Food Combination Charts: Just Say No

I’m bringing my mini-series on food combination charts to an abrupt end.

Having looked deeper into the second combination from that chart, I strongly suspect that the widely copied article on which it is based is nothing but a gimmick.

I looked into the claims for apples combined with chocolate. I could not find the science that was attributed to Halliwell in the original article. I did find an Italian study that supported the combination of quercetin and catechin for inhibiting platelet function. However, this is pure laboratory science (in vitro). That might encourage comprehensive human nutrition investigations in real life (in vivo). As far as I can see, no such studies have been done. The likely reason for lack of further research is that it is pointless.

In real life, we all eat various combinations of food. It’s called a meal. We eat various meals with different food combinations during the day. It’s called a meal plan, or diet. Now, for most people, all that is required is a good variety of foods to provide all the nutrients required for that day. If we focus on a single combination, we might ignore other essential nutrients.

I believe that food combination charts are wrong, because they give the wrong emphasis. For one person in a million, a certain food combination might be beneficial to their health. That requires intensive personal testing that has nothing to do with general nutrition research. That food combination is irrelevant to 999,999 other people.

So, if combining apples and chocolate improves the health of one person in a million, that is good for that person, but irrelevant for you. More than irrelevant, it is dangerous. Just because chemically produced quercetin and catechin combine to good effect in the lab, does not mean that apples and chocolate are a healthy combination for you. Inhibiting platelet function is a common medical practice. It is the reason why millions of people take daily low-dose aspirin. But that is controlled, tested, and monitored. Trying to achieve similar results by distorting your diet is not healthy. Therefore, there is no such thing as a healthy food combination chart.

Combine Food for Taste not Health PhotoInstead, we need to focus on total diet, whilst recognizing that some foods are generally healthier than others. This means looking at the bigger picture of how we eat, and how we buy and prepare our food.

In the course of my research into food combinations, I have seen a healthier approach to eating.

Stay tuned for a new look at food, diets, nutrition, and healthy eating.