After being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome at 28, Sherry Brescia, a natural health researcher and president of Blue Rock Holistics, says she discovered an eating strategy that cured all her symptoms. Her plan, called Great Taste No Pain, is based on the idea that foods can only be properly digested if they're eaten in certain combinations. According to Brescia, following the diet will enhance your health, help you lose weight and make you feel more energetic. Scientific evidence does not support Great Taste No Pain's premise. Talk to your doctor before starting the plan.
Brescia divides all foods into three categories: Type A foods, which are neither acid- nor alkaline-forming and require little digestion; Type B, which need alkaline enzymes to be broken down; and Type C, foods that require acidic enzymes for digestion. On the diet, you're allowed to eat Type A foods with Type B or C foods, but combining Types B and C will supposedly cause digestive problems and result in illness. No foods are restricted, though some can only be eaten at certain times of the day, says Brescia. The diet is not designed specifically for weight loss and does not include an exercise program.
Sample Daily Menu
A typical day on the Great Taste No Pain plan might begin with a breakfast of fresh fruit eaten with water and nothing else or a slice of whole-grain toast and a glass of almond milk. Lunch could be a large salad with cheese, raw vegetables and your choice of dressing, while grilled chicken or fish, steamed green beans and a small salad might serve as dinner. Chopped raw vegetables, raw nuts and fresh fruit or 100 percent fruit juice are your snack options during the midmorning and late afternoon.
If you follow Brescia's Great Taste No Pain plan as written, it's likely you'll lose weight since the diet stresses fresh produce and lean proteins while eliminating processed, high-fat and sugary foods. You may also gain relief from digestive problems, but this is uncertain. The plan is easy to follow and can be adapted for any eating style, including vegetarians or vegans. People who prefer not to use the recipes provided in the Great Taste No Pain book can continue to prepare their regular foods, says Brescia, as long as they adhere to the food-combining rules.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says it is not true that you'll gain weight, increase your risk of disease or accumulate waste and toxins in your intestines if you eat foods in the wrong combinations, as Brescia claims. Nutritional consultant Dr. Mike Roussell agrees, saying the body is capable of digesting all types of foods without a problem. The Great Taste No Pain diet doesn't supply all of the nutrients recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for healthy eating, particularly whole grains.