Combining High and Low Glycemic Foods
The glycemic index of foods can be very helpful when used for preparing meals. Since most people do not prepare a meal using only one food it is important to understand the interaction of food combining.
Some foods reduce the glycemic level of a meal. When fats are consumed with higher glycemic
foods it can also help to prevent blood sugar raising, much like the effects of fiber. Vinegar has also been found to inhibit the digestion of starches. For example starting your dinner with a salad dressed in italian dressing (fiber + fat + vinegar) will lessen the impact of high glycemic foods in the meal.
Here are 5 Food Combining Principles You May Want to Consider:
1. Eat Fruit Alone– fruit contains sugars that are ready for the body to utilize and provides its own enzymes so it does not need much time to be digested in the stomach. It should not be combined with other foods and should not be consumed for several hours after eating protein or starch. If you have fruit following a meal the sugar in the fruit will ferment in the stomach, causing bloating and gas. Allow 1-2 hours before eating any other food if you do eat fruit. The best time is to eat it in the morning because then you know all other foods have been digested.
2. Do Not Combine Protein and Starch-they require different digestive juices in order to be broken down and used by the body. Digestion of starches begins in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin, which is found in your saliva. Proteins are broken down in the stomach by hydrochloric acid and pepsin enzyme. Protein needs an acidic environment and starch an alkaline environment.
3. Eat Protein Alone or with Vegetables-Veggies are high in water content and relatively easy to digest. They can be broken down in either an acidic or alkaline environment so they can be combined with either proteins or starches. The enzymes in veggies actually enhance the digestion protein.
4. If You Eat Starches, Eat Them Alone or with Vegetables- Vegetables do not require their own specific digestive juices, so they can be digested in the alkaline environment required by starches.
5. Do NOT Drink with Meals– this dilutes the digestive juices that are needed to break down the food, preventing it from being properly digested. The best time to drink fluids is in between meals-at least a half and hour before or after eating. If you find you are thirsty after eating, you may be using too much salt in your food.