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Diets are complex, personal and take many factors into consideration. Are you a fast or slow metabolizer? In what ways is your physical condition out of balance? While each of us is different there are physical enzymatic laws that govern all of us. We can go to Mars and explore the depths of our seas, but the simple fact is that most of us don’t know how to eat properly.
A great deal of illness, disease, loss of energy and vitality can be attributed to our diets consisting of refined, denatured, overcooked food indiscriminately combined. Reliance on refined starches and concentrated animal proteins without the benefit of course fibrous foods which stimulate the muscular activity that moves our intestinal current leading to decomposition and fermentation and a chronic state of toxic poisoning of our bodies.
Most “diets” designed to loose weight quickly are
The science of combining food goes back many centuries, encompassed in the Taoist concepts of balance and Ayurveda (the “Science of Life), the oldest medical tradition still followed today with 5000 years of continued use. These ancient traditions are supported by contemporary enlightened nutritional science. This body of knowledge stands in stark opposition to the superficial and simplistic Western concept of the balanced meal. This is not to be confused with the balanced diet which has great merit. It refers to the Western practice of eating all food groups together in one meal.
Each food group has its own set of digestive enzymes. Enzymes are the catalysts for every life-sustaining chemical reaction in our bodies from simple digestion to the writing of information into the gene script. Enzymes are specific in their functions. They can’t cross over and can be antagonistic – one can prevent another from doing its work. Our bodies are governed by physical enzymatic laws that we must understand and respect. Digestion (the breakdown of food into nutrients) is accomplished primarily by enzymes.
Historically man was a hunter and gatherer. Women went out to pick berries and brought them back for all to eat. Men went out to hunt, came back with a deer and everyone ate meat. Our bodies are designed to function in this way. We are not designed to mix the various food groups in the same meal. A balanced diet is desirable, but a balanced meal wherein you mix disparate ingredients such as meat, dairy, starch, fat and sugar will not burn efficiently or provide sufficient energy. It will clog your system resulting in serious health consequences.
This wisdom of the importance of food combining was not only known by the ancient Chinese but was also known to the West as evidenced by Moses’ strict regulation that meat and milk must never be consumed at the same meal.
The science of Trophology, solidly based in elementary chemistry has been lost to modern western medicine which is notoriously deficient in nutritional science. Are you aware that you can complete up to eight years schooling to obtain a medical doctors’ degree without ever having taken a course in nutrition?
Ayurveda and other medical systems identify the colon as the “mother of disease.” If you want to stop a runny nose, clean the colon, or better yet, eat properly.
Carnivorous animals never mix starch with meat. Birds eat bugs and worms at one time of day and seeds and berries at a different time of day, never both together. Traditional Chinese diets contained large amounts of rice with vegetables and bean curd products and very light in meats. At a traditional Chinese banquet, rice is not served so as not to interfere with the consumption of meat, fish and fowl. Monks eat “mono-meals” such as brown rice with vegetables – a perfect combination
Humans have a balanced metabolism that can handle various food groups when properly combined. The Tao recognized this fact and went further to prescribe consumption of different foods depending on the climate and season (cold winters balanced by more “Yang” foods and hot summers balanced by more “Ying” foods, dry weather compensated with more moisturizing foods etc.).
Without going into great detail I will discuss the process of digestion and suggest what not to combine as well as what combinations will provide a healthy diet.
Food processes in four stages: digestion, absorption, metabolism and elimination.
If we foul up the first stage, “digestion” nothing else down the line will go well.
Ptyalin digests carbohydrates. It is activated by chewing and appears in our saliva. Foods other than carbohydrates pass through this stage unaffected by this enzyme. Ptyalin turns carbohydrates into maltose (a crystalline sugar) to be broken down further in the stomach.
Ptyalin is neutralized by sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup etc). When sugar is combined with starch the saliva contains no ptyalin preventing digestion before it reaches the stomach. In addition the sugars become trapped in the stomach with the starch instead of passing to the small intestine where sugars are digested. Fermentation of sugar in the stomach creates acidity which counteracts the alkaline medium needed for starch digestion. Bread and butter is no problem but bread with jam or any sweets creates an indigestible miscombination.
Acid food such as oranges, lemons, limes vinegar etc. taken along with starch also suspends the secretion of ptyalin.
Sweeteners and acid foods prevent ptyalin from being secreted in the mouth to initiate the first stage of salivary starch digestion and the starch hits the stomach without the vital alkaline juices needed for digestion.
The alkaline starches require an alkaline medium in the stomach in order to complete their digestion.
Hydrochloric acid (not an enzyme) digests fat. It is secreted in in the stomach and breaks fat into lipids (fat’s nutrient form). It is essential in the digestion of proteins. Hydrochloric acid showers cut through the fats and break the protein up in preparation for pepsin.
Pepsin, like hydrochloric acid, appears in stomach. After hydrochloric acid breaks up the protein, pepsin is activated which softens and breaks up the protein into amino acids. In the final stage of digestion hydrochloric acid and pepsin act together to further digest protein into amino acids. Pepsin can function only in a highly acidic medium which must be maintained for several hours for complete digestion of proteins.
Fats inhibit the secretion of gastric juice. For two to three hours after ingestion of fats hydrochloric acid and pepsin in the stomach are sharply decreased which delay digestion of proteins taken together with the fat. Bacon, fatty steaks, and lean meats fried in fat sit heavily in the stomach for hours.
Fruits are designed by nature as the initial food for the seeds. The seeds can’t digest the fruit and so all fruits have in them the enzymes for their own digestion. Once ripe, they break down naturally and quickly to feed the seeds contained within them.
Fruits don’t combine with anything else. Fruits digest in the small intestine, but all other food groups arrive in the small intestine already broken down into nutrients. If fruits are trapped in the digestive tract before they reach the small intestine (by having been consumed with or shortly before or after other foods) they ferment and cause indigestion. They will turn to gas and fat without contributing nutrients or enzymes.
In terms Taoist principals, Ayurvedic practice and modern enlightened nutritional science the putrefaction and fermentation that results from mis- combinations of food are the source of a wide spectrum of digestive distress, obesity, allergies, and toxins which accumulate and cause many ailments. The severely septic conditions of the human intestinal tract is unique in nature. The constant secretion of mucus in the colon (to entrap toxic particles) is accumulated and impacted in the folds of the colon and narrows the colon passage to cause seepage of toxins into the bloodstream by osmosis.
As discussed above fruits don’t combine with any other food group. If you start out the day with fruits leave several hours before eating any other food group. If you eat carbs or proteins don’t eat fruit for the rest of the day.
Proteins and carbohydrates should not be consumed in the same meal. If you digest protein and starch together the acid and alkaline juices are secreted simultaneously neutralizing one another and leaving a weak solution in the stomach that adequately digests neither. The proteins putrefy and the starches (carbs) trapped in the stomach with the slower digesting proteins, ferment in the presence of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Once you have eaten a protein your body can not digest a carbohydrate for a long time since proteins digest slowly ( meat takes 8 to 10 hours/ fish about 6 hours).
I’ll try to keep “nevers” to a minimum. Never consume sweeteners with either starches or proteins.
Never consume diet drinks laden with sodium and other chemicals that make digestion of your food impossible.
Never drink milk with your meal. “Drink it alone or leave it alone.” I tend to go into a rant when writing about milk so please allow me my rant:
Human (mother’s milk) promotes growth as young children but the thymus gland that provides the enzyme (lactase) for digesting milk has shrunk to the size of a pea by the time you are mature and this enzyme is virtually inactive. Raw milk is a protein food, but is also has a high fat content which means it combines poorly with any other food. Drinking mild cold makes matters even worse.
Pasteurization destroys the enzymes lactase and lipase and pasteurized milk can’t be digested by adults. Pasteurization creates profit by extending the shelf life but does nothing to extend human life. Homogenized milk fragmentizes and pulverizes the fat molecules in the milk to prevent cream from separating from the milk but enables the fragments of milk fat to pass through the villae in the small intestine thereby increasing denatured fat and cholesterol absorbed by the body.
From the conscious combining point of view: milk is a protein and even a little drop in your morning coffee will render all the carbs you eat that follow this, indigestible. Remember that cheese and yogurt (made from milk) will do the same and even worse if mixed with fruit or sweeteners.
Trophology is a complex science embracing various traditions and schools of thought. However I will provide a few simple basic guidelines that will dramatically contribute to your overall health and well-being.
Eat fruits alone – never with or after a meal.
Eat proteins with other proteins.
Eat carbs with other carbs.
You can eat fats with proteins or carbs since fats don’t neutralize any enzymatic reactions but fats inhibit the secretion of gastric juices and a high fat content will cause your food to combine poorly.
The ideal is to eat only one variety of food category at a single meal. This is know as the “mono meal.” In nature carnivorous animals don’t eat starch with their meat. Birds eat worms and bugs at one time of day and seeds and berries at another – never both together.
For a list of dietary suggestions and menus for good health as well as other important suggestions for your health that include a discussion of fiber, grains, water consumption and other related issues you may subscribe to.
Your greatest wealth is your health. Make a small but very important investment in yourself.
All American Diet – the perfect storm:
“I’ll have a cheeseburger, French fries and a milk shake!”
The cheeseburger combines two varieties of concentrated protein – meat and cheese. On top of that goes a bun made of highly refined white flour – pure starch. This is accompanied by deep fried potatoes adding more concentrated starch with fat from deep-frying. While eating all the above you’re sipping a milk shake adding pasteurized milk to the protein, starch and fat. Welcome chronic stomach pains, gastrointestinal distress, constipation and rampant obesity combined with malnutrition. Huge corporate food chains are exporting this digestive and metabolic malaise worldwide. The processed food industry is represented by one of the most powerful lobbies in Congress.
Rats fed refined white flour quickly die of starvation. Extending the shelf life of fresh produce using radiation will not be readily attacked by bacteria and insects – because they are not fit for consumption. Active enzymes present in fresh products are destroyed (or denatured) by exposure to heat, excess water, oxygen, radiation, and synthetic chemicals all of which occur during cooking, canning, refining preservatives and pasteurization.