If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if bread is a good choice or not.
Well, there is no one answer fits all when it comes to bread if you have acid reflux. That will depend on what kind of acid reflux you have and the severity of it and what kind of bread you are eating, and the ingredients used.
Generally speaking, if you have mild acid reflux you should be able to eat most bread without concern but if you have more severe acid reflux like GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) or LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux) then you may need to avoid certain breads.
Below we will go into this in more detail so you know if you can eat bread and what kinds depending on your acid reflux.
Is Bread Good or Bad for Acid Reflux?
Before we consider if bread is good or bad for acid reflux we should first consider how severe your acid reflux is. If you have more minimal acid reflux then chances are bread probably will be a fine choice for you and you probably won’t have to read into the small details about bread. If you have more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR then you should be more aware about what bread you are eating and what ingredients have been used.
Typically, the more simple the bread the more likely it’s a better choice for your acid reflux. For example breads that are created from a mixture of different grains and seeds are more unpredictable than breads just made simply from wheat flour.
The more ingredients the more likely that the bread will not be a good choice for acid reflux. Basically when there are more ingredients in the bread it adds a level of unpredictability and this often can increase the chances of acid reflux after eating.
Ideally you want to eat bread that uses 1 main ingredient such as wheat flour to make the bread. This way it’s more simple and predictable.
White bread is often the best choice for people with acid reflux because it’s simple without many added grains or seeds etc. For example, whole wheat brown bread while more healthy contains more fiber. For some people this increase in fiber also will worsen or increase the acid reflux symptoms.
That’s because fiber and whole grains may increase things like bloating and distention in the stomach and gut. This often leads to bloating or things like gas which in turn can throw off the pressure balance in the stomach and this leads to the valve above the stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opening more than it should and this is often when acid reflux occurs.
If you have more severe GERD or LPR it may also be a good idea to look at the ingredients used in bread. The fewer ingredients in your bread, the better. Again, when the bread has less ingredients it will mean the bread is more natural with less preservatives. Often bread will have multiple ingredients in it to preserve it or give it a different taste. Some common ingredients in bread that you will want to avoid if possible are things like ascorbic acid, vinegar, and sugar. These ingredients will make the bread more acidic and may irritate or trigger your acid reflux symptoms especially if you are more sensitive.
Another factor to consider with bread is gluten. Most normal bread will have gluten. Therefore, if you are gluten intolerant you will need to choose gluten free bread. For these people and others gluten may trigger acid reflux and may need to be avoided, though the same rules will apply as we mentioned before for gluten free bread.
Is Bread Acidic or Alkaline?
Bread like most foods is acidic. With a pH level around 4-6. While this level is acidic it should be relatively safe for most people.
Keep in mind that the range is quite big in terms of pH levels. Therefore as we mentioned it’s best to opt for more plain white bread if you have acid reflux. Because this kind of bread is more alkaline than breads with more added ingredients and preservatives.
What Do You Put on Your Bread?
Keep in mind that what spread you use on your bread will also matter. Butter is often a good choice because its not very acidic and is a simple ingredient. The same can be said for most nut butters. That’s because they are natural and are not too acidic.
Oil spreads for most people should be okay but for people with LPR or severe GERD they may want to stick to the first options I mentioned. That’s because certain oils in them spreads and preservatives can be quite acidic and can worsen or even cause acid reflux for certain people.
Also keep in mind if you are using spreads like mayonnaise for sandwiches or other store-bought spreads chances are they will be highly acidic and should be avoided by most people with acid reflux ideally.
Important Related Questions
What Bread is Good for Acid Reflux?
The best bread for acid reflux is plain white bread. This is because it’s relatively simple in terms of ingredients and is less likely to cause things like bloating which is more common with brown and high fiber breads.
Is Sourdough Bread Good for Acid Reflux?
Sourdough bread can be good for acid reflux. Though in some cases it can also be bad. It really depends on what is causing your acid reflux in the first place. If your acid reflux is linked to your gut and a bacteria build up then eating sourdough bread which has more friendly bacteria could in fact make that worse.
Though for some people it could help settle and balance the gut. Though sourdough bread tends to be more acidic so could also irritate people with more sensitive reflux like LPR (silent reflux).
Is White Bread Good for Acid Reflux?
Yes white bread is probably the most safe choice of bread if you have acid reflux. Thanks to being plain and having relatively simple ingredients included.
Is Toast Good for Acid Reflux?
Toasting bread should make it a little easier to digest than when it’s not been toasted. This means less likelihood of acid reflux symptoms like heartburn.