Food pairing — or pairing certain types of foods with meals — is a common practice thought to be associated with various health benefits.
Some variations, including the Ayurvedic practice of food pairing, have strict rules and regulations about which foods should be eaten together and which should be avoided.
Conversely, other food pairing options are flexible, easy to use, and may even be supported by science.
This article will take a closer look at the concept of food pairing, whether it works for weight loss, and whether it provides any health benefits.
Food combining is a concept based on the idea that eating certain foods together can provide certain health benefits, such as increased weight loss or improved digestion.
Proponents of food pairing argue that certain nutrients found in different foods can complement each other and work together in the body. It is also believed to ease digestion and help prevent overeating, which can lead to weight loss in some people.
There are several variations on this eating model, some of which involve a complex set of rules and are not supported by any actual evidence.
For example, some food combining diets recommend never eating carbs and protein at the same meal, eating certain types of fruit only on an empty stomach, or avoiding water altogether with meals.
Others advise dividing foods into categories such as animal protein, starch, fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds, and sticking to just one category per meal.
While there has been no research to support these claims, some other types of food combinations may be beneficial for weight loss and certain other aspects of health.
Food combining is based on the idea that combining certain foods can promote weight loss and improve overall health. While some options involve complex and arbitrary rules not based on research, some other food combinations may be beneficial.
While there is no research available to support specific food pairing practices, such as avoiding fruit on an empty stomach or choosing one type of food at a meal, other options may be helpful.
In particular, pairing high-protein foods and healthy fats with high-carbohydrate foods can help stabilize blood sugar levels to prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes and drops.
In addition to symptoms like trembling and dizziness, low blood sugar can also increase hunger (3).
By regulating blood sugar and managing hunger levels, and combining macronutrients including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates with meals, you can consume fewer calories overall, which can potentially aid weight management.
Research shows that a high protein diet can increase weight loss and alter levels of certain hormones involved in hunger and appetite to promote satiety (fullness).
In addition, fat slows down gastric emptying, which can contribute to feelings of fullness between meals (6).
For this reason, eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods as part of a balanced diet is an excellent approach to weight loss.
MyPlate, a nutritional guide published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides more detailed visual guidance on what a balanced meal might look like and is a good general example of an effective food pairing for weight management and overall health (7). .
Combining carbs with protein and healthy fats at every meal can help stabilize blood sugar levels and increase satiety, which can help promote weight loss.
In addition to boosting your weight loss efforts and supporting blood sugar control, combining foods rich in protein, fat, and carbohydrates at each of your meals may also have other benefits.
First, it can make it much easier to meet your nutritional needs by following a varied diet that includes all food groups.
It’s also a much more sustainable diet than the fad weight-loss diets, many of which eliminate certain foods or eliminate entire food groups entirely.
In addition, a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, high-fiber carbohydrates, and healthy fats is also recommended to support heart health and protect against chronic disease.
In addition, a balanced diet can not only support healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, but it can also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the long term (
While more research is needed on the potential effects of combining certain foods, it is clear that combining a balanced diet with a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity is beneficial for many aspects of health.
Including a good source of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates at every meal as part of a balanced diet can protect against chronic disease and make it easier to meet your nutritional needs. It’s also a healthier and more sustainable approach than fad diets that promise quick weight loss.
Combining high-protein or high-fat foods with high-fiber carbohydrates is a great way to stabilize your blood sugar, induce satiety, and promote sustainable weight loss if that’s your goal.
It can also make it easier to ensure that your nutritional needs are met and that you have enough proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your daily diet.
Here are some examples of nutritious food combinations to get you started:
- whole grain bagel with fried egg and avocado
- baked salmon with brown rice and broccoli
- omelet with vegetables and cheese, as well as fruit, hash browns or English muffin
- sandwich with turkey, spinach, tomato and guacamole
- oatmeal in dairy or soy milk mixed with walnuts and berries
- whole wheat toast with cream cheese and scrambled eggs
- fresh fruit with yogurt and chia seeds
- wrap with feta, chicken and vegetables
Feel free to mix and match the other ingredients in the examples above to tailor them to your tastes, but make sure every macronutrient, including proteins, fats, and carbs, is on your plate to see the most benefit.
The dishes listed above are just a few examples of nutrient-balanced food combinations you can try at home.
What foods can you eat together for weight loss?
Including a good source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats with every meal is a great approach to sustainable weight loss. These nutrients increase satiety and stabilize blood sugar levels, helping you achieve or maintain a moderate weight.
Try some of the combinations listed above, or get creative and experiment with your favorite products to find what works for you.
Can certain foods (or food combinations) help burn fat?
Some foods contain nutrients that can temporarily increase your metabolism, which is an important mechanism for weight loss. However, note that the only effective and sustainable way to shed fat and promote weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn each day (
Do certain foods (or combinations of foods) speed up metabolism?
Protein-rich foods require more energy to digest and may temporarily increase the number of calories you burn. In addition, studies show that several other ingredients, such as chili peppers or coffee, can also increase your metabolism slightly.
However, keep in mind that the effects of these products are minimal and only temporary.
For this reason, it’s best to include these foods in a balanced diet and pair them with resistance training and increased protein intake, which can help increase muscle mass and boost your resting metabolic rate (
Food combining is based on the idea that certain nutrients found in certain foods can complement each other and provide health benefits or promote weight loss.
While some food pairing options are not based on any scientific evidence, pairing carbohydrates with healthy fats and a good source of protein is one food pairing strategy that can be beneficial.
In addition to improving blood sugar control, including all three macronutrients at every one of your meals can help you meet your nutritional needs. It can also promote long-term and sustainable weight loss, especially when combined with regular physical activity.