Travis Culp's latest hack brought up some interesting points, and it got my questioning whether food combining matters in the grand scheme of things. Let's take for example person A, who consumes 2 large glasses of coconut milk with nothing else for breakfast and at lunch has a couple pounds of sweet potato alone. Person B, on the other hand, consumes his sweet potato cooked in coconut milk for breakfast. Is there any reason to believe that these similar diets with different combinations would have varied effects on health markers?
I guess this also kind of goes hand in hand with Stephan's food reward hypothesis. In which he states unflavored, or plain food, prevent weight gain and various negative health markers.
Well, it depends. In the case of MCTs, the presence of them alongside a very large amount of carbohydrates actually decreases VLDL secretion relative to what it would be. I don't know if that fat is then deposited in the liver instead though. The presence of it alongside an amount of carbohydrates that would be barely sufficient for the repletion of glycogen would result in a greater amount of VLDL than would otherwise occur.
I feel a lot better and suspect that I'm extracting more nutrients from food as a result of the fact that I've stopped eating mixed meals. Eating alkaline vegetables with meat likely raises the pH, which would decrease the extent to which proteins are denatured and possibly increase the risk of infection. The presence of phytate, oxalates or tannins could impact the bioavailability of various nutrients. The presence of fructose (or ethanol for that matter) alongside fat increases the extent of fat deposited in the liver. In general, if you eat something with a high hepatic priority, all the other processes temporarily fall by the wayside while it's handled.
I think it's likely advantageous to let the GI tract do one thing really well at a time. At first, it's unsatisfying because of how much more satiated you feel with meat & potatoes in the same meal, but over time it feels great. I just ate a 16oz lamb steak for lunch and that's it. At the very least, I think it's worth a try.
I also feel superb when I eat only one type of food per meal. I've noticed super smooth digestion and better energy throughout the day. For breakfast, I usually eat meat+fat and only meat+fat. Lunch is fruit+veggies. Dinner is a pile of sweet potatoes. Sometimes I'll have an isolated snack of nuts and coconut meat so that any phytic acid there doesn't steal the minerals from my precious meat and tubers.
When I combine some foods (ground beef and sweet potato, for example) I tend to get a bit of gas/indigestion. I feel that this could be caused by my digestive system getting a little overwhelmed and more carbohydrate making it to the colon for fermentation.
So I tried the food combination diet based on the book "Eating Alive" by Dr. Matzen. It essentially argues that because different types of foods digest at different rates and in different areas of the system, they should be eaten separately, and fully digested before you start with the next thing. So for example an apple takes about 1/2 hr to digest whereas a steak takes about 6hrs. If you eat the two together, they will both start getting digested right away by the enzymes in your stomach, however some bits of apple will remain in your stomach while the digestive juices work at the steak and vice versa. If you overwhelm your stomach your body will use up all of the digestive juices and then you'll have to wait for it to replenish itself. During that time the food will essentially begin to ferment and/or rot in your stomach and you will experience bloating, fatigue, heaviness. The longer term effects are also that instead of properly extracting the vitamins, and passing the waste through, partially undigested materials will be stored and some of the good stuff will be passed.
Ugh, So In my personal experience, the most helpful thing that came from the experiment was developing a food awareness. I have continued for the past year to loosely observe a lot of the habits I developed during the experiment. For example, I always eat an apple or some other fruit (melon, citrus or berries) before I eat anything else, and I do not eat anything else for aproximately an hour. On a hungrier day I will combine nuts (generally almonds) with the fruit. This allegedly stimulates the digestive system but doesn't deplete the good digestive juices. These excess juices will circulate through your body and "clean out" the other cells. It also creates a clean stomach for which you can eat your next meal. I eat carbs (I should also mention that I'm celiac and by carbs I mean usually rice or millet, or GF oatmeal) during the day combined only with vegetables. I eat protein in the evenings, fish, chicken, beef, egg, whatever - and generally only with vegetables, rarely with carbs or starches.
Dairy on its own, or with veggies. (I eat very little dairy already so this didn't bother me)
While being super strict I was absolutely miserable - for example not being able to eat a gf baked muffin because there was egg in it, or could't have rice with my fish. Generally my meals were either carby and bland or unsatisfying (probably only because I was used to corn tortillas with meat in them, or pasta with meatballs, as examples) I also found it super lonely, one of the things I love about food is sharing meals with people and being super strict is almost impossible in so many situations.
I notice food combination affects me when I "go nuts" like, for ex. if i eat a Burger while consuming alcohol, have apples in my salad and desert. I know for sure I'm going to feel awful.
Just as I began this, observing these rules for a period of time made me understand my own system better. Now when I feel crumby after a meal I'm usually able to be like yeah cause I had Ham and fruit spread. Or Cheese with carbs and meat. (or whatever) I always feel terrible when I eat fruit right after a meal - gassy, bloated.
End notes: sugar's the worst with anything and all the time. Being careful about what you eat should improve your life, if you're miserable, try something else. Water fixes everything. Drink it plentifully and often. Feel gross after a meal? drink water, be patient and forgiving of yourself! And only drink water with meals (most of the time :).
Hope this is informative/helpful.
very interesting, and very interested. can you expand more on the alkaline stuff, and the ph of meals?? hacking my on digestion, it is absolutely hideous with mixed mealssays my other end... what all is determining storing/using/liver/musles/adipose based on this?
I find certain foods digest better eaten alone also. A sweet potato, for example, causes me gas when eaten with meat, but not if eaten alone. However, I believe eating fat in combination with a carb results in slowing down the digestion of that carb, thereby causing less sugar to hit the bloodstream at one time. So the health benefits of combining carbs with other foods may depend on each individual's sensitivity to blood sugar issues.
I guess I have "one foot in the door" on this.
I eat fruit and low-carb vegetables/greens as desired, but I don't mix meat and tubers--I use them as my main dish on alternate days. The only exception I can think of is that I do throw carrots into my bone broth stews, along with low-carb stuff, but I don't usually have potatoes in the stews.
In my experience, though, the only time I have trouble with mixing foods is when they're the processed type. Mixing whole foods really doesn't seem to be an issue for me.
I am not sure if it's good or bad for long-term health, but I know it can sure help with digestion! Veggies with anything; fruit only by itself (wait 30 minutes); anything else one at a time but OK with veggies. So either meat and veggies or sweet potato and veggies, but not all at once. I don't abide by the rules because they are inconvenient, but I definitely see what happens when I mix fruit with other things (like I had berries on my salad tonight and also had steak).
This post focusses on the NEGATIVE effects of food combining. In fact, throughout human history people have found food combinations that help, mostly by improving nutrient absorption through food combining. Example: salads with olive oil and vinegar. Olive oil improves beta-carotene absorption, and vinegar improves absorption of virtually every mineral. Other examples similar to vinegar: finish meals with an acidic fruit, or pasta with tomato sauce (we don't eat pasta, but having acidic tomatoes in there limits the effect of phytates). Acidic foods are also used with meat and fish by many cultures.
Based on this I doubt that there is any problem in say mix lemon juice with just about anything mineral rich, and also anything fat with anything yellow. The main advice from this thread is to keep high carbs and high proteins separated.