Correctly combining foods makes all the difference in the world to proper digestion, cholesterol and metabolism. Without complete digestion, the nutrients in even the most wholesome food cannot be fully extracted and assimilated by the body.
Moreover, incomplete digestion and inefficient metabolism are the prime causes of fat and cholesterol accumulation in the body.
A low calorie diet of overcooked, processed and improperly combined foods will still make you fat and leave sticky deposits in your arteries, just as the wrong mix of fuels will leave carbon deposits on the spark plugs of an engine, clog the pistons, and create foul gaseous exhaust.
TROPHOLOGY - THE SCIENCE OF FOOD COMBINING
It is an established scientific fact in Western medicine that in order to initiate efficient digestion of any concentrated animal protein, the stomach must secrete pepsin. But it is also a well-known fact that pepsin can function only in a highly acidic medium, which must be maintained for several hours for complete digestion of proteins.
It is an equally well established fact of science that when we chew a piece of bread or potato or any other carbohydrate/starch, ptyalin and other alkaline juices are immediately secreted into the food by the saliva in the mouth. When swallowed, the alkalized starches require an alkaline medium in the stomach in order to complete digestion.
Anyone should be able to figure out what therefore happens when you ingest protein and starch together. Acid and alkaline juices are secreted simultaneously in response to the incoming protein and starch, promptly neutralizing one another and leaving a weak, watery solution in the stomach that digests neither protein or starch properly. Instead proteins putrefy and starches ferment owing to the constant presence of bacteria in the digestive tract.
This putrefaction and fermentation are the primary cause of all sorts of digestive stress, including gas, heartburn, cramps, bloating, constipation, foul stools, bleeding piles, colitis, and so forth.
Many so called 'allergies' are also the direct result of improper food combinations; the bloodstream picks up toxins from the putrefied, fermented mess as it passes slowly through the intestines, and these toxins in turn cause rashes, hives, headaches, nausea and other symptoms commonly branded as allergies. The same foods that cause allergic reactions when improperly combines often have no ill side-effects whatsoever when consumed according to the rules of trophology. The final fact of the matter is this: when you immobilize your stomach and impair digestive functions by consuming foods in indiscriminate combination, the bacteria in your alimentary canal have a field day. They get all the nutrients and thrive, while you get all the wastes and suffer.
According to a recent survey in America, the average American male today carries about 5 pounds of undigested, putrefied red meat in his gut. Leave 5 pounds of meat in a dark, warm, moist place for a few days and see for yourself the results of putrefaction. The severely septic condition of the human intestinal tract is unique in nature, yet Western physicians take it for granted and even insist that it is harmless to the rest of the system.
In fact, in order to protect itself from the chronic toxic irritation of improperly combined meals, the colon secretes large quantities of mucus to entrap toxic particles before they damage the colon's sensitive lining. When this occurs at every meal, everyday, every week, throughout the year- as is quite typical in modern Western diets- the colon ends up secreting a constant stream of mucus, which accumulates and gets impacted in the folds of the colon. This results in a narrowing of the passage through the colon and a constant seeping of toxins into the bloodstream by osmosis. When the impacting of toxic mucus in the colon reaches critical pressure, it causes a pocket to balloon outward through the colon lining, causing a condition called diverticulosis. Colitis, IBS, and colon cancer are the next stages of colon deterioration caused by these conditions.
Compared to Taoist concepts of balance, the Western notion of a 'balanced diet' is simplistic and superficial.
Western physicians advise everyone to take 'a little of everything at every meal', jumbling together such disparate ingredients as meat, milk, starch, fat and sugar.
Such indiscriminate consumption of food is no different than pouring a combination of gas, oil, alcohol and sugar into the gas tank of your car. These blends will not burn efficiently, will provide little power and will quickly clog up the engine so badly that the entire system grinds to a halt.
The following advice given to the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty on the occasion of the authors 100th birthday, clearly reflects the fact that the ancient Chinese were well aware of the importance of the science of food combining.
Food and drink are relied upon to nurture life. But if one does not know that the nature of substances may be opposed to each other, and one consumes them altogether indiscriminately, the vital organs will be thrown out of harmony and disastrous consequences will soon arise. Therefore, those who wish to nurture their lives must carefully avoid doing such damage to themselves.
[Chia Ming, Essential Knowledge for Eating and Drinking, 1368 AD].
In plain English, the Yin and Yang of diet boils down to 'Trophology',
a term which you and no doubt your doctor, have probably never heard before.
Modern medical training in the West, especially in America, is notoriously deficient in nutritional science, although there are a few enlightened nutritional scientists in America and Europe today who, despite sneers from their peers in the medical establishment, are making great medical strides through the science of Trophology.
The Western scientific equivalent of Yin/Yang balance in food combinations is something we all learned in elementary high school chemistry: acid/alkaline balance, or 'pH'. We all know that if we did add a measure of alkaline to an equal measure of acid, the resulting chemical solution is as neutral as plain water. That's the principle behind reaching for bicarbonate (a strong alkaline) to relieve 'acid indigestion'.
It is an established scientific fact in Western medicine that, in order to initiate efficient digestion of any concentrated animal protein, the stomach must secrete pepsin. But it is also a well-known fact that pepsin can function only in a highly acidic medium, which must be maintained for several hours for complete digestion of proteins.
It is equally a well established fact of science that when we chew a piece of bread or potato or any other carbohydrate/starch, ptyalin and other alkaline juices are immediately secreted into the food by saliva in the mouth. When swallowed, the alkalized starches require an alkaline medium in the stomach in order to complete their digestion.
Anyone should be able to figure out what therefore happens when you ingest protein and starch together. Acid and alkaline juices are secreted simultaneously in response to the incoming protein and starch, promptly neutralizing one another and leaving a weak, watery solution in the stomach that digests neither protein nor starch properly. Instead, the proteins putrefy and the starches ferment owning to the constant presence of bacteria in the digestive tract.
This putrefaction and fermentation are the primary cause of all sorts of digestive distress, including gas, heartburn, cramps, bloating, constipation, foul stools, bleeding, piles, colitis, and so forth.
Many so-called 'allergies' are also the direct result of improper food combinations: the bloodstream picks up the toxins from the putrefied, fermented mess as it passes slowly through the intestines, and these toxins in turn cause rashes, hives, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms commonly branded as 'allergies'.
The same foods that cause allergic reactions when improperly combined often have no ill-side effects whatsoever when consumed according to the rules of Trophology.
The final fact of the matter is this: when you immobilize your stomach and impair digestive functions by consuming foods in indiscriminate combinations, the bacteria in your alimentary canal have a field day. They get all the nutrients and thrive, while you get all the wastes and suffer.
Protein and Starch
"This is the worst possible combination of foods to mix together at a single meal, and yet it is the mainstay of modern Western diets: meat and potatoes, hamburgers and fries, eggs and toast, etc.
When one consumes protein and starch together, the alkaline enzyme ptyalin pours into the food as it's chewed in the mouth.
When the masticated food reaches the stomach, digestion of starch by alkaline enzymes continues unabated, thereby preventing the digestion of protein by pepsin and other acid secretions.
The ever-present bacteria in the stomach are thus permitted to attach the protein and putrefaction commences, rendering nutrients in the protein food largely useless to you and producing toxic wastes and foul gases, including such poisons as indol, skatol, phenol, hydrogen sulphide, phenylpropionic acid, and others.
If that is the case, you may well wonder, then why does the stomach have no trouble handling foods that naturally contain both protein and starch, such as whole grains?
As Dr. Shelton points out, "There is a great difference between the digestion of a food, however complex its composition, and the digestion of a mixture of different foods."
To a single article of food that is a starch-protein combination, the body can easily adjust its juices, both as to strength and timing, to the digestive requirements of the food. But when two foods are eaten with different, even opposite, digestive needs, this precise adjustment of juices to requirements becomes impossible.
Protein and Protein
Different proteins have different digestive requirements. For example the strongest enzymatic action on milk occurs during the last hour of digestion, whereas on meat it occurs during the first hour and on eggs somewhere in between.
It is instructive to recall the ancient dietary law which Moses imposed on his people [the Jewish people], forbidding the simultaneous consumption of milk and flesh.
Two similar meats such as beef and lamb, or two types of fish such as salmon and shrimp, are not sufficiently different in nature to cause digestive conflict in the stomach and may be consumed together.
Acid and starch
Any acid taken together with starch suspends secretion of ptyalin, a biochemical fact of life upon which all physicians agree.
Therefore, if you consume oranges, lemons and other acid fruits, or acids such as vinegar's, along with starch, no ptyalin is secreted in the mouth to initiate the first stage of digestion. Consequently, the starch hits the stomach without the vital alkaline juices it needs to digest properly, permitting bacteria to ferment it instead.
A single teaspoon of vinegar, or its equivalent in other acids, is all it takes entirely to suspend salivary digestion of starch in the mouth.
Acid and protein
Since protein requires an acid medium for proper digestion, you'd think that acid foods would facilitate protein digestion, but that's not the case.
When acid foods enter the stomach they inhibit the secretion of hydrochloric acid, and the protein-digesting enzyme pepsin can work only in the presence of hydrochloric acid, not just any acid.
Therefore orange juice inhibits the proper digestion of eggs, and a strong vinegar dressing on salads inhibits the digestion of steak.
Starch and sugar
It has been established that, when sugar enters the mouth along with starch, the saliva secreted during mastication contains no ptyalin, thereby sabotaging starch digestion before it reaches the stomach.
Furthermore, such a combination blocks passage of sugar through the stomach until the starch is digested, causing it to ferment.
The by-products of sugar fermentation are acidic, which in turn further inhibits digestion of starches, which require alkaline mediums for digestion.
Bread (starch) and butter (fat) is a perfectly compatible combination, but when you spread a spoonful of honey or jam over it, you introduce sugars to the blend, which interferes with the digestion of the starch in bread.
The same principle applies to breakfast cereal sprinkled with sugar, heavily frosted cakes, sweet pies, and so forth.
Melons are such a perfect food for humans that they require no digestion whatsoever in the stomach. Instead, they pass quickly through the stomach and move into the small intestine for digestion and assimilation.
But this can happen only when the stomach is empty and melons are eaten alone, or in combination only with other fresh raw fruits.
When consumed with or after other foods that require complex digestion in the stomach, melons cannot pass into the small intestine until the digestion of other foods in the stomach is complete.
So they sit and stagnate instead, quickly fermenting and causing all sorts of gastric distress.
One should avoid any sort of sweet dessert after a big meal, for this type of food combines poorly with everything.
Even fresh fruit should be avoided right after a big meal because it will back up in the stomach and ferment instead of digest.
If you really have a 'sweet tooth' and crave cakes, pies and pastries, indulge your habit occasionally by making a whole meal of them.
They are still not good for you but at least taken alone they will not cause as much gastric distress and toxic by-products as when taken after meals.
Milk and dairy
Now we come to one of the most controversial and misunderstood items in the Western diet.
Orientals and Africans have traditionally avoided milk- except as a purgative. But in the Western world, people are told to drink milk everyday throughout their lives.
If we look at nature, we see that the young feed exclusively on milk until weaned away from it with other foods. The natural disappearance of the milk-digesting enzyme lactase from the human system upon reaching maturity proves that adult humans have no more nutritional need for milk than adult tigers or chimpanzees.
Though milk is a complete protein food when consumed raw, it also contains fat, which means that it combines poorly with any other food except itself. Yet adults today routinely 'wash down' other foods with cold milk. Milk curdles immediately upon entering the stomach, so if there is other food present the curds coagulate around other food particles and insulate them from exposure to gastric juices, delaying digestion long enough to permit the onset of putrefaction. Therefore, the first and foremost rule of milk consumption is, 'Drink it alone, or leave it alone.'
Today, milk is made even more indigestible by the universal practice of pasteurization, which destroys its natural enzymes and alters its delicate proteins.
Raw milk contains the active enzymes lactase and lipase, which permit raw milk to digest itself. Pasteurized milk, which is devitalized of lactase and other active enzymes, simply can not be properly digested by adult stomachs, and even infants have trouble with it, as evidenced by colic, rashes, respiratory ailments, gas and other common ailments of bottle-fed babies. The lack of enzymes and alteration of vital proteins also renders the calcium and other mineral elements in milk largely unassailable.
During the 1930's, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger conducted a 10-year study on the relative effects of pasteurized and raw milk diets on 900 cats. One group received nothing but raw whole milk, while the other was fed nothing but pasteurized whole milk from the same source.
The raw milk group thrived, remaining healthy, active and alert throughout their lives, but the group fed on pasteurized milk soon became listless, confused and highly vulnerable to a host of chronic degenerative ailments normally associated with humans, including heart disease, kidney failure, thyroid dysfunction, respiratory ailments, loss of teeth, brittle bones, liver inflammation, etc.
But what caught Dr. Pottenger's attention most was what happened to the second and third generations.
The first offspring of the pasteurized milk group were all born with poor teeth and small, weak bones- a clear cut sign of calcium deficiency, which indicated lack of calcium absorption from pasteurized milk.
The offspring of the raw milk group remained as healthy as their parents.
Many of the kittens in third generation of the pasteurized group were stillborn, while those that survived were all sterile and unable to reproduce.
The experiment had to end there because there was no fourth generation of cats fed on pasteurized milk, although the raw milk group continued to breed and thrive indefinitely.
If that is insufficient proof of the ill effects of pasteurized milk, take note of the fact even that newborn calves fed on pasteurized milk taken from their own mother cows usually die within six months, a fact which the commercial dairy industry is loathe to admit.
Despite such scientific evidence in favor of raw milk and against pasteurized milk, and despite the fact that until the early twentieth century the human species thrived on raw milk, it is actually illegal to sell raw milk to consumers in all but a few states in America today.
It is far more profitable to the dairy industry to pasteurize milk to extend its shelf-life, though such denatured milk does nothing whatsoever to extend human life.
Furthermore, pasteurization renders milk from sick cows in unsanitary dairies relatively 'harmless' by killing some, but not all, dangerous germs, and this too cuts costs for the dairy industry.
It required only three generations for Dr. Pottenger's pasteurized milk fed cats to become sterile and enfeebled. That's about how many generations of Americans and Europeans have fed on pasteurized milk. Today, infertility has become a major problem for your American couples, while calcium deficiency has become so rampant that over 90 percent of all American children suffer chronic tooth decay.
To make things worse, milk is now routinely 'homogenized' to prevent the cream from separating from the milk. This involves the fragmentation and pulverization of the fat molecules to the point that they will not separate from the rest of the milk. But it also permits there tiny fragments of milk fat to easily pass through the villa of the small intestine, greatly increasing the amount of denatured fat and cholesterol absorbed by the body. In fact, you absorb more milk-fat from homogenized milk than you do from pure cream!
Women worried about osteoporosis should take note of these facts about pasteurized milk products. That such denatured milk does not deliver sufficient calcium to prevent this condition is abundantly evident from the fact that American women, who consume great quantities of pasteurized milk products, suffer the world's highest incidence of osteoporosis.
Raw cabbage, for example, supplies far more available calcium than any quantity of pasteurized milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or any other denatured dairy product.
Recent studies at the Human Research Centre in Grand Folks, North Dakota, indicates that the element boron is also an essential factor in absorbing calcium from food and utilizing it to build bones.
Even more noteworthy, the level of estrogen in the blood of women given sufficient quantities of boron more than doubled, eliminating the need for estrogen replacement therapy, which is a common stopgap measure against osteoporosis in the West. And where do we find boron? In fresh fruits and vegetables, especially apples, pears, grapes, nuts, cabbage, and other leafy vegetables, where we also find calcium. Nature has already provided abundant sources of all the vital nutrients we need in synergetic form, but man insists on cooking and processing them to death, and then wonders why his diet doesn't 'work'.
Adults should seriously reconsider milk as a constitute of their daily diets, unless they are able to obtain raw certified milk, which is an excellent food.
To stuff children with pasteurized milk in order to make them grow 'strong and healthy' is sheer folly, because they simply cannot assimilate the nutrients.
Indeed men, women, and children alike should eliminate all pasteurized dairy products from their diets, for these denatured dairy products only gum up the intestines with layer upon layer of slimy sludge that interferes with the absorption of organic nutrients.
Correctly combining foods makes all the difference in the world to proper digestion and metabolism.
Without complete digestion, the nutrients in even the most wholesome food cannot be fully extracted and assimilated by the body.
Moreover, incomplete digestion and inefficient metabolism are the prime causes of fat and cholesterol accumulation in the body. A low calorie diet of overcooked, processed and improperly combined foods will still make you fat and leave sticky deposits in your arteries, just as the wrong mix of fuels will leave carbon deposits on the spark plugs of an engine, clog the pistons, and create foul gaseous exhaust.
On the other hand, if foods are properly combined for consumption, then regardless of how many calories or how much cholesterol they contain they will not make you fat or clog up your veins and organs, especially if at least half your daily food intake is taken raw.
If one follows the rules of Trophology, there is no need to be a fanatic about controlling one's diet, no need to count calories, and no need to worry about cholesterol.
Note also that there is no such thing as a food that is 100 percent protein or 100 percent carbohydrate. What counts is whether protein or carbohydrate is the major nutritional element in any particular food.
Generally speaking, if a food item contains 15 percent of more protein, than its categorized as 'protein food', while 20 percent or more carbohydrate makes it a 'carbohydrate food'. When combining different types of food in a single meal, it doesn't matter much if a little bit of protein is added to a basically carbohydrate meal or vice versa, especially if plenty of raw vegetables are included to provide active enzymes and fibrous bulk.
Ideally, one should consume only over variety of food at a single sitting.
A glance at nature proves this point.
Carnivorous animals never consume starchy items with their meat, but they do supplement digestion and occasionally purge their bowels by chewing on wild weeds that have medicinal properties. It has also been observed by bird watchers for centuries that birds eat bugs and worms at one time of day, seeds and berries, at another, but never both together. What makes modern man think that his digestive tract is so different from all other species in nature?
Even though traditional Chinese diet relies heavily on rice, a closer look at Chinese eating habits shows that, up until the mid-twentieth century, the rice was consumed according to the rules of Trophology.
For example, when Chinese families eat at home, their meals are usually heavy in fresh vegetables and bean curd products and very light in meats. When Chinese go out for a big banquet in a restaurant, rice is generally not served at all, specifically so that it does not interfere with the enjoyment and digestion of the meat, fish and fowl that always appear on banquet menus. Today, however, modern lifestyles have eroded these healthy eating habits among urban Chinese, much to the detriment of their health and longevity.
Back in the 1920's, before modern world had much impact on Chinese lifestyles, an extensive study was conducted in China by Western nutritional experts to compare the typical eating habits of Chinese and Americans. The regions surveyed were located in central and coastal China, and rural areas where traditional lifestyles and eating habits had not changed much for many centuries, but where relative peace and prosperity gave local households the full range of choice of foods.
The study revealed that the average Chinese derived over 90 percent of their food energy from grains and grain products, with only 1 percent coming from animal products and all the rest from fresh vegetable sources. A blend of 90 percent carbohydrate and 1 percent protein, supplemented with the enzymes and roughage of fresh fruits and vegetables is about as close to a perfectly combined diet as is practically possible.
The same study then turned towards the eating habits of typical Americans, with most revealing results: 39 percent of the average Americans food energy came from grains, 38 percent from animal products and most of the remaining 23 percent came from refined sugars. Vegetables and fruits accounted for a minuscule portion of the American diet. One could hardly concoct a more poorly balanced diet from the point of view of Trophology!
According to the results of Dr. Pottenger's experiments with cats, the damage from such denatured diets can be transmitted to the next generation.
Let's take a close trophological look at the 'Great American Meal', which is rapidly spreading digestive and metabolic malaise throughout the world via huge corporate fast food chains.
That all-American meal consists of a cheeseburger with French fries, washed down with a milk shake or sweet cola. A cheeseburger contains two different varieties of concentrated protein- meat and cheese. On top of that goes a big, fluffy bun of highly refined white flour- pure starch. Next comes a big bag of deep fried potatoes, thereby adding more concentrated starch, further fattened by deep-frying in stale oil, to the meal. Finally this mess is washed down with a big frozen milk shake, adding pasteurized milk to the meat and starch and the fat, plus several spoons of refined white sugar to thoroughly gum up the works.
Breaking one or two rules of Trophology at any given meal is bad enough, but the 'Great American Meal' breaks at least six! Small wonder that in a recent nationwide health survey in America, reported by an Associated Press bulletin in July 1996, 49 percent of the population reported chronic, daily stomach pain, gastrointestinal distress, constipation, and other ailments of the digestive tract. This web site can bring long term relief to these people, and help the other 51% avoid these sort of problems.
The dietary situation in the Western world is far more serious than any government health authorities care to admit. This is largely because the food industry has become one of the largest, most powerful businesses in the Western world, especially in America, where the processed food industry is represented by one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which decides what foods may be sold in the market, is staffed primarily by professional bureaucrats, not nutritional scientists, and it conducts no scientific tests whatsoever. Instead, it relies on tests and reports submitted by the very corporations which want to get a new food product onto the market!
Raw certified milk has become illegal in most states, and gone are the days when people could go down to a local open-air market to purchase fresh produce, as is still common in Asia and much of Europe.
And so Americans continue to suffer among the world's highest incidence of heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders and other deadly ailments.
Facts are facts, so have a look at the following startling facts about diet and malnutrition in America, compiled by American medical scientists and published in March/April 1958 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A careful comparative examination of the diets and health of beggars in India and apparently healthy young American teenagers revealed that in India the average daily calorie intake of the typical beggar amounted to less that half that of the typical American.
Yet only 6.25 percent of the beggars showed any sign of nutritional deficiency, while a staggering 75 percent of the American teenagers showed signs of severe malnutrition. Only 1.25 percent of the Indian beggars suffered dental cavities, compared with over 90 percent of the young Americans. Conclusion: the typical beggar in India derives greater health from his meager diet than the average American teenager does from his 'rich' diet.
A similar study in Mexico found similar results. The September 1951 issue of Harper's Magazine reports the results of a long-term study of the dietary habits of Mexican peasants, conducted by MIT's Dr. Robert Harris. States the report,
To the surprise of the investigators, these poverty stricken Mexicans showed less evidence of malnutrition than did Michigan school children....
Analysis of all their foods by Dr. Harris' group showed that the Otomis (Indians dwelling in the arid Mesquital Valley north of Mexico City), like the slum dwellers of Mexico City, were obtaining, nearly adequate quantities of all nutrients except riboflavin. In fact, their nutrition was definitely superior to that of the average person living in the Boston and New York areas of the United States!
Source: Daniel Reid: The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity