Following a low-acid diet can be difficult, especially in the age of fast food and processed foods. However, even fresh and natural food can be acidic and worsen your acid reflux and GERD.
As a result, you have to educate yourself on the acidity levels of common foods, including desserts and other treats that you might want to consume. That way, you can decide how much you can consume without experiencing any discomfort. For instance, is ice cream acidic?
Is ice cream acidic?
Ice cream is considered to be a rather acidic dessert. This means that it might aggravate certain symptoms of acid reflux, leading to discomfort. It’s also high in sugar, which is hard to digest. This, in turn, leads to an increased production of stomach acid that can then reflux up your esophagus. Hence, it should be limited on a low-acid diet to avoid these problems.
What is the pH level of ice cream?
The pH level of ice cream ranges between 5.82 to 6.62. It depends greatly on what flavor it has and what other ingredients the ice cream contains. Even though the pH isn’t too low, it’s acid-forming, so it can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
This is especially true for sorbet and ice cream with a citrus flavor. As a result, it might be best to limit your consumption of ice cream if your symptoms are severe and frequent.
In fact, sorbets can have a pH level ranging between 3.2 to 4.1 due to their citrus and additives content, so they should be avoided even more.
On the other hand, sorbets are lower in fat than regular ice cream, so which of these you consume depends greatly on your dietary restrictions and goals. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to lose weight or limit your intake of acid-forming foods, it’s best to limit both of these ice cream types.
Is ice cream good for you?
As you might have imagined, ice cream isn’t a particularly nutritious food and that includes low-sugar and low-fat options. It’s very caloric and can cause indigestion, so if your acid reflux and GERD symptoms are severe, it might be best to steer clear of this dessert.
In fact, just half a cup of vanilla ice cream contains approximately 137 calories and barely any protein. Even though it might not seem like a lot, remember that people usually consume more than the standard recommended serving in one sitting, so the calories add up easily.
On top of that, ice cream provides you with virtually no minerals and vitamins, which are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. As a result, consuming ice cream won’t contribute to your overall health and can even worsen it if consumed in large quantities.
Similarly, it’s high in saturated fats, which aren’t good and should be limited — and this type of fat is also present in low-fat ice cream.
Additionally, most ice cream contains artificial flavorings and additives that contribute to many health issues. For instance, some research indicates that these substances can have a negative effect on the development and behavior of young children.
Moreover, the same compounds, along with artificial sweeteners and food coloring, have been linked to certain types of cancer, such as colon and stomach.
Limiting simple sugars and sugary foods is important to control your digestion and keep your digestive tract as healthy as possible. On top of that, by limiting your consumption of these kinds of food, you’ll also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and even stroke.
Is ice cream bad for acid reflux?
Ice cream has acid-forming properties, so it’s not an ideal food to include on a stomach-friendly diet. Furthermore, more often than not, it’s very high in fat, which is hard to digest.
This macronutrient is not only very caloric (which can lead to weight gain), but it also leads to higher levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Thus, it can cause a variety of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
On top of that, ice cream is very high in processed sugars and contains barely any fiber. Because of that, it causes spikes in your blood sugar levels without providing any nutrition. What’s more, sugar is also hard to digest, so it causes stomach acid to reflux up your esophagus, leading to heartburn and other symptoms.
Furthermore, a diet high in sugar is unhealthy since it can lead to dehydration and water retention, among other issues.
Nevertheless, if you consume ice cream very rarely and in moderation, you can still treat yourself to this tasty dessert. The most important thing is not to overdo it. As a result, if you enjoy eating ice cream, you don’t need to eliminate it from your diet completely. However, you have to control how much you consume in order to stay healthy.
Is vegan ice cream less acidic than dairy ice cream?
Vegan ice cream has around the same pH level as dairy ice cream, and it also has the same effect on your body. There’s also not much difference in terms of its nutritional value. As a result, both should be avoided or at least limited on a low-acid diet. Furthermore, both contain lots of sugar and fat, so they’re not particularly healthy.
On the other hand, vegan ice cream is dairy-free, so if you’re lactose intolerant, it’s better to consume vegan ice cream than its dairy counterpart.
Ice cream is a rather acidic type of dessert, so it’s important to limit its consumption on a low-acid, stomach-friendly diet. Furthermore, it’s high in fat and sugar, which slow down digestion, leading to excess production of stomach acid.
It’s also not a particularly nutritious food, so it’s best to only indulge in it every once in a while and in small portions to avoid any adverse health side effects.
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.