The Food Combining Diet: The Science Behind It

The food combining diet, or hay diet, is a diet which is meant to aid digestion, minimize bloating, and maximize metabolism to help you lose weight. The premise of the food combining diet is that, since different types of food digest at different rates, eating foods in a certain order and over specific periods of time can help you digest more efficiently, and prevent food from sitting in your stomach for unnecessarily long periods of time. If you’re curious about the science behind the food combining diet, this guide may help you to be better informed.

What You Do

Following the food combining diet means that you split up meal components and eat them separately over time. The most important thing to remember is to never eat starch and protein at the same time. Furthermore, you should also separate starches and acids, carbohydrates and proteins, proteins and acids, proteins and fats, proteins and sugars, and starches and sugars.

You should eat melons alone if you eat them at all, and don’t eat desserts. You should also make sure that you chew all foods to as close as a liquid as possible before swallowing (for maximum digestive ease).

Why It Works, In Theory

Different types of food require different stomach conditions in order to be properly digested. Proteins need very acidic conditions to digest, and fats and carbohydrates are optimally processed under alkaline conditions. This means that when you consume a variety of foods at once, your stomach must compromise in order to digest your meal, and as a result, neither food is efficiently digested. Furthermore, when a meal is consumed, all components of that meal remain in the stomach until the last of it is fully digested.

Proteins can take up to 8 hours to fully digest, meaning that quicker digesting foods may end up decomposing and fermenting in the stomach while they wait (and produce feelings of indigestion and bloating). The food combining diet aids digestion by separating foods into digestion-compatible portions, making it much easier for your stomach to handle them properly.

Real-World Application

The science behind the food combining diet appears irrefutable, but people who have tried it have mixed responses. This diet appears to be helpful for those who suffer from indigestion, preventing their stomach pains without the use of antacids. However, those who do not have indigestion may find this diet somewhat pointless, as well as irritating and time consuming.

It can be difficult or impossible to enjoy meals when you have to eat your steak several hours ahead of your potatoes. Additionally, by prohibiting the mingling of proteins and starches, your blood sugar levels may be adversely affected. If you suffer from indigestion or bloating, this diet is probably worth a try; if not, you may find it a waste of time and energy.

The science behind the food combining diet seems sound and indeed may help your digestive system. Although real-life reviews vary, you may find this diet worth a try.


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