Modern lifestyles have led to a rise in the number of people suffering from acid reflux, GERD, and associated symptoms like heartburn. Doctors often recommend people with these conditions follow a low-acid diet to reduce the frequency and severity of their symptoms.
Such diets can be challenging, as followers must know the acidity of common foods and how each affects their symptoms but still devise healthy, nutritious meals.
Everyone needs protein in their diet, and although more people are turning to plant sources, meat is still popular. Some meats are bad for acid reflux, but are they all?
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Is Ham Acidic or Alkaline?
Ham is only slightly acidic, but like many processed meat products, it is acid-forming, which means they produce acid when ingested and may aggravate your acid reflux.
What Is the pH of Ham?
The pH of ham is around 5.90-6.10, but meat and meat products are rich in amino acids, which cause a more acidic environment in the gut when ingested.
Moreover, ham is high in fat, which takes longer to digest, causing slow gastric emptying and prompting the stomach to produce more acid to burn them.
Is Ham Good for You?
Ham is an excellent source of lean protein, with one slice containing 91 calories and 9 grams of protein. Protein keeps you feeling full longer after eating, boosts your immune system, and builds lean muscle mass.
It's also high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and cellular damage, lessening your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Selenium can reduce your risk of thyroid dysfunction and prevent age-related mental decline.
Ham is a rich source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), which aids carbohydrate metabolism and supports brain and nerve health. It also plays a role in muscle contraction.
It also has a low caloric density so it can replace fatty meats and aid in healthy weight loss.
Is Ham Bad for Acid Reflux?
Ham is a processed meat product that is high in fat and acid-forming, so eating it in moderation is a must when you have acid reflux or GERD.
While adding ham to your meal may not cause immediate symptoms, everyone's symptom triggers are different. The sugar, sodium, and other acid-forming substances it contains may aggravate some people's digestive systems.