Weight loss is not easy but with the right lifestyle choices—like eating well-balanced meals and getting enough exercise throughout the day, for example—you can potentially achieve wonderful results. But the best place to start is in the kitchen.
When it comes to losing weight, “your best bet is to eat proper proportions of all food groups to fuel your body in the right way,” advises Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, award-winning registered dietitian and Eat This, Not That! Expert Board member. While there is no one food that will force you to gain or lose weight, there are some common food pairings that may not help in the long run.
Based on the ancient holistic science of healing from India, Ayurveda, certain food combinations should be avoided because they can cause inconsistent digestion and possible weight gain. According to Healthline, there are two main components that are believed to be why specific foods shouldn’t be combined. One, combining foods with different digestive enzymes can cause fluctuations in pH levels (or levels of acidity) in your gut. And two, combining foods that require different digestive speeds can also cause negative effects on health and the body’s digestive system.
Find out if your daily diet includes any of these common food pairings that are causing confusion in your gut or disturbing your digestion and hindering weight loss.
When your digestive system is out of wake, your stomach lining can be damaged and weight gain can occur due to a mismanagement of calories. A combination of bananas and milk specifically, is one example of a food pairing that may cause a poor outcome for your body.
According to The Ayurveda Institute, even though “both of these foods have a sweet taste and a cooling energy, their post-digestive effect is very different.” Researchers from the institute explain that this combo can cause “confusion to the digestive system, which can result in toxins, allergies, and other imbalances within the body.”
This classic breakfast staple, that many enjoy, may not be as great of a choice as you may think. If you are combining two foods that are a part of the same food group, such as carbohydrates, you have a stronger chance of overeating one nutrient and missing out on overall essential dietary needs.
“Toast with jam is carbs on carbs. You are better off adding some nut butter to help provide some protein and healthy fats,” says Manaker. The overconsumption of processed, calorie-dense carbohydrates, in particular, can cause a spike in the body’s blood sugar (also known as glucose), she goes on to explain. Weight gain can be a result of too many carbs, as your body breaks down all the excess glucose into fat.
While this may break your heart to read, eating chips and salsa can possibly set you back in your weight loss goals. “I advise against eating foods that don’t have a balance of the aforementioned core nutrients (fiber, fat, and protein),” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, another registered dietitian, CEO of NY Nutrition Group, and author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan.
Unfortunately, the chips and salsa food combo not only has a high salt content but can also lead to overeating (and further weight gain), because of a lack of healthy fats or protein to help foster the body’s sense of fullness. Moskovitz suggests that eating excess calories—especially carbs and sugar—can contribute to weight gain over time. Instead, try dipping some low-sodium tortilla chips in guacamole to provide your body with a well-rounded combination of nutrients (either healthy fats and complex carbs) and more satiety.
A dish that brings comfort to our hearts, but is not at all supportive when you’re trying to lose weight. “Most canned tomato soups are surprisingly high in sugar, thanks to added high fructose corn syrup, and grilled cheese is high in fat and carbs, but offers little protein,” said Jennifer Christman, a registered dietitian at Medifast, in an interview with Woman’s Day.
If you consume large amounts of any kind of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, the “unwanted calories that are linked to health problems, such as weight gain,” according to MayoClinic.
Plus, it doesn’t help that both, the cheese (in the grilled cheese) and tomato soup, contain sodium levels that are through the roof. High sodium foods tend to lead to other health problems besides weight gain—including high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease—Harvard Health reported.
Research tends to support oatmeal as a prime contender in weight loss. However, “eating oatmeal and dried fruit alone will offer some fiber, but very little protein and fat.” Moskovitz explains, “This combo can also increase blood sugar and spike insulin, a potentially fat-storing hormone.”
“Instead, add in a lean protein and fats, such as Greek yogurt, nuts, and seeds to balance it out [and] keep blood sugar stable,” Moskovitz recommends this solution for better weight loss results.
Jordan Summers-Marcouillier was born and raised in San Jose, California and now works as a writer in New York, NY. Read more