Pizza is one of the most delicious and irresistible foods. However, if you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – also known as acid reflux- eating pizza may not be worth the risk of having that burning sensation in your chest. You may be heartbroken to find out you can not consume this tasty Italian dish, but this article brings good news.
This article answers the question most people with acid reflux/GERD wonder: “how to eat pizza with acid reflux?”.
Tips For Eating Pizza With Acid Reflux
Pizza may be one of the trigger foods of acid reflux symptoms, but here are some ways you can avoid these frequent GERD symptoms:
Get A less Acidic Tomato Sauce Alternative
Pizza may be incomplete without the tomato sauce base, but if you want to keep eating pizza, you may need to make some sacrifices.
High amounts of stomach acid lead to GERD, and acidic foods like tomato sauce, marinara red sauce, and barbecue sauce only increase the risk of heartburn triggers.
Instead of the iconic red sauce, you can ask for a white cream sauce as a base for your pizza. However, it is made with butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, meaning your pizza may contain more fat and affect your weight loss routine.
If tomato sauce is an essential pizza sauce, you should choose the light sauce option and avoid toppings that may trigger chest pain resulting from GERD reactions.
Go For Low-Fat Or Fat-Free Cheese
Cheese is one of the most crucial ingredients for making pizza, but you should avoid high-fat dairy products like full-fat cheese.
The lower esophageal sphincter prevents acids from entering the esophagus, and fatty foods like full-fat cheese take longer to digest. It means the lower esophageal sphincter has to stop more acid from entering the esophagus.
If these acids do not break down for a long time, you may experience symptoms of acid reflux. Alternatively, you can choose low-fat cheese or a light cheese option. It is understandable if you are paranoid and may want to go for a fat-free cheese.
Avoid Fatty And Acidic Toppings
You should avoid toppings like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon if you want to eat pizza with acid reflux. These are spicy foods, and they add a lot of fat to your pizza. Instead, you should add vegan pizza toppings like green peppers, artichokes, spinach, and mushrooms.
You may also go for lean meats like chicken and turkey, which are low in fat compared to red meat.
Vegetables are suitable toppings because they are good sources of fiber and other essential nutrients. However, vegetables like olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, and pineapples contain a lot of acids.
Eat Your Pizza At The Right Time
You may need to consider some lifestyle changes if you want to manage GERD, and one of these changes is eating at the right time. You should ensure you do not eat pizza before you sleep or perform vigorous activities.
The digestive process takes about four hours but could extend if you lie down or exercise. When digestion goes on for longer than usual, your digestive system kicks and this reaction could cause heartburn triggers.
You may experience more pain if you eat pizza containing too much acid or fat at the wrong time.
Read Also: Best Bread For Acid Reflux
Chew Your Pizza And Drink Enough Water
Your digestive tract needs to have an easy job digesting pizza. You have to chew your pizza well and eat slowly before swallowing to speed up digestion and reduce the amount of acid in your stomach.
Whether eating in a fast-food restaurant or at home, soda or beer is perfect with pizza. However, you should drink warm water because other drinks may worsen your acid reflux symptoms.
You should also avoid coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages as they loosen the lower esophageal sphincter and increase acid reflux symptoms.
Read also: Are Potatoes Good For Acid Reflux?
French fries, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, cannolis, and tiramisu are some desserts that pair beautifully with pizza. You may not imagine pizza without these, but the contents of your stomach are enough after eating pizza.
You may be putting too much pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter if you eat a lot of food.
You should be aware that smaller meals mean fewer acid reflux reactions.
How To Eat Pizza With Acid Reflux Conclusion
If you want to eat pizza while managing acid reflux, you should ensure it has the right ingredients. Some specific ingredients, like tomato-based and high-fat dairy products, could cause frequent reflux symptoms. You can try making a healthy diet pizza if your favorite fast-food restaurants do not have the pizza you need to reduce the acid reflux risk factor.
You should also consider using Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) if you still get persistent acid reflux symptoms. Also, you should maintain a healthy diet by eating more whole grains like brown rice that contain high fiber as they absorb stomach acid and stop acid reflux symptoms.
PS: Look at our article about sea moss for acid reflux.