The food combining diet


This concept (Hay's food combining) was developed by Dr. Hay at the end of the twentieth century.
The advocates of food combining assume that protein and carbohydrates cannot be digested together. However, this principle can already be refuted at the beginning of human life, because breast milk naturally contains both: carbohydrates and protein. The babies can of course digest breast milk without any problems and grow and thrive.

The food combining separates carbohydrates and protein in meals and also recommends limiting acid-forming foods (e.g. meat or alcohol) as much as possible. The latter is entirely true while there is no scientific basis for separating the nutrients. This results from the fact that a strict separation of protein and carbohydrates is practically impossible because most foods (as already described for breast milk) contain both. Carbohydrates in the form of starch and vegetable protein can also be found in potatoes.
The positive thing about this type of diet is the recommendation to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and little meat. Industrially produced and processed food should be avoided.
Some prohibited foods are mentioned.

  • Cranberries
  • black tea
  • vinegar
  • Pork meat. Lack of reason for this.

Exercise and dietary changes are not part of such programs.
There is no scientific justification for separating nutrients.
The so-called Hollywood Diet also belongs to the separation costs.
Exotic types of fruit (pineapple and the like) are recommended and these form the basis of the daily menu. The enzymes contained in the fruits are said to accelerate fat loss.

The energy content of approx. 600 calories a day is too low; the lack of n dairy products can lead to calcium deficiency in the long run.

There can also be an undersupply of all other nutrients.

What is food combining?

Food combining describes a form of nutrition that was developed by Howard Hay at the beginning of the 20th century. His theory is based on the assumption that protein and carbohydrates are digested differently by our body and, in combination, over-acidify the body.
The rule of thumb of this diet is accordingly that protein and carbohydrate foods are not eaten at the same time with a meal. The food combining diet is viewed by many as a method of weight loss.

The food combining diet does not have to count calories and only a few foods are excluded from the diet.

Process of a food combining diet

There are three food groups in the food combining diet:

  1. carbohydrates
  2. Egg white and
  3. neutral foods.

The basic principle of this form of nutrition is that foods from the carbohydrate group must not be eaten together with foods from the protein group. Carbohydrates can only be combined with neutral foods, and protein products can also be eaten together with neutral products. In this way, despite the separation of certain foods, a variety of recipe options is created.

1. The carbohydrate group includes potatoes, cereals, bread, oatmeal, corn, pasta, rice, apples, bananas, dates, figs, dried fruits, beer, fruity red wine, honey, sugar and sweet juices.

2. The protein group is made up of cooked tomatoes, cooked and fried sausage and meat products such as steak, roast, schnitzel, poultry (sausage), boiled ham and guinea fowl. Cooked and unsmoked fish and seafood, cheese with less than 60% fat content, full-fat and pasteurized milk also belong to the protein group.
This also includes types of fruit such as pineapple, sour apples, berries (except blueberries), clementines, kiwi, oranges, lemon, but also eggs, white wine and dry red wine.

3. The neutral foods are all types of vegetables such as broccoli, beans, spinach etc., raw meat such as carpaccio, black pudding, salami or tea sausage and smoked fish, e.g. Matjes or smoked salmon. Tofu, soy products, butter, quark, cheese with more than 60% fat content, melon, rhubarb, coffee and tea also belong to the neutral group.

In order to lose weight with the food combining diet, it is advisable to only consume protein and neutral foods in the evening.

If you want or need snacks between meals, you should e.g. Prepare fruit or vegetable strips with quark. It is important to observe the food combining criteria also with the snacks. Between all meals, main meals and between meals, there should be a total of at least three hours and the meals should preferably consist of 80% fruit and vegetables.

Side effect of the food combining diet

Occasionally, a strict diet based on the combining food principle can lead to an insufficient supply of nutrients, in particular a deficiency in vitamin B, calcium and iron.
This must be strictly controlled, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The high consumption of fiber can lead to more frequent bowel movements and diarrhea at the beginning of the diet change.
Often, a lot of fiber causes bloating. Dietary fiber is difficult for the body to digest and many gases are produced in the body as part of its breakdown process.

Criticism of the diet

The theoretical basis of Hay's food combining theory is critically questioned by many scientists.
Some experts argue that losing weight is all about total calorie intake. The German Nutrition Society advises against the food combining method, as many foods naturally contain carbohydrates as well as proteins and fats. In addition, strict implementation of food combining can occasionally lead to deficiency symptoms due to a lack of vitamin B, calcium and iron.

What are the risks / dangers of combining foods?

Some nutritionists criticize the theory of combining foods that a disciplined implementation and combination of foods can lead to a deficiency of vitamin B, calcium and iron. Deficiency symptoms can manifest themselves, for example, in the form of anemia, sleep disorders and depression.

Calcium deficiency can lead to a pronounced degree of over-excitability of the muscles. If there is a calcium deficit for years, the bone metabolism is impaired and the risk of developing osteoporosis is significantly increased.

Where can I find good food combining recipes?

On the Internet you can find numerous good recipes for the food combining diet and especially the classification of foods into their groups.
Since the neutral group includes a particularly large number of foods, there is a diverse selection of recipes. In addition, there are countless books that contain delicious recipes based on the food combining form. These also often provide detailed diet instructions and a breakdown of the food groups, which you can use as a guide. Depending on your preference, you can choose between websites and books and cook suitable recipes.

How does a food combining breakfast work?

For many people who are new to food combining, breakfast is a change because, for example, traditional bread and jam is taboo and bread and jam must not be eaten together.
If you like it, you can prepare a fine Sunday breakfast with scrambled meat and salmon in accordance with a food combining diet. If you like things to be simpler, you can eat whole grain oatmeal with bananas, raisins and nuts.

A bread can be eaten with vegetable spreads or with raw ham. A toast with banana and hazelnuts or a fruit salad with buttermilk provide energy for the day and effectively boost the metabolism.
It makes sense to eat your fill in the morning so that you start the day full of energy. Fruit also provides valuable vitamins and nutrients, and the sweetness of fruit has a positive effect on mood.

The food combining - diet - lunch

There are numerous ways to cook a delicious lunch according to the food combining theory.
If you have consumed carbohydrates in the form of toast or muesli in the morning, it is advisable to eat a lot of protein at lunchtime, as this is particularly filling. Recipe ideas are lamb with carrots and mint, king prawns with mango and spring onions or rosemary chicken with balsamic vegetables.

If you want to go faster, you can prepare a fried egg with green beans, for example. Depending on your preference, carbohydrates can also be eaten at lunchtime if they are combined with neutral foods.
Jacket potatoes with matjes and quark, potato gratin, penne alla arrabiata and a colorful rice pan are filling, carbohydrate-rich meals for lunch. However, you should make sure that you do not use more than necessary to fill yourself, as these dishes are high in calories contain. For the greatest possible weight loss, one should reduce the calories significantly.

Dinner on a food combining diet

If you want to lose weight with food combining, it is helpful to completely avoid carbohydrates at dinner and instead combine protein with neutral foods. Protein in the evening practically sheds pounds during sleep, since without carbohydrates in dinner, more carbohydrates are broken down from the stores in the body. (see also: Diet without carbohydrates)

Recipe ideas include turkey schnitzel with beetroot salad, melon with ham and mozzarella or lemongrass soup. If you want to go fast, because you are used to the usual snack, you can prepare spinach with eggs and parmesan, cucumber salad with smoked trout or broccoli with curry yogurt and boiled ham within ten minutes.

What are the rules of the food combining diet?

According to the food combining method, foods are divided into three groups, the carbohydrate group, the protein group and neutral foods.
The rule of thumb for food combining is: never eat foods from the carbohydrate group with those from the protein group. This should get the fat metabolism going and the individual foods should be easier to digest.

Snacks between meals are allowed in the food combining diet, but they should consist of healthy foods. Fruit or vegetable strips with herb quark are ideal for this. In order to lose weight as effectively as possible, it is recommended to combine foods of the protein group with neutral foods in the evening. If you do without carbohydrates in the evening, the metabolism is boosted and the carbohydrate stores in the body are emptied overnight. There should always be a break of at least three hours between main meals and snacks.

How much can I / should I lose weight with this form of diet?

If you strictly follow the food combining diet and eat low-calorie meals, avoid snacks and do not eat any carbohydrates in the evening, you can lose 1 - 2 kilograms per week. The success of the diet depends on the initial situation, the calorie content of the food and, at best, additional physical activity.
Read more on the topic: Lose weight with exercise

How can I avoid the yo-yo effect with this diet?

The food combining diet is less of a risk of yo-yo effect than most radical mono diets. In order to permanently avoid a yo-yo effect, it is advisable to see the food combining diet as an introduction to a permanently healthy and balanced diet and to slowly reduce the "separation" of the food groups after the diet. If you do sport during and after the diet, this helps significantly to maintain the desired weight and avoid the yo-yo effect, as the new muscle mass uses more energy accordingly.
More on this topic at: Lose weight by changing your diet

Medical evaluation of the diet

The scientific background of the food combining diet is critically questioned again and again. Many nutritionists question the permanent separation of protein products and carbohydrates. Many experts also criticize Hay’s assumption that carbohydrates and proteins cannot be separated, since many foods consist of both main nutrients. In healthy individuals, both carbohydrate and protein-splitting enzymes are put into the intestine during digestion, so that the simultaneous digestion of proteins and carbohydrates is physiological.

Nevertheless, food combining successfully leads to the fact that the fat metabolism is set in motion for many people. The change in diet has a detoxifying effect and therefore "eats less". Another positive aspect of this diet is the high consumption of fruit and vegetables.
At the same time, reduced meat consumption is recommended, which the German Nutrition Society advocates. In addition, the food combining diet offers a wide range of recipe options, which makes it easier to stick to the diet.

What alternative diets are there to food combining?

If you want to lose a lot of weight quickly, many people go on radical mono diets, which, however, are usually very one-sided and difficult to stick to. Examples are the fruit diet, the vegetable diet or the tried and tested cabbage soup diet. It is not uncommon for a yo-yo effect to follow a mono diet. Turbo diets with protein-containing shakes from Almased or Yokebe and the Military Diet are also becoming increasingly popular due to their rapid consumer success.

Low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet, the Logi method or the Glyx diet are also particularly popular. The Atkins Diet works on a rigorous, multi-phase diet program that includes disciplined exercise. The Logi method aims at a low blood sugar and insulin level and can be understood as a permanent diet and is well suited to combat obesity.
The Glyx diet focuses on the glycemic index of the different foods and does not allow snacks between meals. The Paleo Diet is a special diet that tries to mimic the diets of hunters and gatherers in the Paleolithic. A healthy diet with no industrially produced foods and dairy products forms the basis of the diet.

What is the cost of a food combining diet?

Basically, the food combining diet is no more expensive than a healthy and balanced diet.
Little meat is consumed, but high-quality protein from fish and seafood, which is expensive but undoubtedly good for health. Fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed in large quantities and cost more than finished products. However, it is worth spending money on these dishes.

Food combining and alcohol - is it compatible?

The food combining diet is basically compatible with alcohol. Beer and fruity red wine are assigned to the carbohydrate group, while dry red wine and white wine are assigned to the protein group. If you follow the food combining principle, the drinks mentioned should be drunk in the permitted food combining combinations with food.

More diets

  1. Overview diet
  2. The best known low-energy mixed food diets
  3. The Glyx diets
  4. The low-fat diets
  5. The fat burner diets
  6. Fasts and crash diets
  7. The formula diets
  8. High protein diets
  9. Dinner cannelling
  10. The 5-element diet
  11. The Ayurvedic Diet
  12. The blood group diet
  13. The food combining diet
  14. The Cabbage Soup Diet
  15. Metabolic diet