Diet myth #4 – 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!
This is what really cracks me up about the Paleo diet. Jan D came for a visit – wanted to know my thoughts about it. I can’t argue with many of the components – more protein, fewer carbs, and of course, no processed foods. But then Jan pulled out a “Paleo” turkey jerky bar, “what do you think about this?” I chuckled and we laughed together when I asked how in the world can a Paleo product exist in a package. Seriously? I googled Paleo diet, clicked on a page (developed by one popular fitness chain) and it had an impressive list of what you can and can’t eat. No potatoes. Okay then why was there a recipe right next to the article that included sweet potatoes? And maple syrup. That’s a sugar. Why is that allowed and not “sugar” sugar. I find it amazing to see how many recipes there are for Paleo bread, Paleo pancakes,
Alcohol? Depends on which Paleo version you look at. Diet soda is even allowed on one. Hmmm, wonder where our ancestors made that stuff.
Why diets don’t work (or do they?)
Diets actually DO work. They (usually) help people lose weight. How many people do you know that went on the Atkins diet? Lots? They lost weight right? Did they keep it off? Likely not. Why? It’s not sustainable. But it is so easy! ALL you have to do is stop eating carbs. That’s it! But is it the baked potato that’s the bad evil creature? OR is it the company it keeps? Can’t have a baked potato without the butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon!
Okay so the Atkins diet is passé’. Been there done that. Let’s look at a more popular diet – the Paleo diet! Why has it gotten the attention of so many people? I’ll tell you why. Before embracing the miracle, Tony J was eating crap. Fast food almost every day, beer frequently. He suddenly discovered Paleo and turned his eating habits around. Was it the Paleo diet or because he stopped eating crap?
Diet myth #2 with Shelley Rael, MS, RD: “You shouldn’t eat white foods” (or should you?)
Shelley Rael, registered dietitian in private practice from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I had the chance to catch up in Philadelphia during the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. We discussed six diet myths—here was the second one. (To see the video, scroll to the bottom or click here.)
|Shelley:||This one is kind of twofold. People say they cut out white foods. I hear people say I stopped these white foods and I lost all this weight. And what I think most people are referring to is the refined grains, the refined white bread—which by the way, I would never give up ever. Like ever. I look forward to that.|
|Shelley:||White rice, white potatoes—that’s what a lot of people are referring to. I hate that all these white foods are clumped together. As I say, it’s discriminating. Of course, we want brown foods—brown rice, and the whole grain bread but there are a lot of white foods that are really good for you. Potatoes are not evil but people think they are. Onions, leeks, garlic, cauliflower—those are white foods that are good for you. People are like, you know what I mean. But I just want to clarify that we cannot just put this one color on the hit list so to speak. When I talk about potatoes there are a few parts about potatoes that I mention. You know they’re great sources of vitamins and fiber. It’s what we DO to the potatoes.|
|Neily:||Exactly. How is it dressed? The company it keeps.|
|Shelley:||What we eat with the potatoes. Mashed potatoes—I’ve made healthier versions of mashed potatoes. But people talk about the stick of butter and the cream they use in mashed potatoes—that’s what makes potatoes go to the far side, the dark side.|
|Neily:||A loaded baked potato—you’ve got bacon, cheese, sour cream, butter and it all adds up….|
|Shelley:||Add a little bit of chives for the veggies. And have it with a 20 ounce steak. Or French fries—the No 1 vegetable in this country. French fries and ketchup is No 2 as a vegetable. You know French fries and ketchup are the No.1 and No. 2 sources of fruits and vegetables in the country. That’s not what we want to do. It’s not the fact that it’s white as much as it’s fried, with a lot of salt.|
|Neily:||Right. So it’s okay to eat white food. Thanks Shelley! Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.|
- Don’t eat after 7pm – Diet myth #1 with Shelley Rael, MS, RD, LD (neilyonnutrition.wordpress.com)
- Does sugar ‘feed’ cancer? Should we limit red meat? That & more with RD Karen Collins (neilyonnutrition.wordpress.com)