Peanut butter generally doesn’t cause acid reflux, but it may affect you. You might consider eating small amounts at first, slowly incorporating it into your meal plan, and talking with your doctor about possible acid reflux symptoms.

Peanut butter generally isn’t considered an acid reflux trigger, but it’s a high fat food. Eating high fat foods can increase acid reflux symptoms.

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus. Common symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) and a sour taste at the back of the mouth.

Your diet can affect your acid reflux symptoms. Just as people experience acid reflux at different levels, food triggers can vary between people.

Keep reading to learn how peanut butter can affect reflux and how to know if you can eat it safely.

While specific research has not been done on peanut butter and acid reflux, it’s not generally considered an acid reflux trigger.

However, some people may develop acid reflux after eating high fat foods. This typically includes full-fat dairy and fatty cuts of meat.

Peanut butter is high in unsaturated fats, which are considered healthy fats. Still, fats can be harder to digest, and your digestive system may produce more bile to do so. Eating a lot of peanut butter or foods high in fat or oil may make you more likely to experience symptoms.

Doctors typically recommend smooth peanut butter for esophageal soft diets. A doctor may recommend this diet if you have esophagitis or inflammation of the esophagus. Acid reflux is often a symptom of esophagitis. This suggests that eating peanut butter may not cause acid reflux in most people.

Learn which foods to avoid if you have acid reflux.

Eating high fat foods like peanut butter, especially in large quantities, may worsen acid reflux symptoms for some people.

If you have acid reflux symptoms, you may want to wait to try peanut butter until your symptoms are gone. Some home remedies like ginger or peppermint tea may help relieve acid reflux.

Eating foods that don’t cause your body to produce acid may also help prevent acid reflux.

Many whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, provide health benefits that support healthy digestion. Eating more functional foods that offer health benefits may help manage underlying digestive issues contributing to acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

You can also try other strategies to reduce acid reflux, like eating smaller meals and sitting up after eating.

If you have acid reflux and would like to add peanut butter or other nut butters to your diet, it may be best to try a small amount, such as 1 tablespoon, and see how your body responds. If you don’t have any symptoms, you may decide to try 2 tablespoons, which is the typical serving size of peanut butter.

You can also pair peanut butter with foods that are unlikely to cause acid reflux, like oatmeal or whole-grain toast.

When selecting a peanut butter, you may want to take the following into consideration:

  • Creamy peanut butter is typically easier to digest than chunky varieties.
  • You may also decide to choose a low fat variety of peanut butter. Your body may produce less bile to digest foods that are lower in fat.
  • Some varieties of peanut butter may have extra ingredients, including sweeteners, that may impact digestion.

Read our picks for the healthiest peanut butter options.

A health condition called eosinophilic esophagitis can cause symptoms similar to acid reflux. Symptoms of eosinophilic esophagitis can include:

  • regurgitation
  • reflux
  • a burning sensation in the esophagus
  • chest pain
  • difficulty swallowing

If you believe eating peanut butter contributes to your reflux symptoms, you should talk with a doctor. They can guide you in an elimination diet or order testing to determine if you have a food allergy.

Learn about symptoms of food allergies and intolerances.

Peanut butter can have a negative effect on acid reflux in some people but cause no issues for others. If you want to add peanut butter to your diet, you should:

  • Slowly incorporate it into your meal plan.
  • Stick to small amounts of peanut butter at first.
  • Take note of any other foods in your diet that trigger acid reflux.

If your symptoms continue, schedule an appointment with a doctor. They may recommend treatment for acid reflux.