Chest pain after eating greasy food

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What are greasy foods?

Greasy foods are foods that are high in fat content. These are usually the fairly obvious foods that you think of at first e.g. french fries (fried in hot oil), fried chicken, all forms of sausage, potato chips, pizza. There are also “healthy” foods that have a high-fat content, like avocados, cheese, eggs, and nuts.

Greasy foods are typically foods that you would fry in oil or have been fried in oil at some point in the cooking process. When you cook them, even in an oven, they would also have grease come out e.g. most meats besides chicken. Grease aka fat flavors your food, so most people enjoy eating greasy food.

Why are they bad for your body?

Find out what happens to your body when you eat fatty foods. Duration: 4:05.

Fatty foods are bad for your body because they are an actual, physical strain on your digestive system. This is caused by the fact that it is very difficult for your body to digest fat by itself.

Out of anything you can digest, fat always takes the slowest. This means it takes extra enzymes and digestive juices to digest it, which strains your body more than usual, causing chest pain or stomach pain.

Because of this difficulty, it means that sometimes your food goes to your intestines not wholly digested, which can give you the runs, or produce gas and cause bloating. It also affects your gut bacteria, as well as your fatty acids, which disrupts your overall health.

Overall, your chances of developing heart problems, discomfort in your abdomen, and other related diseases rise the more you eat greasy foods.

Heart pain after eating fatty foods

Heart attack

Long-term consumption of foods with high saturated fat or trans fat content is blamed for causing heart disease. Even though this is debated more and more often, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your saturated fat intake:

The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats – which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. Decades of sound science has proven it can raise your “bad” cholesterol and put you at higher risk for heart disease.


They also found that a heavy meal can increase the risk of heart attack by about four times within two hours after eating.


Another heart-related symptom that could cause chest pain is angina. Angina chest pain happens when the blood in the heart muscles is low in oxygen.

Eating fatty foods is one of the possible reasons that could trigger an angina event.

Besides eating habits, smoking, alcohol, lack of physical exercises, and stress are the common risk factors of angine.

Angina can be a warning of an increased risk of heart attack.

If you experience heart pain after eating greasy foods with other typical heart attack symptoms, get immediate medical attention!

However, chances are it is not your heart that is causing you chest pain, but some other condition. According to Keck Medicine, 30%-40% of people in the emergency room have chest pain because of acid reflux.

How can greasy foods cause chest pain? – Acid reflux

Chest, stomach, or heart pain after eating greasy foods is down to how difficult it is to digest fatty or oily foods in general. Chances are the more you eat this type of food regularly, the more you will experience this problem.

While you are digesting fat, the contents of your stomach might seep up into the esophagus. Here stomach acids will irritate the lining of the esophagus, and you’ll feel a burning sensation around the middle of your chest. This is called heartburn.

Sometimes the chest pain caused by heartburn is so severe, that people might think they have a heart attack. One important difference is that heartburn gets worse when you lie down. However, when in doubt and not sure what causes you chest pain, always ask for medical help.

Sore throat after eating fatty food

Sore throat after eating greasy foods is usually caused by laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

As mentioned above, after eating fatty foods, stomach acids might seep back into the food pipe. However, in some cases the acids might go even higher, entering the voice box (larynx) and throat (pharynx). This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR.

If you have throat pain after eating fatty foods, or greasy foods make you cough, chances are you have LPR. The typical symptoms of LPR are a sore throat, coughing, phlegm in throat, difficulty in swallowing, and a sour taste in the mouth.

Besides fatty foods, deep-fried foods are also a common cause of LPR.

Stomach pain after eating greasy foods

Another common symptom is stomach pain, especially after eating too much greasy food. The reason might be simple indigestion, that should go away in a few hours, however, sometimes there can be a more serious underlying condition.

Since fatty foods are hard to digest, if any of the organs of the digestive system in not in a good condition, you might experience stomach pain.

Typical problems might be gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder, pancreas, liver,or kidney. Depending on which organ is the culprit, you might feel pain in the abdomain on the left, right, or both sides.

If the stomach pain is very sharp or doesn’t go away in a few hours, you might need immediate medical help!

How to get greasy food out of your system?

Sharp chest or stomach pains might require immediate medical attention.

But more often than not, greasy foods cause less serious symptoms. Knowing what to eat or drink after greasy foods might help your body digest the food and relieve the symptoms:

  • Chew slowly and thoroughly, the more you chew, the easier it is for your food to be digested.
  • A few small sips of lukewarm water might help, but don’t drink too much.
  • If acid reflux is causing you the symptoms, honey might also provide instant relief.
  • Take a short walk, it might make digestion easier.
  • Probiotics improve digestive help and ensure your gut flora is healthy. Consuming buttermilk or yogurt after eating greasy foods can help digestion.
  • Avoid cold foods and drinks, as they slow down digestion.
  • Don’t lie down right after eating. If reflux is your problem, lying down makes it easier for the stomach acid to flow back to the food pipe.
  • Avoid any sudden movement, especially bending over.

Final thoughts

Eating too much fatty food can cause mild to serious health issues. Chest pain and stomach pain are the most common, but they can cause sore throat, back pain, shoulder pain, or make you cough.

Everyone needs fat in their diets, however, you should get it from healthy sources, like certain fruits and vegetables.

If you want to eat meat, try lean meat, like skinless chicken or turkey, and fish. Avoid red meats like beef, steak, bacon, and burgers.

Frequently asked questions

Can you have a heart attack after eating greasy food?

While it is not likely, you can have a heart attack after eating greasy food.

Eating too much and existing heart problems increase the chance of an after eating heart attack. It is more likely that you have heartburn, caused by acid reflux.

This article can help you distinguish heart attack from heartburn. When in doubt, you should always ask for immediate medical help!

What causes left chest pain after eating greasy food?

Left side chest pain can be a symptom of heart problems – like a heart attack, or angina -, or acid reflux.

This article can help you distinguish a heart attack from heartburn. When in doubt, you should always ask for immediate medical help!

Can greasy food make you vomit?

Vomiting after eating greasy food usually happens if you eat too much and/or too fast.

If you have other symptoms, vomiting might indicate gallbladder problems. Check the other common symptoms here!

If vomiting happens right after eating some food, it might be an allergic reaction.