Cheese For Acid Reflux: 21 Painstaking Info To Eat Better

Eating habits are the first pillar to consider when dealing with acid reflux and related symptoms.

The most important thing to remember is to avoid trigger foods: they are foods known to cause reflux because of their specific actions on the LES (lower esophageal sphincter).

When it comes to foods and acid reflux, you always must remember that acidity itself is not the main factor that predisposes to reflux and related symptoms.

In fact, everything revolves around the LES.

When the pressure of LES is reduced, two important facts occur:

  • the stomach content is more likely to go back into the esophagus (this is the real root cause of reflux)
  • as a consequence, the refluxate may harm the mucosa of the esophagus (if the content is acidic)

However, there also is another equally important condition, that’s even more diffused among the people.

We’re talking about the so-called NERD (Non-Erosive Gastroesophageal Disease).

People who suffer from this condition do not have acidic reflux, meaning that inflammation will not be present, however, they feel symptoms like heartburn and others.

Among foods can trigger (or not) the disease, many people want more info about cheese for acid reflux.

This is a quite controversial topic because we’re going to discover some surprising food rules that all reflux sufferers should keep in mind when they are following a program to achieve a normal quality of life.

That’s why we must be as clear as possible about that.

Cheese For Acid Reflux

Cheese For Acid Reflux: A Frequently Asked Question

Cheese for acid reflux is one of the most frequently asked questions by patients, both by those who already suffer from acid reflux and by those who want to eat properly to prevent reflux.

The general rule to consider is that, with due exceptions (mainly due to personal experience and taste), cheese appears in the list of food possibly to avoid to prevent acid reflux.

The main factor that “condemns” cheese to be on that list is the generally high content in fat.

As you know, fatty foods (along with spicy foods and heavy meals) are among the most important triggers of acid reflux.

Before to start considering with more details the specific action that cheese may have on people who suffer from acid reflux, it’s important o present two premises.

Personal Experience Is The Key
As always, personal experience plays an important role in determining reflux (or not). This means that, also in the case of cheese consumption, there are some people who report a worsening of the situation, while for others this does not happen. Under some circumstances, the same cheese type may bring symptoms or not, just depending on the starting situation, or by the presence of other favorable conditions. In other words, cheese alone is not a strong factor, but if included in a wrong diet, it may worsen the situation.
Cheese Is Not A Risk Factor Per Se
This is a very interesting thing to consider. According to specific studies, cheese consumption (even in the long term) is not associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Despite some contraindications, especially for people who are dealing with high cholesterol and also some cardiovascular diseases, cheese alone should not be seen as a powerful trigger for health-related issues or risks. This applies to cheese by itself, while things can change even a lot when excessive consumption of cheese is accompanied by other wrong eating habits.

People who suffer from acid reflux and other conditions at the same time must pay great attention to the effect that cheese may have.

On the other hand, healthy people who are asking about the specific role of cheese for acid reflux, should not be so worried about it as it is.

Is Cheese Bad For Acid Reflux?

The answer to this question is: it depends.

A lot depends on the following:

  • starting conditions of the person who eats cheese
  • the whole diet of this person
  • the possible presence in the diet of some foods able to trigger reflux and related symptoms
  • the fat content of cheese
  • the specific type of cheese

As you can see, there are various things to consider before answering “yes” or “no” to the question about the specific role of cheese for acid reflux.

To this end, we want to focus the attention on some “new trends” of the cheese industry, to give you a better idea of what is going to happen in the coming future.

We report the example of a special type of cheese, called “natural peppermint-flavored cheese” (from Egypt).

This cheese has been created with the purpose of making available a novel attractive cheese with a low concentration of natural peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil.

As you know, mint and peppermint, in some concentrations, are a trigger for reflux.

However, essential oils may help people who suffer from reflux and related symptoms.

While cheese is generally considered a food to avoid, there are some cheese types that on the contrary can be eaten without any trouble.

Given a situation like that, what we should say?

Once again, there are some recommendations, however, personal experience is unavoidable, because it’s the only real way to clearly understand if and how a certain type of cheese can represent a problem for your health, or not.

Does Cheese Cause Acid Reflux?

To answer this question, we have to consider the scientific mechanism resulting from the ingestion of cheese with the diet.

In short, the answer is “yes”, because cheese, once ingested, promotes two types of actions, listed below.

Relaxation Of The LES
This happens because of the fat content. Fats have the capability to lower the pressure in the area of LES, which means a weaker action by the muscle that acts as a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. The final result is that stomach content can go back in the esophagus more easily, and this causes reflux, then all related symptoms will appear (starting from heartburn).

This is the main factor that promotes reflux, the root cause from which everything depends.

But there’s more to consider.

The Role Of Cholecystokinin (CCK)
This also happens because of the fat content. Fats have the capability to increase the secretion of this hormone (CCK), which in turn has a direct action on the LES. The final result is a further reduction of the pressure in the area, with even more chances for the stomach content to go back in the esophagus.

This is the double-action exerted by cheese for acid reflux.

The #1 thing to remember is that everything relates to fat content.

One of the keys to eating better is then to carefully select cheese types according to the lowest possible fat content, as we will see later.

Does cheese affect acid reflux?

Yes, it happens almost always.

Please note that this does not mean that cheese always causes reflux or related symptoms, but only that cheese affects the already present situation.

In some cases, it may have a weak action with no significant effects.

In other cases, it may contribute to the occurrence of reflux episodes.

We want to report here a meaningful study, according to which meal type affects heartburn severity.

More precisely, it has been noted that despite lower fat content, some foods like chili and red wine can promote more reflux and heartburn pain than other meals, including cheese-rich ones.

This means that in the presence of chili and red wine, for instance, cheese contributes more to reflux.

While, in the absence of other powerful triggers, cheese may affect the situation, but not so much to determine reflux and/or similar discomfort.

Does cheese aggravate acid reflux?

When included in a diet that’s wrong for reflux sufferers, this may happen.

Cheese alone is not the main factor, however, in the presence of wrong dietary habits, it contributes to worsening things.

Another very interesting fact is that cheese, along with other foods potentially capable of causing reflux, can affect therapy and treatments.

This is extremely important because it really means that working on eating habits and lifestyle is the real key to achieve a normal quality of life.

In fact, it has been reported that a meal made of (example case) chili, cheese, raw onions, and cola demonstrated that chewing antacids controls esophageal acidity more effectively than swallowing antacid tablets.

In other words, cheese, along with other reflux triggers, can influence the type of medication or treatment for acid reflux and related symptoms.

This means that under some circumstances drugs and medications will not be as effective as removing specific foods from the diet.

Another powerful demonstration that working on dietary habits not only is good for your quality of life but also to avoid taking medications that are not going to work.

Can Cheese Cause Acid Reflux?

The real answer to this question, after everything we have considered above, it’s: it depends.

It depends on the content in fat, on the simultaneous presence of other foods that trigger reflux, on the quantity of ingested cheese, and the starting conditions of the person who eats cheese.

In fact, just as personal experience is important, individual health characteristics also play an important role.

The most important thing to consider is that cheese alone is not a “forbidden” food unless other specifications and recommendations are provided by your physician (especially because of other diseases or health conditions).

You must pay great attention to pay close attention to how you’re combining the cheese within your diet.

In addition, keep an eye at the salt content of that cheese.

Salty foods are a trigger for reflux, so cheese and salt add their actions, even though the specific mechanism that makes salt a trigger for reflux has not yet been well identified.

That being said, there’s another legitimate question to answer.

Is cheese ok for acid reflux?

Surprisingly, the answer is: yes, it may be.

Some people report consuming cheese without issues, especially because they eat cheese within a diet that’s good for acid reflux sufferers.

As we considered that cheese for acid reflux is bad only when the triggering action is exacerbated by the presence of other triggers, under some circumstances cheese can also be fine for people who are dealing with reflux and related symptoms.

However, this specific topic is highly underestimated, and, even worse, there still are so many misunderstandings.

It would be too long to write a list with all cheese types that are potentially good or bad for reflux, also because personal experience is unavoidable.

That’s why we’ll limit the analysis to some of the most frequently asked questions about cheese for acid reflux.

Feel free to ask for more info you’d like to read on this page.

Is cottage cheese good for acid reflux?

Cottage cheese has a long history of consumption, and it’s generally reported on the “white list” as it is (alone) for people who suffer from acid reflux and heartburn (as well as other related symptoms).

This is the general premise because there are some things to consider.

First of all, cottage cheese has a low acid content, and the same is valid for fats.

That’s why it’s considered a generally good cheese to eat for people who must avoid acidic and fatty foods.

But, as we considered before, food combinations are the real problem.

In fact, there two events that make cottage cheese a trigger for reflux. Such events are the following:

  • when you eat cottage cheese but you are lactose-intolerant
  • when you eat cottage cheese by mixing it with meat products

In the above cases, heartburn it’s likely to occur.

We’re not saying that this is a sign of actual reflux, however, some symptoms may appear, just because of the combination of foods, not because of cottage cheese alone.

The real point is that cottage cheese is generally slow to digest, meaning that if you’re adding other foods that make digestion longer, this will cause issues.

Is cream cheese bad for acid reflux?

In general, all cream cheese products are a trigger for reflux, that’s why you should avoid them.

However, there are some differences to point out.

The most important is that low-fat cream cheese and even better fat-free cream cheese make a much smaller contribution to the occurrence of acid reflux and heartburn than full-fat cream cheese.

It’s a matter of choice, you must avoid the ones that for sure can trigger reflux more than others.

To this end, you can replace full-fat cream cheese with some good alternatives, such as:

  • peanut butter
  • margarine
  • jam (when possible)

Eating in small portions may help in turn, just because heavy meals are a trigger in most cases, whatever foods you introduce.

Is feta cheese bad for acid reflux?

Feta cheese is a typical product from Greece, where sheep and goats are raised on local grass.

It’s listed among the types of cheese you can eat even in the case of reflux. But, as always personal experience has to guide you in the choice.

The content of feta cheese is almost unique, and what makes it so specific is the content in protein: there are at least 489 proteins, along with many other beneficial ingredients.

It as in fact good anti-inflammatory properties, mainly due to the presence of friendly bacteria, that help the gut and digestion.

In addition, feta cheese contains some specific fatty acids, especially the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), that may have a protective action against some degenerative and metabolic diseases, like cancer and diabetes among others.

Finally, it has a high content in calcium and phosphorus, and this makes feta cheese good for bone health.

There also are some contraindications, such as for pregnant women (they should not eat feta because it’s made with unpasteurized milk).

At the same time, the lactose content can cause trouble in people intolerant to this sugar.

Feta is also a quite salted cheese, and people who are dealing with reflux should avoid salty foods.

However, once again, it’s a matter of balance: many people report eating feta cheese without issues, especially because in most cases benefits overcome possible risks.

In general, feta and goat cheese are much better than most other types.

Is mozzarella cheese bad for acid reflux?

When it comes to cheese for acid reflux, mozzarella deserves a separate discussion.

This especially because mozzarella cheese is a major source of dietary fatty acids.

To be more precise, mozzarella cheese is a rich source of saturated fatty acids that has a detrimental effect on health; at the same time, however, it’s also a major source of essential fatty acids that has a beneficial impact on health.

For what concerns people who suffer from acid reflux or related symptoms, according to some dietary books, mozzarella is considered a food to eat a little, because it may cause heartburn, even though this does not mean that the induced heartburn is a sign of actual acid reflux.

In other dietary books, the opposite occurs.

In fact, mozzarella is even suggested, along with several types of hard cheese and parmesan.

This is another demonstration of how things may be complicated and not fully applicable to everyone.

One more time, personal experience is the key.

Mozzarella is acidic for certain people, or frankly fatty, while others find it totally fine, and include it in their diet without experiencing any issues.

Is mac and cheese good for acid reflux?

Macaroni and cheese are a widely consumed dish, that’s why many people wonder if it may trigger reflux.

Unfortunately, yes, it happens.

This is due to the combined action of foods:

  • cheese is high in fats
  • pasta is high in carbohydrates

The final result is that cheese tends to lengthen the gastric emptying time, and it also acts directly on the LES.

Pasta, from the other side, makes you feel full and can in turn directly promote reflux.

This is the reason why mac and cheese are not good for people who suffer from acid reflux and related symptoms unless you replace (at least) fatty cheese with other low-fat alternatives.

When eating that dish, pay the greatest attention to what you drink: alcoholic beverages sum their action and they make worsen things a lot.

Is vegan cheese good for acid reflux?

A vegan diet can help people who suffer from reflux, even though this is not a general rule.

In fact, more than the type of food is the presence of some ingredients that matters the most (for instance, fats, sugars, salt, and other potential triggers).

There is some vegan product that also is able to trigger reflux, such as tomato, onion, garlic, just to name a few.

Not to mention vegan meat, which may be very high in fats.

On the other hand, you can find relief from acid reflux and related symptoms by following a vegan diet, when you avoid all possible vegan triggers.

If the vegan cheese you consume is fat-free, and possibly salt-free as well, for sure it’s a great alternative.

Best Cheese For Acid Reflux

When it comes to cheese for acid reflux, you must consider some general aspects, more than the single cheese type.

This is very important to understand because there are no real “poisons”, while you should drive your full attention to more comprehensive dieting programs that consider acid reflux as a whole.

That’s why we want to outline the essential aspects that guide you in the decision to choose the right cheese for acid reflux.

These aspects are:

Low Fat
Fats are one of the most important triggers of reflux, and related symptoms as well. If you want to eat cheese, make sure it’s a low-fat one, Even better, you should eat a fat-free cheese. to this end, you can also replace it with fully vegan choices, but you must be sure that no fats and no other potential triggers can be found in it.
Low Salt
Salty foods are in the list of reflux triggers, that’s why you have to make sure that cheese is not salted. To extend this concept, keep in mind that processed cheese is also capable of triggering reflux. Moreover, you must avoid salty accompanying foods.
Low Sugar
Sugars also contribute to reflux, that’s why you must prefer low-carb, or sugar free cheese recipes and  combinations. Only to make an example, there are some special cheesecake recipes with almost-to-zero sugar content, and they exactly are the ones to look for when it comes to cheese for acid reflux. Always about cheesecakes, pay attention if they are made with chocolate because this can make the situation worse.
Food Combinations
Pay the greatest possible attention to how you combine cheese. This is a mandatory step, because even if you eat the right cheese type when accompanied by other trigger foods, you may blame it while another food is the actual responsible for your reflux.

In short, personal experience is even more important when it comes to cheese for acid reflux.

Conclusions

This topic is one of the most controversial, that’s why we decided to help you clarify things.

A lot more could be said, however, we suggest to take note of these 21 takeaways:

Takeaways
#1) Cheese appears in the list of food possibly to avoid to prevent acid reflux.

#2) The main factor that “condemns” cheese to be on that list is the generally high content in fat.

#3) Personal experience is the key also in the case of cheese for acid reflux.

#4) Cheese consumption (even in the long term) is not associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

#5) There are various things to consider before answering “yes” or “no” to the question about the specific role of cheese for acid reflux.

#6) While cheese is generally considered a food to avoid, even though there are some cheese types that on the contrary can be eaten without any trouble.

#7) Cheese can cause acid reflux because of two actions: the relaxation of the LES and the increased secretion of CCK.

#8) In the presence of some trigger foods (chili and red wine, for instance), cheese contributes more to reflux.

#9) Cheese, along with other reflux triggers, can influence the type of medication or treatment for acid reflux and related symptoms.

#10) Under some circumstances drugs and medications will not be as effective as removing specific foods from the diet.

#11) Some people report consuming cheese without issues, especially because they eat cheese within a diet that’s good for acid reflux sufferers.

#12) Cottage cheese (low-fat) is considered a generally good cheese to eat for people who must avoid acidic and fatty foods.

#13) You must not eat cottage cheese if you are lactose-intolerant and/or if you mix it with meat products.

#14) Low-fat cream cheese and even better fat-free cream cheese make a much smaller contribution to the occurrence of acid reflux and heartburn than full-fat cream cheese.

#15) Feta cheese is listed among the types of cheese you can eat even in the case of reflux.

#16) You should not eat feta cheese if you’re pregnant, or if you are lactose intolerant, and/or if you have some troubles with salty foods.

#17) However, feta and goat cheese are much better than most other types.

#18) Mozzarella cheese is quite controversial, personal experience is the only thing that guides your choice.

#19) Macaroni and cheese should be avoided, or you could at least replace cheese with low-to-zero fat alternatives.

#20) Vegan cheese may help, however, you must pay great attention to how you combine it with your diet.

#21) The most relevant things to consider when looking for the best cheese for acid reflux are: low fat, low salt, low sugar, and food combinations.

Types of cheese and especially food combinations are the real key to avoid reflux and related symptoms for a long time.

What To Do Next

Now, it’s time to take action.

If you want to rely on a complete, full system that helps you in choosing the right foods, including cheese, you should consider this special dieting program.

It’s called the “Mango Man Diet“, and it’s full of wonderful tips on how to improve your health as a whole, with a special focus on digestive disorders.

This basically means that you can take care of acid reflux and heartburn with a more comprehensive approach, to remove risk factors for other important health conditions that may be related.

This is a very smart approach because there is no “magic pill” that can set you free from reflux, and eating better is the first essential step to take.

In addition, there are other programs to consider, you can find them below.

The Proven Holistic 5-Step System


One of the best strategies. Its strength point is the holistic approach, which means that you're going to care about all aspects that may affect your organism, in 5 steps. Also known as "Heartburn No More".

The Three Everyday Ingredients


This strategy works on underestimated aspects, such as food combinations that are much more important than avoiding certain types of foods. Also known as "The Acid Reflux Strategy".

The Double Protocol For Reflux


It targets two conditions at the same time: acid reflux and infection by H. pylori. Quick warning: this book is not suitable for all reflux sufferers. Also known as "Rapid Reflux Relief".

The Reflux Remedy Kit


This is a book + kit that presents some little known and creative natural remedies for heartburn and acid reflux. A good integration. Also known as "Heartburn & Acid Reflux Remedy Report".

Cheese for acid reflux is just one of the very many things you have to consider when dealing with this disease.

However, a holistic and complete approach will make a lot easier to achieve a totally normal quality of life.

Thank you once again for your time and your patience as well.

Keep following us for more!

2 Comments

  1. Henry Geteram
    • Dr.Gray

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