Yogurt is a fermented milk product that is popular worldwide. It comes in many varieties, from drinking yogurt to Greek, and is great either on its own or mixed with fruit or muesli.
Although yogurt is low in calories and highly nutritious, many people suffer from acid reflux and some report that yogurt triggers heartburn.
However, acid reflux resulting from eating yogurt is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Some tolerate yogurt well, and some are highly sensitive.
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Why Does Yogurt Cause Heartburn?
Although dairy products don't often aggravate acid reflux, yogurt high in fat or sugar may relax your upper digestive tract, resulting in heartburn.
Is Yogurt Acidic?
Some acid reflux and GERD sufferers are also sensitive to dairy products, so they should limit their yogurt intake or avoid it altogether.
High-fat yogurt is more likely to trigger your symptoms, as fat slows digestion, stimulating gastric acid production.
How Does Yogurt Cause Heartburn?
Yogurt shouldn’t cause heartburn in most healthy people but can in those particularly sensitive to acidic foods.
The sugar and fat in some yogurts are difficult to digest, leading to an overproduction of gastric acid and heartburn.
Consuming too much high-fat yogurt may relax the muscles between your esophagus and stomach, allowing gastric acid to reflux up your esophagus.
People who are lactose intolerant may also get heartburn from eating yogurt.
However, some people find that yogurt and other alkaline-forming dairy products help alleviate acid reflux symptoms, as they contain probiotics that contribute to a healthy gut biome.
Is Yogurt Healthy?
A serving of plain yogurt contains up to 30% of the recommended daily calcium intake, which supports healthy teeth and bones, aids nerve function and boosts your immune system.
Plain yogurt is also an excellent source of phosphorus, which is essential for muscle recovery after a workout and helps prevent kidney stones and urinary tract issues.
The probiotics in yogurt improve intestinal health and alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They can also help replenish good gut bacteria after a course of antibiotics.
Yogurt is rich in protein, building lean muscle mass and keeping you full longer after eating.
Which Yogurt Is the Least Acidic?
If yogurt sometimes gives you heartburn, try choosing low-fat varieties without artificial flavors. Greek yogurt may also be a better choice, as it has more protein and less sugar.