Part 2 – How to mix food types
Correctly mixing food types is not an all-or-nothing kind of deal. If we don’t do it right once for one meal, we’re not condemned. Choose to mix properly when you can, and switch to this lifestyle in your own good time. The more motivated you are and the better you put theory into practice, the better results you’ll see and enjoy.
So, how to properly mix foodstuffs? Let’s delve right in.
1. Our bodies can correctly digest only one concentrated type of food, without water, at a time
The simplest the meal, the better the digestion. Let’s classify these two simple foods into two categories: concentrated and non-concentrated.
Concentrated foods are those without water content, like all proteins and starches.
- All starches (grains, starchy vegetables, breads, etc.)
- All proteins (fish, chicken, meat, seeds, nuts, etc.)
Non-concentrated foods contain water, and the only truly non-concentrated foods are ripped fruits and non-starch vegetables.
- Ripe fruit
- Non-starch vegetables
That’s right: if you’re doing what I used to do, you’re eating many concentrated foods together on a daily basis, right? Nuts, peanut butter, yoghurt, toast, eggs, rice biscuits, ice cream and many more! The stomach digests various gastric juices for various types of food. The non-concentrated ones are easier to digest than the concentrated ones. Two types of concentrated food eaten together lead to more energy dedicated to digestion and away from our daily goals.
2. Proteins and starches don’t mix
This rule seems to be the deal-breaker. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s in your best interest to become aware of it. Chicken or turkey sandwiches, sushi rolls, grilled fish with wild rice, toast and eggs, Pad Thai Chicken… yes, these are all mismatches!
To understand why proteins and starches don’t mix, we need to understand how they are digested.
After reaching the stomach, they need hydrochloric acid and the enzyme called pepsin to be broken down. Examples of proteins include:
Breaking down starch begins with an enzyme called ptyalin (salivary amylase), that can only work in an alkaline environment. Examples of starches include:
When acidic enzymes have activated, alkaline enzymes go on a break. So, for as long as food is in the stomach but the enzymes only deal with proteins, carbs and fats await their turn. But this is such an important matter, that I’ll dedicated an entire article to it – coming soon!
3. Vegetables are neutral
Vegetables are alkaline, non-concentrated. This makes them easy to digest and they are considered perfectly neutral. If you like chicken or fish, mix them with sautéed vegetable or a fresh green salad. Nuts and seeds can be combined with salads. If you’re craving for starches, like pasta or potatoes, combine them with vegetables.
4. Combine two starches
Although starches are concentrated foods, they are not as difficult to digest as proteins. While simple foods are recommended, two types of starches can be mixed without problems.
5. It’s not good to mix proteins
Proteins are complex chains of amino acids, of various types and chemical compositions. Together, they are the most difficult to digest and break down. First, the body must turn them into amino acids. Since lots of energy is required to do this, we should only eat one protein at a time. Otherwise, proteins won’t be fully broken down and will decompose in the digestive tract.
Animal proteins are more complex and thus harder to break down than vegetal ones, like seeds, nuts, sea algae, so this rule only applies to animal proteins. Vegetal proteins can be mixed without issue.
However, mixing eggs and bacon or eating a fish entrée before a main dish of chicken is not recommended. Two types of fish or two dishes with chicken at the same meal are not a problem, as long as you remember that meals should be simple, to save on energy.
6. Fats should be used in moderation next to proteins (animal or vegetal), but they are not a problem next to carbs
Fat mixes well with starch-based types of food but inhibits digestion of proteins. However, a small amount can be mixed with proteins. For instance, even if we eat a meal of raw foodstuffs, it is not recommended to eat lots of nuts with a whole avocado (fat!) – it could make it more difficult to lose weight.
A large intake of greens can neutralise the interaction of a moderate quantity of protein with a crude fat. For instance, food with green salad means that you can use a small amount of oil, but should eat with moderation, and a good part of the salad should be eaten first, as it’s alkaline. If, however, you aim to cut down weight, you should completely leave out the oil and let the proteins be digested by themselves!
7. Only eat fruit on an empty stomach
Fruit increases our vitality, ensuring vitamins, minerals and pure filtered water to our bodies. In other words: they’re wonder food, the nectar of the gods!
Fruits are the fastest to be broken down; they are out of the stomach in 20 to 30 minutes. If you think that a fruit salad is ideal for desert, think again! If the fruit has to wait for the digestion of heavier foods to be complete, they will ferment and make the whole meal acidic.
Fruits, except melons, are well mixed with fresh vegetables, raw.
THE GOOD WAY:
Examples of correct mixes
The following are examples showing that we can all start, no matter what we currently eat, to practice a healthier way of mixing different types of food.
- Sushi rolls with avocado
- Guacamole with salad and corn chips
- Bagel with organic butter
- Grilled meat with sautéed vegetables
- An apple followed, 20 minutes later, by an omlette
- Pasta primavera (pasta and vegetables)
- Baked chicken with broccoli
Leave a comment below to tell me your favourite mixes that put together the right kinds of food! I hope this information will help you reach your goals without many restrictions leaving you unsatisfied. I can hardly wait for you to try this concept, to see how spectacular the results can be!
Food pairings cheat sheet
Save this image & keep it as a handy reference to always know good and bad food combos!