Other food combining plans cite the fact that protein-rich foods need acidic enzymes for digestion, whereas carb-rich foods need more alkaline enzymes, and eating the two at the same time cause the enzymes to “cancel each other out” and stops digestions and assimilation of nutrients. There are numerous slight variations from specific plan to specific plan, but they all essentially follow the above rules. In short, there is absolutely no evidence that eating protein with carbs at the same time interferes with digestion of either.
Nutrition plans must be maintainable and practical, and the rigid rules of food combining may be difficult for many people to practice in the real world. I recommend a nutrition plan based around whole, unprocessed foods, with each meal containing protein, unprocessed carbohydrates and healthy fats. I had mixed feelings about this subject for a while because my intuition tells me if someone has an unhealthy gut, or some type of digestive problem, some aspects of food combining may actually make sense, but for a healthy individual with a healthy gut, it’s contrary to biology and how the digestive process actually works. I also agree with you that with the majority people should keep it simple and just eat a well balanced healthy diet limiting processed foods.
I was pretty much a non processed foods vegan prior to trying food combining, but I made the whole family get on the program.
My husband is a 68yo vegan, former body builder, and has candida, for the first time in years he has begun to lose weight.
I did try this many years ago, and I think the resultant weight loss was from focusing on whole unprocessed foods rather than on eating food groups separately – for me at least.
The biggest challenge I found, which you highlight, was the intense hunger I would get so shortly after eating carbs without protein or fat.
Thus, eating certain food combinations, specifically protein-rich foods with carbohydrate-rich foods, decreases absorption of nutrients, causes food to “sit and ferment” in the GI tract, which then leads to a build-up of toxins, finally causing a host of chronic diseases. Kosher eating, where milk and meat can never be consumed together), but food combining for purposes of improved health is a newer concept. I did a pretty extensive literature search and was only able to find one peer-reviewed article that related to food combining.2 It examined the effects on weight loss of traditional versus a food combining diet.
For example, 3 ounces of raw broccoli has 2-3 grams of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrate.
Additionally, as most people are looking to lose at least some body fat, reducing calories is a common goal. This type of eating has been shown again and again to aid in losing fat and improving health and energy.
It was championed in the UK by the now discredited Gillian McKeith, and has little or no scientific backing. I was in generally the same boat as you about this subject, Mark; so, very glad to see this article here. It was not a drastic weight loss (6 lbs in a month) but that is close to a miracle for him.
They have been vegetarians for 10 years now, but they ate junk food and pizza at least twice a month.
I would never make a generalisation as we are all different but for me it worked very well. The Hay Diet, developed in the 1920s by a physician named William Hay, placed all foods into one of three groups: acidic, alkaline or neutral. I would argue eating broccoli should cause the same issues as eating rice with meat according to the “enzyme cancellation” theory of food combining.
Eating carbohydrates alone (especially high glycemic load sources like bananas) often causes rebound hunger, as without protein and fat to slow absorption, there is a real risk of a rapid rise in blood sugar, an insulin spike followed by a drop on blood sugar and finally a strong feeling of hunger. He argued that combining acidic foods (protein-rich foods such as meat, fish and dairy) with alkaline foods (carbohydrate-rich foods like grains, potatoes and rice) causes a build-up of acidic end-products that are harmful to the body.
Additionally, I found it odd that, at least according to some food combining advocates dried fruits should be grouped separately from fresh fruits. They argue that fruit should be eaten alone on an empty stomach due to its rapid absorption rate, yet dried fruit has an identical chemical make-up to fresh fruit but is absorbed more rapidly. Still, food combining proponents recommended that dried fruit be combined with other foods.
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