If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if dark chocolate is a good choice and if dark chocolate is acidic or alkaline?
Dark chocolate for some people may be completely fine for acid reflux whereas for others it might aggravate symptoms. Dark chocolate is acidic but usually not too acidic at a pH of around 5-6 pH depending on the quality and brand etc.
Below we will go into more detail if dark chocolate is a good choice if you have acid reflux.
Is Dark Chocolate Good or Bad for Acid Reflux?
Dark chocolate is considered the healthy alternative to regular milk chocolate. It has quite a few health benefits that include reducing inflammation, improved heart health and even helping to prevent cancer.
Keep in mind though that chocolate can also contain a small amount of caffeine and theobromine both of which can increase production of acid in the stomach which may be problematic for some.
One study from Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that consuming high fat content chocolate increased the chances of acid reflux symptoms. Also, another study found that eating regular chocolate increased the acid exposure to the esophagus.
What can be learned from these studies is that chocolate that is higher in fat can be problematic. Though the important thing to mention here is that dark chocolate is usually much lower in fat compared with milk chocolate. That’s because dark chocolate has a much higher cocoa content than milk chocolate.
While there are limited studies on this you can see that dark chocolate usually has much less sugar and milk than regular chocolate. This immediately makes it a better option that milk chocolate. That’s because both milk and sugar are well known triggers for worsening acid reflux symptoms.
Of course, dark chocolate may still be a trigger for certain people’s acid reflux but it’s less likely to be a trigger than milk chocolate in comparison.
Also keep in mind that dark chocolate tends to be more plain and have fewer ingredients that other chocolates. This makes it more natural and less likely to irritate acid reflux symptoms because it’s more simple and often does not have nasty additives or preservatives that you might find in milk chocolate brands.
When choosing a dark chocolate brand, it may be best to opt for ones that have a higher cocoa content. That is because they will contain less fat and sugar which are common triggers for acid reflux, therefore lowering the chances of it giving you acid reflux symptoms. Usually, 70% cocoa content is a good balance that isn’t too strong but is also a safer choice for acid reflux.
If you have minor acid reflux dark chocolate should generally be a good choice and may even help other areas of your health as we mentioned before.
For people with more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR I recommend that you start with a small amount of dark chocolate (1-2 squares) and see if you feel okay afterwards. You can then later increase the amount if you prefer if you have no worsened symptoms. Although I recommend keeping it in moderation to not eat a lot of it particularly if you are prone to regular acid reflux.
Also, I recommend going for the higher cocoa content chocolates particularly if you have more severe acid reflux.
Important Related Questions
Is Dark Chocolate More Acidic Than Milk Chocolate?
Dark chocolate tends to be a little more acidic than milk chocolate though the difference is usually small.
Is Dark Chocolate Good for Gastritis?
There is no one answer fits all for dark chocolate and gastritis. Some people might find it can irritate them though usually for most people it is okay in moderation.
If you are not sure just opt for a small amount of dark chocolate (1 square) and see how you feel. You can then have more later if you notice it has no negative effect for you.
Is Any Chocolate OK for GERD?
Dark chocolate is the best chocolate if you have GERD or acid reflux. That is because it tends to be more plain and simple than other chocolates with less sugar and fat content which make it easier on the digestive system.
While dark chocolate may trigger some people with acid reflux it is easily the best choice if you want to have chocolate if you have GERD.