Following a low-acid, stomach-friendly diet can be particularly difficult and challenging when you want to indulge in an occasional treat.
This is because it might be hard to figure out which sweets and desserts won't worsen your acid reflux symptoms. In order to do that, you have to know the acidity levels of common desserts and treat and their effect on your body.
So, without further ado, what sweets can you eat with acid reflux?
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What Sweets Can You Eat With Acid Reflux?
While you might think that most desserts and sweets should be avoided on a diet suitable for people dealing with acid reflux and GERD, that's not entirely true. In fact, there are certain treats that can satisfy your sweet tooth without worsening your acid reflux or GERD, such as honey, jams, and other jellies, angel food cake, non-fat or low-sugar yogurt, ice cream, or sorbet, and low-fat cookies.
However, it's important that these too should be limited and eaten in moderation since sugar is not only bad for acid reflux but also for your health in general.
When choosing treats and desserts to consume while suffering from acid reflux or GERD, make sure to check whether they contain any added trigger ingredients, such as cocoa beans, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and a few others.
These ingredients — even if part of relatively healthy food products — can worsen your symptoms, so they should be avoided as much as possible.
What sweets can you safely consume with acid reflux?
Treats that are safe on a low-acid diet are relatively low or moderately low in sugar. They should also not be too high in fat as these can increase the production of stomach acid, leading to acid reflux and GERD. Some safe choices include:
- honey, jam, or syrup
- angel food cake
- non-fat or low-sugar yogurt, ice cream, or sorbet
- low-fat cookies
- gelatin from allowed food (such as animal bones)
These types of food don't contain too much fat, which means that they won't aggravate any symptoms. Furthermore, their rather low sugar content contributes to a decreased frequency of acid reflux and GERD symptoms. On the other hand, they are still desserts and sweets, so they should be considered as an occasional treat.
This is because every food that contains sugar will cause acid reflux and heartburn if consumed in high quantities. However, you don't have to eliminate sugar from your diet completely — remember that it's still a good energy source and is required to ensure that your organs function properly.
The only thing to make sure of is to control your intake of it.
What sweets should you avoid with acid reflux?
Sweets that should be avoided on a stomach-friendly, anti-acid diet are primarily those containing a lot of sugar and artificial flavoring. These worsen the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD and can also cause many other conditions that are dangerous to your health.
The most common foods that you should avoid include:
- sweets and desserts with chocolate (and chocolate flavoring)
- pastries high in fat
- chewing gum
- hard candy
Another reason that these are not suitable for people with acid reflux is that some of them are high in artificial sweeteners and additives that cause indigestion. As a result, they can inflame your stomach lining and irritate your esophagus, triggering acid reflux.
On the other hand, some people who experience these symptoms might handle eating some of these treats every once in a while, but it's always important to listen to how your body reacts to every new food.
What are some natural sweet treats that won't worsen acid reflux?
If you want to consume a more natural, healthier diet, you can choose to substitute store-bought, artificial candy with fruit. That way, you can load up on necessary nutrients, minerals, and vitamins while still getting a sugary kick.
This is also a better alternative since fruit contains necessary fiber that helps you feel full (avoiding overeating) while soaking up excess stomach acid. Some of the best fruit choices include:
These fruits aren't too high in sugar while being rich in fiber and many vitamins that contribute to good gut health. As a result, they can not only help satisfy your sweet tooth but also keep you healthy.
Nevertheless, remember that all foods should be consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Thus, it's important not to overdo it on one type of food.
Can you eat cake when suffering from acid reflux?
Traditionally, a cake is loaded with high-fat ingredients, and it's also high in sugar, which makes it a bad choice for people with heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.
On top of that, such pastries usually contain artificially sweetened frosting, heavy cream, and chocolate sprinkles — all of which negatively impact your stomach and digestive system.
However, you can choose low-fat, low-sugar cake options. That way, you'll limit how much fat and sugar you're consuming, preventing the accumulation of stomach acid in your stomach. As a result, it won't reflux up your esophagus, causing uncomfortable symptoms.
In addition, low-fat, low-sugar cake alternatives won't cause weight gain if consumed in moderation. Therefore, they might be a better alternative for people with stomach issues.
Moreover, you can choose to make a cake at home, yourself. That way, you'll be able to control how much fat and sugar you're consuming carefully, and you'll also know that there are no artificial additives in your dessert. This can help you stay healthy while still enjoying an occasional treat.
Choosing to bake a cake on your own allows you to use gluten-free flour if you're allergic, thus reducing the risk of other stomach issues, such as indigestion or constipation.
Even though acid reflux- and GERD-friendly diet is characterized by low-acid, low-sugar foods, it's still possible to have an occasional treat without triggering any unpleasant symptoms.
In fact, there are many store-bought and natural forms of candy that you can indulge in, some of which can even provide necessary vitamins and minerals. However, make sure to include these in a healthy, balanced diet while drinking plenty of water.