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Food Combining for Digestion


There are many food combining charts on the market, suggesting different points of view which can be very confusing and inaccurate. For example, they may say lemons, limes and tomatoes are acid-producing and should not be combined with starches or proteins. Another example would be that avocados are a protein fruit and should not be combined with starches or proteins. Both of these examples do not consider the fact that the first thing that ferments in any organized matter, once it has been disturbed by chewing, is the sugar. That is, the tiny intelligent indestructible beings (microzymas) that make up that mater move from respiration to sugar metabolism as the matter breaks down (digests). Because lemons, limes, tomatoes, and avocados are low-sugar/high water content fruits, they produce very little acid residue and are highly alkalizing. The key to good digestion is not how we combine foods but how we choose foods to eat which are most like us: high water (70% or greater), naturally occurring oils (20-30%), low protein (5-7%), and even lower sugar (0.5 to 3%). Understanding that our bodies are a gelatinous (between liquid and a solid) material in an ocean of water, we do not have to worry ourselves with food combining ideaologies or charts when we are eating high-water/low-sugar content foods! This is important to understand, since the water and sugar content of each food we organize into a meal becomes the most important indicator for food combination, rather than whether the food is a vegetable, fruit, or protein.

There are several fundamental rules in food combining that are very important and not understood by many savants and nutritionists. They include:

1. All high-sugar fruits are acid-forming and should not be combined with other types of foods ingested in a state of imbalance; e.g., bananas (25% sugar), apples (15%), oranges (12%), mangoes (18%), pineapples (28%), strawberries (11%), cherries (12%), watermelon (9%), and honeydew (21%).
2. Low-sugar fruits are alkalizing and can be combined with other vegetables or proteins, eg. Avocado (2% sugar), tomato (3%), lemon (3%), lime (3%), cantaloupe (5%), an non-sweet grapefruit (5%).
3. Low-sugar/high-water fruits and vegetables can be combined with each other or with proteins or starches.
4. In a state of imbalance, go easy on the high-sugar vegetables, e.g., carrots (11% sugar), beets (13%), and high-sugar squash. Although carrot itself is an alkalizing vegetable, if taken in excess as concentrated carrot juice, the sugar content is too high. (Acids are produced by morbid fermentation of sugar).
5. Cold-pressed, polyunsaturated fats (flax seed oil) borage oil, marine lipids, evening primrose oil), monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado), and saturated fats (avocado) can be combined with vegetables, some fruits (lemons, limes, tomatoes, avocados, bell peppers), starches and vegetable proteins.

The outline below covers the basics of how to combine foods.

The Basics of Combining

1. Eat low-sugar/high-water vegetables or fruits with:

A. Plant or animal protein.
B. Starch,
C. Cold-pressed oils,

2. Don’t eat animal protein (this does not apply to vegetable or fruit protein) with

A. Starch. Animal protein digests in the stomach producing an acid medium (uric acid). When starch is combined with animal protein, the sugars in the starch create even ore acid (acetic acid), leading to indigestion, heartburn and gas.
B. Acids. The digestion of food is a process of fermentation which gives rise to waste products knows as acids or ferments. High-sugar fruits (which are highly acid-producing) accompanying animal protein increase the production of ferments in the stomach, giving rise to indigestion, heartburn and gas. Exception: Seeds, nuts and avocado (excellent sources of good fat) can be combined with plant or animal protein, starches, or high-sugar fruits.
C. Oils. Cold-pressed oils are essential for the construction of cell membranes, the production of hormones, and the chelation of acids or ferments. They can be eaten liberally with vegetable meals. However, with animal protein, oils will slow down the fermentation process (due to their chelating effect on the acids produced), causing congestion (constipation), which when piled up with other foods, especially fruits and carbohydrates, will create morbid mass leading to acid reflux, heartburn and gas.

3. Don’t eat starches (including starchy vegetables) with:

A. Animal protein. Meat and potatoes is a perfect combination for indigestion.
B. Acids, such as vinegar. (In fact never eat vinegar; it is poisonous.) Acids mask the presence of starch in the mouth and block the action of ptyalin, a necessary component of starch digestion in saliva.
C. High-sugar fruit. High-sugar fruits like apples, oranges and bananas create excess acidity in the blood and poison the immune system, shutting it down for up to five hours. When you add like potatoes, bread, or pasta to the brew, you have sugar on top of sugar, or more acid on top of more acid, and the immune system is paralyzed for even longer periods of time. Note: Avocado (low-sugar/high-protein fruit) combines well with starches, e.g. grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables like yams.
D. Oil. Oil slows digestion of starch due to its chelating effect on the acids produced as the starch (sugar) ferments. However, this is not a problem if you keep at least 80% of the rest of the meal high-water/low-sugar content (i.e., plenty of veggies).

4. Don’t eat fruit* with:

A. Protein. Obvious reasons. A fruit salad with a steak is a recipe for excess acid, leading to indigestion and gas. Exception, Fruit can be combined with avocado (low-sugar/protein fruit).
B. Starch. It’s a taste temptation, like a peanut butter and banana sandwich (except if you think about a lemon sandwich!), but just too much difference here in digestion time (fruit digests quickly), so the combination begs for fermentation. However, the main thing that makes the combination so tempting to begin with is its added sugar (jam on toast, for example), and this makes the whole deal much worse.
C. Vegetables. Fruits are cleansers, veggies are builders. Don’t ask the body to do opposites simultaneously. Exception: tomato, avocado, lemon and lime combine with all veggies.
D. Oil.

*Don’t use fruit at all (except lemon, lime, tomato, avocado, and non-sweet grapefruit) until you are well, and then in moderation and in season.

5. Oils

Combine best with vegetables and fresh veggie juices; combine poorly with fruits (except tomato, avocado, lemon and lime).

6. Melons

Eat melons alone, or not at all. Best to avoid them altogether, as they are very high in sugar (except cantaloupe), which means more acid. Also, like grapes and a few other sugary fruits, they can be high in mold. Once you are well and strong, an occasional treat is fine.

If you are seriously ill, or interested in following an ideal regimen, food combining is essential, as is the property ratio of raw foods. Try taking smaller bites of food to enhance the digestion through more chewing. Above all, don’t discourage yourself by trying to change too much too quickly. Making gradual dietary changes is generally best for the body anyway. The exception to this might be when serious illness threatens your life or promises to inflict permanent damage. At such times, drastic change may do very nicely! The human digestive system is not designed from complex meals. It’s best not to mix more than four foods, or food from more than two classes. Use only one protein starch per meal. And when you start using complex starches, only one per meal also.

Be careful not to wash food down with beverages, especially cold ones, including cold water. Cold shuts down digestive activity as easily as it preserves food. Because water dilutes digestive chemicals, it should be drunk at least a half-hour before, or one hour after, a meal which includes animal protein. But if you are eating a low-sugar/high-water content vegetarian meal, feel free to drink with your meal. It is helpful to eat juicier food items (veggies/salads) first to pave the way for heavier items. A few sips of warm water after a meal can aid digestions.

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01.01.05 - Recommended Wellness Program updated.
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