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Food Combining and Its Benefits

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2020

What is Food Combining?  


Food combining is a lifestyle method used to optimize digestion. It has ancient roots but started becoming popular in recent years. The term “food combining” is for the idea that certain foods complement each other in a pair, while others do not. 


The principles behind food combining are based on the physiology in the digestive system and the rates in which macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) are broken down. Fats and proteins take longer to digest than carbohydrates. For example, non-starchy carbohydrates (leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, etc..) and starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, squash, avocado, oats, quinoa, etc..) are broken down at different rates than fruit. 


Food is broken down into the categories of starches, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats. Since the varying macronutrients are broken down in the stomach through different enzymes, the concept is that you should only be eating certain foods in the same sitting to speed up digestion. 


How to Food Combine 

  1. Fruit first on an empty stomach. Fruit takes 20 minutes to digest in the body because of the simple sugars that make them up, therefore they should be eaten first thing on an empty stomach for optimal absorption of these sugars for energy. 
  2. Mixing starchy carbohydrates and proteins in the same meal is a bad combination 
  3. Veggies/ Non-starchy carbohydrates are considered a “neutral food”  therefore you can eat them with starches, proteins, and fats. 
  4. Protein should not be mixed with fat.


Benefits of Food Combining 

  • Weight Loss
  • Good Digestion 
  • Improved energy 
  • Reduced acne 


What does Science Say? 

Many of the original food combining principles were based in the mid-1800s, a time when much less was known about human nutrition and digestion. There is no scientific evidence supporting the practice of food combining and its added benefits in comparison to the regular diet. In today’s age, biochemistry and nutritional science knowledge contradicts many of the principles of food combining. 


Does it actually work? 

Personally using food combining in my own diet, I have found that using this lifestyle method is a nice jumpstart back into a healthy lifestyle when needed. The method has helped transition my eating habits to be more plant-based and decreased bloating with increased energy levels. Since first trying food combining, I have found what works best for me is to use the principles to guide my meals but not restricting myself within them.  


- Emily Ocon 


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