Food Combining Diet Made Easy
Learn if food combining can helps you improve digestion and lose weight.
History of Food Combining
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton is considered to be the founder of the food combining theory. He expounded the key principles of food combining in his works titled Natural Hygiene or Orthopathy and Food Combining Made Easy. He divided foods into three categories: products rich in protein, products rich in carbohydrate and so-called “neutral” products.
Dr. Shelton’s basic rules of proper food combining include:
- Eat protein foods and carbohydrate foods at separate meals. They go through different digestive processes.
- Eat acids and starches at separate meals. Acids neutralize the alkaline medium required for digestion of starches.
- Eat fats and proteins at separate meals. Some foods rich in fat (over 50%) require hours for digestion.
- Eat fruits and proteins at separate meals.
Another principle of food combining was suggested by Dr. Stanley S. Bass in Sequential eating and food combining. According to this book, a simple rearrangement of the sequence of foods can improve person’s health. Foods that are digested quickly – for example, fruit – leave the stomach within thirty minutes. If you eat a fruit after a meal, the fruit cannot be digested unless the meal is digested completely. Digesting the meal can take about six or even eight hours. While waiting, the fruit causes the process of fermentation, producing gas and acid. Therefore, Dr. Bass concluded: the most watery food must be eaten first.
Opponents of the food combining diet point out that almost all foods are combinations of protein, carbohydrates and fat. It is not always easy to classify them strictly into three categories. Besides, the human digestive system is adapted to mixed nutrition and easily copes with different types of food at the same time.
Also, the claim that the food combining diet helps to lose weight raises a doubt. Opponents believe that those people who prefer this type of diet lose extra pounds because they simply eat fewer calories.
The bottom line
The idea of food combining was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century and is causing disputes among scientists till the present time.
On the one hand, the food combining diet allows eating a variety of foods so you will get the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fat), vitamins and minerals required for good health. It encourages a person to eat more raw fruits and vegetables and less processed foods and added sugars. This principle is also supported by Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend eating at least five servings of fruits a day.
On the other hand, there is not enough evidence on digestion and weight loss benefits of the diet. In addition, the food combining diet requires willpower. Following the food combining diet, you have to eat fish separately from potato or rice. It is not easy to get used to this.
Dr. Stanley S. Bass. Sequential eating and food combining.
Dr. Stanley S. Bass. Primitive Man – His Food and His Health.
Dr. Herbert M. Shelton. Orthopathy.
Herbert M. Shelton. Food Combining Made Easy. (Paperback – June 1940)
Internet Health Library. “Food Combining”
About.Com. “Food Combining”
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005