If you love pizza, then being diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can feel like a kick in the gut. However, contrary to what you may think, you can still enjoy this tasty food as long as you get the right toppings. Here are a few tips for ordering a GERD-friendly pizza.
Skip the Tomato Sauce
Admit it, you probably died a little bit inside after reading that headline. After all, what's pizza without its iconic red sauce. Unfortunately, acidic foods can aggravate GERD, and tomatoes are one of the most acidic foods in the vegetable garden. If you want to enjoy your pizza instead of spending the night regretting your purchase, it's best to nix the tomato-based sauce.
The good news is, many pizza places have alternative sauces you can substitute for the traditional tomato-based one. For instance, some companies offer ranch or a white cream sauce that can be used in place of the tomato base. A few even have a barbecue sauce base, though you may want to avoid this one since barbecue sauce is made from tomato paste and vinegar.
If you absolutely must have tomato sauce on your pizza, choose the light sauce option and avoid other toppings that may cause a GERD flareup.
Opt for Light or No Cheese
High-fat dairy products—such as full-fat cheese, cream, and butter—can cause a GERD flareup because they can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. This is the flap that prevents acid from entering the esophagus. Fat also takes longer to digest, so the food—and the acid used to break it down—will stay in your stomach for an extended period of time, which can aggravate your condition.
Instead, choose low-fat cheese if it's available. If it isn't, then opt for a light cheese portion or no cheese at all. You can always doctor your pizza and cover it in low-fat cheese when you receive it.
Choose Lean Meats and Non-Acidic Veggies
Instead of pepperoni or sausage, which tends to have a lot of fat and be spicy, choose chicken at your meat topping. Additionally, avoid acidic or spicy fruits and vegetables like pineapples, jalapenos, olives, and tomatoes. You can still make a delicious pizza using spinach, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and similar toppings and get a kick of much-needed nutrition in the process.
To indulge in your cravings for pizza, contact a pizza restaurant in your area like Original Italian Pizza Pa.