Is 85 cocoa content dark chocolate considered acidic? This is a common question as individuals believe some foods trigger heartburn and must be avoided.
According to experts, some foods and beverages can lead to symptoms of acid reflux because they are considered acidic. However, many people question whether dark chocolate should be avoided by those who experience heartburn easily.
The truth is that 85 cocoa content dark chocolate is considered acidic as it contains caffeine, cocoa, and sugar that tend to worsen the symptoms of acid reflux and cause heartburn. These ingredients irritate the esophagus and stomach, which causes excess acid production in the stomach.
However, dark chocolate is considered to be less acidic than milk and white chocolate. This is because the higher the sugar and milk content, the more chances of chocolate causing symptoms of acid reflux.
Let’s dive into what scientific research claims and why dark chocolate is considered acidic. We have done our research from medical websites to bring you the closest truth possible related to dark chocolate and acidity.
Is 85 Cocoa Content Dark Chocolate Considered Acidic?
Chocolate has a pH level that can range anywhere between 5.56 and 6.52. Milk chocolate with a higher cocoa content has the highest value, while white chocolate has the lowest. However, this means that every kind of chocolate is considered acidic and can lead to symptoms of acid reflux.
Individuals who are prone to symptoms of GERD should try avoiding dark chocolate. Acid reflux can worsen by consuming a high sugar diet, which can also lead to weight gain, putting you at risk of diabetes in the long run.
While all kinds of chocolate are considered acidic, if you absolutely need to, we would recommend consuming dark chocolate with a minimum of 75 percent cocoa. Sugar and milk are mainly responsible for acidity, but since dark chocolate contains less of these ingredients, it is known to cause significantly lower symptoms.
How Does Dark Chocolate Lead to Heartburn?
Generally, cocoa powder is considered to be acidic. When you consume too much chocolate, it increases the production of serotonin. Even though this is known as a happy hormone, it increases heartburn and symptoms of acid reflux. Moreover, cocoa relaxes the muscles in your intestine and stomach, giving way to acid to find its way up.
This increases inflammation in the esophagus, leading to heartburn in the long run. White chocolate causes the most acidity as it contains more sugar and less cocoa powder. Dark chocolate is known to cause less acidity in comparison, but regardless, it can worsen symptoms of acid reflux, especially for those who struggle with GERD.
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, compounds also found in coffee, which can worsen acidity. This is because caffeine relaxes the muscles in the esophagus, increasing pressure, which leads to heartburn. Same is the case with theobromine. Hence, avoiding chocolate can reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
When you consume chocolate, substances are created in your stomach that increases acid production, increasing esophageal pressure. You can consume other kinds of foods that have the same calories and volume, but when you consume chocolate often, you are likely to experience constant heartburn.
In these cases, individuals are advised to cut chocolate out of their diets or only consume it on rare occasions.
Why Dark Chocolate Causes Lower Acidity than Other Chocolates
Now, keep in mind that all types of chocolate lead to symptoms of acid reflux. However, chocolates that are made with natural ingredients, such as honey in place of sugar, are a better alternative. White chocolate should be avoided at all costs since it has the highest amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that do not cause acid reflux symptoms that are as severe as other kinds of chocolates. However, it is important to keep in mind that heartburn is something that is individualistic and depends from body to body. Some people may not experience any heartburn when consuming chocolate, while others may be sick for days.
The research on what dietary changes to make to avoid acid reflux is contradictory, which is why it is difficult to understand what can alleviate and what will help soothe the symptoms. Hence, we recommend being mindful and listening to your body’s needs. If there is any confusion, talk to your doctor and see how your symptoms can be managed.
How to Deal with Acidity Caused by Dark Chocolate
Even if you experience acid reflux symptoms as a result of consuming dark chocolate, it will go away in most cases. However, some individuals may find that their symptoms are intense, so it would be better to consume over-the-counter medication. Others may find that their acid reflux worsens after having certain foods, such as chocolate.
If you are one of those people, it would be best to limit your intake of chocolate and chocolate-based products. Every body functions differently, and you never know what might go wrong. Making dietary changes along with keeping your distance from certain foods will help heal symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
Keep in mind that twenty percent of all Americans struggle with acid reflux. Certain foods trigger the flow of acid, creating a pathway for it into the esophagus, which connects the throat to the stomach. If you find that you have acid reflux two or more times a week, it is likely that you are suffering from GERD. If you consume too much chocolate, it can be a trigger since chocolate is acidic.
However, make sure to consult with your doctor before making any significant changes. You will probably be asked to keep a food diary so that the doctor can track your eating habits. In case of severe cases, you may even have to give up chocolate. Many diets online tailored to GERD needs also exclude chocolate from the list of foods that can commonly be consumed.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore