By a strange quirk of nature some people are unable to digest protein, starch and acid foods when eaten at the same meal. In certain individuals this conflict can make them ill and sometimes it can take years to discover the cause. It has been proved that by simply changing to eating particular groups of foods separately, that is foods that don't fight, the result can be very beneficial for them.
INSTANT RELIEF FROM LONG STANDING COMPLAINTS
This is nothing new, nor is it a diet as such. Food Combining, as it is called, was first introduced by an American doctor, Dr. William Howard Hay, way back in the 1920's when he was suffering from a kidney disease. He found this different method of eating the same foods but not at the same time virtually cured him of his complaint. Later Doris Grant, famous among other things for her quick wholemeal bread recipe, promoted Food Combining after she was cured of her crippling joint pains and chronic indigestion. As a young woman, she tried the Hay system as a last resort and experienced instant relief. When she published a book on the subject she received a steady stream of appreciative letters from people saying how their lives had been transformed after adhering to the simple food combining rules, one of whom was the actor Sir John Mills. Arthritic pains, migraine, abdominal discomfort, stomach ulcers, obesity and various food intolerances miraculously disappeared according to the readers of Doris Grant's best selling book 'Food Combining for Health'. Although written in the 1980's this book is still available and is as popular as ever.
ALKALINE, PROTEIN AND STARCH MEALS
Here are some examples of different categories of meals:
An alkaline meal would include salad, fresh fruit, milk and yoghurt and any vegetables except potatoes.
A protein meal would consist of meat, fish, cheese, eggs, butter, cream, olive oil, vegetables but not potatoes, salads and fresh fruit.
A starch meal would consist of a choice of whole grains or flour, wholemeal bread, butter, cream, egg yolk, olive oil, potatoes in their jackets, vegetables, sweet ripe fruits and dried fruit.
Some food items are neutral so can be eaten with either a protein or a starch meal. These would include nearly all vegetables (except potatoes) and salads. A full explanation and list of foods in each category can be found in the book by Doris Grant and Jean Joice.
The late Dr. Walter Yellowlees, one of the founders of the McCarrison Society for Nutrition and Health, was interested in food combining and in one of the newsletters he quoted some case histories of which he had personal knowledge. One concerned a 51 year old schoolmaster who had suffered from recurring migraine headaches for about twenty years. Blinding headaches occurred several times every week and in some weeks every day. He had already tried eliminating from his diet cheese, chocolate and coffee without effect. Once he switched to the Food Combining system the effect was immediate. He had no headaches at all thereafter except for one occurrence when on holiday and unable to keep to the food combining rules.
Another case was a 56 year old business man who suffered from very bad headaches associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) i.e. irregular bowel movements, abdominal discomfort and sometimes explosive diarrhoea. He also suffered from severe insomnia. Four weeks after starting the food combining system his headaches had gone, his insomnia was greatly improved and his IBS symptoms much better. He had also lost a stone in weight. Dramatic weight loss is a feature of the recorded effect of the food combining system.
LIFELONG MISERIES BANISHED
Dr. Yellowlees remarked ' One thing seems certain. The number of individuals whose distressing complaints are due to an inability to digest starches and proteins at the same time is large enough to have made Mrs Grant's book a best-seller. People whose lifelong miseries have suddenly been banished by such a simple method tend to rush and tell their friends.'
The rules of the Hay System are very simple.
1. Starches and sugars should not be eaten with proteins and acid fruits at the same meal.
2. Vegetables, salads and fruits, especially raw, should form the major part of the diet.
3. Proteins, starches and fats should be eaten in small quantities.
4. Only whole grains and unprocessed starches should be used and all refined and processed food should be eliminated from the diet. This particularly applies to white flour and sugar and all foods containing them, all highly processed fats such as margarine and all artificially coloured and sweetened food and drinks such as squashes and colas.
5. An interval of 4 to 4½ hours should elapse between meals of a different character.
HIDDEN INTOLERANCES REVEALED
This method of treating many different complaints has proved to be very successful for scores of people who have what seems to be a hidden intolerance to certain foods when eaten together. Although some doctors might raise an eyebrow and dismiss the idea as being 'all in the mind', Dr. Yellowlees himself admitted that it went against some theories he was taught in medical school but added 'There is much that we do not know of human digestion and the exact cause of the symptoms of food intolerance or allergy remain a mystery."
Ref. Food Combining for Health Doris Grant and Jean Joice