each calling for different ingredients. But most bread recipes call for some of the same basic ingredients. So we will look at the pH of some of the most common ingredients used in the making of bread.

These ingredients include active dry yeast, water, sugar, salt, canola oil, and flour.  

Dry yeast has the highest pH score of anything that we have looked at so far and is the most alkaline product used in the making of bread. Dry yeast has a pH of 8.6.

It is often hard to determine the exact pH of water because water is found in public water systems is added with disinfectants like chlorine or chloramine, which kills disease-causing germs.

Because of this, the pH can vary, but it is usually in the range of 6.5 to 8.5. Water from groundwater systems has an even more extensive range- about 6 to 8.5. Pure water has a pH of about 7, but when it is exposed to the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, it will change. 

RELATED: Are Bananas Acidic?

Slices of Bread On Chopping Board
Slices of Bread On Chopping Board

The next ingredient we will look at is sugar. Sugar is actually a pH-neutral substance with a score of 7. Raw and unprocessed sugar is basic, but when it becomes processed, it becomes slightly acidic.

Salt is another ingredient that is very close to neutral, with a pH of 7.2.

Canola oil is very acidic, and it has a pH score of about 2 to 3.5.

Finally, the last ingredient we are going to talk about is flour. Flour is close to neutral but is slightly acidic. It has a pH of approximately 6 to 6.8.  

Is bread bad for acid reflux? 

While bread is slightly acidic, bread is actually good for acid reflux. This refers to whole-grain bread, and other whole-grain foods, such as rice and oatmeal, help to absorb the stomach acid. Bread is also a good source of fiber which is good for your stomach.

Other foods to eat that help acid reflux include vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and green beans, and fruits, like melons, apples, bananas, and pears, as well as nuts, seeds, egg whites, grilled chicken, tofu, and ginger.  

Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux include chocolate, peppermint, spicy foods, fried foods, garlic, onions, and drinks containing alcoholcaffeine, or carbonation.  

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.

MORE RELATED INFORMATION

Which Bread To Eat If You Have Problems With Acid Reflux?

If you are experiencing problems with acid reflux, it’s best to stick to whole-grain bread, sprouted grain bread, and whole wheat bread and, of course, avoid bread with refined grains. An example of this type of bread would be white bread which doesn’t contain enough fiber and have lots of sugar, sodium, and fat which may worsen your acid reflux symptoms.

Sources: 

Dooley, T. (2019, December 20). Acid Reflux Diet: 8 Foods To Eat & Avoid: Gastroenterologist San Antonio. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.gastroconsa.com/acid-reflux-diet-8-foods-to-eat-avoid/ 

Nordlund, E., Katina, K., Mykkänen, H., & Poutanen, K. (2016, March 25). Distinct Characteristics of Rye and Wheat Breads Impact on Their in Vitro Gastric Disintegration and in Vivo Glucose and Insulin Responses. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5302334/ 

Madell, R. (2020, January 29). 7 Foods to Add to Your Diet for Acid Reflux. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/diet-nutrition 

Søren Sørensen. (2018, January 11). Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.sciencehistory.org/historical-profile/soren-sorensen