Food combining: advantages and disadvantages

Some swear by it, others think it’s useless, and the truth lies somewhere in between – food combining is one of many ways to eat consciously and healthily. The health  aspect of preventing acidification  of the body by strictly separating protein and carbohydrates, which was much invoked around 70 years ago, has now been refuted.

Hay’sche food combining: Avoid over-acidification

bread  with a fried egg? Cookies  and a glass  of milk ? This is considered incompatible with the principle of food combining. The American doctor Howard Hay believed that his kidney disease was the result of “overacidification” of the body, which in turn was caused by an incorrect combination of food.

Foods that contain large amounts of protein, such as some dairy products and many meats, should not be consumed with high carbohydrate foods such as grains. A wrong combination causes the food to be broken down incompletely. This would result in fermentation, metabolic waste products, hyperacidity and ultimately chronic diseases. He drastically changed his diet, separated acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods – and got well again. He treated his patients equally, sometimes with great success.

And even today, the so-called food combining method is propagated as the “Köhnlechner separation diet” or “Fit for Life” diet, not only as a way to lose pounds, but also as a remedy for metabolic disorders. Especially in connection with  diets , food combining  seems to be a popular long-running favourite. Like Hay, most food combining diets recommend making your daily diet two-thirds alkaline and one-third acidic.

There is also a group of “neutral” foods, which include, for example, all raw vegetables, acidified foods such as  yoghurt  and quark, or raw and smoked sausage. This group is allowed to be combined with both protein-containing foods and carbohydrates.

Scientifically controversial

Scientists have long since proven that the digestion and absorption of all  nutrients  take place in the neutral to basic environment of the small intestine. The healthy organism keeps its acidity relatively constant, no matter what we eat. Even strong hydrochloric acid such as gastric acid gets into the intestine and is neutralized without over-acidifying the organism. Hyperacidity (acidosis) can occur, for example, with a metabolic imbalance such as  diabetes  . This needs to be treated by a doctor – and is supported with diet under medical supervision.

From a digestive point of view, it is therefore unnecessary to separate carbohydrates and proteins. In addition: A complete separation is hardly possible in everyday life. Almost all cereals, vegetables and fruits always contain protein in addition to carbohydrates. Incidentally, the separation of carbohydrates and protein also has its disadvantages: With carbohydrate-free meals, the body uses part of the dietary protein for the benefit of energy production instead of using it to build up body structures.

Benefits of food combining

Despite some concerns: Many people who want to eat consciously get a start in a healthier life thanks to food combining. After all, a lot of fruit and vegetables come with her on the table. About 70 to 80 percent of your daily meals should consist of fruits and vegetables, according to Hay, with half of them ideally being eaten raw.

Fat and meat, on the other hand, are greatly reduced. Therefore, it is easier to lose weight. In addition, sugar, white flour and ready-made products are taboo for strict food combiners. Anyone who still makes sure not to do without any of the basic foods such as bread, cereals, milk, milk products and eggs can also eat healthily with Hay’s food combining.

It should be noted that certain combinations of carbohydrates plus proteins are particularly beneficial. The success of food combining is therefore only in the slightly vegetarian diet with lots of raw food and little fat.

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