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Hay Diet

FOOD COMBINING This method has worked well for most of my clients, and it is one that I would recommend for any person wishing to lose weight.

Dr. William Howard Hay introduced food combining in 1911. His basic premise is that there is one underlying cause for health problems and that is the wrong chemical condition in the body.

The wrong chemical condition is acidity which is caused by the manufacture and accumulation of acid from the products of digestion and metabolism in amounts greater than the body can eliminate.

This acid condition results in a lowering of the body's vital alkaline reserve, the depletion of which causes toxaemia or autointoxication.

Dr. Hay classified foods into three types according to their chemical requirements for efficient digestion. These three types are: -

  • Alkali forming foods such as fruits and vegetables. Alkali forming means the end products of such foods after digestion. Even acid tasting fruits such as lemons yield alkaline salts in the body.
  • Concentrated proteins such as meat, game, fish, eggs or cheese. These foods are acid forming in their final end products in the body.
  • Concentrated carbohydrates or starch foods, which are acid forming. These include grains, bread, and all foods containing flour, all sugars and foods containing sugars (sucrose), but not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit.

Dr. Hay's theory was that, although protein and starch foods are acid forming in their end products in the body, they need different conditions for digestion and should never be combined at the same meal.

Hay diet information

After 16 yrs medical practice Dr Hay's health broke down, he developed high blood pressure, brights disease and a dilated heart. There being no treatment available for dilated heart at the time Dr Hay was inspired to treat his own symptoms.

He did this by eating 'fundamentally' as he called it, taking foods in a natural form and not mixing proteins and starches at the same meal. (pavlovs experiments with dogs showed that starches are digested in about two hours, proteins are digested in about four hours but a protein - starch mixture can still be digesting 13 hours later, food taken on top can lead to fermentation and toxic by-products putting strain on the system.

The result of this was a complete remission of symptoms and a reduction of weight from 225lbs (100kg) to 175lbs (80kg) in about 3 months. He believed he had a 'surefire treatment for diabetes'. Although ridiculed at the time, some modern research has produced evidence of a close connection between refined carbohydrates and allergies, skin problems, migraine, fatigue, depression, schizophrenic and aggressive behaviours.

The Diet is below - It's very simple - fruit is best taken alone at breakfast time (the sugars ferment if fruit sits on top of an evening meal) and don't mix columns 1 and 3.

tables 1 and 3 are incompatible.
Table 1 - For protein Meals Table 2 Neutral Foods Table 3 - For Starch Meals
protein All Meats poultry Fish Eggs Cheese Milk ( including Soya) - milk should not be served with meat - combines best with fruit) Yoghurt NUTS All except peanuts FATS Butter Cream Egg Yolks Olive Oil CEREAL Wholegrain: wheat, barley, corn (maize), oats, millet, rice bread flour
FRUITS Apples Apricots Berries Cherries Currants Gooseberry Grapefruit Grapes Guava Kiwi Lemon Lime Lychee Mango Melons are best eaten alone Nectarines Oranges passion Fruit pears pineapples prunes Raspberry Strawberry Tangerine VEGETABLES All green and root vegetables except for potatoes and jerusalem artichokes SWEET FRUITS Very Ripe fruits - high sugar Bananas if ripe Dates Figs Sweet Grapes Raisins Sultanas VEGETABLES potatoes Sweet potatoes Jerusalem Artichoke pumpkin
pulSES Lentil Soya beans Kidney beand Butter beans (Lima) Chick peas (garbanzos) pinto beans Haricot beans etc
ALCOHol Wine - Red and White Cider ALCOHol Whisky Gin ALCOHol Ale Beer


  • Starches and sugars should not be eaten with proteins and acid fruits at the same meal.
  • Vegetables, salads and fruits (whether acid or sweet) if correctly combined should form the major part of the diet.
  • proteins, starches and fats should be eaten in small quantities.
  • Only whole grains and unprocessed starches should be used and all refined and processed foods should be eliminated from the diet.
  • Not less than four hours between starch and protein meals.
  • Milk does not combine well with food and should be kept to a minimum.
  • Don't mix foods that fight, see below chart.

List A

List B

List C


Neutral Foods


All meat

Most vegetables


All poultry

All salads











Soya Beans






Olive oil




  • Mix anything from List A with List B
  • Mix anything from List C with List B
  • Never mix List A and C!
  • Mix vegetables or salads with pulses i.e. beans/lentils - make these and unprocessed foods the main part of your diet.

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