Understanding Food Combinations

Not sure who came up with the theory that if it’s all on your plate, it’s all going to the same place. That, my friends, is only partially true. It’s all going to your gut but not all being digested properly. Most of the items you eat daily are just wasting away in your stomach with very little nutritional gain because they were never consumed properly in the first place. For years, physiologist’s have observed the efficiency of the digestive system in relationship to food combinations and timing and identified a great dependency. Our bodies work in a structural system and when steps are missed, the body malfunctions. The human digestive systems works best when things are simple and pairings are not complex. No other mammal eats something new every meal let alone combines carbohydrates with proteins during their meals. These principles apply to us as well even though we abusively do not comply.

The information below is going to shake you up a bit. Don’t be alarmed. The Standard American Diet is not focused on providing any of this information to the general population therefore majority of us are ignorant to how to get the most out of our food. The good news is that following this process is beneficial to all, as the digestion system functions the same for most humans. Please note that this is merely a piece of the puzzle and not the holy grail to perfect digestion. What I’m trying to say is that you can’t just eat french fries all day and expect a stellar digestive system. There is so much to learn but the purpose of this site is to educate in the best way we know how.

It is not what we eat

but what we digest that matters.



  1. the process of breaking down food by mechanical and enzymatic action in the alimentary canal into substances that can be used by the body.

    • a person's capacity to break down food into substances that can be used by the body.

The nutritional process of digestion happens in three stages.

  1. Proteins are broken into various amino acids.

  2. Carbohydrates are transform into glucose.

  3. Fats are broken down into fatty acids.

Think of the human body like a machine. These stages are all necessary to rebuild the system that is your human body. Each piece serves a vital part of your hardwiring to prevent malfunctions. Food is your lube your mouth is the power button, your stomach the circuit board, and your small intestines produce your output. Digestion begins when food enters the mouth and is masticated with saliva. Your taste buds are popping and sending signals to the brain. Certain enzymes are secreted and reserved depending on the food type. Food then leaves your mouth and passes through the esophagus and into your stomach. Gastric juices which are made from pepsin, hydrochloric acid, intrinsic factor, mucus and water, are secreted from the stomach which help to break down the food. Problem with this is that everything is not broken down equally.Proteins and starches require way more enzymes than fruits and leafy greens do.

One thing to note is that every process of digestion is dependant on the other. The intestines are dependent on the stomach and mouth to help break food down in each stage. Steps get skipped when improper combinations are introduced. The natural process is thrown off. Once the food gets to the intestines each food group is passed through the tract at a different speed. Fruits are the fastest to process with starches and proteins taking a lot longer to complete gastric digestion. The shady part about that is that the food that needs the most attention will go through the intestines first, If there is food that is still in the stomach because it didn’t get broken down, it will begin to ferment. Matter fact, it just decomposes which leads to severe health complications. Wild right? Remember that digestion is breaking down food to be USED BY THE BODY. Leftover food in the stomach is not used and therefore can not go through digestion rather decomposition. Here are the classifications for proper combining.

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Here is a guide to combinations of food that are the compatible for the human digestive system. We suggest evaluating your diet according to these common yet improper sequences and see if what you are mixing together is aiding to your gas and indigestion. Be good to your system and your system will be good to you.


Acid / starch

All acids destroy the enzyme that helps to break down starches. This enzyme is called salivary amylase and gets kicked out of the equation in the mouth. This includes the acids in fruits and vinegar. When the food get to your stomach the fruits will be held and result in fermentation.


protein / starch

Another case of salivary amylase but in this case it is due to the fact that protein needs high amounts of hydrochloric acid to help break down the protein.



Just like the muscle and meat tenderness of every type of meat is different, so is the digestive time and process. Eating two proteins at the same time requires extra work on your digestive system because of the inequalities stated. This mainly applies to meats as most nuts are safe for combining.



The main enzyme needed to break down protein, pepsin, is only active in the presence of hydrochloric acid. If any other acid is added to the picture it interrupts that process. The proteins will then be digested through the intestines and the acid will be left behind to rot. The only exceptions to this include nuts, seeds and cheese as their fatty acid content keeps them from digesting at the same rate of other proteins. Enjoy your cheese plate and grapes.



Fats interfere with digestion by slowing things down. When combined with proteins this creates an abundance of fat that creates and abundance of oil in the stomach. Proteins usually have some tyoes of fat involved so no need to overdo it. I know a steak is better with butter on it but it’s destroying your stomach lining.



Sugars do the same as fats. They slow the process down and intercede with the digestive process resulting in more fermentation. This includes fruit sugars as well as artificial sugars.



Ever eat something sweet with starch like a cinnamon roll and develop a weird saliva reaction? You probably have but never noticed it but that is what happens when you combine these two. Sugar has the ability to disguise the starch leading to fermentation once in the stomach.


Take Milk Alone

Just trust this. Milk has a lot going on and shouldn’t be mixed with anything if you expect to digest it properly. Save your entire digestive system with that tip.



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Budget Hungry was created out of necessity.

It started with a change in diet then came Netflix documentaries and a bunch of misguided information. I digested way too many articles about things that weren’t helping people, especially people who were hungry and on a budget. The wellness space if full of so much unnecessary information. I wanted to create an educational space that gets down to the basics for optimal nutrition and digestion through holistic practices. Budget Hungry is a practice. It’s not a diet.

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Nai Vasha is anything but your typical millennial influencer parading across social feeds. Hailing from Stockton, California, once known as America’s most miserable city, she managed to hone her early interests for experiential activities and exploration into a passion for crafting visionary narratives for global powerhouses such as Adidas, AirBnB, KSwiss and Reebok. Never one to back away from a challenge, Nai Vasha’s breadth of expertise goes unmatched as she has cultivated relationships with artists and brands across industries. Savvy in a multitude of creative mediums, from concept installation to video production, Nai Vasha frames and produces distinguishable visual language. As an avid long distance runner, she is blazing a trail that breaks the algorithm while building an authentic community.  Nai Vasha is the co-founder of UNDO-ORDINARY, a wellness platform galvanizing awareness around healthy living. Stripping the tail off an ancient Chinese proverb, she lives by one simple quote, “ Never trouble trouble.”