Food Combining

The food combining diet is mainly about not mixing proteins and starches at the same meal [1, 2, 3, 4]. There is a very good reason for this. Protein-rich foods are digested mainly in the stomach, in a very acidic medium. Starch foods are digested in an alkaline environment. Starch digestion starts in the mouth but most of it occurs in the small intestine.

Effect of Mixed Meals

Mixed meals of starch and protein delay the whole digestive process. Studies have shown that after a mixed meal, the stomach is too acidic to allow continued digestion of starches but not acidic enough to completely digest the proteins. So the mixed meal is incompletely digested [2]. The food begins to ferment, releasing toxins into the blood stream and causing all sorts of health problems including allergies and/or constipation [4].


  • Don't eat proteins and starches/sugars at the same meal. Instead have one protein meal a day, one starch meal a day and one alkaline meal consisting of fruit and/or vegetables only.
  • Eat lots of vegetables and salads with each meal. Meat and dairy products are acid-generating foods [5, 6]. The end products of starch metabolism are also acidic (pyruvic acid, citric acid, lactic acid). Vegetables are alkalising and they neutralise excess acid. They are also rich in minerals, vitamins and fibre.
  • Eat fruit between meals not with meals [1, 7]. I find that the best time to eat fruit is at least 30 minutes before meals.
  • Drink plenty of water and drink it between meals (one and a half to two hours after a meal). Drinking water with meals dilutes the digestive juices, slows down digestion and causes you to feel bloated.
  • Cut down on yeast-based products like bread. They aggravate yeast infections and cause mucus production. Toasting reduces the mucus-forming ability [1]

The Meals

Even though they are acid-forming, proteins and carbohydrates do provide the body with certain nutrients. Since you cannot mix them at the same meal, you should have:

  • One protein meal a day with plenty of vegetables and salads
  • One starch meal a day with plenty of vegetables and salads
  • One alkaline meal of vegetables and salads only

There are many food combining recipe books including recipes for vegetarians.


People on the food combining diet have been known to find relief from:

  • Excess weight
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Eczema
  • Allergies
  • Headaches


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