When it comes to staying in shape, losing weight and getting healthy we can be exposed to myths that are presented as fact. You may have heard lots of theories regarding eating certain kinds of foods to lose weight. While you can’t eat foods that will help you get thin in a matter of hours there is some truth about the chemistry of digestion. Many alternative health practitioners suggest that people who are chronically ill maintain an alkaline diet. An alkaline diet is based on of what our ancestors consumed when we were hunter/gatherers. Essentially it’s a diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts and minimal animal protein. The thought process? When we are sick it’s because our system is out of balance.
Conventional wisdom does not suggest or support that chronic illness is borne out of a Ph range that has shifted. But we’ve all had bouts of acid indigestion, and with billions spent each year on antacids it can’t hurt to take a look at what works with what. Our basic chemistry knowledge tells us that the right combination of acids and bases can neutralize each other. This diet can be particularly useful for those who suffer from lots of acid indigestion or reflux.
Cathy Wong, ND, CNS, a licensed naturopathic doctor and an American College of Nutrition-certified nutrition specialist, is a well-known authority on natural health and nutrition. Wong has this to say about food combining:
- Proteins (beans, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, poultry) and starches (grains, pasta, breads, cereal, rice, carrots, etc.) should be eaten at separate meals. Proteins can be consumed with veggies and starches can be combined with vegetables.
- Fruits should be consumed on their own.
- Starches are thought to be digested well when they are consumed by themselves or with vegetables. This may be because the pH of the digestive tract is alkaline. The digestion of proteins, however, requires stomach acid and if proteins and starches are combined, the digestive environment is neither acid or alkaline enough for either group to be absorbed well. This can lead to poor digestion.
However, maintaining proper nutrients like zinc, calcium and B12 is critical. Also keep in mind that food is best consumed when it isn’t processed with tons of chemicals. Cooking our food fresh and with minimal manipulation is the best way to eat!