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For better digestion, don’t combine protein and starch?

Senior nutritionist looks into the validity of the claim that combing starch and protein in your meal disrupts digestion.

Q Lots of theories abound regarding food combining. Is it true that you shouldn’t combine protein and starch?

A Biochemistry and nutrition have come a long way in the last 95 years since the concept of ‘food combining’ was introduced; it’s unfortunate some still promote this theory.

According to the theory, protein and starches can’t be digested together, so should not be combined in meals.

There is no scientific basis to this claim, in fact most foods are already a combination of the major nutrients. Bread, rice and potatoes all contain protein, fat and water in addition to the carbohydrate, so food combining is difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Your digestive system secretes enzymes for digestion based on the composition of the meal eaten – not the other way around – and it’s capable of managing any composition of food you send it.

Date modified: 17 March 2022
First published: Oct 2006


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