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The Importance of Eating Foods in Proper Order

Updated on May 24, 2013

Have you ever eaten a great meal and then spent the following few hours belching as the food “bounces” or “rebels” from indigestion? Unfortunately, this is common. The good news is that in a lot of cases, this is an easy fix.

The digestive system’s job is to break up foods so the nutrients we need can be absorbed. What most people don’t realize is that we digest different types of foods at different rates. Our stomach acid can break down things like fruit much faster than a baked potato or meats.

Sadly, we live in a culture where sweets and fruits are a treat after a big meal. As the food in your stomach starts to break down, it progresses to the intestines. If slower digesting food blocks that progress, the food that digests first is forced to sit in your stomach, getting rancid and releasing gas (BURP!)

Whether you suffer from indigestion or are experiencing diarrhoea, vomiting or an illness that requires you to be gentle on your tummy, the food transit list can help you choose foods that are easy to digest. It will also help you when preparing full meals.

Food Transit Times

Time to Digest
0-10 minutes
Juices & Broth
15-30 minutes
Fruit & Sweets
30-60 minutes
60 minutes
Low Starch & Leafy Greens Vegetables
1-2 hours
Grains & Legumes (including bread)
1-2 hours
Starchy Vegetables
2-3 hours
Nuts, Dairy & Eggs
2-4 hours
Meat & Fish
3-4 hours
4-8+ hours


This information is not meant to replace the advice of a medical professional.

More and more people are using a technique called, Food Combining when creating meals. While there are specific rules for food combining, the main focus revolves around being conscious of how long each food type takes to digest. By selecting foods that digest at the same rate, you can create a tasty, healthy meal that your body will digest without hassle.

© 2012 I Am Rosa


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    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      You're welcome :-) It's such an easy adjustment to make and the bonus is that, digestive-wise, it's best to eat dessert first ;-) lol

    • heartwort profile image

      heartwort 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks, that's something that'll be easy to think about.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      My pleasure!

    • profile image

      lasertekservices 5 years ago from Fargo, North Dakota

      Thank you so much for this info.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      No problem :-) LOL - moderation is a very important skill, indeed!

    • lmlynde profile image

      lmlynde 5 years ago from Nevada

      Thanks so much Rosa for this helpful info! Love those darn nuts, but I have had to learn how to eat the things you love in moderation! Good thing it worked or I would really be a NUT! : )

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for stopping by. Great question. Nuts, Dairy & Eggs take 2-4 hours. Your omelette in specific may take as little as 2 hours to digest.

    • lmlynde profile image

      lmlynde 5 years ago from Nevada

      Great information about this topic! I was curious about the digestive time of eggs. I usually have a little egg & spinach omelette a few times a week.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      Spy - Thanks for reading! It really does make a difference!

      Beingwell - Thanks so much! I was surprised about that as well when I found out. Soooo yummy, but so long to digest!

      Snowdrops - I was surprised at how well it worked when I learned about it and wonder why we were never taught this in health education classes at school.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 5 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      it is really necessary to know the proper order of the foods we taking in. one, to get all the vitamins we need and to help solve indigestion. It's a win-win thing!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      I didn't know that shellfish takes a long to digest. We have mussels once or twice a month.

      Nice hub. 1 arrow up. :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hi Rosa. Yes, i agree that in order for us to get the proper nutrients and vitamins on what we eat, we must also consider eating our food in their proper order to maximize its effect and health benefits.