Following a low-acid diet requires a lot of research to make sure that you're mainly consuming alkaline foods instead of acid-forming ones. To do that, you have to be aware of the pH levels of the foods you consume, as well as the effect that these foods have on your body.
Knowing these things will help you curb the occurrence of acid reflux and GERD symptoms, making you feel better. It's best to start with some of the most common foods, such as sauces. For example, is spaghetti sauce acidic?
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Is Spaghetti Sauce Acidic?
Spaghetti sauce is made mainly from tomatoes, so it has a rather low pH level. Unfortunately, it's also acid-forming, which means that it can worsen your symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, especially if you consume it in large quantities and very often.
On the other hand, tomatoes are high in some essential nutrients and minerals, so spaghetti sauce can be a great addition to a well-balanced diet.
What is the pH level of spaghetti sauce?
Spaghetti sauce has a pH level ranging between 4.10 to 4.70. Furthermore, because of its high concentration of tomatoes, it also has acid-forming properties, which means it forces your stomach to produce more acid, which then can reflux up your esophagus. As a result, consuming too much spaghetti sauce can worsen your symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
On top of that, many spaghetti sauces contain garlic, onion, and other added ingredients that tend to irritate your esophagus and stomach. Therefore, brands with these additives can be even worse for people who are particularly susceptible to stomach irritation and inflammation.
This means that it might be a good idea to opt for a pure, traditional spaghetti sauce instead of the ones with added trigger ingredients.
Is spaghetti sauce good for you?
Spaghetti sauce isn't too caloric; in fact, one serving of half a cup of this type of sauce contains around 110 calories.
This means that it's very unlikely to be hard to digest and won't cause any weight gain. It also contains a good amount of fiber, which helps soak up excess stomach acid, preventing it from rising up and causing heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux.
This means that it can help you control the severity of your symptoms — provided that you consume it in moderation.
On top of that, spaghetti sauce contains a good amount of vitamin K. This micronutrient helps make various proteins that form blood clotting factors and contribute to building and protecting bones. Furthermore, vitamin K is a fat-soluble micronutrient, which means that your body stores it, and it's best absorbed while eating fat-rich foods, such as fish or meat.
Hence, adding some meatballs or ground beef to your spaghetti can help your body absorb more of this essential nutrient.
Spaghetti sauce is also an excellent source of vitamin A due to its tomato content. This vitamin is vital for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. In addition, it's another fat-soluble vitamin that many people don't get enough of, so adding some food products rich in this micronutrient can help you stay healthy and prevent many health conditions, such as infertility and age-related eye degradation.
Vitamin A also helps your organ function properly, which means that it can prevent inflammation of your stomach and digestive system.
Additionally, spaghetti sauce is very high in niacin — a vitamin that improves blood fat levels and reduces blood pressure. In fact, this vitamin (also called vitamin B3) helps protect your cardiovascular system from the development of many diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and heart attack.
It has also been proven to reduce the risk of a stroke by offsetting the adverse effects of sodium on your diet.
Speaking of sodium, it's important to remember that spaghetti sauce is very high in this mineral. While sodium is crucial for your body to function properly, it can also contribute to many health problems. As a result, it's important to stick to the recommended daily intake and not exceed it to stay as healthy as possible.
Can you eat spaghetti with acid reflux?
Spaghetti sauce is relatively acid-forming due to its tomato content. On top of that, commercial spaghetti sauces contain vinegar and lots of sodium. Both of these ingredients contribute to excess stomach acid production, and they can also irritate your stomach and esophagus, leading to inflammation.
As a result, experts recommend avoiding such sauces on a low-acid diet.
If you make spaghetti sauce yourself using fresh tomatoes, you can reap the alkaline-forming properties of tomatoes. These also contain many minerals and vitamins that are often lost in a traditional, processed spaghetti sauce.
Those micronutrients contribute to good health and can help reduce inflammation in your stomach, reducing the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
Can you make spaghetti less acidic?
One way to make spaghetti sauce less acidic is to make it yourself. That way, you can use canned or fresh tomatoes without adding too much salt and no vinegar at all.
Making this sauce yourself also allows you to add other ingredients, such as basil, oregano, and mushrooms, which provide valuable vitamins and minerals that help you maintain good health. Moreover, these herbs may help reduce acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.
Another way to combat the acidity of spaghetti sauce is to add caramelized onions. This veggie has alkalizing properties, thus helping you outweigh the harmful effects of the pH level of tomatoes. Furthermore, caramelizing onions allows you to balance out the acidity with a little bit of sweetness from sugar (you can also use honey).
However, remember to use sugar sparingly as too much of it can lead to indigestion and high blood sugar levels, which aren't healthy.
Spaghetti sauce is relatively acidic due to its tomato and vinegar content. As a result, if you're following a very low-acid diet, it might be best to limit your consumption of this type of sauce to a minimum. Even though there are certain ways to lower the acidity of spaghetti sauce, it's important to remember that it will always be acid-forming.
As a result, it's best to consume it rarely and get the nutrients that it provides from other, more natural sources.