Most of us can’t imagine our lives without peanut butter as it makes up for super easy and energy-filled go-to snacks. The smooth, chunky texture and epitome of flavors make it a favorite of both adults and kids. However, some people complain that peanut butter causes burns on their chest and a sore sensation on the back side of their mouth.
Due to these heartburn symptoms, it is generally believed that peanut butter is acidic but is that really true? Is peanut butter acidic enough to cause acid reflux? If so, how can you make it less acidic? To know the answers to these questions, keep reading the article!
Is peanut butter acidic?
To find out whether it’s acidic or not, we’d need to check for its ingredients. Generally, peanut butter comprises proteins, vitamins, unsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, and some other micro minerals like omega 6 manganese. These nutrients come from its major ingredients; sugar, roasted peanuts, and vegetable oil (hydrogenated).
Even though these ingredients may cause severe inflammation, the pH of peanut butter is 6.3 which makes it mildly acidic. However, still, it’s super close to being neutral. You might be surprised to know that orange juice, vinegar, and lemon juice are much more acidic than peanut butter so if your stomach doesn’t react to these beverages harshly, it won’t be affected negatively by peanut butter.
If peanut butter is not acidic, why does it cause heartburn?
Since peanut butter comprises high amounts of unsaturated fats, it can cause heartburn. However, you need to remember that peanut butter doesn’t cause acid reflux but if you are already suffering from this problem, it might trigger the symptoms.
Another reason why you feel heartburn on eating peanut butter is that you might eat it on an empty stomach. Since our stomach already contains digestive enzymes in the form of acid, when we consume peanut butter (which is also mildly acidic), it disturbs the neutral pH of your stomach, making it more acidic and making your chest and esophagus feel burning.
How can you make the peanut butter less acidic?
In case you are suffering from chronic acid reflux or peptic ulcer, you should try to avoid peanut butter. However, if these conditions are not too severe, you can consume a special sort of peanut butter, in a limited amount.
Since most of the acidic nature is contributed by roasted peanuts and sugar, you better go with peanut butter that is less granular or less chunky. Experts say that the acidity of chunkier peanut butter is higher than that of a creamer so stick to only the creamer options.
Similarly, avoid sweetened peanut butter – even those which contain caramel as a sweetening agent. This, in turn, will not only keep the chances of acid reflux lower but also be a safe alternative for diabetics. Lastly, even though it’s completely healthy, you should consume peanut butter in a limited amount to stay on the safe side. Even if you have unsweetened and creamy peanut butter, never consume more than two tablespoons in a day.