Food Combining is Completely Ridiculous and No, You Shouldn’t Try It.
I’m not sure why, but everything old is new again.
Acid washed jeans.
Food combining. Paging Suzanne Somers!
Food combining is one of those trends that needs to disappear off the face of the planet. It’s so outrageous, so dumb, and just. so. wrong.
What is Food Combining?
The roots of this diet are in the 1900s, when a physician named William Hay invented and used it for his own weight loss. Such compelling data!
Actually, I jest. There is no compelling data to show that food combining works as a weight loss diet or for anything else.
The claims associated with food combining are weight loss, better digestion and ‘detoxing,’ clear skin, and overall better health.
Let’s go over the ‘rules’ of food combining so you can see what it’s all about.
Proponents of this diet believe that because different foods have different rates of digestion, they should be eaten separately. Not doing this can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and incomplete absorption of nutrients.
This means, no starches and proteins together because these are digested by different enzymes and therefore your body can’t digest them at the same time without getting ‘confused.’
*Ahem* Someone’s confused here, and it’s not your body.
Proteins with sugars cause the proteins to putrefy and the sugars to ferment.
Fruit should be eaten alone, because it washes the digestive system and prepares it for other foods.
Dairy is mucus-forming and its molecules are ‘larger than our receptor sites, making absorption challenging.’ What the heck does that even mean?
Eating two types of protein in one meal – think, eggs and bacon – causes them to be digested slower and can cause the food to rot in your stomach.
No fruit within an hour of meals, because fruit with other foods causes the fruit to rot in your gut. Nope.
No water with meals, because it might dilute your stomach acid (completely false, BTW..look up ‘parietal cells.’)
The thing is, that all of these rules go against one big rule:
the rule of HOW YOUR BODY ACTUALLY WORKS.
It’s understandable that anyone without a working knowledge of basic physiology might think that this diet is halfway legit (although still, you have to admit it does sound sort of whacked.)
First of all, our digestive system is fully capable of digesting everything we eat, together. Carbs start their digestion in our mouths, with the enzyme amylase, found in our saliva. The stomach isn’t a garbage bag that receives food, squishes it up, and pushes it through. Digestion is far more complicated than that, people.
As our food is digested in the gut, trypsin – an enzyme secreted by the pancreas, and pepsin, an enzyme secreted by cells in the stomach, break down protein.
Fat is emulsified by bile and lipase, an enzyme in the small intestine.
Isn’t nature wonderful?
The pH of your stomach acid is 1.5-3.5, and will NOT be diluted by anything. Even water. Even while you’re eating. The stomach’s parietal cells can sense the acidity of the gastric contents and adjust the secretion of acid to ensure that everything gets broken down.
Nothing rots in our guts, because IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!! Stomach acid is so strong, it wouldn’t let bacteria rot meal, fruit, or anything else. It breaks everything down efficiently and effectively. There’s no such thing as having rotten food in your gut, pounds of waste in your intestine, or any of that stuff. It’s all bullshit that’s regurgitated as a fear tactic to get you to buy into someone’s diet or meal plan or whatever else they’re selling. The intestines aren’t a sewer pipe that need flushing. Seriously!!
How do the people who believe in this diet eat soup (fluid and solids)? Or chickpeas (protein and carbs), pasta (protein and carbs), and peanut butter (protein and carbs)? Maybe they don’t.
Does Food Combining Work?
They’ll lose weight, but that’s because they’re cutting calories. It’s the same reason why EVERY SINGLE OTHER DIET WORKS. At least, for the short-term.
As far as the other claims that are made about food combining, there is absolutely no science behind them. You’re not seeing less bloating because now there’s no food rotting in your gut.
Oh my god please.
As with most diets, the changes people see in their bloating/skin/poo/whatever is likely due to the placebo effect (it’s a real thing), or the elimination of certain foods from their diet/the fact that their diet isn’t full of ultra-processed foods anymore. It has nothing to do with the combination of foods that they’re eating.
That isn’t to say that there’s no science behind some food combinations, it’s just not in the manner of how food combiners want you to think.
Vitamin C foods help with iron absorption.
Fat will help absorb the antioxidant lycopene
Fat also help you absorb all fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K
Black pepper helps absorb curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric
Food combining for any other purpose is a RACKET. And if you follow anyone on social media who promotes it, I strongly suggest you unfollow them so you don’t have to listen to their garbage.