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The Science of Food Combining

By Emily Lindholm

Most of us, or all of us, have been advised to take in a little of everything at every meal.  If you think about it, humans have not always had the ability to do this.  Jumbling each food group together, according to the science of food combining, is not the way that we were meant to consume our food.  The name for this science is trophology.  It can get very lengthy, so here, I have included some information just about some of our western staples.

Proteins and Starches

Unfortunately for westerners, this the worst possible combination ever created for your health.  When we consume protein and starch together, there are two competing enzymes trying to break down these two completely different food groups, ptyalin, and pepsin.  When these enzymes combine, they become neutralized and no longer are able to break down the food, leaving it as a waste product.  It is best to eat your burger on a bed of lettuce or go for the turkey salad without the croutons.  

Protein With Other Proteins

Each protein has its own enzyme requirements.  If you're going to consume protein, choose one type, and avoid combinations like steak and eggs.  However, similar meats, such as salmon and shrimp, are okay to eat together.  The same goes for beef and lamb.  Yet, for clarity's sake, just stick to one meat at a time unless you have found more information.

Dairy and Everything Else

It turns out that dairy does not mix well with anything.  When the milk enters the stomach, it curdles, and anything being digested with it will become insulated in these curdles.  I'll spare you the rest of the details here.  Just note, eat and drink dairy alone.  Having a glass of milk in the morning 30 minutes before breakfast is totally fine.  The same goes for yogurt, but if you want to add other ingredients to your yogurt, try going for almond or coconut yogurt instead.


If you're at a party and plan to have dessert, you may want to think of having a vegetarian dinner.  Sugars inhibit the gastric juices in the stomach.  Since meat requires gastric juices to be digested, this presents a problem.  The same goes for sugars and starches, such as having cake after eating potatoes.  The best thing is to eat lightly and then wait an hour before having dessert, instead of eating it right away.  


I hope I haven't spoiled your fun!  This information can be surprising to a lot of people, but it's worth noting if you've had any issues with your digestion or fatigue.  Proper food combining can help tremendously.  I can vouch for it myself as someone who has practiced a properly combined diet for several years now.  I recommend separating one food group at a time, instead of changing it all at once.  Ease your way into it, and notice the way you feel after you eat and the amount of energy you have after cutting out certain combinations.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seminole, Fla.

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