Are Olives Acidic or Alkaline?


Most olives out there are acidic. But depending on what variety of olive you opt for can mean a vastly different level of acidity.

For example, black olives are the least acidic of olives at a pH of around 6-7 pH. Green olives are much more acidic at a pH of around 3-4. So, while both sets of olives are acidic as per the pH scale black olives are much more alkaline.

Below we will go into olives and their acidity in more detail and if you should eat olives if you have acid reflux or heartburn and more.

Are Olives Acidic?

Most olives are acidic but depending on the variety can have wildly different levels of acidity. Green olives tend to be much more acidic than black olives.

Common varieties of green olives include Castelvetrano, Panzanilla, Picholine and Cerginola. Where common varieties for black olives include Nyon, Kalamata, Nicoise, Gaeta and Alfonso.

Green olives have an acidity level of around 3-4 pH whereas black olives have an acidity level of around 6-7 pH. The higher the number the more alkaline it is and the lower the number the more acidic it is.

Keep in mind that the pH scale is not linear. Meaning that a 6 pH is not 20% more alkaline than 5 pH food. If you didn’t know the pH scale works differently.

As an example, a 5-pH food is 10 times more acidic than a 6-pH food. The difference in acidity between the 2 different kinds of olives is quite big even if it might not seem so on initial impression.

While there are more varieties of olives out there both the black and green olives are the most popular and common hence why we have focused on them here.

For more advice on olives and diet advice for acid reflux check out our Wipeout Diet Plan.

An Important Note on How Olives are Stored

Most olives that are bought in the store are usually kept in jars or containers and are kept in liquid.

The reason we want to highlight this is because olives are sometimes kept in different liquids such as vinegar or other preservatives.

Olives that have been kept in vinegar will be much more acidic than olives that are simply kept in water. So even if the olives are not so acidic it will become much more acidic if kept in vinegar.

The best kind of olives are the ones simply kept in water. This will stop the olives from becoming more acidic and is the best choice especially for people with acid reflux.

If you have olives that are kept in a liquid with some questionable ingredients it’s a good idea to rinse them with water before eating them.

This will make them more clean and pure, and the acidity of the olives should be lower after rinsing them off.

Do Olives Cause Heartburn or Acid Reflux

Olives can cause or worsen acid reflux depending on what kind of olives you have ate and how they are stored. Green olives are much more likely to cause or worsen acid reflux because they are much more acidic than black olives. Also, if the olives have been kept in vinegar or a liquid that is more acidic this will also make the olives more acidic.

If you want to be on the safe side it’s best to opt for black olives as they are much less acidic. Also check how the olives are kept and ideally choose olives that are kept in only water.

If you can’t find any make sure to rinse the olives with water to remove any acidic liquids such as vinegar which makes them more acidic as much more likely to cause or worsen heartburn or acid reflux.

If you have more minimal or minor acid reflux green olives could also be okay. Just make sure to try a few of them before going and eating a lot of them. This is a good way to check if they will irritate or cause your acid reflux.

Is Olive Oil Acidic?

When it comes to oils it’s not possible to measure their acidity on the pH scale.

That’s because the pH scale needs water to be able to test for the pH which is not possible with olive oil as it is 100% oil and no water.

Instead, oils can be measured by their acidity in terms of overall quantity that is acidic. For olive oil this is around 1-2% of all olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil tends to be lower end of this scale at closer to 1%.

Overall, this means olive oil is not too acidic at all and should fine for most people even with more severe acid reflux like GERD and LPR.

In my testing for my Wipeout Diet Plan extra virgin olive oil turned out to the best oil choice for people with acid reflux as it almost never had any negative effect on people’s digestion unlike other oils which often made symptoms worse.

Interesting Related Questions

Is Olive Oil Good for Acid Reflux?

For acid reflux olive oil is arguably the best oil. This is because it was the least likely to make someone’s acid reflux worse.

It’s also worth mentioning extra virgin olive oil is even slightly better than normal olive oil.

Just keep in mind that if you take a lot of olive oil it could be a problem. That’s because of its higher fat contents.

So, while olive oil is a good choice if you have acid reflux you should keep it in moderation due to its higher fat contents.

Are Olives OK with Gastritis?

It depends on what variety of olives if you should eat them with gastritis.

Black olives are usually a good and safe choice because they are not too acidic. Green olives generally should be avoided due to their higher acidity.

Also, just like if you have other digestive problems like acid reflux make sure to choose olives that are not keep in things like vinegar as this makes them more acidic.

If that’s the case you can opt to rinse the olives with water before eating them. Rinsing them with water will make them less acidic and generally safer to eat and enjoy.

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