Oatmeal or porridge is a healthy breakfast that is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is a great replacement for high-fat and sugary breakfast meals that include jam, toast, etc. Now, due to the rise of patients with Acid Reflux and heartburn, it is becoming a trend to know the acidity of foods before eating them. People are abandoning their favorite food or at least consuming it in an appropriate quantity after finding out their favorite food is acidic.
The question here is, is Oatmeal acidic or alkaline?
Oatmeal is acidic, with a pH between 6 to 7. It also encourages more acid release in the stomach, so it is not good for those who are getting trouble with stomach acidity levels.
If you want to know how to make Oatmeal more alkaline and what are its healthier alternatives, then stay till the end.
First, let me tell you why Oatmeal is acidic.
You may also like: cream wheat vs oatmeal
Table of Content
Why Is Oatmeal Acidic
Oatmeal is made from oat grains which are known to increase acidity in the stomach. People often ask, are oats acid-forming? Yes, they are.
The oatmeal pH level is not super acidic. It is termed mildly acidic because it is very close to 7.
It is the acid-forming properties in the stomach that make them slightly “bad.”
Oatmeal is high in starchy components and also preservatives & artificial flavors (if you buy it commercially). These compounds are hard to digest, and the stomach releases acid to break them down. Hence, the acid levels increase.
On the brighter side, Oatmeal can induce a lot of health benefits that are not found in other grain-based breakfasts.
It is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that do wonders in the body.
Eating Oatmeal can prevent cancer, improve heart health, relieve constipation, lose weight, make skin glow, maintain blood pressure, and also reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
You may also like: Does Oat Milk Help Heartburn?
Are Steel Cut Oats Acidic
The inner kernels of the oats are processed to make Steel Cut oats or Irish oats.
They are also acidic, with a pH between 6.4 to 6.6. Just like regular Oatmeal, if you eat Steel Cut oats regularly, then they would prove to be bad for stomach acidity levels.
However, eating them moderately and less frequently will decrease acidity. The fiber content will absorb most acid, and your gut health will also improve.
Is Instant Oatmeal Acidic or Alkaline
Instant Oatmeal is also acid-forming in the stomach.
However, it does not contain any preservatives or artificial flavors. Hence, these oats are generally safer than others.
Are Rolled Oats Acidic or Alkaline
Rolled oats are also acidic due to the processing.
Moreover, if you see any rolled oats in any flavor, then don’t buy the product.
Artificial sweeteners are added in this that are difficult to digest. So, the stomach secretes more acid, and you may feel cramps in the abdomen.
Now, let me tell you whether these acid-forming oats can cause bigger problems like Acid Reflux and GERD or not.
Does Oatmeal Cause Acid Reflux
If you eat a large bowl of Oatmeal every day, then acid reflux will occur.
It is a condition in which stomach acid levels rise towards the esophagus (food pipe).
As Oatmeal increases the acidity levels, it can cause Acid reflux in people or worsen in those who already have it.
If this condition becomes severe, it is called GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux disease). GERD symptoms include chest pain, difficulty in swallowing food, irritation in the food pipe and throat, and acid regurgitation.
Hence, eat Oatmeal less frequently if you want the acidity levels to remain low.
After knowing about Oatmeal and stomach acid relation, it is time for you to know a bright aspect of this “oaty” breakfast.
Is Oatmeal Good for The Digestive System
People also ask, is Oatmeal easy on the stomach?
Oatmeal is high in dietary fiber (especially beta-glucan), which smooths out digestion problems.
It absorbs water in the stomach and becomes a gel-like substance, so the digestion is slowed down, and you feel full for a longer period. Furthermore, it lubricates the digestive tract, so the food can travel smoothly.
Moreover, a study was published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology in which it was stated that Beta-glucan could prevent colon inflammation and cancer.
So, if you keep a check on how much Oatmeal you are consuming, then you can enjoy amazing benefits.
Can You Eat Oatmeal on an Alkaline Diet
No, you can’t include Oatmeal in your alkaline diet plan.
As the name suggests, those foods which are alkalinizing in effect are added to the Alkaline Diet. The concept of this diet is that fast foods and other modern foods are high in acidic levels. So, eating alkaline foods is also a need of the hour.
Since Oatmeal has acid-forming properties, you can’t make it a permanent part of your alkaline diet. However, eating it once in a while is perfectly fine.
Wondering, how do you make Oatmeal more alkaline? Then continue reading.
How Do You Reduce Acidity in Oatmeal
You can add alkaline foods or those that have the alkalinizing effect to your Oatmeal and neutralize its acid-forming effects to some extent.
You can add shredded coconut, almond, mashed potato, or unsweetened yogurt. You can also add mango, which can neutralize acidity.
Healthy Alternatives to Oatmeal
You love Oatmeal, and now your heart is broken after finding out its impact on the stomach’s acidity?
Don’t be sad; I am now describing some healthier and more delicious alternatives you can eat.
Quinoa porridge with berries and almonds is a super healthy way of getting all the essential nutrients and keeping the acidity levels of the stomach down.
Brown rice is a lot healthier than white rice. The reason is that the unhealthy carb content is less in the brown one.
Also, the high fiber content decreases the acidity in the stomach.
If you want to follow a keto-friendly diet, then go for chia seeds.
Make a healthy breakfast cup by adding chia seeds, shredded coconut, some almond milk, and also some berries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why does Oatmeal upset my stomach?
If you are sensitive to acidic foods, then eating Oatmeal will upset your stomach. Similarly, if you are gluten sensitive, then Oatmeal is not for you. Likewise, avenin is present in oats. Some people are allergic to it and experience stomach pain if they eat Oatmeal.
Is Oatmeal Good For heartburn?
Oatmeal is not good for heartburn. It is a condition in which you feel a burning sensation in the chest. It is also a common symptom of Acid reflux. Those who frequently feel heartburn should not eat acid-forming foods.
Which Oatmeal is the best?
Oatmeal that is high in fiber and does not contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives is the best. Out of all the Oatmeal available, many nutritionists prepare Steel-cut oats. These are higher in fiber and lower in carbs than others.
So, is Oatmeal acidic or alkaline?
Oatmeal is acid-forming, just like any other grain meal. It has a pH value close to neutral (6.5 to 6.6). However, it promotes acid release in the stomach.
The reason is the presence of starch. Moreover, some companies add preservatives and artificial flavors. Starch, preservatives, and artificial flavors are hard to digest. As a result, the stomach releases more HCL acid to deal with them.
Hence, if you want to know whether you can include Oatmeal in your alkaline food diet, the answer is No.