Is Fat the culprit of heartburn?
This week I was asked by my weight loss Support group to discuss Reflux and the treatment of this disease. Honestly, I have been like many of my fellow practitioners and until recently always toted a low fat diet. But why? Is fat truly to blame when we look at the incidence of heartburn. HAs many cultures in the past eaten only a low fat diet and avoided heartburn? The answer is no!
This lead me to further research what could possibly be to blame. I read a blog post from Craig Fear and he made some pretty good points regarding the trigger of heartburn and a lot of them is what I have been preaching in practice. The theory is maybe fat is not the culprit? Maybe we need to look at what we are over consuming in the diet. Which is carbs!! Especially simple refined carbs and sugars that are easily digested.
In practice I have seen the best results from patients in regards to heartburn relief not only from not just focusing on the basics limiting fats, avoid acidic spicy foods, do not over eat, avoid eating 3 hours prior to laying down. Really, the usual but I also discuss weight loss and a balanced diet. For most that would mean limiting their refined carb consumption. Of course the rest makes sense as well but we need to build upon these basic theories and look at what patients are consuming. Not everyone needs to limit their intake of fats and strictly abide by low fat recommendations. In fact I normally tell patients not to consume these items as they have a lot of additives that can be harmful.
So the next time you are reaching for your cheese burger soda and fries and want to blame the fat. Look at what you are really eating. A whole lot of refined carbs and sugar. Yet, we want to blame the fat.