The quest to eat healthy has us mixing proteins together, gulping down milk with bananas and eating fruits with meals – but not so fast! All of these can have a negative impact on the body.
As important it is to eat a variety of food – ranging from dairy to fruits and cereals – it is equally important to eat right food at the right time, in the right proportion and in the right combination.
Alarmed at the erroneous eating patterns around us, we decided to decode the science behind some of the food combinations we get wrong all the time.
1. Dairy with Fruits
Elaborate smoothies with a generous helping of fruit, bananas with milk and yoghurt with fruits are foods combinations we dote on – but we should take it easy.
Fruits when combined with dairy products can lead to acidity and congestion in the digestive tract. Besides, the interplay between the bacteria present in dairy products such as yoghurt and sugar in the fruits can lead to allergies and colds.
Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist and Clinical Dietitian at NutriBond, invokes the science of Ayurveda while talking about this combination. She says, “Ayurveda advises against consuming fruits with dairy as it could diminish digestive fire, alter the intestinal flora, produce toxins and lead to sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies.”
Dry fruits seem to be a much better option. “If you are really craving it, you can eat unflavoured yogurt at room temperature along with raisins, cinnamon powder and raw honey instead of sour berries”, she adds.
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2. Fruits with Meals
Topping salads with fruits or alternating between fruits and meals is not helping the body in any way. Fruits, as universally known, are easier to digest than most other foods. When consumed with meals – which take longer to digest – the sugar in the fruits gets trapped in the digestive system leading to fermentation. According to Dt Shaikh:
If eaten between meals, fruits can delay the digestion process. Because of the presence of simple sugar in fruits, once you eat it, different enzymes try to digest the fruit first delaying the digestion of meals, thereby leading to bloating and indigestion. I suggest eating fruits 30-60 minutes post a meal.
3. Meals with Water
Follow the 20-minutes rule – no drinking water 20 minutes before or after the meal – for sipping water in between meals or gulping down water almost instantaneously after finishing a meal may mess with the body’s digestion. Confirms Dt Shaikh:
Water or even fruit juices for that matter – when consumed along with meals – reduce the stomach’s ability to break down carbs, proteins and fats leading to overeating or bloating.
4. Cheesy Foods with Fizzy Drinks
Cheesy food with aerated drinks is the bane of our millennial existence. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and even brunch is all about devouring food from a box with a can of coke handy. While it tastes heavenly, it is bound to wreck havoc on our bodies sooner rather than later.
Fizzy drinks contain sugar, empty calories and caffeine. Coupled with cheesy foods, these can lead to bloating and hyperacidity. Not only would you gain weight but will also invite loads of health hazards, courtesy this combination.Dt Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist and Clinical Dietitian, NutriBond
5. Double Trouble with High Protein
You may love to eat bacon with eggs but two proteins if consumed together slow down the body’s digestion process, sapping it of energy . This may lead to bloating and even uneasiness in certain cases. The reason is simple – it takes too much energy to break down the proteins which sit heavily in the body.
Asked about the ideal way of going about meals, Dt Huda Shaikh says, “Start your meal with veggies, then grains and end with a protein source as the digestive fire and enzymes are at their peak by this time.”