Food Combining Is Back!

The idea behind food combining is to lose weight in a nutritious and healthy way. In case you forgot, that essentially means - fat loss with muscle gain.

The idea of combining certain foods in specific ratios is nothing new. A diet called "Food Combining" was developed in 1911 by Dr. Hay.

Despite some interesting features of Dr. Hay's diet, it's overall premise is incorrect. He based his food combinations on the end-result or end-product of digestion. The two end-product possibilities were an acid or a base.

In general, Dr. Hay felt that acidic end-products caused disease, including obesity. He developed a food combining chart classifying common foods as protein (mainly acids), neutral, or starch. He would teach dieters to avoid eating too much protein and never eat it with acid vegetables or foods heavy in starch.

Based on current medical knowledge, the science behind food combining was off but his diet was quite balanced and nutritious. Dieters lost weight and kept it off. Upon further examination of his diet, it's not to far off our recommended healthy diet plan.

Beyond the similarities in the food combinations, our diet plan is far from what Dr. Hay attempted to design. The entire acid and base premise he used, we now know is not valid. There is no such state or inner environment as a "wrong chemical condition" in healthy individuals. We can have minor imbalances in energy and metabolism, but acidity is kept within a close range.

The phrase "sustained acid chemical condition" was associated with his diet. Today, a sustained acid condition is called a "metabolic acidosis" and in some cases is life threatening. Dr. Hay felt that this acid condition could deplete alkaline (bases) stores leading to disease. The literature is not clear on the "disease(s)" specifically, but I guess obesity was included.

Again, this is a good diet. The design, if implemented slowly, will lead to weight lose through, mostly, losing fat. Muscle, for the most part, would be spared.

Here is his food combining chart from 1911:

Proteins NeutralStarches
MeatsVegetablesBiscuits
PoultrySaladsBreads
CheeseSeedscakes
EggsNutsCrackers
FishHerbsOats
YoghurtButterPotatoes
OilsHoneyRice


  1. Mix anything from List A with List B

  2. Mix anything from List C with List B

  3. Never mix List A and C!

  4. Mix vegetables or salads with pulses i.e. beans/lentils - make these and unprocessed foods the main part of your diet.


Try and design a few meals based on Dr. Hay's food combining chart. Figure out the number of calories and percent of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Do some research and see if the meal you developed would lead to healthy weight loss.

Dr. Hay did a pretty good job considering he wrote the diet in 1911.

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