27.09.2020

Separate food: a myth that helps to lose weight

Summer is the most suitable time to adapt to a new diet

“Man is what he eats,” Pythagoras said long ago. Today, there are many different theories and approaches to nutrition. One of the most ancient and controversial is the theory of separate nutrition. What are the principles of separate nutrition, is it really as useful as its adherents claim, and what do nutritionists say about it, the correspondent of SE explained. 

The classical theory of separate nutrition was proposed by the American physician Herbert Shelton in 1928. He believed that if foods that are incompatible with each other get into the stomach at the same time, their digestion becomes difficult, since different conditions are necessary for digesting different types of products: an acidic medium is required for the digestion of proteins, and alkaline for carbohydrates.

For example, eaten on an empty stomach apple leaves it after 15-20 minutes. If you eat it after the meat, the apple lingers in the stomach and causes the process of fermentation and decay. As a result, both products will go to the lower digestive tract poorly treated. This will lead not only to the deposition of fat, but also to increased stress on the pancreas, and undigested food residues, accumulating in the large intestine, can cause a number of diseases.

Based on this approach, Shelton formulated the basic principles of separate nutrition:

1. Eat carbohydrate and sour food at different times. 
Do not eat bread, potatoes, peas, beans, bananas, dates and other carbohydrate foods with lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, tomatoes and other sour fruits.

2. Eat protein and carbohydrates at different times. 
Together with bread, cereals, potatoes, cakes, sweet fruits you can not eat nuts, meat, eggs, cheese and other protein foods.

3. Eat fats and proteins at different times. 
Do not take in one meal nuts and meat, eggs and meat, cheese and nuts or cheese and eggs, etc. Milk, if it is consumed at all, it is better to take it separately.

4. Do not eat two different proteins in one meal. 
That is, do not eat cream, butter, vegetable oil with meat, eggs, cheese, nuts and other proteins.

5. Eat proteins and sour fruits at different times. 
Do not eat oranges, lemons, tomatoes, pineapples along with meat, eggs, cheese and nuts.

6. Eat starches and sugar at different times. 
Jelly, jams, sugar, honey, syrups on bread or in one reception with cereals, potatoes cause fermentation.

7. You can eat only one type of starch in one session. 

8. There are no incompatible products: milk, watermelons and melons. 
This means that three of these products are better to eat separately. True, Shelton admits that he can not give an exact physiological justification for this rule.

Director of the Siberian Federal Center for Healthy Nutrition, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Chief Expert of the Institute of Nutrition of the RAMS Yakov Novoselov explains the unreasonable nature of separate food as follows. First, in any product in different ratios, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are contained. Secondly, a healthy organism produces the same composition of gastric juice, pancreatic and bile enzymes, regardless of what food gets into it.

Indeed, digestion of the protein requires an acidic environment, and for carbohydrates – alkaline. But the acidic medium is present in the stomach, and it is there that the proteins are digested, and the alkaline medium is in the duodenum, the carbohydrates contained in the food are digested in it. Therefore, any food you eat sooner or later will be digested, but it will be much easier for the body to eat if it is food of one category.

All of the above does not mean that modern medicine is a categorical opponent of separate food.

“When a person begins to eat separately, he disciplines his food, does not snack during the day 5-6 times with cookies, sweets, sandwiches. At it the certain awareness is developed.

Moreover, such nutrition causes a doubtless psycho-emotional effect, because a person believes that this is good for him – the placebo effect works, “comments Yakov Novoselov.

In addition, adhering to the principles of separate nutrition, you bring stability to the work of the body. Therefore, if, eating separately, you decided to break this stability and go back to pies and sandwiches, be as careful as possible towards your digestion and make this transition as gently as possible.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Hospital Therapy with the course of clinical nutrition of the NGMA Shpagina Lyubov Anatolyevna recommends periodically to separate food, as it removes from the digestive system the tension associated with the production of enzymes for digesting food.

Suitable for separate meals is summer or autumn. For a longer period, separate nutrition is not recommended, since for optimal digestion many foods must be eaten in the right combination. And sometimes this combination contradicts the principles of separate nutrition. 

• It is better to drink meat juices or compotes that contain ascorbic acid, selenium (from orange, grapefruit, currant, dogrose). This will promote the body’s absorption of iron, which is rich in meat. Coffee and tea are discouraged by such assimilation. If the question concerns the choice of garnish for meat, then, of course, most suitable vegetables, which also contribute to the assimilation of nutrients found in meat.

• Greek saladis a very “right” dish, because the products contained in it are combined in such a way that it will be easy to digest their stomach, and the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body will be maximized.

• Cheese with olives or greens. Under these organic ingredients, the nutrients in the cheese, including calcium, are absorbed much better, while the bread slows down the digestion process.

“The most important in the process of nutrition is the set of products,” Lyubov Anatolyevna believes. “If a separate diet includes all the foods needed by the body, as well as vitamins and trace elements, then it only serves good.”

Therefore, pay attention to the quality of products on your table, eat seasonal food – now it’s berries, vegetables and greens. And most importantly – listen carefully to your body. He knows for sure which food is most useful for you.

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