Holiday Guide for Food Combinations and What to Avoid

A study was published that an average person is expected to gain 8 pounds during the holidays so now I have coined a new term!  Forget the Freshmen 15 – I am now going to call the holiday weight gain the Inevitable Eight!

Fear not – some of this weight gain can be due to water retention and bloating and this can be from combining the wrong foods together.  So here is a list of typical foods that you would normally eat during Christmas that may cause you to feel bloated, sluggish, and tired.

1)    Turkey and Roasted Potatoes

  • Protein and Starch – Avoid!

turkey

Furthermore, turkey is typically full of stuffing that can be made of different starchy carbs that can also cause indigestion. Therefore, try to avoid mixing protein and starchy sides like mashed/roasted potatoes together as the digestive environment of your stomach cannot fully break down protein and starch when eaten at the same time.  Proteins digest best when acid levels are higher while starches digest best when alkaline levels are higher so when they are both in your stomach, your organ can never get alkaline or acidic enough to break down everything effectively.  This can lead to weight gain, bloating, gas, and fatigue!

2)    Fruit-Based Sauces ex. Cranberry with Protein (Turkey/Chicken)

  • Fruits are best eaten alone!

chicken

According to food combination guides, fruits should always be eaten alone on an empty stomach.  This is because the simple sugars found in fruits are so easy to digest that they will not stay in your stomach long.  However, when you eat this food group along with other proteins, fats, and starches, the stomach now needs more digestive power to break down everything.  The fruit will then stay in your body for so long that the sugar will begin to ferment causing you to bloat.

3)    Antipasto Platters

  • Fruits, Meats, Carbs, and Dairy à Recipe for Disaster!

antipasto-platter

A typical appetizer before the main meal for many but this is just plate of disaster for your digestion.  Again, fruits should be eaten alone.  Meats is best eaten with leafy vegetables and for many diets, anything with dairy is not suggested and the cheese on this platter is one of the most difficult foods to digest.  That is why many people are lactose intolerant and find themselves always bloated and feeling sick and they may not even be aware of their intolerance to dairy.  The casein found in dairy has also been found to increase the risk of cancer and the saturated fats found in this food group can lead to a greater risk of heart disease.

4)    Pies, Cakes, and Pastries

  • Dairy, Fruits, Saturated/Trans Fats, and Carbs – Need I say more?

pecan pie with whipped cream

I know that pumpkin pie topped with loads of whipped cream or blueberry cheesecake looks delicious but these desserts can wreak havoc for your digestion and your waistline will definitely not thank you! I’m not saying avoid dessert in general but try to stick with the fruit platter after waiting a few hours post meal.  Again, bring or make your own dessert if you want to have a healthier alternative such as gelatin-based dishes!

5)    Seafood + Meat

  • Concentrate on One Protein!

1776_2939

Your dish should have one concentrated protein so avoid mixing seafood, tofu, and meats all together as this will make your stomach work extra hard to break down everything.  Your stomach will be so busy trying to break down all these different meats that this can cause fatigue, crankiness, and bloating.

Counting the days till Christmas!! Good luck my lovely foodies!

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