It’s an ancient Ayurvedic idea that distinct foods digest at different rates and must be consumed in a certain order or combination for optimum digestion and nutrient extraction. Sounds promising, but is it really based in mathematics?
In recent years, food combining is now a popular fad diet, with supporters claiming to eat certain foods together to increase digestion and also rid the body of poisonous chemicals, or toxins. But regrettably, scientific evidence simply does not support the idea, ” says New York-based dietitian Megan Stoutz, RD.
Proponents of the diet provide a number of rationales for food blending. For example, Stoutz states, it’s considered that if fast-digesting foods are consumed with slow-digesting foods, the rapid traveling foods will become stuck in the GI tract and also start to “rot,” that is considered to cause poor digestion and health problems.
Food combiners also advocate dividing foods using different acidity levels, allegedly because nutrient-specific enzymes only work at certain acidity levels.
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Eat fruit — especially melons, which are acidic — in an empty belly.
Don’t blend starches and proteins. (That goes your meat-and-potato dinner! ) )
Do not mix starches with acidic foods.
Don’t consume different kinds of protein — say, plant-based or animal-based — together.
And don’t eat dairy products — especially milk — on an empty stomach.
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Despite its own centuries-old history, there isn’t any scientific proof supporting the rules of food combining, states Kelly Hogan, RD. These principles also add more stress about ingestion, which can be detrimental in the long term, she adds.
In fact, there’s almost no research on food combining. 1 lone study, published 20 years back, examined food combining’s potential for weight reduction, which isn’t the focus of food blending proponents.
The small April 2000 study, printed in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, surrounded just 54 individuals. The participants were split into two groups: One ate a normal, balanced diet, and the other followed meals combining rules. Both groups consumed the exact same number of calories, and the two teams lost weight. The researchers reasoned that the food combining diet did not assist in extra weight reduction or body fat reductions.
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Diet Is NOT for You
As far as ridding the body of toxins, both scientists and dieticians agree that your body does that naturally, through the liver, lungs, colon and kidneys. The liver and kidneys filter the blood of toxins while the lungs push out contaminants that are inhaled, per Rush University Medical Center.
The 1 expert of food combining? It encourages people to consume more leafy vegetables — broccoli, kale, beets and spinach, to name a few — that are full of fiber, minerals and vitamins. “The foods recommended with this diet are generally unprocessed whole foods, that are generally healthier than processed or packaged foods,” Stoutz says. But you don’t need to register to food blending to incorporate these foods in your diet plan.
Mixed meals are foods that combine fat, carbs and protein — in other words, a balanced meal. Food combining rules state to avoid foods that are mixed, but there’s no evidence that it is beneficial to do this, Stoutz states.
“It’s really hard to divide foods into groups as this diet tries to,” she says. “For example, brown rice is thought to be a starch, but whole grains [such as brown rice] also contain protein, which kind of negates the entire theory [of mixed foods ].”
Digestion happens in two ways, Stoutz explains. The first is mechanical, including chewinggum, mixing and churning in the gut, which breaks food down into smaller pieces of fat, protein and carbs. Once the food has been broken down, the body can not tell whether a protein molecule comes from meat, dairy or whole grains. This debunks the food combining idea that you can’t combine different proteins.
Receptors in the digestive tract, especially the small intestine, discharge hormones based on the content of the food being secreted, which tells your body what enzymes it needs for chemical digestion, the second type of digestion, Stoutz explains. At this point, the body secretes the enzymes lipase, amylase and protease — which digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins, respectively — into the small intestine. The small intestine also contains enzymes which could detect and digest specific molecules. By way of instance, the enzyme lactase digests lactose, the sugar in dairy, when it is in the small gut.
“It is through this intricate system of particular enzymes and receptors that mixed foods are efficiently digested,” Stoutz states. This eating plan unnecessarily limits the diet and there are many advantages to eating foods that are mixed. By way of example, mixing carbs and protein — a direct breach of food combining — might help keep blood sugar levels more stable, keeping you fuller for longer. Mixed meals will also be more satiating, which may help prevent overeating.
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If you are still considering food blending because you have got digestive issues that you haven’t been able to solve, speak with your physician or registered dietitian, Hogan and Stoutz recommend.
“There isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach,” Hogan says. A popular diet for those who have digestive concerns that’s endorsed by a few science is your low-FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols, that can be short-chain carbohydrates, that for many, may cause digestive symptoms.
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