Fact or Myth: The Truths of Stomach Health
- Posted on: Feb 9 2015
Our stomachs can cause some major inconveniences, and can also create health concerns for others, but many have little-to-no knowledge about how their stomach and digestive tract operate. Lacking knowledge about stomach health can make it extremely difficult to solve one’s stomach troubles, and can lead people further away from a solution, which can be a very simple one in many situations.
To help with the spread of knowledge, read on to learn more about some of the popular misconceptions that concern the gut, and the truths behind them:
Myth or Fact: Losing as little as 2 to 3 pounds can reduce acid reflux
Fact – Losing weight, and shrinking the size of your waistline, can in fact make a difference with acid reflux. A good example of this can be seen in pregnant women; as the baby grows (along with mom’s stomach) it pushes against the internal organs, which helps increase the acid back-up into the esophagus. Once people lose weight, or once the baby is born, it relieves the pressure, which in turn relieves heartburn and acid reflux.
Myth or Fact: In order to reduce hunger you must cut down on your food intake, so you’ll eventually shrink your stomach
Myth – Unless you have surgery, your stomach pretty much remains the same size once you are an adult. However, eating less does still has its benefits; doing so can help reset your “appetite thermostat”, which will make you feel less hungry. When you feel less hungry, it will be a lot easier for you to stick with your eating plan.
Myth or Fact: People who are heavy have larger stomachs than a thin person
Myth – There is no correlation between the size of the stomach and the weight of a person. In fact, a thin person can have the same size or even a larger stomach then those who are larger than them. Weight has nothing to do with the size of a person’s stomach; in fact, even those who have had stomach-reducing surgeries still have the ability to override the new small size of the stomach and gain weight.
Myth or Fact: Eating 200 calories’ worth of crackers is not as likely to control your appetite as eating a 200 calorie snack consisting of crackers and peanut butter
Fact – Crackers by themselves are considered to be a simple carbohydrate, which will quickly raise your blood sugar and insulin levels, but they drop just as quickly. This roller coaster effect dramatically affects both mood and appetite, leaving one feeling edgy and hungry. However, adding some fat to the mix will make your snack remain in your stomach longer, as fats digest much slower than carbohydrates, resulting in feeling full for longer.
Myth or Fact: The stomach is where digestion takes place
MYTH – The stomach takes in the food, mixes it and then breaks it down into tiny particles called a “chyme”. However, foods do not digest in the order in which they are eaten, as everything is churned in the stomach, and is then released together when it’s ready. The chymes are released in small groups into the small intestines, which is where the major part of the digestive process takes place.
Myth or Fact: Foods that contain soluble fiber will cause more gas and bloating than foods that contain insoluble fiber
Fact – Foods such as oat bran, beans, peas, and citrus fruits contain soluble fiber (fiber that dissolves in water) can cause more gas and bloating than eating foods with insoluble fiber (fiber that does not dissolve in water). Insoluble fiber can be found in foods such as whole-wheat bread, cabbage, wheat cereals, carrots, and beets. Reason for this is that intestinal flora is needed to digest soluble fiber, and when there is interaction with the flora, gas and bloating occur; while insoluble fiber has no interaction with intestinal flora, so there is no gas or bloating.
Myth or Fact: In order to reduce the size of your stomach you can perform exercises such as sit-ups and abdominal crunches
Myth – Sorry, but exercise does not have the ability to change the size of an organ. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise to help shrink your waist line, since performing abdominal exercises can help tighten the muscles in the abdomen. Plus, being active will help burn off the layers of fat that accumulate on the outside of your body, as well as the internal fat layers that you can’t see.
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