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Does Olive Oil Cause Heartburn? (Still The Best Oil?)

Following a diet aimed at preventing heartburn can be hard sometimes. After all, you have to carefully plan your meals and avoid foods that trigger your acid reflux symptoms. So, it can be difficult, as most foods tend to be acidic.

The most common culprit that causes heartburn is fat. But it’s hard to avoid it, especially as it’s needed for cooking. 

That also applies to healthy fats like olive oil. So, does olive oil cause heartburn? Or is it safe for people with acid reflux?

Does Olive Oil Cause Heartburn?

Olive oil, just like other types of cooking oils, is high in fat. Because of that, consuming too much of it can definitely give you heartburn and make you feel much worse after eating.

Luckily, olive oil is often used in very small quantities. So, most people should be OK with consuming foods containing or cooked with olive oil. Those who are especially sensitive to fatty foods might want to avoid salad dressings made with olive oil, though.

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 olive oil acidic?

Both black and green olives are excellent sources of antioxidants

While olive oil on its own isn’t acidic (in fact, oils don’t have a pH level), it can be bad for your digestive system once digested. 

This is because all of the calories found in olive oil come from fat, which can be a trigger food for some people suffering from acid reflux or GERD.

So, for people who experience severe heartburn, olive oil should be on the acidic list of foods.

How can olive oil cause heartburn?

A single tablespoon of olive oil contains 21% of your daily recommended need for fat, which is a large amount. 

Fat is a nutrient that’s hard for your body to digest. Because of that, it spends much more time in your stomach before it’s absorbed.

When that happens, your stomach is forced to produce more gastric acid to speed up digestion. This acid can then rise up your esophagus, giving you heartburn and other issues.

As a result, people who are diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD might want to limit their consumption of olive oil or carefully monitor how much they have.

Can olive oil help with heartburn?

While olive oil should definitely be consumed in moderation whether you suffer from acid reflux or not, some experts believe it can ease heartburn in some people.

Some studies have found that following a predominantly Mediterranean diet, which relies on olive oil a lot, can lower your risk of GERD and acid reflux. 

While this is promising, remember that this diet also relies on healthy, fresh ingredients like vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, fish, and nuts. 

Can olive oil help with heartburn?
Can olive oil help with heartburn?

This type of diet is healthy for everyone and can improve acid reflux symptoms in most people. 

So, whether olive oil in itself has a huge impact on heartburn is still unclear. Because of that, make sure to use common sense and listen to your body.

Olive oil is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins that can help keep your digestive system healthy. 

So, if you add olive oil to high-fiber and high-protein foods, you can reduce inflammation in your stomach, thus preventing heartburn in the long run.

Is olive oil good for you?

Olive oil provides you with calories from healthy monounsaturated oleic acids. While fat usually gets a bad rap, these types of oleic acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and even prevent cancer. 

They’re also heat resistant, which makes olive oil perfect for cooking.

While high in calories, olive oil provides you with some great health benefits. First of all, it contains a great dose of vitamin E, even in a single serving. 

This fat-soluble micronutrient maintains healthy skin and eyes as well as strengthens your body’s immune system.

Since it’s soluble in fat, taking it in from sources like olive oil is a great way to ensure good absorption.

Another micronutrient found in olive oil is vitamin K. It’s crucial for blood clotting, bone metabolism, and ensuring that your wounds heal properly. 

Is olive oil good for you?
Is olive oil good for you?

This vitamin may also improve memory in older adults and lower your blood pressure.

What’s more, vitamin K acts as an antioxidant in your body. This means that it helps flush out free radicals from your body, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells. 

Because of that, you’re at a lower risk of various chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The antioxidants found in olive oil also reduce inflammation and prevent high ’bad’ cholesterol levels in your blood. 

Because of this, you’re at a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes, and various cardiovascular conditions.

Even though it’s an oil, olive oil is actually not associated with weight gain and obesity. In fact, various studies show that consuming a diet containing moderate amounts of olive oil can help you stay full and prevent overeating.

As you can see, there are many reasons for including olive oil in your diet and getting excellent health benefits.

Should you have olive oil when you suffer from heartburn?

When consumed in moderation, olive oil is very good for your health

When consumed in moderation, olive oil is very good for your health, including for the health of people suffering from heartburn.

It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help in reducing inflammation in your digestive system, preventing stomach ulcers and other issues. 

Less inflammation in your stomach also means less irritation that may prompt your stomach to produce more gastric acid.

So, as long as you add it to your meals in moderation, you can consume olive oil if you tend to experience heartburn.

Conclusion

Olive oil is definitely one of the healthiest oils you can include in your diet. Unfortunately, it can still lead to heartburn in people prone to this issue. 

So, to prevent that, make sure to consume olive oil in moderation and avoid foods that contain a lot of it.

You can still include olive oil in your diet in moderation, though. It’s a great source of vitamins E and K, which are crucial for your health. 

It’s also high in antioxidants and powerful plant compounds, making it a great addition to any diet.

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: Nutrition Data, National Library of Medicine