Once you start eating the proper proportion of macronutrients, (carbs, fats, and proteins) and rotating your foods; the next step to optimizing your diet is learning how to properly combine foods. In natures certain nutrients are combined together, and we have naturally adapted a digestive system that responds well to these combinations. For instance natural sources of fats often are combined with proteins, and lack carbohydrates. Meat is a prime example of this. In the modern world, our food is often mixed poorly for our nutritional needs. Processed foods often combine high carbohydrates and fats, which is the single worst combination for fat loss. A paleo style diet is a good start towards eliminating most of these bad food combinations, but to take it a step further, you can separate paleo foods for optimal digestion, blood sugar management and metabolism.
Rule # 1 – Don’t combine fat and carbohydrates
Combining fat and carbohydrates is a double edged sword for fat storage, and this is where fat in the diet can have a negative effect. Most natural fats have many health benefits, but when you combine them with carbs, which increases insulin, fats become bad for your health and your waist line. Fats should be avoided for at least 2 hours before and after a high carb meal.
Rule # 2 – Eat Fats with Protein
Fats and proteins help the digestion and utilization of each other. Our natural source of proteins is wild meat, that was always consumed with fats. Fats allow proper protein digestion and allow your body to use the amino acids for important task like detoxification, muscle repair, and metabolic functions. Proteins are necessary for your body to burn fat, so eating protein with fat, allows you to use fat for energy rather than storing it.
Rule # 3 – Eat lots of Non-Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables should be the staple of your diet. At least half of your plate should always be consisting of non-starchy vegetables. This serves as your main source of dietary fiber. Vegetables also contain plant nutrients and antioxidants that help nutritionally support fat loss, detoxification, and disease prevention/reduction. You can combine these kinds of veggies with anything. Plant nutrients are also your main source of alkalizing buffers which help your body maintain optimal pH. Optimal pH is important for energy, metabolism, and detoxification. If you do not alkalize regularly, your body will become sluggish. Good pH optimizes all nutrients and supplements you take by making your enzymes more efficient.
In closing combining the right foods can be a great way to increase fat loss and digestion, but don’t forget food quality is a combination factor itself. Grain fed meats contain more inflammatory fats which actually act in reverse with optimal digestion and utilization of protein. So opt for organic grass fed meat whenever possible. If it’s not grass fed, you may want to choose the leanest meats possible and add your own healthy fats. A small amount of organic coconut oil, or butter should do the trick.