Food Faux Pas: Foods You Should Never Combine

Food combining is a concept that has been around for centuries. It suggests that eating certain foods together can cause digestive discomfort or hamper nutrient absorption. While some combinations are quite intuitive, others may surprise you.

This article dives into the science and traditional wisdom behind food combining, revealing some surprising diet tips along the way.

Understanding Food Combining

The idea behind food combining is that different foods require different digestive enzymes and varying digestion times. Combining foods incorrectly can purportedly slow digestion, leading to bloating, indigestion, and impaired absorption of nutrients.

However, it's important to note that the scientific evidence supporting food combining is limited. Nonetheless, some people find that these principles improve their digestion and overall feeling of wellness.

Surprising Food Combinations to Avoid

  1. Fruit with Meals: Fruits digest faster than most foods. If eaten with slower-digesting foods like grains or proteins, they may stay in the stomach too long, potentially leading to fermentation and gas. This is why some diet principles recommend eating fruit on an empty stomach or at least 30 minutes before a meal.
  2. Protein and Starch: According to food combining rules, proteins (meat, fish, dairy) require an acidic environment for digestion, while starches (bread, potatoes, rice) require an alkaline environment. Eating them together can neutralize the stomach environment, impeding digestion.
  3. Dairy with Fruit: Many people enjoy fruit-flavored yogurts or a cheese and fruit platter. However, according to food combining, the high protein content in dairy can slow digestion, leading to the fermentation of the sugar in fruit.
  4. Animal Protein and Cheese: Combining two dense sources of protein, like meat and cheese, can be challenging for the body to digest, potentially leading to bloating and discomfort.
  5. Lemon and Milk: The acid in lemon can cause milk to curdle, which might lead to indigestion.

Considerations and Limitations

While these principles can be helpful for some people, they are not universally applicable. Each person's digestive system is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Moreover, the scientific evidence supporting food combining is limited, and many health professionals argue that a balanced, varied diet is more critical for health than avoiding specific food combinations.


Although the principles of food combining are not universally accepted in the scientific community, some people find them useful in managing digestive issues.

As with any diet strategy, it's important to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes. After all, diet is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and the key to healthy eating is balance, variety, and moderation.