Re: Diet-Food Combining

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 10 May 1997 19:25:27 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sat, 10 May 1997, ard wrote:

> After more than 20 years as a vegetarian, we know something about "food
> combining". We have not read the "Fit For Life" book, but the information
> we have has to do with the Essential Amino Acids (EAA). The eight EAA are
> those which we cannot synthesize. Our protein pattern requires that we
> consume these EAAs in relationship to each other at the same meal. If a
> food is low in one of these EAAs, the usable protein is less.

I'm not a nutrition expert, but this sounds highly unlikely (and just the
kind of "common sense" explanation that seems to be so common in
non-scientific dieting). The epithelium in the guts doesn't absorb
nutrients in special ratios, it just absorbs available nutrients and let's
the liver deal with them. If you eat too little of one EAA you will still
get enough of the other amino acids.

It should be noted that it is fairly rare to have deficiencies in the diet
of EAAs, since they are quite common in general. According to a chemistry
text I found somewhere, it makes evolutionary sense not to vaste
metabolism making amino acids that you can easily get from your food. So
my guess is that combining foods is just a simple strategy to be sure you
have all nutrients you need by ingesting a bigger mixture, nothing more,
nothing less. It should be noted that animalic food contains all EAA, it
is just vegans who need to worry (?) about them and eat a somewhat more
diverse diet.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y