Eating the right foods at the right time can be important. Learn about 6 food combinations that can potentially cause problems with blood sugar, bloating, and nutrient absorption.
1. Tea and milk
When you add a little milk to your tea, you change some of the benefits. Alissa Rumsey, RD., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states, “Black tea is rich in antioxidants that work to decrease inflammation that’s linked to many chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Milk proteins bind to antioxidants in tea and prevent them from being absorbed.”
In this case, you are not even getting the calcium properly absorbed from the milk. Instead of adding milk or cream, add some lemon and you will increase the amount of antioxidants that you absorb.
2. White bread and jam
This comforting combination of carbs can have significant effects on your blood sugar. Liz Weinandy, RD, MPH, a dietician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, explains, “Simple carbohydrates spike blood sugar the most. Your blood sugar goes up fast and your body has to work very hard to bring it down by releasing insulin from the pancreas.” When this happens, you may find yourself quite irritable and tired.
Weinandy adds, “In the long term, this process can eventually wear the pancreas down and create insulin resistance and diabetes.” Try switching out the refined carbs in the white bread for whole grains with rich fibre content. This helps to keep digestion steady, and regulate blood sugar levels.
3. Salad and fat-free dressing
Avoiding fat in your salad can block absorption of essential nutrients. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the intake of carotenoids (plant pigments) is correlated with a decreased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration.
When you use full fat dressings, your body is better able to absorb the precious nutrients. This doesn’t mean you should load it on, all you have to do is splash your salad greens with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have a delicious, healthy alternative.
4. Alcohol and caffeine
You have to be careful when you try to sober up with a cup of coffee. The caffeine may mask the intoxication from the alcohol, and give you an energy boost that may make you misjudge how drunk you really are. Mixing caffeinated drinks with alcohol can have the same effect, like Red Bull and vodka. This puts those who mix caffeine and alcohol at a higher risk for accidents or taking other risks.
5. Lentils and red wine
The tannins contained in red wine can interfere with the absorption of certain plant-based sources of iron, specifically the iron found in lentils and soybeans. This is more important for vegetarians and vegans, who have to be more diligent when considering protein and iron sources.
Rumsey states, “Plant-based iron is already more difficult to absorb than meat-based iron. Add tannins to the mix and it’s that much harder to get the iron you need.”
6. Burgers and beer
Although a classic favourite, consuming alcohol and high-fat foods together can make your liver work too hard. Rumsey explains, “Both are processed by the liver, and your body naturally prioritizes breaking down the alcohol first, since it recognizes alcohol as a toxin.
Fat causes food to digest more slowly, which is why a high-fat meal can leave you feeling stuffed and bloated long after you eat it.” You don’t want that fat floating around in your system, looking for a place to be stored, because your body will find room.