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Should You Food-Combine?

Although many practitioners use food combining as part of their dietary recommendations I do not, simply because the blood type diets do specifically what food combining attempts to do non-specifically.

Proponents of food combining claim that correct food combinations are important for proper digestion, utilization, and assimilation of the nutrients our body needs to sustain life. Different foods require different digestive enzymes to aid in the digestive process – some acid, some alkaline. When acid and alkaline foods come in contact, they neutralize each other and retard digestion. If the food we eat is not properly digested, it will pass through the intestinal tract without being completely broken down, getting stuck between the crevices located in the intestinal track – thereby causing the toxic wastes to ferment and putrefy.

The blood type diets do specifically what food combining attempts to do non-specifically.

Critics claim that there’s no evidence to support such contentions. Nearly all foods are themselves combinations. If you eat beans, for example, you’re getting carbohydrates (sugars and starches), protein and fiber, among other things. Bread combines protein, carbohydrates, a little fat and many other things. A simple dish like macaroni and cheese, a peanut butter sandwich, or oatmeal with milk contains sugars, starches, protein and fat. Our digestive system handles food combinations very efficiently. The process begins in the mouth as we chew food and saliva acts upon it, beginning the breakdown of starches into sugars. Other enzymes come into play along the line, resulting in almost complete digestion and absorption of nutrients, no matter how they are combined.

Over-anticipating the needs of a complex system can actually increase its dependence and fragility.

One recent study showed that there was no difference in weight loss between two groups studied, one group doing food combining, the other not. (1)

I have seen some people use food combining with benefit, especially in the early stages of adapting to the blood type diets, and especially when the BTD changes differ drastically from their prior diet. Beyond that, any additional benefits would be provided by continuing to follow the BTD principles.

Finally, there is the question of whether making things ‘easy’ for the body really serves our best long term interests. Many of the physiologic functions of the body are hormetic; they benefit from challenge and mild stress. Like exercise, they require challenge in order to induce a more robust response. On the other hand, over anticipating the needs of a complex system can actually increase its dependence and fragility.

Image: Louis Valtat (1869-1952) ‘Rock in the Sea’


1. Golay A, Allaz AF, Ybarra J, Bianchi P, Saraiva S, Mensi N, Gomis R, de Tonnac N. Similar weight loss with low-energy food combining or balanced diets. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2000 Apr;24(4):492-6

About: 

Dr. Peter D'Adamo is a naturopathic physician, author, researcher-educator and software developer. He is considered a world expert on glycobiology, principally the ABO blood groups and the secretor (FUT2) polymorphisms. He is the author of the international best-seller, Eat Right 4 Your Type and the Blood Type Diet series of books, and he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Categories: Blood Type Diet, Blood Type Physiology, Diet Tips, Peter D'Adamo

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