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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   Bill Harris, M.D. | Q&A

Food Combining
Q&A with Bill Harris, M.D.

Q. Dear Dr. Harris,

I am very interested in the link between an alkaline diet and healing. My friend is in chemo treatment for breast cancer that came back and is also on her bones now. Help!! I'm learning about food combining...any advice about nutrition for her (and me too!) would be great! Thank you.


 



A. I think the acid/alkaline idea may be a red herring. However, in general plant foods are alkaline and animal foods acid. A vegan diet is probably cancer protective but not necessarily by virtue of its alkalinity. Rather I think it's due to the dozen or so cancer protective substances present in plant foods but not in animal foods, and the absence of some carcinogens present in animal food but not in plant food. (See: http://www.vegsource.com/harris/cancer_vegdiet.htm)

I have tried food combining and noticed no effect other than a further social complication of my vegan eating pattern. It may be helpful for some people but I think that all worthwhile foods contain fat, protein, and carbohydrate so the attempt to consume the three at separate meals is hard to justify scientifically.

There are some obviously bad combos like orange juice and beans, and Herbert Shelton, D.C. was probably wise in saying of melons: "Eat them alone or leave them alone."

In summary I think the vegan diet is a health promoter but don't think acid/alkaline or food combining theories explain why it is.

Sincerely,

-William Harris, M.D.


William Harris MD received a degree in physics from the University of California Berkeley, where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. He received his degree in medicine from the University of California at San Francisco, and received his postgraduate training at San Diego County Hospital. He holds a Medical License in the State of Hawaii. He has been an Emergency Department physican since 1963, and the Director of the Kaiser Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic on Oahu until his retirement in 1998. Dr. Harris is the author of The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism.

In addition, he was the 1950 Big Ten Trampoline Champion, is an accomplished hangglider and commercial pilot, and at age 70 became a skydiver with 108 jumps to date. Dr. Harris has been vegetarian since 1950, and vegan since 1963.

 
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