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Food Separation Theory

Food separation is a very well researched nutritional strategy advocating the eating of specific foods together while avoiding of other food combinations. It is based on research which indicates that different foods have different digestive processes.

William Hay in the early 1920's was the first person to suggest that all the food we eat are either acidic or alkaline with a few foods that he considered to be neutral. His argument was that when only eating protein-rich foods like meat and dairy (acidic foods) without eating any grains like potatoes and rice (alkaline foods) will cause a build-up of acid in the body, which is harmful as it causes disease to flourish.

His argument was that all protein-rich foods require acidic enzymes to be digested correctly but carb-rich foods require alkaline enzymes to be digested and these two enzymes will cancel each other and stop digestion completely which will halt the absorption of nutrients into the blood.

Eating proteins with carbohydrates will decrease the rate of absorption of the required nutrients in the food causing the food you eat to just sit and ferment in your GI tract which leads to a toxin build-up. It is this toxin build-up that has been identified as one of the primary causes for most chronic diseases.

Food combining can be a complicated depending whose advice you follow but dietetics have established certain facts that have been proven to cause digestion to slow down and build up toxins in the body if not adhered to. We will not be examining all the many different food separation theories but stick to the basic premise of correct food combinations.

To simplify the many different types of food we eat can be easily separated into three different groups of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The carbs provide glucose needed for energy, the protein for repair and immunity and the fats required for the smooth running of health and digestion.

Science can now prove that there are certain combinations of foods that are ‘bad pairings’ because of the sluggish effect it has on digestion and the toxic build-up that it invariably causes. For example, fruit should always be eaten alone and not mixed up with proteins or carbohydrates.

Common "Rules" for food separation:

ONLY eat fruit when your stomach is empty before you eat anything else

ONLY eat cooked starches alone or with non-starchy vegetables

ONLY eat dairy, fish, eggs and meat alone or together with non-starchy vegetables

Eat seeds, nuts and dried fruit with any raw vegetables

When we eat fruit mixed up in a desert that is baked with carbohydrates it will not only slow down the ability to digest it, but will also release toxins in the post-digestive phase of absorption into the blood. This means that we should always be aware of the different food types that we eat at the same time.

A rule of thumb issued by most dietitians is to never combine protein-rich foods with carbohydrates which sounds like a contradiction when we think of a typical American breakfast of eggs and bread or cereal and milk. But it slows down digestion and increases the possibility of toxins developing in your body.

Another rule of thumb all dietitians will agree with is to always eat proteins and carbohydrates with vegetables. That does not mean that proteins and carbohydrates should be combined, it means that when eating proteins, the most effective way to speed up digesting it is to combine with vegetables and not carbohydrates.

This means that an ideal eating pattern would be to start the day eating only fruit. Later in the day to eat cooked brown rice with some vegetables for lunch and then for dinner to eat chicken, meat and fish or eggs with healthy vegetables and some olive oil.