Designing and following a diet to prevent heartburn can be difficult. Carefully planning your meals to avoid foods that trigger your acid reflux symptoms is time-consuming and confusing, especially as most foods are acidic.
Fat is the most common cause of heartburn, but it’s hard to avoid, especially as it’s used in cooking.
But what about healthy fats like olive oil? Are they safe for people susceptible to acid reflux?
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Does Olive Oil Cause Heartburn?
Like other cooking oils, olive oil is high in fat, so too much can definitely cause heartburn.
However, olive oil is usually used in very small quantities in cooking, so most people shouldn't need to worry. Those especially sensitive to fatty foods might want to avoid salad dressings made with olive oil, though.
Is Olive Oil Acidic?
Although olive oil isn’t acidic, its fat content can trigger the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD.
Therefore, people prone to severe heartburn should treat it as an acidic food.
How Can Olive Oil Cause Heartburn?
A tablespoon of olive oil contains 21% of the recommended daily intake of fat. Fat is difficult to digest, and your body produces more gastric acid to deal with it if you consume too much.
This acid can then rise up your esophagus, causing heartburn and other issues.
Can Olive Oil Ease Heartburn?
Some experts believe olive oil can ease heartburn in some cases, and studies show that following a Mediterranean diet may lower your risk of GERD and acid reflux.
A Mediterranean diet contains much olive oil but also has many healthy, fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, fish, and nuts, so it's unclear which part of the diet can ease heartburn.
Olive oil is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins that can help keep your digestive system healthy. Adding olive oil to high-fiber and high-protein foods reduces stomach inflammation, preventing heartburn.
Is Olive Oil Good for You?
Olive oil contains monounsaturated oleic acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent cancer. They're not destroyed by heat, so olive oil is excellent for cooking.
It contains a good amount of vitamin E, a fat-soluble micronutrient that supports healthy skin and eyes and strengthens your immune system.
Vitamin K is an antioxidant, which flush out free radicals, preventing cellular oxidative stress. It may also improve memory in older adults and lower blood pressure.
Antioxidants also reduce inflammation and prevent high levels of bad cholesterol, reducing your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Several studies show that olive oil makes you feel full longer after eating, great if you're counting calories.
Should You Use Olive Oil if You Suffer from Heartburn?
In moderation, olive oil benefits health, including that of heartburn sufferers.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils; however, it may lead to heartburn in some, particularly those sensitive to fats.