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Incompatible Food Combinations

by Sheyna Haisman-Holmes

In Ayurveda, there are incompatible food combinations that serve as guidelines to support optimal digestion and nutrition. The combination of these foods can cause bloating and gas, acidity, indigestion, creation of ama (toxins), skin breakouts, diabetes, water retention, lethargy and a multitude of potential diseases. Many of these foods don’t combine well due to their rasa (taste), virya (energy: cooling or heating) and vipaka (post digestive effect and taste). If there are too many opposing forces in the stomach and body, this creates a situation for more difficult digestion.


Incompatible: fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, meat, yogurt

Compatible: grains, veggies, nuts, seeds


Incompatible: fruit, beans, cheese, fish, kitchari, milk, meat, yogurt

Compatible: grains and non-starchy vegetables


Incompatible: fruit is incompatible with all foods

Compatible: other fruit of similar kinds


Incompatible: fruit

Compatible: beans, veggies, other grains, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt


Incompatible: never with an equal amount of ghee by weight, never cook honey

Hot drinks:

Incompatible: mango, cheese, fish, meat, starch, yogurt


Incompatible: cucumbers, milk, tomatoes, yogurt

Compatible: small amount as garnish or flavoring


Incompatible: incompatible with everything


Incompatible: bananas, cherries, melons, sour fruits, bread with yeast, fish, kitchari, meat, yogurt

Compatible: consuming in its own


Incompatible: fruit, beans, eggs, milk, yogurt, hot drinks

Compatible: grains and veggies


Incompatible: melon, cucumber, dairy

Compatible: other veggies, grains, beans, meat, fish, nuts, seeds


Incompatible: fruit, cheese, eggs, fish, hot drinks, meat, milk, nightshades

Compatible: grains and veggies

Leftovers and raw foods are also hard to digest. Mixing raw foods with cooked foods can be challenging on digestion. It is very common to eat salad with a meal, in which case it should be eaten first when the digestive fire is at its strongest. Leftovers more than 24hrs old are also harder to digest than freshly cooked foods. Mixing leftovers with fresh foods is a difficult combination.

There are so many very common food combinations in our diets that are incompatible on this list. Some of these foods are bean and cheese burritos, milk and banana smoothies, yogurt and fruit, eggs and potatoes, yogurt sauce on meat, eggs and beans, etc. Some of these combinations exist in cultural dishes that also have a place in our lives. This brings on the concept of satmya and asatmya. Satmya means that something suits you and asatmya is the opposite. What is suitable to you has to do with your upbringing, where you live, your cultural traditions and memories that are flowing in your DNA. It may be satmya for some people from New Orleans to eat a creamy fish chowder. It may also be satmya for someone from France to eat cheese with fruit and meats. It's important to notice what feels good when you eat and there is room for what is appropriate for your body due to your culture and food history.

In knowing these incompatibilities, it is a good practice to just notice how you feel when some of these foods are combined. You may feel fine or experience bloating or low energy after combining opposing foods. We are always in a balancing act and getting to know our bodies with the information that they give us. May we all be in tune with our bodies and have optimal digestion and nourishment! :)


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