I am 53 and by the time people get to be my age, their ideas about eating are pretty well set. Most people have a great feel for their foods, they know what foods they eat are healthy and which ones give them trouble. Two thirds of them are over weight for their height, one third of them are clinically obese. Just about all of them have tried to diet more than once, may or may not have had the ‘willpower’ to lose weight, but after returning to eating enough food every day to not feel like they were starving, they all regained the lost weight and then continued the gradual upward curve that their weight has been on since birth.
Most people think that junk food isn’t healthy, because it’s called junk food. Most people think that fats are unhealthy, because they have heard it repeated everywhere over and over, for their whole lives. Most people don’t know that there are different kinds of fats, or that the cooking oil they are using is even a fat. Not very many people know that lard is healthier than butter and that butter is healthier than vegetable oil. If you cook your foods with Crisco you are using a product more dangerous than bacon grease, and I bet you didn’t know that.
After dinner last night with friends we talked about acid reflux and my friend said her reflux is much worse lately, since she is eating ‘healthy’. I asked her what she eats, she has cut out sugar and flour. She eats meat and vegetables–lots of vegetables–and fruit–and prilosec for the reflux. Well, I have a theory about acid reflux.
In the human digestive tract there is not more than a few inches of it that are not coated with germs. The way it is supposed to work is that our germs are thriving on our food, and they defend our systems against germs that don’t have our best interests at heart. These days science is discovering more and more ways that this interaction between the good guys and bad guys in our guts influences our health, mood, allergies and weight. My thought is that acid reflux is a symptom of an out of control germ in the stomach. Burping is obviously gasses in the stomach. If you burp after having a soda, it is because of the gasses dissolved in your drink. If you aren’t drinking soda, haven’t eaten in a while so that it’s not entrained gasses swallowed with your foods, then the burp is likely from a germ in your stomach feasting on your meal. They produce gasses just like yeast produces gasses in your rising bread. The germ might even be a yeast. If your gasses are bringing up stomach juices also, then it is because the contents of your stomach are foaming. A big bubble comes up and instead of just gas, it is gas and the little film of liquid containing the gas. The liquid contains stomach acid. The problem is the gas and the foam.
My advice to her was to quit eating fruit and vegetables for a bit. My thinking goes like this. “What you are doing is hurting you so, right now, for you, it is not healthy.” I recommended that for the next day or two she should stop taking prilosec, and for breakfast, lunch and dinner eat nothing but ham and eggs. No germs that I know of will create gas or a foaming stomach from ham and eggs. I know that yeast won’t. Consider this an anti acid reflux fast, if you will. This meal contains 70% saturated fats, 23% protein, and only 7% carbs. That is according to the MyFitnessPal app. I would bet there are even less carbs in there than that.
In the morning at 6AM I have two large eggs, one slice of ham, and a teaspoon of bacon drippings to cook it in. It is around 700 calories, if you believe in calories, but it is something that I eat and it carries me without hunger to lunch at noon every day. I think a person could easily live on this for one or two days to get rid of acid reflux. If I had it I certainly would try it, because not only is it a fast and easy meal, it also happens to taste fantastic and is filling. A person on this ‘diet’ would not feel any hunger all day long, and they would be eating zero carbs for carb eating germs to survive on. It wouldn’t take long for only the non-carb germs to take over the digestive system.
After having read “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, and “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz, I have a totally different take on dietary fats and what is or is not healthy that most of my contemporaries. I am not afraid to say that what most people are eating is not healthy, even if it is fruits and vegetables. Until you have tamed your gut microbes then eating carbs or sugars in your ‘healthy’ smoothies or salads is going to continue to feed the bad germs that are giving you trouble. Once that battle inside you is settled in your favor you can go back to eating those healthy foods, and it won’t be like the old days when once off your ‘diet’ you started gaining weight. If you just eat real foods, forego the processed foods (even if they claim to be healthy on the label), stop drinking all sweetened beverages including diet ones, and start getting your energy from fats instead of carbs, not only will you lose weight, but I can guarantee that you will also lose eating related disorders–including acid reflux. Get off the meds, get on the bandwagon. Enjoy the ride.