Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. It is estimated that around 20% of the population experiences acid reflux on a regular basis, with certain foods and beverages being common triggers.
Feta cheese, a popular Mediterranean cheese known for its tangy flavor and crumbly texture, has been implicated by some as a potential cause of acid reflux. However, there is limited research on the relationship between feta cheese and acid reflux.
In this article, we will explore the possibility of eating feta cheese if you have acid reflux, and provide recommendations for managing acid reflux symptoms when consuming feta cheese.
Can You Eat Feta Cheese If You Have Acid Reflux?
If you have acid reflux, you may need to pay attention to your diet to avoid foods that can trigger your symptoms. Feta cheese is a type of cheese that is lower in fat than many other types of cheese, but it is still a high-acid food. Consuming high-acid foods can aggravate acid reflux symptoms in some people, so it is important to be cautious.
In general, it is best to avoid or limit your intake of high-acid foods if you have acid reflux, including feta cheese. However, the severity of symptoms and triggers can vary from person to person, so it may be worth experimenting to see if feta cheese causes any discomfort. If you do eat feta cheese, it is recommended to consume it in moderation and in combination with other low-acid foods to help minimize any potential discomfort.
What Is the Acidity Level of Feta Cheese?
The acidity level of feta cheese can vary depending on how it is made and aged, but in general, feta cheese has a high acidity level. The pH level of feta cheese typically ranges from 4.4 to 4.6, which is considered to be acidic. Consuming high-acid foods can aggravate acid reflux symptoms in some people, so it is important to be cautious and mindful of your intake of acidic foods, including feta cheese, if you have acid reflux.
Are There Any Other Types of Cheese that Are Better for People with Acid Reflux?
Some types of cheese may be better for people with acid reflux than others. Generally, it is best to choose low-fat and low-acid varieties of cheese. Here are some options:
This type of cheese is low in fat and has a mild flavor, which makes it a good option for people with acid reflux.
Goat cheese is lower in fat and has a slightly higher pH level than other types of cheese, making it a good choice for people with acid reflux.
Ricotta cheese is lower in fat and has a slightly higher pH level than other types of cheese, making it a good choice for people with acid reflux.
Cream cheese is lower in fat than many other types of cheese, but it is still high in acid, so it may not be suitable for everyone with acid reflux.
Managing Acid Reflux When Consuming Feta Cheese
If you experience acid reflux symptoms and still want to enjoy feta cheese, there are several strategies you can try to help manage your symptoms:
Eat Smaller Portions
Consuming large amounts of feta cheese, or any high-fat or acidic food, can increase the likelihood of experiencing acid reflux symptoms. Try eating smaller portions of feta cheese to help reduce your risk of symptoms.
Avoid Eating Close to Bedtime
Eating a large meal close to bedtime can increase the risk of acid reflux symptoms. If you want to enjoy feta cheese, try eating it earlier in the day and avoid eating within three hours of bedtime.
Consider Alternative Dairy Products
If you find that feta cheese consistently triggers your acid reflux symptoms, consider trying alternative dairy products with lower fat and acidity levels. For example, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or Greek yogurt may be good alternatives.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
If you experience frequent or severe acid reflux symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options. They may recommend medication or lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.
Foods to Eat If You Have Acid Reflux
Diet is one of the biggest factors that can trigger or help symptoms of GERD. A piece of advice from the experts that you always need to follow and remember is that it is not a good idea to eat late at night. Once you lay down on your bed at night, the foods you eat might go back up your esophagus. Experts also state that it is better to eat small meals frequently than to eat a single heavier meal in one go.
The following are some of the foods that you can eat to ensure that acid reflux doesn’t happen:
- Alkaline foods
- Foods with low pH are more likely to trigger symptoms of GERD. This is why it is highly recommended to eat alkaline foods such as nuts, melons, and bananas.
- High-fiber foods
- High-fiber foods can help you feel full while improving your digestion at the same time. Good examples of these foods rich in fiber include asparagus, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, couscous, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.
Foods to Avoid If You Have Acid Reflux
As stated above, the foods you eat have the most significant effect on your acid reflux and other GERD symptoms. It means that if you want to stay away from these unwanted symptoms, you might want to avoid consuming any of the following food groups:
Acidic foods, such as dairy, which also include feta cheese
- Citrus fruits
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Tomato sauce
It will be a wise idea that you keep a record of the foods that you ate that triggered your symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. Don’t forget that every person is unique and different, which means that if feta cheese made your friend suffer from acid reflux, it might not have the same effects on you.
It is also important that you discuss your condition with your doctor who can help you come up with the best meal plan that suits your condition.