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Hay Diet

Food combining, often referred to as the Hay diet, is one of the few logical dieting methods that most health and fitness specialists would recommend, simply because there is little chance of adverse effects such as headaches or nausea.

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.

List A
List B
List C
Neutral Foods
 All meat
 Most vegetables
 All poultry
 All salads
 Soya Beans 
Olive oil


  • 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.

    The following pages will show the rules for the Hay Diet.
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