Learn Everything You Need To Know About Food Combining

Food combining refers to an ancient eating philosophy. However, this concept has become very popular in the recent past. Proponents of diets featuring food combining believe that improper combinations of food can lead to toxic buildup, digestive distress, and disease. At the same time, they believe that the right combinations can help in relieving these problems. So, let’s have a look at different aspects related to food combining.


food combining

The term ‘food combining’ refers to the idea that specific foods go well together, while other foods do not pair well. The common belief is that when you combine foods improperly, then it could lead to negative digestive and health effects. For instance, you cannot eat potatoes with steak.

The principles of food combining first made their appearance in the Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India. However, these principles became widely popularized in the mid-1800s with the ‘trophology’ term, also known as the science of food combining.

The food-combining principles were revived by the Hay diet in the early 1900s. Since then, these principles have become a solid base for various modern diets. Usually, food-combining diets assign foods to diverse groups. These groups are usually divided into starches, carbs, vegetables, fruits (including acidic fruits, melons, and sweet fruits), fats, and proteins.

Alternatively, some food plans classify food-combining diets as either alkaline, acidic, or neutral. So, the food-combining chart shows how one should combine these different groups in a meal.

Examples of Food Combining Rules

As stated above, the laws of combining foods can somewhat vary depending on the source. However, common food combining rules are as follows:

  • Eat fruits only on an empty stomach, specifically melons.
  • Do not combine proteins and starches.
  • Do not combine acidic foods with starches.
  • Do not combine different kinds of protein.
  • Consume dairy products only on an empty stomach, specifically milk.

Apart from these general rules, you should not mix protein with fat, should eat sugars alone only, and should consume vegetables and fruits separately always.

Two Common Beliefs Behind Food Combining

The general food combining rules are based mostly on two beliefs. The first one is that as different foods are digested at diverse speeds, combining fast-digesting foods with slow-digesting foods causes a traffic jam in the digestive tract. This leads to negative health and digestive consequences.

Another belief is that different foods need different enzymes to get broken down and these enzymes function at different pH levels or different acidity levels in your gut.

The main idea is that if two foods need different pH levels, your body cannot digest both properly simultaneously. The proponents of food combining diets claim that these principles are important to proper digestion and health.

Also, it is believed that combining foods improperly leads to negative health consequences like digestive distress, diseases, and toxin production.

So, when it comes to food combining diets, there are lots of variations. Generally, the rules remain quite the same. Here is an overview of the food combining guidelines that you can follow:

Protein: Do not eat protein with starchy foods, such as grains, squash, rice, or bread. Here, proteinsincludes seafood, cheese, meat, and eggs.

Starchy Vegetables and Grains: Eat starchy vegetables and carb-heavy foods, such as bread and grains with non-starchy cooked vegetables like leafy greens and not proteins.

Alcohol:Some alcoholic beverages can be taken on a food combination plan. Dry white and red wines are considered in the category of proteins. So, consume these two with other proteins. Ale and beer are starchy and thus, drink them with cooked vegetables or other starches.

Fruit:It is recommended to avoid sweet fruits. Choose low-sugar or sour fruits instead. Eat only seeds, nuts, and dried fruits with raw vegetables.

Sugar: Do not consume refined sugar as well as products that contain refined sugar. Also, avoid processed foods as they comprise fats and sugars.

Neutral Foods:Specific foods, including almond milk, dark chocolate, egg yolks, coconut water, butter, cream, oil, and lemons are considered neutral. They can be combined with any foods of your choice.

Now, watch this video to check out some wrong food combinations that you should avoid at any cost!

Food Combining Chart

The following food combination chart highlights incompatible foods. Plus, this food combining chart offer suggestions for proper food combining. It is a useful guide that lets you know what combinations do not function for your body. Now, have a glance at appropriate and inappropriate food combinations!





Vegetables, seeds, grains, nuts, and other beans

Milk, fruit, meat, eggs, fish, cheese, and yogurt

Ghee & Butter

Vegetables, seeds, grains, nuts, beans, eggs, cooked fruits, and fish

Butter might not combine well with other foods as ghee


Vegetables and grains

Beans, fruits, eggs, yogurt, hot drinks, and milk


Best enjoyed alone. Oatmeal, rice, dates, almonds, and pudding

Other foods, especially bananas, melons, cherries, eggs, breads, yogurt, meat, sour fruits, yeasted breads, starches, and fish


Vegetables and grains

Beans, fruits, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, meat, hot drinks, and nightshades


Non-starchy vegetables and grains

Cheese, fruits, milk, potatoes, fish, beans, and meat


Other fruits having similar qualities. For instance, a berry medley, pears and apples, and citrus go together

Other foods excluding other fruits, dates with milk, and cooked combinations


Fine with other foods if used for flavoring and garnish purposes in a small amount

Tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt, and milk. Use lime with tomatoes and cucumbers


Other melons

Everything, especially eggs, dairy, grains, starches, and fried foods.


Vegetables, eggs, beans, seeds, nuts, yogurt, cheese, meat, other grains, and fish



Beans, grains, cheese, meat, yogurt, fish, seeds, nuts, eggs, and other vegetables

Milk and fruit


(include eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers)

Grains, meat, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, and other vegetables

Fruits, cheese, milk, yogurt, and cucumber.

Additionally, there are certain preparations that are quite challenging when combined with specific foods. Have a look at the following food combining chart too!




Hot Drinks

Most foods, if hot drinks have other foods like almond milk, milk, rice milk, fruit, then refer to that specific food.

Cheese, mangoes, fish, yogurt, starches, and meat


Freshly cooked foods

Raw Foods

Other raw foods, but in a small quantity

Cooked foods, especially in a large quantity

With such principles of different food combinations, food combining made easy. All of these principles could feel overwhelming and irritatingly complicated. However, the rationale behind these food combinations makes sense. Generally, combining mismatched items generates a toxic substance, known as ama. This substance is the main reason behind disease and imbalance. So, it is better to follow this fruit combining chart if you like to strike a good healthy balance.

Embracing food combining slowly assists you in cultivating a refined awareness about how your dietary choices affect you. Appropriate food combining awakes the innate intelligence of your body. Also, embracing good food combination habits gets simpler with patience and time.


So, the food-combining principles are not based on science. The claim that combining foods improperly leads to toxins and diseases in the body is not to be found. When you feel that the food combining rules work fine for you, then you can continue to do so. In that case, there is no requirement to fix it. 

However, food combining diets are usually unmanageable and overwhelming for many people. This happens due to the so many complex rules that they entail. Additionally, there is no proof that they provide any special benefits.

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