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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

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Ask Dr. Gourmet



Are acidic foods connected to high blood acid levels and high blood glucose levels?

It seems that several foods that have high omega 3 content are also quite acidic, like walnuts and sardines. Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Walnuts

There is not really any such thing as "high blood acid levels." Our bodies have an amazing ability to keep the acidity within a very tight range. While there are a lot of silly theories about acid and alkali blood levels, they are generally just that. There is no connection between GERD, blood acidity and blood glucose levels.

For most people it is higher acid levels in the stomach or the mechanics of the stomach and esophagus that cause the discomfort of GERD. For most folks it is foods that are acidic such as citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar. Nuts, sardines, and other foods that are high in Omega 3 fats are generally not acidic enough to provoke reflux.

Everyone is different and has different foods and other lifestyle issues that can provoke reflux. For some it is acidic foods and others spicy foods. Foods that are high in fat can delay emptying of the stomach and that can also contribute. This could be nuts, for instance, but this is not a food that is felt to be a typical trigger.

The key is to keep a food diary to track which foods are provoking your issues. Here's more information on GERD.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet