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Why Do Eggs Give Me Heartburn? (Unpopular Opinion)

Eggs are some of the most common foods that we all have for breakfast. They’re easily found in most grocery stores and can be prepared in various ways. Whether eggs are healthy or not has been a matter of disagreement for years, from their fat content to cholesterol levels.

But most of us still include them in our diets. However, eating too many eggs can lead to symptoms, such as heartburn. Do you know why? What makes eating eggs lead to heartburn?

Why do eggs cause heartburn?

Eggs are relatively neutral regarding acidity, but they have different effects on each person’s digestive system. As a result, some people – particularly those with a sensitive stomach – can experience unpleasant symptoms, such as heartburn after eating too many eggs. This is often due to the high-fat content of eggs.

Are eggs acidic?

A whole egg has a pH level of 6.58. Their pH level and effect on your body are relatively neutral, but it depends on your sensitivity to acidic foods and preparation methods.

Most people should be perfectly OK with consuming eggs, while others might experience some heartburn-like symptoms, especially if they don’t follow an otherwise healthy diet. Because of that, it’s important to consume all foods in moderation, including eggs.

On the other hand, egg yolk has a pH level of 6.10, while egg white has a pH level of 7.96. Aside from the pH levels, it’s important to pay attention to the effect foods have on your digestive system. In general, eggs tend to be neutral, leaning towards acidic.

But if you’re particularly sensitive to eggs, it might be a good idea to stick to egg whites and avoid egg yolks. This is because the fat in egg yolks is much harder to digest for your body than the protein in egg whites, leading to even more acidity.

How do eggs cause heartburn?

One of the most common reasons that eggs might cause heartburn is that they are rich in fat and protein. These two nutrients are difficult for your stomach to digest, which may mean that they stay in your stomach for a more extended period of time.

To deal with this, your digestive system overproduces gastric acid to speed up digestion. Sometimes, though, it can backfire, and excess stomach acid may leak up your esophagus, causing heartburn.

Aside from their already high-fat content, most people consume scrambled or fried eggs, which have added butter or oil. This increases the caloric content of your food, making your eggs unhealthy and more likely to cause heartburn.

High-calorie foods may also lead to weight gain, especially if you consume them too often. Because of that, it’s best to stick to hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs to avoid this problem.

Other experts believe that egg yolks are more likely to be a trigger food than egg whites since they are higher in fat. Because of that, cooking some egg whites for breakfast instead of making scrambled eggs with whole eggs might be an excellent way to control your heartburn symptoms. 

Various Eggs On The Wooden Table
Various Eggs On The Wooden Table

Are eggs healthy?

One of the best benefits of eating eggs is their high protein content. This nutrient speeds up recovery after exercise, which is why many athletes and people who love lifting weights consume hard-boiled eggs.

Protein also helps reduce muscle loss and contributes to building lean muscles and maintaining a healthy weight. As a result, adding high-protein foods to your diet is very important.

In addition, eggs are especially rich in two types of antioxidants. They gather in the retinas of your eyes and protect them from eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

This is important as many people don’t take enough essential vitamins that improve the health of your eyes, and one egg can provide you with a good dose of these antioxidants.

Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are especially high in selenium. This mineral works as an antioxidant in your body, thus helping flush out harmful chemicals and prevent oxidative stress and damage to your cells.

It may also reduce your risk of certain cancers and other chronic conditions by preventing cell mutations. A single egg contains around 20% of your daily need for selenium, so it’s a good idea to have some from time to time.

Contrary to popular belief, eggs actually don’t increase your cholesterol levels and cause heart disease. Eggs do contain cholesterol but consuming them has a minimal effect on the cholesterol levels in your body.

Some studies even indicate that eggs might improve your cholesterol profile, increasing the levels of ‘good’ but decreasing the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol.

What type of eggs is the least likely to cause heartburn?

Soft Boiled Eggs
Soft Boiled Eggs

For most people, processed foods and products high in fat are the most likely to cause heartburn. Because of that, you should avoid fried eggs or scrambled eggs prepared with a lot of butter or oil if you suffer from heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.

This is because fat is hard for your stomach to digest, leading to an overproduction of gastric acid. Foods cooked using a lot of oil are also higher in calories, leading to weight gain. Rapid weight gain has been connected with more severe acid reflux symptoms that include heartburn, so it’s best to avoid it.

The best choices are egg whites, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, and even poached eggs. These are prepared using gentle cooking methods that don’t contribute to eggs’ acidity, so they shouldn’t give you heartburn.

What’s more, egg whites are very delicate and high in protein but low in fat and carbs, which may even help alleviate some symptoms, such as heartburn.

Eggs have a relatively neutral pH level, which means that most people shouldn’t experience any digestive system issues after eating them. But this isn’t the case for everyone.

So if you’re especially sensitive to acidic foods, it might be a good idea to limit how often you consume eggs. You can even replace them with another high-protein food just to be safe.

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.