While the internet does offer abundant information about nutrition, it also provides an outlet for health myths to continue to spread and misinform people about what they should be eating. Food combining is one trending myth that isn’t substantiated by basic biology, but it continues to grow in popularity.

Before diving into the science of why food combining doesn’t work, it’s important to know what this trend means. Proponents of food combining state that eating certain food combinations can damage your body with toxins and digestive issues that may lead to disease. Specifically, food combining prohibits eating meat with grains or starches, claiming that this combination results in meat putrefying in the body and preventing proper digestion of both the protein and the starch.

Food cannot rot in your stomach.

One claim of food combining is that food can rot in your stomach, which is simply untrue because of the acidic environment of the stomach. Even if you eat a large meal and food waits in the stomach for several hours before your body digests it, there is no risk of rot or altered pH levels in the stomach.

Your digestive system can multi-task.

Another primary argument in favor of food combining says that the body cannot simultaneously digest proteins and starches, which is patently false, because there are many enzymes that work on different types of foods, and these are all released when you eat any type of food and trigger the digestive system to kick on.

Some food combos are beneficial.

While it isn’t true that eating meat and potatoes will cause significant gastrointestinal distress, there are still some food combos that can benefit the body. In these cases, vitamins and minerals work in tandem to increase absorption in the body. For example, eating foods high in vitamin C can aid in the absorption of iron, so you might top your next steak with some grilled red peppers.

If you’re unsure what to believe about nutrition and food science, your best bet is to consult a physician. When you need to fit a doctor visit into your busy schedule, you can count on MeMD for online medical consultations at a flat, affordable per-visit rate.

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