Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Food combining

2 Comments

Photo by Tom Ipri on flickr used under a Creative Commons Licence

Photo by Tom Ipri on flickr used under a Creative Commons Licence

Not long ago I had the pleasure(?) of overhearing a conversation about digestion over a meal. One woman was explaining why she wasn’t having carbs at her her meal (this despite the fact that the hummus she ate certainly contain carbohydrate, as did some of the vegetables with her meal). Her logic was that to aid digestion it’s better to consume food groups separately. Hence, she was just eating vegetables and meat. Someone else piped in that this made sense and added that eating foods in a specific order must also be beneficial. I did my best not to bite off my tongue and eat it along with my vegetables, meat, and (gasp!) rice.

Not everyone knows about how digestion works and I can see how these myths perpetuate. But please give your body some credit; it can handle more than one macronutrient at a time.

I’ve addressed the issues of food “layering” and combining before. Just a quick reminder: digestion starts in the mouth with amylase breaking down starches. Your stomach does an excellent job of churning all of the food you eat, breaking it down, and making it into an acidic stew. Believe me, nothing is sitting in there on top of everything fermenting. Most of nutrient absorption occurs in the intestine. Consuming more than one food at a time may actually aid in nutrient absorption as some nutrients, such as the fat soluble vitamins ADEK, need other nutrients to be absorbed (in this case fat).

This doesn’t even address the fact that many foods taste better together. Think: chocolate and peanut butter, apples and cheese, bread and butter. There’s no need to deny yourself the pleasure of these foods. Variety is the spice of life and choosing healthy foods is complicated enough without adding the element of what to eat with (or without) something else.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

2 thoughts on “Food combining

  1. Are you implying that 100% of food combining research is erroneous? I hope not. Try eating watermelon right after eating spaghetti and meatballs and see how bad you feel. Try eating meat and vegetables for dinner without a carb and see how good you feel after.
    Nearly 100% of ideal protein dieters will be CURED of acid reflux due to the proper food combining of the diet. And that’s from hundreds of personal case studies. Food combining is important.

    Like

    • What I have seen has not been backed-up by research. In fact, I haven’t even seen anecdotal “evidence”, simply complicated dietary recommendations. Is there research on this subject that you are able to share?

      Liked by 1 person

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