If you frequently experience symptoms of acid reflux, you know how hard it can be to find foods that don’t worsen them. Aside from everyday food, it’s also challenging to find desserts that won’t cause heartburn and other issues.
This is because most sweets tend to be loaded with sugar and other triggering ingredients, making them bad choices for people with acid reflux and GERD. But, what about cakes and pies?
For example, is cheesecake acidic? Can you have it on a low-acid diet?
Is cheesecake acidic?
Like all other pies and cakes, cheesecake is acid-forming, thus bad for people dealing with acid reflux and GERD. It’s high in fat and sugar, which are two hard to digest nutrients that trigger severe acid reflux symptoms, so it’s best to limit how much and how often you consume these.
Cheesecake also doesn’t contain very many nutrients. It is low in vitamins and minerals, which means that it provides you with empty calories.
What is the pH level of cheesecake?
Depending on the ingredients and production, cheesecakes have varying pH levels, but they’re also acid-forming. Generally, most commercially produced cheesecakes have a pH level lower than 5.5.
The low pH level and acid-forming properties of cheesecake are mostly due to how highly processed it is and how much sugar it contains.
All processed foods are acidic, and the ones with added sugar and sweeteners are even worse for people with acid reflux and GERD symptoms, so you should avoid them.
They can also help you feel fuller after eating while still giving your cheesecake the delicious taste it’s known and loved for.
Is cheesecake healthy?
Since it’s a dessert, cheesecake isn’t very nutritious and contains only trace amounts of essential minerals and vitamins. This isn’t good, especially since these nutrients may help alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux and protect your digestive system from inflammation.
As a result, you should only eat cheesecake on special occasions and ensure that you’re following a healthy, balanced diet.
A single slice of cheesecake contains around 250 calories or even more. This means that eating too much cheesecake can lead to weight gain, which may cause various health problems, including an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Rapid gain weight can also negatively impact your mental well-being, so consuming a balanced diet is important for preventing these issues.
Most of the calories in cheesecake come from fat, which is hard to digest. To break this nutrient down, your stomach has to produce more gastric acid, which may then reflux up your esophagus, causing many unpleasant symptoms.
Consuming a diet high in unhealthy fats – the ones that come from processed foods – also leads to rapid weight gain, which has been linked to more severe acid reflux symptoms. Because of that, it’s important to consume mostly fresh and natural foods to improve your health.
On top of that, the fats in a cheesecake are primarily saturated fats, which are known to raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of stroke and high blood pressure, so you should avoid this type of fat as much as possible.
High intake of saturated fats has also been linked to various cardiovascular issues, including a heart attack. So, while small amounts of fat in your diet aren’t harmful, it’s best to limit your intake of fats, especially the unhealthy kind.
Can you eat cheesecake on acid reflux?
Cheesecake is an acid-forming food that can worsen your acid reflux symptoms. Because of that, it’s best to avoid pies and cakes on a low-acid diet. These types of food contain a lot of sugar and fat, which are two nutrients that are hard to digest.
To metabolize them, your stomach produces more acid that can rise up your esophagus, leading to heartburn and other issues.
What’s more, eating a lot of foods high in fat can cause weight gain, which, as mentioned above, worsens your acid reflux and can even make you develop this condition if you didn’t have it in the first place.
If you absolutely can’t live without having an occasional slice of cheesecake, but your acid reflux is severe, you can make it yourself. That way, you can use less acidic ingredients and control how much sugar goes into the cake.
It might also be a good idea to use Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream as it’s lower in fat and higher in important nutrients and minerals that help you stay healthy. You can also add some fresh fruit, which can work as natural sweeteners, making your cheesecake healthier and less fattening.
Is frozen cheesecake bad for acid reflux?
Just like regular cheesecake, frozen cheesecake has acid-forming properties. Consuming it in large quantities can worsen your acid reflux symptoms and overall health. It’s also calorie-dense with little to no nutrients, so it doesn’t help you reach any of your dietary goals.
It’s important to indulge in this and any other form of dessert infrequently and follow a mostly natural and balanced diet.
There are various frozen cheesecake options available on the market that are lower in fat and sugar. These might be a better option for people who need to control their intake of these macronutrients.
In addition, consuming fewer calories coming from simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, improves your health and lowers the risk of developing diabetes and high blood sugar levels.
Cheesecake, just like other desserts, is acidic and can worsen your acid reflux and GERD symptoms. It’s also deficient in essential nutrients and vitamins, which are essential for maintaining good health. It doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in this dessert, though.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is controlling your portion sizes and not having cheesecake too often, especially if your acid reflux is severe.
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.