Diet myth – Fact or fiction: You shouldn’t eat certain foods together
Have you ever heard you shouldn’t eat certain foods together? Like no fruit with protein? Shelley Rael, registered dietitian nutritionist, and I met last fall in Philadelphia at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and expo. (To watch the video scroll to bottom or click here.)
Neily: Shelley, what is myth # 4?
Shelley: Something that clients mention, something they read online or in a book, is that they shouldn’t combine carbohydrates and protein or they should have fruits separate from their meals.
These often come together…they’re told to have fruits separately from their meal so they should eat fruit before their meal but not with their meal because it “ferments” in the stomach. A couple of things I say about that is one, our body is very efficient and it’s a wonderful machine. It works well when we feed it well. That’s not going to mess up the machine. Eating fruit with your meal…
Neily: It does not ferment…
Shelley: Yeah…so the enzymes do their job whether the fruits are by themselves or with other foods. And regarding not mixing carbohydrates and protein—I tell people we have these three major energy (calorie) nutrients specifically, carbohydrates, protein and fat. All foods have at least two of those nutrients so it is virtually impossible to not have those mixing. The protein and carbs often come together although not all the time. Meat is protein and fat mostly. It’s very hard to get one that’s just carbohydrates—sugars are 100% carbohydrates, oils are 100% fat but everything else is a mixture. There is nothing that is 100% pure protein.
Neily: And our bodies are very efficient at processing it all.
Shelley: Yes. It works well. It works better if we feed it better. But there is not this big alarm that goes off if we eat fruit with meals.
Neily: It’s okay to eat your proteins, fat and carbs together!
Photo credits: neilyonnutrition.com
Jennifer “Neily” Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
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