How To Eat Pizza With Acid Reflux?

The fact-pace society makes people live in a hurry and we need to save time in every activity, even in eating. Pizza, with its mouth-watering combination of crispy crust, savory sauce, and delectable toppings can be served as both fast food and main meal.

However, pizza for individuals who regularly experience acid reflux, revolving in this cheesy goodness can sometimes lead to discomfort and heartburn. This post will provide you with practical tips and strategies to help you know how to eat pizza with acid reflux and savor every slice of pizza, even if you have acid reflux.

Causes and Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive condition brought on by stomach acid refluxing back up into the esophagus. Heartburn, or a burning feeling in the chest and throat, along with other symptoms like regurgitation, trouble swallowing, and coughing, can be caused by this illness.

While certain foods and drinks can trigger acid reflux, it is primarily caused by a weak or malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This muscular ring allows food and liquids to enter the stomach but should close tightly to prevent stomach acid from flowing back up.

Many people have to suffer from acid reflux. There are several reasons why someone may experience acid reflux.

Eating too quickly, overeating, or consuming large meals right before bedtime is the habit of many people. This unhealthy lifestyle can increase the risk of acid reflux. 

Certain foods and beverages like spicy foods, fatty meals, citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, and alcohol can stimulate stomach acid. Also, smoking and medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood pressure drugs can weaken the LES, leading to the risk of acid reflux.

Besides, excess weight or obesity can put pressure on the abdomen, causing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Hormonal changes and increased pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy can also lead to acid reflux.

Stomach acid can reflux back into the esophagus in this situation due to a part of the stomach pushing through the diaphragm when being hiatal hernia is also one of the causes of acid reflux.

Some common symptoms of acid reflux include:

1. Burning sensation in the chest or throat

2. Sour taste in the mouth

3. Regurgitation

4. Difficulty swallowing

5. Nausea or vomiting

How To Eat Pizza With Acid Reflux?

Pizza is the favorite dish of many people. It can be served for every style: Italian style, American style, Vegetarian style,… 

However, if you have had acid reflux before, notice when having this dish. Firstly, be careful when choosing the pizza ingredients or pizza style. Secondly, adjusting your eating habits can help to ease the acid reflux.

Here are the detailed tips and strategies to help you enjoy pizza without experiencing acid reflux symptoms. 

1. Choose The Right Pizza Ingredients

Opting for a thin crust is advised. Many alternative options may be more suitable for acid reflux sufferers, such as gluten-free or cauliflower crust pizza.

Adding a variety of lighter toppings like vegetables, lean meats, and garlic instead of heavy and fatty toppings, especially, vegetables can help balance the pH level and reduce the risk of acid reflux. Veggies like broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms are also low in calories and nutrients.

Avoid acidic ingredients like tomatoes, tomato sauce, pineapples, and onions, which cause acid reflux. Try white sauce or olive oil as a base instead or you can also skip the sauce together and opt for a cheese-only pizza.

If the traditional pizza can prevent you from eating comfortably, you can order the alternative pizza styles or even a custom pizza for your own. Here are some suggestions for alternative pizza styles:

1. Veggie Lover’s Pizza: Choose a thin-crust pizza with olive oil or white sauce, topped with veggies like broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms. Add some garlic for flavor without the acidity of tomatoes. 

2. Hawaiian Pizza: Swap tomato-based sauce for BBQ or pesto, and use lean ham or turkey as a topping instead of pepperoni. Limit the amount of pineapple to reduce acidity. 

3. Margherita Pizza: This classic pizza is made with a thin crust, fresh tomatoes, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and basil. Opt for whole-wheat crust for additional fiber.

4. Mediterranean-style Pizza: Select a whole wheat crust pizza with hummus as the base instead of tomato sauce. Top it with grilled chicken, olives, and feta cheese for a delicious and reflux-friendly meal.

5. Cheese-only Pizza: For those who can’t resist a classic margarita pizza, try swapping the tomato sauce for pesto. Add some low-fat mozzarella cheese and top it with fresh basil for a flavorful yet acid-reflux-friendly option.

2. Healthy Eating Habits 

Eating slowly and in moderation can help prevent overeating, which is a common cause of acid reflux. Take small bites, chew your food thoroughly, and put your fork down between bites to allow your body time to digest.

It is highly recommended to avoid drinking during meals because consuming meal liquids can dilute stomach acid and make it easier to flow back into the esophagus. Try drinking water or other beverages at least 30 minutes before or after eating pizza. 

Give your body enough time to digest the pizza before lying down to sleep to prevent acid reflux symptoms. Try eating pizza for lunch instead of dinner.

Why Pizza Causes Acid Reflux? 

Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world, but it can also be a trigger for acid reflux due to the combination of ingredients and eating habits. Here are some reasons why pizza can cause acid reflux:

Firstly, pizza usually contains high fat levels from cheese, meat toppings, and oily crust. Fatty foods take longer to digest, which increases the risk of acid reflux.

Secondly, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and citrus fruits like pineapple and orange are highly acidic ingredients, which can irritate the stomach lining and trigger acid reflux. Spicy toppings like chili flakes, garlic, and onion can also stimulate stomach acid production and cause heartburn. 

Lastly, many people tend to overeat when it comes to pizza. The large proportion can put pressure on the LES and cause stomach acid to flow back up.  

Should You Have Pizza When Having Acid Reflux 

The answer is not a simple yes or no. It ultimately depends on the severity of your acid reflux and your triggers. 

For some people, pizza may be a trigger food that they need to avoid completely. They do not even think about any idea of how to eat pizza with acid reflux.

However, for others, it may be possible to enjoy pizza in moderation by making some adjustments and choosing toppings carefully. Consult with your doctor to determine if pizza will be suitable for your acid reflux condition.

Minimize Acid Reflux After Eating

If you do experience acid reflux after eating pizza or the symptoms affect your life, here are some tips to help minimize discomfort and reduce symptoms:

Stay upright and avoid lying down for at least 3 hours after eating pizza. This will give your body time to digest the food properly and prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

If the symptoms become more serious, taking an over-the-counter antacid can provide quick relief for acid reflux symptoms. However, consult with your doctor before taking any medication.

Sipping on water and waiting before brushing can help dilute stomach acid and soothe the esophagus. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating can increase the risk of acid reflux as it stimulates saliva production so wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. 

Balance Lifestyle To Manage Acid Reflux 

Making and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help manage acid reflux symptoms. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of acid reflux:

Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet can help prevent symptoms. Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, puts pressure on the LES and increases the risk of acid reflux. 

Avoiding junk food is also important. Keep track of the foods that trigger your acid reflux and try to limit or avoid them altogether.

Also, if you smoke, consider quitting for overall health benefits. Smoking can weaken the LES and increase acid reflux symptoms. 

Last but not least, limit your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether to manage acid reflux symptoms. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and relax the LES, making it easier for stomach acid to flow back up. 


While pizza may not be suitable for all acid reflux sufferers, it can be enjoyed in moderation with some adjustments and careful choices. It is important to consult your doctor and pay attention to your triggers to determine if pizza can be a part of your diet.

By following these tips and balancing your lifestyle, you can manage acid reflux symptoms and still indulge in a delicious slice of pizza. Remember to eat slowly, choose your toppings wisely, and make healthy lifestyle choices to minimize the risk of acid reflux.  

Now you know how to eat pizza with acid reflux, but remember to always listen to your body and make choices that work best for you. Buon appetito!

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