1

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LC/Paleo Diet and the evening meal: How to avoid indigestion & heartburn?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2010 at 10:57 PM

I'm on a fairly LC diet, and I make sure that I eat lots of good meats and fats. My problem is that I seem to have slow digestion and that if I have anything "heavy" for the evening meal, I'll assuredly wake up in the middle of the night with indigestion and/or heartburn. I've tried skipping dinner, and doing so does make me sleep much better. But skipping dinner means that I'm not eating enough, and dinner is usually the main meal of the day, so it's a kind of a bummer to skip. Any advice? Thanks.

2965fdc9b18493242a114c8b1daa436b

(48)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Sorry, what is IF?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on January 12, 2012
at 09:09 PM

Epilog: Based on comments below, I tried using Apple Cider Vinegar, and it worked very well for me. I now drink a big glass of water with two or three teaspoons of ACV in the evening, and I now hardly ever suffer from night time indigestion.

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on September 08, 2010
at 12:27 PM

the idea seems to be that there may be a transition period where supplements could help

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on September 06, 2010
at 03:01 PM

Betaine HCL worked wonders for me. I took a lot with every meal for a few months and now I don't need it at all.

1a641bbff1a7b0a70f08410376bbdf6b

(1587)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:53 PM

Another vote for the Now Foods Super Enzymes! I've been using them for about two weeks now and my digestion is awesome! I've had problems with it for quite some time now (that's what living in China for a year did to me... ;)), since I started to take them (2 pills) with every meal it's perfect :) Big thanks to Robb I also tried ACV a couple of months ago, unfortunately I just got extremely bloated and had to stop it.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 06, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I agree with Melissa. I think you have to gradually get better at digesting fat. It took me a couple months to get used to all the fat intake, maybe even longer than that (surely some kind of x=y^2 kind of curve). ... Another thing to try in the meantime is some old folk wisdom: Angostura bitters or a bitter liqueur. Alcohol has its problems of course, but you may not need much, and Angostura has little anyway. Try mixing the Angostura with seltzer. As for bitter liqueurs, the most effective according to the folk wisdom is the queen among bitters, Fernet Branca. It is also the least sweet.

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 06, 2010
at 02:41 AM

I haven't tried ACV yet, nor increasing acidity! Thanks for the idea I will certainly give it a try! I keep hearing many good things about AVC

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 06, 2010
at 02:41 AM

This product has betaine HCL. Ingredients: Betaine HCI (from Beets and Molasses) 200 mg * Pancreatin 4X Supplying: Amylase 20,000 USP units*, Protease 20,000 USP units*, Lipase 3,400 USP units* 200 mg * Ox Bile Extract (45% Cholic Acid) 100 mg * Bromelain 2,400 GDU/g (from Pineapple) 50 mg * Papain 2M USP units/mg Powder (from Papaya) 50 mg * Pepsin NF 1:10M units Powder 50 mg * Papaya Fruit Powder 45 mg * Pineapple Juice Powder 45 mg * Cellulase 1M FCC/g Powder 10 mg

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 06, 2010
at 02:02 AM

He also recommends betaine HCL. I personally got by with apple cider vinegar diluted in water. After awhile I didn't need it anymore. Kombucha or lemon juice might also do the trick. The idea is to get acidity up. Right now your acid-producing cells might be damaged from gluten/sugar, but they should eventually recover.

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10 Answers

3
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on September 05, 2010
at 11:38 PM

Perhaps make dinner (lunch - the midday meal) the biggest? And let supper be very light?

Also, when I (infrequently) get heartburn, I take a small bit of baking soda w/ water and it knocks it right out.

My husband has Gastric Reflux and never realised it. He kept getting food stuck in his throat - we thought it was pyloric stenosis - and it's actually scarring in his esophagus from a lifetime of gastric reflux!

I hope you find some relief!

2
1aeb2cfacf9bc03644bcda640ce459ba

(154)

on September 06, 2010
at 03:04 PM

i had to reduce my fat.

i was truly miserable every evening/night. food just would not move out of my stomach.

reducing fat did the trick.

2
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on September 05, 2010
at 11:29 PM

My favorite answer for this sort of issue is powdered ginger root capsules.

I have yet to experience a indigestion issue that 1 or 2 capsules would not prevent or remedy.

Great medical overview here: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm

It is also a great general anti-inflammatory, which can help many issues.

1
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2010
at 02:05 PM

I am curious about the answers to this question. If the questioner was eating any other way I suspect all the answers would be to try changing what they were eating. Why would a low-carb/paleo diet need supplements in order to avoid heartburn and indigestion if it is a healthy diet?

smcdow: Have you tried experimenting eating different foods for your evening meal?

88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

(803)

on September 08, 2010
at 12:27 PM

the idea seems to be that there may be a transition period where supplements could help

1
42321851a87415b340d215f629e574dc

on September 06, 2010
at 01:56 PM

Like Melissa said her in previous comment, I too got by with Apple Cider Vinegar in water. I used it nearly everyday to get my acidity up. I also focused on eating naturally fermented foods at least once a day - such as sauerkraut. The final step that seemed to be a huge help was including IF in my routine once a week. At first it was extremely challenging as I get heartburn, etc but with time it gets easier and I believe it's a huge benefit to healing your stomach and gut.

2965fdc9b18493242a114c8b1daa436b

(48)

on June 12, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Sorry, what is IF?

1
5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 06, 2010
at 01:52 AM

Maybe look at this: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article.aspx?ID=27

Robb Wolf talks a lot about this and highly recommends Now Foods Super Enzymes (use my referral code PUH218 and get $5 off which is almost a 1/3 discount) ... Could be worth a try! I'll be honest, I have been experimenting with these digestive enzymes, and certainly feel the burn/warm feeling listed in Poliquin's article, but have not noticed any dramatic changes. That said I only have minor digestive issues, and I am starting to suspect another culprit (specific food intolerance)...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 06, 2010
at 02:02 AM

He also recommends betaine HCL. I personally got by with apple cider vinegar diluted in water. After awhile I didn't need it anymore. Kombucha or lemon juice might also do the trick. The idea is to get acidity up. Right now your acid-producing cells might be damaged from gluten/sugar, but they should eventually recover.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on September 06, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I agree with Melissa. I think you have to gradually get better at digesting fat. It took me a couple months to get used to all the fat intake, maybe even longer than that (surely some kind of x=y^2 kind of curve). ... Another thing to try in the meantime is some old folk wisdom: Angostura bitters or a bitter liqueur. Alcohol has its problems of course, but you may not need much, and Angostura has little anyway. Try mixing the Angostura with seltzer. As for bitter liqueurs, the most effective according to the folk wisdom is the queen among bitters, Fernet Branca. It is also the least sweet.

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 06, 2010
at 02:41 AM

This product has betaine HCL. Ingredients: Betaine HCI (from Beets and Molasses) 200 mg * Pancreatin 4X Supplying: Amylase 20,000 USP units*, Protease 20,000 USP units*, Lipase 3,400 USP units* 200 mg * Ox Bile Extract (45% Cholic Acid) 100 mg * Bromelain 2,400 GDU/g (from Pineapple) 50 mg * Papain 2M USP units/mg Powder (from Papaya) 50 mg * Pepsin NF 1:10M units Powder 50 mg * Papaya Fruit Powder 45 mg * Pineapple Juice Powder 45 mg * Cellulase 1M FCC/g Powder 10 mg

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on September 06, 2010
at 03:01 PM

Betaine HCL worked wonders for me. I took a lot with every meal for a few months and now I don't need it at all.

5be844214037850c304c1e6a05dc5277

on September 06, 2010
at 02:41 AM

I haven't tried ACV yet, nor increasing acidity! Thanks for the idea I will certainly give it a try! I keep hearing many good things about AVC

1a641bbff1a7b0a70f08410376bbdf6b

(1587)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:53 PM

Another vote for the Now Foods Super Enzymes! I've been using them for about two weeks now and my digestion is awesome! I've had problems with it for quite some time now (that's what living in China for a year did to me... ;)), since I started to take them (2 pills) with every meal it's perfect :) Big thanks to Robb I also tried ACV a couple of months ago, unfortunately I just got extremely bloated and had to stop it.

1
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on September 06, 2010
at 12:36 AM

As Blue wrote already, you may solve your problems just upping your breakfast and lunch, and making dinner just a small meal. Intermittent Fasting could be even better, and it doesn't necessarily imply eating too little, if your other two meals are big enough. But if you don't want to change your meals' size, then you can try two things:

Finish your dinner by 6:00 pm or even earlier (well, this may be seen as IF...)

Eat a large salad for dinner, and lower your protein and fat intake. In my personal experience, fresh veggies help digestion. A fresh salad with lettuce, cucumbers, or zucchini will not increase much your carb intake.

Try to establish what is heavy on your digestion: eat a dinner heavier on proteins, and see how you sleep. Then try a dinner heavy in fat. If you can establish what macronutrient gives you more troubles, you can plan your dinner better and still keep LC.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 06, 2010
at 02:20 PM

Chris Kresser's articles on heartburn and GERD are my current favourite such treatises. Especially this one.

0
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on September 06, 2010
at 01:45 PM

I don't do well eating a very big dinner. I eat my main meals at breakfast and midday, then something small that I can handle well for supper, usually at 4:30 P. M. I have been doing this for decades.

Ran across this page at Barry Groves site, and he recommends a very similar "layout" of when to eat what amounts as well, though the evening meal is late. He eats much more than I do and makes his midday meal much larger than breakfast. I keep mine about equal or the midday meal just a tad larger.

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/diabetes-6.html

The meal schedule and amounts are in a yellow box, just past halfway on the web page.

I don't know the biochemical reasons for eating this way or for other schedules. I just find this keeps me very steady and I don't have digestion-related problems from it.

Hope this is of some use.

I wish you success in finding what works well for you.

0
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on September 06, 2010
at 01:01 AM

Fresh veggies do NOT help my problems with indigestion which sometimes is acid reflux. Any kind of greens or fruit in the evening will cause indigestion for me. I do best when I only eat a small amount of fatty protein for my dinner, just enough to satisfy any hunger I might have.

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