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Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Pairings

Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Which Food Pairings Need to be Avoided?

Can Fruits be eaten with or after a meal? Which proteins can be combined with starchy foods? DO some food decrease your digestive rate? Are there some harmful food combinations to avoid

These are a few questions that I will attempt to address in this article. 

Ayurveda states that every food that we eat has its own specific 'rasa'  (nutritive energy or taste) and 'vipaka' (post-digestive effect). Hence, a combination of some foods can present opposite effects in the stomach which cancel out the benefits of the foods that we eat. These food pairings further decrease our agni and slow our metabolism.

A toxic pairing of foods can lead to bloating, indigestion, gas formation, putrefaction and fermentation of foods in the digestive system. 

This can seem very difficult at the beginning, but we need to understand the rules regarding the best and worst food pairings. 

Firstly, let us define the different food categories: 
  • Starchy foods: Pasta, bread, cereals, grains, potatoes/ sweet potatoes, winter squashes or pumpkin
  • Non-Starchy foods: Asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, onions, brussels sprouts, artichokes, broccoli, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, leafy greens, peppers or zucchini
  • Proteins: Chicken, Beef, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts, beans, legumes or soy products like tofu.
  • Fruits: Includes all acidic, less acidic, sweet fruits and melons

Let's look a few toxic food combinations that must be avoided-

1. Latte and Croissant

This breakfast includes processed foods like a croissant, which lacks fibre. These food items spike the blood insulin levels and can lead to a serious sugar crash. 

It further decreases the energy production in the cells and allows the liver to store the excess calories as fat instead of using them as fuel.
Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Combinations

As an alternative, it is better to include a whole-grain English muffin and a Black coffee in your breakfast. This food pairing is rich in fibre and low in fats. 

The caffeine in the black coffee will help the cells burn fat faster, while the whole grain muffin will cause a slow release of energy. 

2. Fruits with a meal

Fruits are a rich source of sugar and can break down at a faster rate compared to a heavy meal, which consists of meat, vegetables, starch etc. 

This leads to a fermentation reaction in your stomach and causes many digestive issues. Similarly, combining some fruits with dairy can lead to bloating. 

Never combine citrus fruits with milk, however, you can eat dates and milk. Fruits must be consumed individually, and not with any other foods. 

Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Combinations

The best time to eat fruits is in the mornings, on an empty stomach, with a glass of water, as it helps in detoxifying your system. 

You can also indulge in fruit as an afternoon snack rather than reaching for those chips! 

3. Dairy products with meat, fruits or vegetables

Milk needs to be consumed alone. You can use a few spices like cinnamon and cardamom to enhance the flavour of milk. Milk must not be eaten along with sour foods. 

Also, MILK and BANANA must never be eaten together. Bananas are sour in nature while milk is sweet. Hence, they display different post-digestive effects. Their combination confuses the digestive system and can cause many diseases.

The acidic nature of the sour fruits curdles the milk in the stomach and can lead to many digestive problems. However, you can eat dates and milk. 

Do not pair dairy products like cheese and yoghurt with fish, eggs, beans, meat etc, especially Milk and Eggs.

On the other hand, clarified butter or ghee can be used for cooking vegetables as it displays similar properties as cooking oil. 

Fruit-flavoured yoghurt is consumed by many as a snack or breakfast food. However, according to Ayurveda, this is a very bad food pairing. 

Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Combinations

So, next time you mix fruits and milk or fruits and yoghurt, pay attention to how you feel afterwards. 

What is the right technique to drink water? Find out here

4. Beans with dairy, eggs, fish, meat or fruit

Though beans are very beneficial and product vital micronutrients like Iron and magnesium, they contain a high quantity of soluble fibre, which can lead to flatulence. 

Combining this food product with meat, eggs or dairy can become very difficult to digest and can lead to bloating. 

Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Combinations

Instead pair beans with nuts, other beans, vegetables or lentils. These need to be cooked well to aid in digestion. 

5. Melons with other foods

Melons must always be consumed on their own or not consumed at all. Melons have high water content and are digested very easily and rapidly, compared to other foods. 

MILK and MELONS must never be paired. Since melons are rapidly digested, they trigger the secretion of stomach acids, which curdle the milk. This causes indigestion and causes many other diseases.

Harmful Food combinations to avoid | Toxic Food Combinations

They MUST NOT be combined with dairy, grains, fried foods, eggs or starchy foods. 

The basic rules that need to be followed before combining different foods are -

1. Foods that can be eaten together-

Starchy foods can be combined with the non-starchy items

2. Foods Pairings that SHOULD BE STRICTLY avoided-

  • Starchy foods and proteins
  • One form of protein with a different form

3. Some foods that need to be eaten alone

  • Melons
  • Dairy
These rules are based on the fact that all different categories of foods are digested at different rates and generate different by-products. 

For instance, the starchy and non-starchy foods can be combined together since they can be digested at the same pH level; while starches and proteins are digested at different pH levels. 

Also, some foods like fruits are digested faster than proteins, and hence need to be eaten separately. If combined, it can overload the digestive system and decrease its efficiency. 

If you are unable to avoid the above food pairings, please eat 1 tbsp or 1 tablet of Triphala to prevent any digestive issues. Check out the link for Triphala tablets here.

An IDEAL food pairing -

  • Breakfast: You can include a fruit bowl with bananas, berries or grapefruit.
  • Mid-morning snack: A whole-grain toast with avocado, or scrambled eggs or veggies. (DO not add cheese since 2 proteins should not be paired together. Dairy must be eaten separately). You can have a cup of black coffee.
  • Lunch: A tofu or chicken salad with veggies like lettuce, peppers etc. You can also use a vinaigrette or olive oil dressing on the salad.
  • Afternoon/ Evening Snack: You can include fruits like apple or pear. It should be 2-3 h before your dinner 
  • Dinner: Brown rice with any single protein of your choice. 

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