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Issue 40: From Jordan's Desk--Don't Eat (Carbs) Naked and Other Food-Combining Thoughts

There’s an aspect to eating that I want you to be aware of: the concept of “food combining,” which encourages separating specific foods and eating certain ones together.

A New York physician, William Howard Hay, M.D. introduced the food combining concept nearly a century ago when he suggested that certain foods, when broken down, leave an acid pH, and other foods leave an alkaline pH. Translated into plain English, Dr. Hay believed food combining means not eating carbohydrates and protein at the same meal. Medical research, however, has not been able to support Dr. Hay’s food combining theories, and no scientific proof asserts that foods digest better when carbohydrates and protein are eaten separately.

I believe digestive systems were created to handle a variety of nutrients coming down the pike at the same time. In fact I subscribe to a theory that tells you that your body will tell you what works for you. Every body was created differently, and it follows that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. I suggest you cup a hand over your ear and listen to what your body is trying so hard to tell you.

If you happen to eat carbohydrates like grains, breads, pasta, cereal, fruits, and veggies with certain proteins like meat, fish, poultry, beans and nuts, but don’t appreciate the way your stomach feels afterward, feel free to experiment. You may find that nonstarchy vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, and zucchini work well with lean meats, eggs, and cheeses.

Some people say that combining fruit with any other food delays digestion and causes gas and bloating to occur. We know physiologically that fruits stay in the stomach for only a short time—twenty to forty-five minutes. For myself, I’ve found that I need to be careful about the fruits I eat and when I eat them.

I’ve always remembered an old expression about melon that Dad used to say when I was growing up: “Eat it alone, or leave it alone.” Since melons are comprised of 90 percent water, he said, they leave the stomach faster than other foods, including other fruits. That’s why I eat melon alone as a snack.

You may even find that sweet fruits like bananas, dates, and figs aren’t compatible in your stomach when consumed with acid fruits like grapefruit, pineapple, or oranges. While I’m not totally onboard with the principles of food combining, it never hurts to listen to your body.

I believe that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates naked, or by themselves.  I recommend consuming fiber and fat with every meal and not eating your carbohydrates naked. Why? Fiber and fat slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which keeps insulin levels in check.


This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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