If you landed here, you are probably suspecting that guacamole gives you heartburn. Well, you may have a point!
Although guacamole is made of ingredients beneficial for your body such as avocados and onions, the same ingredients may also give you heartburn. This is especially true if you overconsume guacamole and if you are susceptible to heartburn.
In this article, we’ll explain how guacamole — which is made of healthy fruits, vegetables and spices— may turn into a heartburn trigger if you overconsume it.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. It is characterised by a burning sensation in the middle of the chest caused by strong stomach acid which travels from the stomach up to the throat and even mouth.
Everyone can experience heartburn from time to time. However, some people experience it constantly. According to the Cleveland Clinic: having heartburn more than twice a week over a period of several weeks may indicate GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or Chronic Acid Reflux).
As per the Mayo Clinic, the common signs and symptoms of acid reflux include:
- A burning sensation in your chest
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
- Chest pain
- Trouble swallowing
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
A 2021 systematic review revealed that high-fat diets, carbonated beverages, citrus products, and spicy, salty, and fried foods are linked to chronic acid reflux.
Different people can use different ingredients to make guacamole. However, in general, guacamole contains;
- Onions or garlic
- Lime or Lemon
- Green or Red Chili pepper
Although these ingredients are considered good for the human body, they may also trigger heartburn in some people with GERD.
Guacamalo & Acid Reflux
As mentioned above, excess consumption of guacamole may trigger heartburn because this Mexican salad or dip (however you call it) contains certain ingredients that have the potential to trigger heartburn.
So let’s explain how the ingredients that you may use to make guacamole might induce heartburn…
Avocados are the main ingredient of guacamole and typically three whole avocados are used to make this Mexican dip. And if you often experience heartburn after consuming guacamole, avocados might be one of the culprits. In fact, avocados should help people with GERD because they are packed with dietary fibre. However, if eaten in excess, the effect might be the total opposite and avocados may induce heartburn in some people because they are loaded with fats. In general, fried and greasy foods that contain unhealthy types of fats are thought to aggravate acid reflux. However, it is also suspected that even foods that contain healthy types of fat such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may induce heartburn when they are consumed in excess because fat ingestion can delay the emptying of the stomach. Moreover, consuming fatty foods may relax the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES), which prevents stomach acid from moving upwards. So try not to overconsume guacamole made mainly from fatty avocados.
Onions and Garlic: Garlic and onions aren’t a problem for all GERD sufferers. That said, they are among the common heartburn triggers, hence, doctors generally don’t recommend eating onions and garlic for those who have chronic acid reflux. So if you often experience heartburn after eating guacamole, it might be because of the onions or garlic you add to this Mexican salad along with fatty avocados.
Lime or Lemon: If your guacamole contains lime or lemon, it may explain why you often feel a burning sensation in the middle of your chest after eating this Mexican dip. Because both lemon and lime (especially lime) are very acidic. Acidic foods can increase the risk of heartburn by adding acidity to the stomach and also may irritate the damaged lining of the oesophagus in GERD patients.
Tomatoes: Although not as acidic as lime or lemon, tomatoes are also acidic and thus are associated with heartburn. So, if your guacamole contains too many tomatoes it can increase your risk of heartburn if you are susceptible to it.
Green or Red Chili pepper: Doctor Deepa A. Vasudevan – who talked to WebMD – indicated that pepper, Mexican food and any other foods loaded with pepper can trigger heartburn.
What Should You Do If Guacamole Gives You Heartburn?
Although it is a nutritious salad, guacamole may induce heartburn in susceptible individuals, especially when eaten in excess because it contains certain ingredients. These ingredients include; avocados, tomatoes, lime or lemons, pepper and so on.
As a solution try to reduce your portion size and see if it solves the issue! Especially, avocados may induce heartburn in excessive amounts because they are high in fat while in moderation they can even help GERD because it has a high amount of fibre.
If you still get heartburn despite the fact that you eat in moderation, it might be related to garlic, onions or pepper found in guacamole. Try to eliminate these ingredients one by one to detect which is the worst offender. If you come to a conclusion then make your guacamole without that ingredient or replace it with something that won’t give your heartburn.
In acid reflux disease, choosing the right kinds of foods can be tricky because even foods that are touted as “healthy” can induce heartburn. That means a healthy diet that includes all fruits, vegetables and nuts may not be completely suitable for a person with GERD.
Therefore, if you have GERD you should identify your personal triggers and avoid (or limit) them to deal with this digestive condition effectively.
Although guacamole is a healthy salad, it may induce heartburn in some people because of the certain ingredients we mentioned above. So watch your acid reflux symptoms after consuming guacamole.
Lastly, if you have GERD you may want to consider working with a dietitian who can help you design a proper GERD diet. This can greatly help with symptoms.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.