If you're familiar with condensed milk, you know that it's often used in cooking and desserts. It's creamy and sweet, making it a great mix of milk and sweetener for coffee. However, you may wonder if you can safely consume it on a low-acid diet due to its nutritional profile.
If you suffer from acid reflux, it's important to know the pH levels of the foods you consume and how they react in your digestive system. So, is condensed milk acidic?
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Is Condensed Milk Acidic?
Condensed milk is rather acidic since it's essentially evaporated cow's milk. Because of this process, most of the water is removed, leaving the condensed milk that's high in carbohydrates and sugars. It means that consuming a lot of condensed milk may worsen your acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
On the other hand, condensed milk does contain some good minerals and vitamins that help you stay healthy, so adding it to your diet in small amounts isn't too bad.
What is the pH level of condensed milk?
Condensed milk has a pH level of around 6.33. While it might not seem too low, it's acid-forming once digested in your stomach. Because of that, it causes an increase in stomach acid production, which can then reflux up your esophagus.
What's more, although it does contain some, it's relatively deficient in many minerals and vitamins that may protect your stomach from inflammation. All of this means that it's probably best to limit how often you consume condensed milk.
While there are various types of condensed milk available on the market these days, most of them are sweetened. As you may know, sugar is harder to digest than other macronutrients, and it also has acid-forming properties, making sweetened condensed milk more acidic.
Because of that, it's important to check the ingredient list before buying a specific brand of condensed milk.
Is condensed milk good for you?
Condensed milk is very caloric as it contains around 122 calories in one fluid ounce. Most of these calories come from sugar, which is hard for your stomach to digest. As a result, it spends more time in your stomach, leading to an increase in the severity and frequency of your acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
Sugar also contributes to rapid weight gain, leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and many cardiovascular conditions. Because of that, it's crucial to control how much sugar is in your diet.
A single serving of condensed milk provides you with a good amount of calcium. It helps maintain healthy, strong bones and boosts your immune system.
This mineral is also required for the health of your muscles, heart, and nerves as it contributes to passing signals from your brain to these body parts and organs.
Along with vitamin D, calcium may also lower the risk of certain types of cancer and many cardiovascular conditions by protecting your heart muscles from damage.
Another mineral that condensed milk is a good source of is phosphorus. It helps build your teeth, manage how your body uses energy, and filter out waste from your kidneys. It's an essential mineral present mainly in various types of meat, nuts, and dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and milk.
While it might not seem that a single serving of condensed milk provides you with a lot of phosphorus, it may help you reach your goals throughout the day as long as you follow a healthy, balanced diet.
Condensed milk may also be very good if you are trying to gain some weight. For example, fortifying your oatmeal in the morning with just tablespoons of this type of milk not only adds flavor but calories that may help you build muscles and healthily gain weight.
It's better to use condensed milk than refined sugar as the milk adds some protein and fats that the sugar doesn't provide. It's also more nutritious, so it might help you prevent overeating, which is particularly bad for people with acid reflux.
Is condensed milk bad for acid reflux?
Due to its acid-forming properties, consuming condensed milk too often on a low-acid diet might be a bad idea. If consumed in large amounts, condensed milk might cause an increase in the severity of your acid reflux and GERD symptoms, which can be unpleasant and even painful.
Another thing that might make condensed milk a bad food choice for people with digestive problems is its very high in calories. Such foods can lead to an overproduction of stomach acid, which worsens your symptoms even more.
Condensed milk is also higher in lactose than regular milk, which means that it can further irritate your digestive system if you're sensitive or allergic to lactose.
While this type of sugar may not be a problem for some people, it's possible to develop lactose intolerance by consuming it a lot and very frequently. As a result, make sure to eat condensed milk sparingly to avoid this issue.
Is condensed milk worse for acid reflux than regular cow's milk?
Cow's milk has a slightly higher pH level than condensed milk, but they're both acid-forming once digested. However, cow's milk might be easier on your stomach as it contains fewer calories per serving and less sugar. Condensed milk is also lower in essential minerals and vitamins and, instead, loaded with sugar that can contribute to weight gain.
That can be problematic since overweight people tend to have worse acid reflux and GERD symptoms than those maintaining a healthy weight. Because of that, it might be beneficial to cut back on how much condensed milk you consume.
Condensed milk may not have a very low pH level, but it's very acid-forming once digested due to the production process. This means that consuming it in large quantities may worsen your acid reflux and GERD symptoms and cause the gastric acid to reflux up your esophagus.
On the bright side, it does contain some essential nutrients that may help you stay healthy, but it's best to limit how much of this milk type you eat.