One of the most popular frozen desserts enjoyed by people around the world is ice cream. This primarily dairy-based food is sweet and comes in many flavors.
Ice cream in its current form (milk-based) that we enjoy today was first made in the 10th century. Prior to this, it was actually made from ice with tasty ingredients added to it.
Foods are either acidic, alkaline, or somewhere in between. The closer to 0 a food is, the more acidic it is. Many foods like nuts, some meats, and the majority of fruits are acidic.
There are many more foods that fall in the acid side of the pH scale.
Is Ice Cream Acidic?
If you are looking for low-acid foods, ice cream may not be your first choice. With a pH of 5.8 to 6.6, ice cream is somewhat acidic food. If you have no digestive issues or intolerance to dairy, then it is likely you can enjoy ice cream.
However, if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems, you may need to avoid ice cream altogether or limit your intake of it.
Added ingredients to ice cream can change the pH level making it more acidic. Pay attention to what ingredients are in whatever ice cream you want to get from a restaurant or store in order to minimize your risk of a flare-up.
The most common way to measure the acid, neutral, and alkaline qualities of food is by using pH. This is a scientific term that describes levels of acidity and alkalinity in food.
The scale is 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 is pure alkaline. 7 is neutral.
Ice cream has a pH of 5.8 to 6.6, making it an acidic food that should be enjoyed in moderation. A pH of 0 is extremely acidic, so it is easy to see how much acid ice cream has.
It’s in your best interest to review an acid/base chart to see what foods and beverages likely would be in the “safe” range for you to eat, whether in moderation or on a more regular basis.
What Causes Acidity?
Milk has a type of sugar in it that is lactose. When bacteria start to eat this sugar, it causes a reaction that creates lactic acid. This process is what makes dairy more acidic as it ages.
Ice Cream And Acid Reflux
Many people suffer from acid reflux or GERD. This is an uncomfortable digestive condition where excessive stomach acid comes up the esophagus. The causes of GERD involve eating acidic, spicy, or sugary foods.
Even though ice cream is not the most acidic food, it is still pretty highly acidic. It becomes even more acidic once it is ingested into the body. Once eaten, ice cream has a pH of 3.5, which is very acidic.
Because ice cream is so dense and has a lot of sugar, it can upset the stomachs of people with digestive disorders. You might opt for one of the newer types of ice cream that has no added sugars or lower amounts of sugar in it.
How Can You Avoid Acid Reflux Flare-Ups With Ice Cream?
If you do decide that you’d like to eat ice cream when you have acid reflux, GERD, or a similar medical condition, pay attention to even the most minor symptoms that come up. Every person is different, so you may be able to have this food in moderation.
Cold dairy products might numb and inhibit your lower esophageal sphincter’s functioning. This means that it can make stomach acid backup into your esophagus a lot easier.
Choose a dairy-free or sorbet-style ice cream as a slightly healthier option, or try small amounts of ice cream when you know you can rest at home afterward if it aggravates your condition at all.
Types Of Ice Cream
Ice cream can vary in acidity by the types of flavors and ingredients or styles. Sorbet is a type of ice cream that has citrus fruit in it. With a pH level of 3.2 to 4, sorbet is very acidic.
Regular ice cream and gelato are relatively the same for acid levels. Adding certain ingredients changes the pH, so it is best to be aware of this if you are on a low-acid diet.
Being well aware of what’s in the ice cream (as well as other food and drink) is what’s going to be your best bet at preventative measures against acid reflux and other digestive troubles.
You may be okay eating vanilla ice cream if you have acid reflux, especially if you get the kind that is low in or has no added sugars.
This is because it basically is a different version of cold milk that many people with acid reflux and GERD can have without a problem.
However, it’s always good to test out a little bit after you’ve been diagnosed, without eating anything else around the same time, so you can see how this affects you.
Ice Cream And How It Can Affect Health
Obviously, ice cream is not at the top of healthy foods. In fact, it is pretty common knowledge that ice cream can be detrimental to health in the long run if consumed heavily. As with any dessert or sugary food, moderation is the key.
Studies have shown eating excessive ice cream can increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and other ailments.
Ice cream isn’t all bad, though. If enjoyed infrequently along with a healthy diet, the negative health effects are greatly reduced.
GERD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or other digestive issues can be exacerbated by eating acidic ice cream.
If you already know that you have one of these conditions, you’ll want to take care to either avoid or moderately enjoy this dairy treat so that you don’t end up with an upset stomach or discomfort with your esophagus.
Some Dairy-Free Alternatives To Ice Cream
Many people have health concerns or dietary preferences that prevent them from enjoying ice cream because of potential side effects.
Luckily, there has been an explosion of ice cream alternatives on the market, so people with sensitivities or preferences have other choices than traditional dairy ice cream.
Some alternatives may be more or less acidic than regular ice cream. This might be a consideration for those looking to reduce acidity in their food.
Lower sugar content, as well as using non-dairy ingredients, may contribute to a lower pH in some non-dairy ice creams
Dairy-free alternatives to dairy ice cream use ingredients like coconut milk, soy milk, and other dairy substitutes as a base. Most local grocery stores now have some kind of dairy-free ice cream option available.
Try out some different varieties to see which are more favorable to eat as an occasional dessert or snack without discomfort and pain.
Can You Enjoy Ice Cream When You’re Taking Medicine?
If you have acid reflux or GERD, you likely already take some medicine to alleviate your symptoms. This may allow you to eat some of those things that you previously had to avoid.
You can ask your doctor’s advice about whether it would be a good idea to eat ice cream after taking your GERD or acid reflux medication.
Many people with medical conditions that cause an imbalance or sensitivity to acids are able to enjoy their favorite foods/beverages still with modification.
You might be able to have that scoop of this cold treat along with your birthday cake or at the next event as long as you’re careful to take your medicine and with any precautions.
3 Ice Cream For People With GERD
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Whether we talk about children or adults, everyone loves to treat themselves to their favorite ice cream after a meal.
Even Ice cream has become an unsaid tradition to celebrate small to significant victories with ice cream.
However, for a few people, happiness for a few minutes turns into a problem if they have an issue with acid reflux or GERD. Because the pH level of 5.8 makes it acidic. So, you must limit your ice cream intake if you have gastro issues.
To help you with your GERD, we have picked three ice cream recipes that are easy to make and will not affect your stomach.
3 GERD Friendly Ice Cream Recipes
|Acid Friendly Coconut Ice Cream||140 Per Serving||6 – 8 Hours|
|Vanilla Ice Cream||425 Per Serving||2 Hour 35 Minutes|
|Banana Ice Cream||210 Per Serving||10 Minutes|
Everyone loves to treat themselves to ice cream, but unfortunately, GERD and acid make it challenging to enjoy. So, to beat the acid and deal with heartburn, we have picked coconut ice cream for you, which anyone can enjoy with no guilt.
It is one of the best coconut ice creams with a simple and easy method to digest. This ice cream will work best with the topping of fresh sweetened coconut and chopped pecans.
You may top these ice cream with your desired fruit or cherries, but one should keep in mind that it shouldn’t affect your stomach.
Calories: 140 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 6 – 8 Hours
Out of various flavors available in the market, we enjoy vanilla, be it in ice cream or cake, which is one which we want most. However, do you know that vanilla ice cream works fantastic for people with GERD issues?
Yes, if there is any ice cream that doesn’t require much time and has fewer ingredients is vanilla ice cream. What makes this ice cream best is that you can choose to replace the elements as per your preference.
For instance, you may add eggs to make it more creamy, or you can replace vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste.
Calories: 425 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 2 Hours 35 Minutes
Banana ice cream is one of the best options to choose from if you suffer from acid reflux with ice cream.
It won’t affect your digestion later, nor does it require a long time to make it chilled. You will get the best ice cream to satisfy your cravings with just a few ingredients.
In just ten minutes, you may prepare this ice cream by starting by blending bananas with almond milk. Next, you may choose one of your favorite toppings of chocolate chips, flaked almonds, blueberries or chopped dates, etc.
Calories: 210 Per Serving
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Ice Cream Tend To Stay Good For?
In general, unopened ice cream can last 2-3 months. Once opened, it becomes more perishable and susceptible to freezer burn. It will last 3-4 weeks in the freezer after it has been opened.
What Makes Ice Cream A Less Than Healthy Food?
Ice cream is very high in sugar and fat, which contribute to various health conditions. Diabetics and people with heart disease should limit or eliminate ice cream altogether to ensure good health.
There are other health factors that come into play with people who eat ice cream, especially if it’s on a regular basis.
What Are Some Positive Effects Of Ice Cream?
When ice cream is enjoyed in moderation, it can bring about a happy and energetic mood.
Many times ice cream is featured at events, restaurants, and celebrations. It can be a fun treat to share with others and is usually always served at birthday parties.
What Country Eats The Most Ice Cream?
It may not surprise you to learn that the largest worldwide ice cream consumption is in the United States. It’s said that the average individual eats 48 pints of ice cream each year.
The most popular flavor of ice cream is vanilla, with chocolate flavors, strawberry, and cookie cream also being common ice cream varieties people love.
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