You might want to think twice before ordering fries with that burger or a baked potato with your steak.
Nutritionists are increasingly warning against combining certain foods — such as proteins and starches — in the same meal, because they can promote weight gain, digestive problems, and other health issues.
Francis, author of the bestselling book "Never Be Sick Again," tells Newsmax the concept of food combining has been around for centuries, but it is gaining in popularity, even though few doctors promote it.
“Proteins and starches require different environments for proper digestion,” explains Francis, a chemist who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Proteins require an acidic environment, while starches and sweets require an alkaline environment. Fruits, if eaten alone, pass quickly through the digestive system. When they are combined with the foods that are slower to digest, digestion is retarded.
As a result, nutrients in some foods aren’t absorbed properly. In other cases, poorly digested foods ferment and putrefy in the lower intestine —creating toxins, yeast, growth of bacteria and viruses, gas, heartburn, gastrointestinal reflux, and bloating, Francis says.
Food combining was introduced to Western culture in the mid-19th century by Dr. William Howard Hay, a surgeon who believed that inappropriate food combinations were the cause of many health problems.
Advocates say proper food combining is relatively easy. Think of foods as belonging to four distinct groups: Proteins, vegetables, starches, and fruits. Fruit has the shortest digestion time; protein has the longest time. That’s why fruit is best eaten without any other foods and should never be combined with protein. Vegetables and starches are somewhere in between.
Based on this concept, here are four simple rules of food combining:
EAT FRUIT ALONE. Fruits of all kinds are best eaten alone on an empty stomach. This also applies to fruit juices, which is why orange juice with an egg omelet is a bad combination. Fruit digests quickly, so waiting between 30 minutes and an hour before eating other breakfast foods is a good idea.
DON’T COMBINE PROTEIN, STARCH. When you eat proteins — such as fish, poultry, meat, and eggs — stomach acids and digestive enzymes break down the food by creating an acidic environment in the gut. On the other hand, starches — such as bread and potatoes — prompt the stomach to secrete an enzyme to create a more alkaline condition. If you eat proteins and starches together, stomach acids and enzymes neutralize one another, hindering digestion.
PROTEIN AND NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES ARE OK. Protein and vegetables are compatible food combinations. Fats — such as oils, seeds and nuts — are fine to combine with protein and vegetable meals, but not with starches.
STARCH MIXED WITH VEGETABLES IS OK.
Starches are fine to eat in combination with vegetables. Some good examples: Pasta primavera, a veggie burger or Portobello-mushroom-pepper sandwich.
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Francis believes food combining is increasing in popularity – despite medical establishment skepticism – because it works.
“There are people I've seen who've gotten almost immediate and amazing results from proper food combining,” he says. “Acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, excess gas, fatigue, skin rashes and general indigestion simply disappear. I remember one man in particular, whose constant and severe digestive problems vanished almost overnight.”
The full version of this article first appeared in the Health Radar newsletter. To read more click here
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