Monday, July 6, 2009

Food combining?

How do you feel about food combining? Thank you, D.

Answer: There are two theories of food combining that I am aware of. One involves food compatibility with respect to digestive enzymes and the other involves complementary proteins.

The first one is a proposed diet that includes eating foods that contain certain enzymes that aid digestion and are "compatible" to help break down each food at each meal. The food combinations on this type of diet include eating greens and low-starchy vegetables with either protein rich foods (like legumes and dairy foods) or starchy foods (like grains, pasta and potatoes). The theory of this diet is that eating protein with starchy foods at the same meal should be avoided because the enzymes in them are not compatible and will interfere with digestion. Also, it is suggested that fruits should be eaten by themselves because they are digested faster than any other food. These principles of food combining are generally not accepted or endorsed by nutritional scientists and researchers.

The second type of food combining is a theory that eating certain proteins together at the same time will increase the quality and quantity of protein obtained. The protein combinations include eating grains with legumes (beans and rice) or tofu with squash. This theory was popularized in the early 1970's. The author that proposed this concept of complementary proteins has since stated that this is not necessary because a vegetarian diet based on a variety of foods will have more than enough usable protein. The American Dietetic Association also agrees that food combining is unnecessary if you maintain a balanced diet, which includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, etc. They state that it is not necessary to combine various nutrients at any given meal, but that you should strive to have a balanced diet throughout the day and week.

Read more about food combining at

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