Famously ‘you are what you eat’ was said by somebody sometime and diets are a big thing these days. With the emergence of more diabetics, heart disease patients and obesity; eating right has never been more in the spotlight. Social media, the modern tool of society heightens it further.
If we are so aware of what eating ‘wrong’ can do then why are so many people’s health situations steadily declining?
I ask this from experience because nearly ten years ago I checked myself into hospital with rather severe chest pains. They gave me a gown and hooked me up to several measuring devices. During that time inside I was immensely worried. Anyone else would be. Many questions were asked and the conclusion they came to was digestive related. Acid to be precise. They prescribed me pills and I went away.
Over the last ten years I have suffered from acid reflux related problems and the start of this year particularly has been quite bad. I would like to state that I am not over weight and neither do I eat that ‘badly’. Being on acid stopping pills can only do so much and that is where society comes in because the nature of eating is going wrong.
You can only throw so many treatments and pills at somebody but after all that it still won’t work.
After some extensive research I can say that I am not eating ‘badly’ but neither I am eating the right things that counter acts the over production of acid within the stomach.
Everyone is different so we all have to find our own healthy mediums. But here I am at 25 having to drastically change my diet. Why? Because I was never aware or told what certain foods can do once inside the body.
Many times I have visited the doctor and not once have been really informed what is causing my reflux. Without shaming or blaming my doctor they can only do so much in a few minutes they get to diagnose and send me on my way.
But that is the problem as a whole, people are just not informed by what food really does to you. Top athletes will all say that nutrition is just as important as training and yes they can put percentages on the packaging but that still doesn’t clarify what’s happening on the inside.
I’m using myself as a case study here and it isn’t to give out diet advice and how to loose weight but simply to the lift the lid on this subject of what different foods really do to you.
The internets is a world of resource and to me is the greatest tool of the modern man, for information. Here’s what I already knew: I have an acid problem, it’s painful and uncomfortable. The acid can spread to other areas of the body and can cause weird pains.
From many google searches and from remembering school science I came across something called the PH scale. A measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. This includes food.
Now we are getting somewhere. But my findings concluded that what I eat on a regular basis doesn’t do enough to balance the stomach’s PH scale. Below is my now defunct usual weekday diet.
Wake UP – No breakfast, Cup of tea
10am Yoghurt, Cup of tea
12 – Lunch – sandwich, tomato soup and (or) tomato pasta and fruit, cup of tea or canned carbonated drink
1400 – Yogurt
1500 – Black coffee
1800- After gym snack – Usually glass of milk
1830 – Cup of tea
1930 – Dinner (large meal)
From the list above there isn’t much that actually acts as an alkaline in the stomach. Some of you will recognise the dairy part of my diet and research suggests that most dairy products remain neutral to the scale. So there I have been eating mostly acidic foods and trying to neutralise my stomach with yoghurt, which at best will only tip the scale back to neutral. That is until I have bread or pasta and then my pre gym coffee the scale goes back to acidic. Another conclusion is too many hot drinks and the larger meal at the end of the day. Right now I am suffering from tea withdrawal but that’s part of the struggle.
It would seem I was on a constant loop but then it gets a little more complicated. My understanding of food and what it does has been completely changed. Because foods can be defined as alkaline or acid forming. An example and this blew my mind:
Lemons although incredibly sour and contain citric acid are actually alkali forming inside the stomach.
Mind blown, I’ve been doing this all wrong.
Then my research concluded:
Most dairy is acid forming in the stomach!
These two examples show even a layman like me honestly has no idea about nutrition and what foods do once within.
A healthy stomach is one within the center of the ph scale. Having a one sided acidic diet over time can cause problems. But the outlook is good because most alkali foods are well known vegetables and fruits. They are largely available and normally quite cheap. On my studies I found a rather nifty website with some decent info.
Of course before changing a diet drastically talk to a doctor and remember balance is key. Your thoughts? Do you have a strict diet or do you eat whatever you like?