Okay, to start, I hope this is in the right forum.
Yesterday I was having my customary piece of fruit after dinner. My father walked by and told me that because of poor food combining that that apple was going to rot in my stomach before all the other foods and just sit on top and ruin the rest of the foods underneath. I challenged his logic on this, and he became angry and left.
So I was wondering--is food combining even remotely based in fact? He said he has done "all sorts of reading" on the subject, and that he knows what foods to combine, etc. If it's not true, do you know of any research on the subject?
A bit of info that might help: for the longest time he did that Suzanne Somer's diet plan. He roped my mother and I into it (I couldn't have been more than 12 at the time)--and I remember I couldn't have carbs with protein, or whatever. I have since moved on, but he's the one eating lunch meat right out of the package because he "can't combine the bread with the meat".
Anything I can show him to tell him that his food combining ideas are (most likely) incorrect?
honestly, the science always seems so-so on food combining, all i know is i feel better when i don't combine things poorly. i mostly try to avoid doing fat/suagr combos because of blood sugar (fat will keep the sugar in your blood longer) and combine things that take similar amounts of time to digest.
Actually eating simple carbs (sugar) with a fat or protein is wise, for exactly the reason mentioned, to slow the conversion of sugar to glucose. This increases the likelihood that blood glucose and insulin levels remain steady, rather than spiking and dropping.
Eating certain foods with certain other foods can affect the absorption of nutrients, one way or the other, but you'll make yourself crazy trying to work this all out. My advice is to read as much info, from reputable sources (not Susanne Somers), rather than making decision based on the sugestion of a non_professional. In the meantime listen to your body.
I've done a lot of reading on food combining, and here are my thoughts...
There is science behind the way different foods digest, and how they combine together. How that science is applied can take a huge variety of directions when given as advice to people. The difficulty, in my opinion, with making any hard & fast rules is that everyone is slightly different, and there are a million variables inside the human body. So what might be great for one person might be terrible for another.
For instance - my brother lived in China for 5 years, and when he came back to North America with his Chinese wife he had terrible gas and indigestion from eating North American food. He simplified his food combinations, and eliminated the really bad gas he was getting. His wife, on the other hand, needs certain food combinations (like protein or fat with carbs) because otherwise her metabolism just flies right through her food and she loses weight. And she's super skinny, so that was not a good thing... especially when she was pregnant.
Fruit or any sweet thing after a meal usually causes some gas, but if it doesn't for you then that food combination should be fine. The other thing to keep in mind is that food combining doesn't have to be a permanent way of eating. The idea is that when you simplify your combinations, your stomach & digestive system have a chance to heal any issues and get working at maximum efficiency. Then once things are working smoothly, you can usually reintroduce certain combos that might have given you trouble before.
Like was said before - the most important thing is to listen to your own body because no matter what scientific studies are done, you're the person that's important.
I found a book called 'Eating Alive' to be a good overview of the topic, though he doesn't get much into scientific data. Hope that helps!
I don't know anything about nutrition science, so I can't weigh in here, but I curious what he thinks the consequences of improper food combining are.
Well, I don't have any idea when it comes to major food groups, but I do know that some nutrients are easier/harder to make the most of when combined with other foods. For example, it's hard for the body to absorb nonheme iron (which is the one found in vegetable sources), but it's better absorbed when combined with vitamin c. That's why many iron supplements also contains vitamin c. Caffeine makes it harder to absorb iron, so it's best to avoid caffeine at meals. Another example is lipophilic vitamins, that are made better use of when combined with fat.