Is Peanut Butter Acidic?

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Who doesn’t like peanut butter? We can bet it’s everyone’s go-to food. But is it as healthy as it seems? Let’s find out. 

Peanuts are rich in amino acids, vitamins, and healthy fats. They are also rich in nutrients. But many people complain of getting a bad acid reflux just after they have consumed peanut butter. Have you ever thought about why? Is peanut butter acidic?   

Is Peanut Butter Acidic or Alkaline?

The simple answer is yes. Just like peanuts are acidic, peanut butter is also acidic. But how acidic is it ? Well, we will discuss its pH value to determine that level. 

What is pH and What pH is Peanut Butter? 

You may have heard of pH scales, but do you know its actual meaning? Or, what pH is ideal for us? The pH level determines whether a substance is acidic (below 7), neutral (around 7), or alkaline (above 7). So, anything that has a pH lower than 7 is generally considered acidic.

Even though the pH of peanut butter is very close to being neutral, it is still considered acidic.

Peanut Butter Compared to Other Acidic Foods :

But in comparison to other acidic food like orange juice, vinegar or lemon juice, peanuts are less acidic. For instance, the pH of orange juice is 4.2 which is much more acidic. The pH of vinegar and lemon juice is also very acidic. They are 2.5 and 3.  Despite peanuts being less acidic, it is still bad for acid reflux when consumed in a large amount. 

What are the Acidic Ingredients in Peanut Butter? 

The main ingredients in peanut butter are roasted peanuts, sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil. It is high in unsaturated fats, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals. Peanut butter also contains omega-6, manganese, proteins and loads of fiber.

Some of these ingredients have the potential to be inflammatory. For example, the high amount of unsaturated fats and additives can cause major acid reflux.

IngredientsAmount per 100 gm of Peanut Butter
Carbohydrates 22 gm 
Protein 22.5 gm
Fat 51 gm
Sugar 6.5 gm 
Sodium 476 mg 

Is Peanut Butter Good For Acid Reflux? 

As healthy and nutritious peanut butter seems, in reality, it may prove too for other nutritional purposes. But it’s pretty bad for those with acid reflux. Let us tell you why. 

As healthy as it is portrayed to be, peanut butter is high in unsaturated fats. And unsaturated fats can give you digestion problems and a pretty bad acid reflux. Even if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, you may be able to tolerate its moderate serving amount. But, the higher the quantity you consume, the more you are prone to fall ill.

Why does peanut butter give me heartburn?

Have you ever felt a knot of pain around your chest after overeating peanut butter? Well, if it’s a yes, then you must know why. Peanut butter is mildly acidic, and can give acid reflux, especially when it’s taken on an empty stomach or in large amounts. Excessive acid in the stomach gives you symptoms of heartburn. Now, the correlation between peanut butter and heartburn seems clear, right? 

Heartburn is often a common symptom of acid reflux or peptic ulcer. Moreover, Peanut butter can also make you feel bloated. The peanut butter intake tolerance may vary from person to person. But in some cases, people complain of digestion problems too after they have consumed granular ones.

Which Type of Peanut Butter is Worse for GERD ? 

It isn’t clear whether peanut butter is generally responsible for bad recurrences of acid reflux. Nutritionists assume peanut butter to be bad for acid reflux since the pH is 6.3, which is below the neutral pH level 7.

However, not all kinds fall under the same rule. Peanut butter of different varieties and brands may have different pH. According to research, granular peanut butter can cause more heartburn than smooth peanut butter.

Smooth unsweetened peanut butter can be good for those with acid reflux. It gets digested more easily than the other varieties. On the other hand, chunky peanut butter is more likely to give you an immediate heartburn, apart from dyspepsia. Because it contains more roasted peanuts in comparison to smooth peanut butter. The same applies to the sweetened varieties for those who have sensitivity to caramels or sugars.

So, always be careful if you are more prone to acid reflux. Buy the right brand and type accordingly for healthy eating.   

Can you make Peanut butter less acidic? 

Sometimes it can be a hassle to look for the right brand of peanut butter. Finding a less acidic peanut butter is like finding a needle from a haystack. But there are a few easy ways to spot the best peanut butter. 

Try looking for all-organic peanut butter. They contain no sugar, extra fats or oil. The only ingredient should be peanuts. You can also look for vegan nut butter. Another way to pick a less acidic peanut butter is to find the less granular one. Chunky peanut butter is more acidic than creamy peanut butter. So, keep an eye out for these. 

How Much Peanut Butter Can Be Consumed Daily to Avoid Heartburn? 

Although peanut butter is considered as a healthy food, it still needs to be consumed in a moderate amount. The average amount of peanut butter that can be consumed is two tablespoons. Two tablespoons contain around 32 grams. So, on an average, you can consume 32 grams daily. 

Last Words 

Who can live without PB&J? Peanut butter is everyone’s favorite snack, whether with bread, pancakes, or even ice cream. It is pretty hard to resist peanut butter.

However, as peanut butter is mildly acidic, it may cause acid reflux. But does that mean you have to cut down on peanut butter completely? No, there are ways you can still continue eating peanut butter. Firstly, look for natural peanut butter with no added sugar or fat. Secondly, buy the smooth peanut butter instead of the chunky one.

Lastly, try keeping your peanut butter intake up to a moderate amount. The peanut butter intake of a person may vary. But try limiting your peanut butter intake to a few tablespoons. Eat responsibly and thank us later.  

Frequently Asked Questions on ‘Is Peanut Butter Acidic’ :

1. Do Peanuts Cause Heartburn too? 

Yes, just like peanut butter, peanuts are also acidic food. Generally, peanuts are rich in fats, protein, vitamin E and omega 6. They can keep you full for a long time. But, there is a downside. Peanuts have a slightly acidic pH. Its pH is 6.3. 

However, peanut butter has more fats, oil and added sugar than regular peanuts. Hence, peanut butter has more chances of causing acid reflux. Eating a moderate amount of peanuts will cause no harm. 

2. Is Almond Butter Acidic? 

No, almond butter is alkaline. Freshly ground almond butter is alkaline when digested. Its pH is 8.0. If you suffer from gastric problems, almond butter can be a better alternative. 

Moreover, almond butter can help with acid reflux. Among its numerous health benefits, one of the main benefits is that almonds can absorb stomach acid. It can reduce acid production. So, there is no need to worry about heartburn.

3. What food should be avoided to prevent heartburn? 

Along with peanut butter, dairy products, chocolates and egg whites, are acidic foods. Almond milk can be a great alternative to dairy products. Fatty foods and fried foods must be avoided.

An alkaline diet will be ideal for those who suffer from gastritis, acidity and heartburn. The alkaline food you should include in your diet is plenty of vegetables. Especially the veggies that are rich in fiber. Other alkaline foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acid are salmon, cod liver oil, oysters and sardines.

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