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The Mystery of Food Combining, Part 2

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

In my last post, The Mystery of Food Combining, Part 1 (take a quick look if you haven’t done so already), I covered the basics of optimal food combinations.

  • Fruit is easiest to digest and best when eaten on its own.

  • Vegetables combine well with proteins.

  • Vegetables combine well with grains.

  • Proteins do not combine well with grains.

  • Proteins combined with legumes can be difficult for some to digest, so pay attention to how you feel with this combination.

As with most hard and fast rules, there are some exceptions. Here are a few examples as well as some tips to help keep you on the best path for your health and digestion.

Fruit on its own is easy, and rarely an exception.

*For example, eat a bowl of fresh pineapple chunks for breakfast, rather than pineapple chicken or Hawaiian pizza for dinner.

While animal proteins (meat, seafood, eggs) do not mix with grains, plant proteins (like pea and rice-based protein) may be more digestible, depending on the robustness of your stomach.

* For example, try adding rice protein to your oatmeal and see how you feel.

I generally do not recommend soy or whey (dairy) protein, as they can be hard to digest.

All fats, plant-based or animal-based mix well with animal protein. The plant-based oils generally are easier to digest with the exception of canola and grapeseed oils. These are hard on the liver and often carry a high load of contaminants.

These are simple suggestions, and ones that I have found to be effective for myself and many of my clients. However, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any reactions you have to any foods or combinations.

When you eat these foods also matters.

  • Fruit is digested the fastest. In a matter of minutes, your blood picks up the fructose and you feel the energy.

  • Vegetables and grains take a few hours.

  • Animal proteins can take several days to transition through your digestive system.

These variable transition times are important to your gut health. Eating foods at the right time ensures maximum absorption and elimination.

At the wrong time, they can cause constipation, bloating, and poor absorption and elimination.

Fruit is best eaten mid-morning or mid-afternoon. During these times the stomach has emptied and you may need a small input of glucose in the form of fructose from fruit. Now the sugars are being used by your body for a short burst of energy and not floating in the blood, which can cause problems.

Animal proteins are best consumed in the morning or at lunch. Your digestive system has the time to start breaking it down, unlike eating it at dinner, a few hours before going to bed. This is especially true for the heavier red meats like beef, pork, and bison.

Grains can be consumed any time of the day. Soaking the grains for at least two hours, ideally overnight, gets rid of phytic acid, which most grains have on the shell and can irritate the gut.

Vegetables can also be consumed any time of the day. Raw veggies can be hard to break down when eaten too close to bed, so lightly steam them when eating later in the day or evening.

I hope this provides simple guidelines to help you choose what to combine and when to eat various types of food.

In the next post, I will discuss the one thing that can sabotage any of the changes we have examined so far—STRESS, how it affects the ability to digest and eliminate food, and most importantly, what to do about it.

Living a life rich with abundance, energy and joy is not complicated. Together, we can create ways for you to live Your Health. Simply.

Cameron Moffatt DOMP

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