These days, many people choose to go on a low-acid diet and consume more alkaline foods. This is not only beneficial for everyone, but it might also be essential for people suffering from acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
While it might be challenging at first, it becomes easier once you learn about acidity and the pH levels of some of the most common foods. And if you want to have something sweet?
Well, there are many foods that you can still consume as long as you limit the portion sizes. For example, is caramel acidic? Will it worsen your acid reflux symptoms?
Is caramel acidic?
While it tastes very sweet, caramel is acid-forming once digested in your stomach. This means that it increases the production of stomach acid, leading to acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Because of that, regular consumption of caramel, and other sugary foods, is bad for your digestive system, so it should be limited as much as possible.
Caramel also doesn’t contain enough essential minerals that help protect your digestive system, which means that it can cause further irritation on top of its acidity.
What is the pH level of caramel?
Caramel has a pH ranging between 4.5-5.0. This can also vary depending on how much processing it has undergone and the number of additional ingredients present. Aside from the relatively low pH level, caramel has acid-forming properties too.
Once digested, caramel increases your stomach acid production and acidifies your digestive system, and can lead to more severe and frequent symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, so you might want to limit how much caramel you consume.
The same goes for caramel sauce, as it also has a very low pH level. What’s more, caramel sauce contains more sugar, which means that it increases stomach acid production, even more, leading to heartburn and other issues.
So, while some people might be able to tolerate small amounts of caramel sauce or syrup, it’s best to consume it sparingly and rarely. There are also better alternatives to caramel syrup and sauce, such as vanilla syrup, which is slightly less acidic and lower in calories.
Can caramel be healthy?
As you can imagine, caramel isn’t particularly healthy food. Firstly, it contains around 271 calories, most of which come from carbohydrates. Consuming a lot of carb-rich foods can not only lead to weight gain but can also increase stomach acid production.
After the gastric acid spends too much time in your stomach, it can reflux up, causing acid reflux symptoms and irritate your esophagus. So to avoid that, it’s best to limit your consumption of sugary foods, such as caramel, as much as possible.
Caramel also doesn’t contain many minerals and vitamins. The ones it does have are only in trace amounts, so it’s not enough to help you reach your dietary goals. Because of that, consuming too many sugary food products can lead to malnutrition, type 2 diabetes, and other serious conditions.
While it’s perfectly OK to indulge in caramels every once in a while, make sure to control your portions as it’s easy to consume too much.
Another not-so-good thing about caramel is that most of its calories come from sugar. This type of carbohydrate should only make up around 10% of your daily calories and even less if possible for optimal health.
Following a diet rich in sugar can lead to many health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, weight gain, stroke, and even certain forms of cancer. The same research also shows that the more sugar you consume, the more you crave.
So working on removing as much sugar from your diet as possible can help you lead a much healthier, longer life.
Most products made with caramel are highly processed, which is very unhealthy. Eating too many foods like that can lead to stomach cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems (including heart attack and high cholesterol levels), and stroke.
Because of that, experts recommend taking in most of your daily calories from fresh, natural foods, such as veggies, fruits, and healthy fats, including fish and nuts. That way, you can maintain a balanced diet that will allow you to indulge in some sweets every once in a while.
Can you eat caramel on acid reflux?
Caramel is a very sugary food, which means that once it’s digested, it forces your stomach to produce more gastric acid. That, in turn, leads to heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.
Sugary foods can also irritate your esophagus and lead to digestive system inflammation. Because of that, switching to a more alkaline diet can help you combat issues brought on by a diet high in sugar.
What’s more, it’s important to remember that caramel is made mainly from sugar. This means that it’s very caloric and can lead to weight gain. Some studies have indicated that weight loss may decrease the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms.
Because of that, cutting out caramel from your diet or limiting it can help you stay as healthy and possible and reduce symptoms like heartburn.
Caramel also contains a huge dose of fat. This macronutrient tends to stay in your stomach longer as it requires more time and gastric acid to be digested.
This can cause the stomach contents to come back up your esophagus, causing one of the most common acid reflux symptoms, heartburn.
Just like sugar, fat can also cause weight gain and clog up your arteries, so it’s essential to consume healthy fats instead of processed, saturated and trans fats.
Just like other sugary food products, caramel has acid-forming properties and a low pH level. This means that it’s very likely to worsen your acid reflux and GERD symptoms, particularly if you consume it too often and in too large quantities.
It also doesn’t contain many essential minerals and vitamins that help you stay healthy and could potentially offset the negative effects of a diet high in acidic foods. Because of all that, you might want to replace caramel with other natural snacks, such as fresh fruit.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.