"You have three wishes for free", the fairy
godmother said, "and you wished
Okay, try this: Food Combining!"
- always to have a good and rich dinner,
- thereby to loose your pounds down to your ideal weight,
- and to feel well all the time.
The fairy godmother is right, I tell you! And I know what I am talking
about: I did not intend to loose weight at all, I just out of curiosity
tried the tasteful Food Combining meals which my wife had prepared for
herself, and I didn't take the Food Combining rules too seriously, but
then I suddenly noticed that the new food made me feel much better:
After dinner, the meal did not lie in my stomach like a stone for hours,
there was no belching, no heartburn after dinner any longer, esophagus
reflux had ceased, too, and stomach troubles, bowel spasms, obstipation
were gone, too!
Finally I had also lost 22 pounds, and now my weight is exactly the same
again as in my youth, when I was a sportive young man of 20 years.
Incredible! After only five months of Food Combining I felt better,
brisker, and lighter ... That was when I decided: I will stick to
You see, Food Combining is no singular diet, but a lasting new form of
nourishment, with a small but important change of your nutritional habit.
How Food Combining works
- You can eat what you want.
- You can eat how much you want.
- You can combine food but never protein and carbohydrate.
That's the trick. To see what food you can combine please look at these
three groups (the table1 is incomplete, but it
can give you a first impression):
|Cheese < 60% fat
||Cheese > 60% fat
Please combine only the food of two neighboring groups:
Protein and Neutral, or Neutral and Carbohydrate.
|A meal for example:
A good steak
|A meal for example:
White cream sauce
Never combine food of the two distant groups:
Never eat Protein and Carbohydrate at the same time!
|A bad meal for example:
You can eat Protein und Carbohydrate one after the other, of course.
But be sure that there are at least three hours between eating food with
protein and eating food with carbohydrate to give your body enough
time first to digest one food sufficiently before the next food comes
which requires another way of digestion.
Why Food Combining works
Food Combining is derived from the biochemistry of our body which has
two different ways of pre-digestion: for protein and, on the other hand,
Carbohydrate is predigested in our mouth with help of the
Protein is predigested in our stomach with help of the acid
Biochemistry with a correct food combination
Already when we first look on our plate, and "our mouth
waters", our body has made its choice between these two ways of
pre-digestion, and prepares our saliva and our gastric fluid for the
- For the pre-digestion of carbohydrate, our saliva is enriched by
enzymes and forms an amylase, which imbues the chewed food and starts
the transformation of carbohydrate into sugar. The stomach is only a
transit station then: The food pulp is only acidified here and then
forwarded into the intestines.
- For the pre-digestion of protein, our saliva is made thin and slimy
- its only task is to help the food to slide down into the stomach.
Here the needed enzymes and the gastric acid are prepared to acidify
the food pulp, to collect concentrated protein, and then forward it
into the bowels.
- This well prepared food pulp first reaches the duodenum where it is
made alcalic again, and then is digested by the needed enzymes in the
small gut finally: All nutrients are extracted and introduced through
the bowel skins into the blood and the lymphatic circulation which
distribute them in the whole body.
Biochemistry with a wrong food combination
If you give your body a mixed food of protein and carbohydrate at the
same time, the digestion process is more complicated, needs more time, and
yet the food is not digested completely.
- In your mouth your saliva has trouble to penetrate the chewed food
in order to find and to pre-digest the carbohydrate which it may
contain in case that the needed amylase was prepared at all.
- In your stomach there's the same problem: Now the enzymes are busy
to find the protein in the mixed pulp. Acidifying the whole mass takes
an unnecessarily long time: The food lies in the stomach for hours,
while the carbohydrate often already begins to ferment: You start to
belch, and maybe you also feel heartburn or even esophagus reflux if
your stomach needs an unusually big amount of gastric acid to acidify
the whole pulp in this case the gastric acid also may attack the
mucous membrane of the stomach which may lead to stomach spasms and,
in the long run, to gastritis and stomach ulcers.
- In the small gut the enzymes for the digestion of carbohydrate have
to make up for the unsatisfying pre-digestion of the carbohydrate in
the mouth, moreover they and the enzymes for protein probabely will
hamper each other in their effectivity if they altogether try to imbue
the food pulp at the same time this may considerably delay the
process of the whole digestion, and lead to obstipation, while in the
bowels the carbohydrate starts to ferment and the protein begins to
rot which leads to flatulence or bowel spasms, and produces toxic
substances which also pass the bowel skin to get into the blood and
lymphatic circulation and may cause indisposition as well as diseases.
That is why: Food Combining!
A correct food combination, on the contrary, gives your body only food
for one of the both natural processes of digestion: From your
"watering mouth", which is your first physical response to the
offered food, to the final digestion in your guts the whole process
follows the same rule: The food is correctly pre-digested, passes your
stomach in maximally two hours, is digested properly and excreted daily.
You feel easy, brisk, and healthy ...
How old is Food Combining?
The method of Food Combining was developed in the USA by Dr.Howard Hay
in the thirties of the previous century, and it soon has found followers
in the whole world. According to new medical findings it has been
modified, optimized, and specialized again and again, and to the actual
application spectrum belong medical therapeutic methods of Food Combining,
vegetarian and full value health food variants, regional versions
preferring the native foods of their countries, and fashionable movements
like "Fit for Life" and "Wake Up". But I think, Food
Combining is much older:
Biogenetically we all are created for Food Combining
Most researchers are convinced that the evolution of manhood has begun
about 1,000,000 years ago. So, before we settled down about 10,000 years
ago and became farmers, we for 990,000 years, that means for 99% of our
evolution, have been roaming collectors and hunters who lived from hand to
mouth and ate their fill with that what they just found: In the morning
maybe berries, in the afternoon nuts, next day they dug out eatable roots,
and then the hunters had killed a bison from which they all could eat for
many days ...
This was pure Food Combining which we practised for nearly the whole
long time of our biogenese because we simply had no choice: The case that
the prehistoric wilderness offered different food at the same time and at
the same place must have been very, very rare. Most likely, there was only
one single food to be found, and it was eaten up and digested properly
before the next food was found several hours later. So our organs were
optimized for the separated digestion of either protein or carbohydrate.
Even if in the last 1% of our evolution finally also mixed food became
avaible regularly by grain-growing and cattle-breeding and the new
possibility of storing supplies, and though mixed food has become
predominant nowadays biogenetically we all were created for Food
Children are spontaneously practising Food Combining
According to the theory that a man in the course of his life repeats
the whole biogenese of the human race, let's have a look at the children:
Did you ever notice that children very often practise Food Combining by
their own choice? They can eat their fill with noodles and sauce and
vegetables but disdain the offered meat rissole, or they put aside the
potatoes and eat only meat and salad.
But then we, the adults, teach them our behavior rules, that one first
has to take something of every offered food, and then has to empty one's
plate completely ...
But perhaps the children are more prudent than we in this respect?
Perhaps they still have a more natural understanding of their body and
know better than we what is really good for them?
In summer 2001 a big German journal2 has
tested the twenty most popular diets and has found fault with Food
Combining: "Hay's digestion rules", they criticized, are
"scientifically not provable", and "for everyday practice
Food Combining is too complicated". On the other hand, only two of
these twenty diets are found to be successful without the risk of health
damages, without big expenses, and without extreme challenges of patience
and perseverance, and one of these two diets is Food Combining: "The
loss of weight is granted."3
Dr. Hay's digestion rules
Dr. Hay's digestion rules have been discussed controversially since he
first published them. There is hardly any other nutritional form which has
caused such a flood of literature as Food Combining. But as long as the
world of ferments and enzymes in the human body is not researched
completely, every opinion is finally based on incomplete knowledge and
speculative deductions, and Dr.Hay's digestion rules cannot be proved nor
disproved in a scientifically unimpeachable way at the present time.
So let us keep to the facts which we can control and measure: Loss of
superfluous weight and decrease of indigestions are the undeniable,
measurable effects of this method.
And as long as the critics cannot produce a better hypothesis, Dr.Hay's
digestion rules may very well serve as a useful reasonable medical
explanation of these effects.
Is Food Combining too complicated?
That "for everyday practice Food Combining is too
complicated", is strictly denied by my wife and she ought to know
because she long since prepares tasteful and various Food Combining meals
day by day.
Okay, as a Food Combining Cook she had to change several old habits,
she says, and she had to learn what food she can combine, and how to avoid
wrong combinations by using several new materials, but soon the new
combination and preparation of the meals has become a habit as well.
I as a Food Combining Eater, however, need only a few rules of thumb: I
have to separate meat from potatoes, fish from rice, noodles from shashlik.
So in the restaurant I leave potatoes, rice and noodles on the plate and
eat my fill with meat and vegetables. Is this complicated?
Can Food Combining guarantee a well balanced nourishment?
Food Combining is also reproached sometimes with the argument that is
does not give you a well balanced nourishment. But these critics mix up
two concepts which should be separated neatly, even if they both were
developed by Dr.Hay, and are still in use in several Food Combining
Concept No.1 is the Food Combining method as it is described here,
based on the separation of protein and carbohydrate from each other. This
method gives you a completely sufficient nourishment if only protein meals
and carbohydrate meals are offered in a various sequence: This form of
nourishment, in a whole, provides you with the same nutrients as the
normal mixed food does, only in better digestible combinations, and as it
contains much more fruit and vegetables you get even more minerals and
vitamins than by mixed food.
Concept No.2, on the other hand, is in fact dubious: When Dr.Hay had
succeeded to cure his own kidney disease by eating only food of extremely
low acidity, he believed he could prevent respectively cure nearly all
other diseases, including cancer, if only an "over-acidification of
the body" could be avoided. So he recommended a nourishment
containing 80% of food which develops bases in the body, like raw fruit
and vegetables, and 20% of food which develops acids, like sugar,
potatoes, bread and other grain products, eggs, cheese, meat, fish, and so
This disproportion, the critics say, must cause a malnutrition of the
body with calcium, iron, iodine, vitamin B, grain roughage, animal
protein, and so on. From the medical point of view, they say, a healthy
body cannot be "over-acidified" on account of the
self-regulation of the organism by excreting and breathing. The
postulation of an "over-acidification of the whole body" is
regarded to be as high-flown as the claim to cure nearly all diseases only
by food of low acidity.
But all their criticism aims only at this dubious Concept No.2 which is
based on the theory of "over-acidification" with its restricted
nourishment rules and that has nothing to do with the Food Combining
concept which allows you a full value nourishment without restrictions and
only regulates its combination to achieve a healthy and natural digestion.
My Food Combining Page can only give you an appetite, not more. I did
not intend to give instructions for use here. But if I could convince you
that Food Combining is a reasonable, simple, and successful method to
solve weight problems and indigestions and to increase your well-being all
around, then you perhaps might want further informations now.
The Internet gives you everything you need. When I fed the search
engine Altavista with my input "food+combining" in summer 2001,
it listed 5,312 websites: literature, first hand experience reports, Food
Combining recipes, and shops where you can order special cooking
materials, Food Combining clubs, and seminars, and correspondence courses,
and Food Combining hotels ...
Here I can only hope this page gave you at least some well combined
food for thoughts, and for your personal life I wish you with or
without this method of Food Combining at any rate health and
All quotations are translated
from German into English language. Here you will find the source where the
German version was published.
1 Table after
I.Schlieske: Kochbuch zur Trennkost, ISBN 3-7999-0237-6; shortened
2 K.Leyendecker: Diät wozu?, in: Stern 20/2001, S.40ff
3 All quotations in: Stern 20/2001, p.58