Everything You Should Know About Mixing Major Food Groups

Everything You Should Know About Mixing Major Food Groups

Photo by Michael Stern

Most people know about the 4 major food groups and the so-called food pyramid:

1. Non-starchy vegetables and non-starchy pulses

2. Starchy vegetables, grains, and carbohydrates

3. Starchy pulses (beans & legumes)

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4. Protein (flesh, fats, and pulses)

Food combining is based on the biological process of digestion. When protein and starches are eaten together the body becomes confused and can’t produce the necessary enzymes, at the same time, to properly digest the food. If you are skeptical about the health benefits of food combining, try it for yourself.

You cannot harm yourself just by trying it, and there is no additional cost. After a week or so, we think you will notice the difference, and be surprised. When combining foods from different food groups, be sure that you make the right choices:

1. Non-starchy vegetables and non-starchy pulses: such as spinach, green beans, fresh peas, broccoli and asparagus, which can be consumed together with starchy vegetables, starchy pulses, proteins, oils, and fats.

2. Starchy vegetables, grains, and carbohydrates: like potatoes, corn, quinoa, millet, carrots, and rice, which are best digested with non-starchy pulses and non-starchy veggies, good with oils and fats and also with starchy pulses. They shouldn’t be eaten together with protein.

Carbs, starches, and grains digest in our mouth and small intestines, using our alkaline juices and the salivary enzyme amylase for digestion. Protein digests in our stomach and uses acids and the enzyme pepsin for digestion.

3. Starchy pulses ( legumes and beans): such as lentils, kidney beans, navy beans and pinto beans, which digest best non-starchy pulses, non-starchy vegetables, oils, and fats and with starchy veggies, grains, and carbs. They should never be consumed together with proteins for the same reason as grains, carbs, and starchy vegetables.

4. Protein (flesh, fats, and pulses): like soy, tofu, red meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, eggs and seeds, which digest best with fats and oils (except olive oil and grape seed oil), non-starchy veggies and non-starchy pulses. They shouldn’t be consumed together with starchy vegetables, grains, carbs and starchy pulses.

Protein is digested in our stomach with acids and the enzyme pepsin. Also, it is best to not mix proteins because they each digest a little differently. So don’t mix lobster, steak, salmon, tofu, or chicken with turkey. Try to choose 1 protein for each meal. Your digestion will be much better.

Health benefits

By eating and combining foods correctly, our body will function at its best and we will see some great results, and also long-term health benefits, minimizing many different diseases and illnesses. Right food choices and smart food mixing are the real missing link, the final pieces of our good healthy puzzle.

The bad effects from food combining come when our digestive system is slowed down and foods become undigested. Improper digestion is the main reason of our digestive issues. You can’t avoid all bad combinations, but moderation is the key; if the good food combinations outweigh the bad ones you will definitely see a huge difference. There are no known side effects if we combine foods in the right way.