Some Advice on Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a popular and convenient snack for health conscious people on the go. In the last few years, the brands and varieties of dried fruits have grown dramatically. The question asked by one of our patients was, “What about dried fruit; is it okay for people with reflux to eat?”
It’s not easy to test the pH of dried fruit so here’s what we did. We put the dried fruit in water (pH 7) overnight, and then blenderized each sample for testing. Even before we offer our pH-test results, we are going to take coconut off the okay-for-refluxers list. It is a high-fat food, and it is all saturated food at that. No coconut on the reflux diet except possibly as a garnish/flavoring in very small amounts.
|Brand||Description / Fruit
|Ocean Spray||Craisins (Dried Cranberries)||2.8||26 grams of sugar|
|365||Dried Cranberries||3.0||26 grams of sugar|
|Terra Fina||Natural Low Sugar Dried Mango||3.3||71 grams of sugar/citric acid added|
|365||Prunes||4.0||16 grams of sugar|
|Sun Maid||Natural California Raisin||4.1||29 grams of sugar|
|365||Turkish Apricots||5.1||19 grams of sugar|
|Tropical Valley Foods||Dried Organic Coconut||5.9||13 grams of saturated fat|
Of the dried fruits we tested (above) the only one that is okay for the reflux diet is the apricot. Fruit that is dried appears to have a similar pH to its fresh non-dried counterpart. Although the pH of coconut is good, it has too much saturated fat. Since there are just too many brands of dried fruit out there for us to test, our recommendation is that organic (no-acid-added) dried fruits are only okay on the reflux diet if the fresh fruits are okay. If an acid has been added as a preservative, the pH can jump dramatically, so check the label. In addition to dried apricots, dried Fuji apple, pear, and banana are fine on the reflux diet.
Just a reminder of how the pH scale works: When we compare the pH of a fresh mango (3.7) to the pH of dried mango with citric acid (3.3) there’s a significant difference, because the pH scale is logarithmic and as a result, each whole pH value is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. pH 4 is ten times more acidic than pH 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 6. So, the citric acid in the dried mango makes it four times more acidic than the fresh mango we tested, and that makes the mango (dried or fresh) not okay on the reflux diet!