5 Food Combinations People Said Were Harmful But Are Actually Safe
1. Durian and carbonated drinks
Many Malaysians would have been told by someone at some point in their lives to avoid eating durian and drinking carbonated drinks together because it could be a poisonous combination, that leads to a serious intoxication that can potentially be life-threatening.
This has been debunked as a myth, although, it is noted that the active bio components in durians and the carbonated drinks itself could cause reactions.
"At the most, it may cause indigestion, bloating or stomach discomfort because your digestive system has to work extra hard to metabolise sugars, fats and caffeine at the same time, especially when you take a lot," said Penang Adventist Hospital nutritionist Khaw Hui Wern in a report by The Star Online.
2. Tofu and spinach
People have been warned against consuming spinach and tofu at the same time, as it is said that this combination could lead to the development of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
It has been speculated that the oxalic acid found in spinach could bind with the calcium found in tofu and form kidney stones.
This myth can be found across all food combinations that are high in oxalic acid and calcium.
While it is true that oxalates would bind with calcium, the accurate information is that calcium is needed for oxalates to leave the body and not form kidney stones.
Research also suggests that a person should reduce the intake of food high in oxalate and consume more food that is rich in calcium.
3. Fish and dairy products like milk
Some people say that eating fish and milk together is not a good idea because they are a toxic combination or it could cause a skin condition known as Vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches.
In actual fact, there is no scientific evidence or study that suggests these claims. There was even a research that was conducted to debunk this particular myth.
A person who experienced nausea, itching or stomach aches after eating both the food is most likely lactose intolerant or allergic to a certain variety of fish. This could happen if the fish or milk are consumed together or separately.
Nestle, the world's largest food and beverage company, recommended good practices such as ensuring that foods are handled properly and safely before consumption. For example, make sure the fish is fresh and cooked well, and the milk or dairy is consumed before its expiry date.
4. Mentos and carbonated drinks
A popular myth that has persisted over the years is the belief that eating Mentos mints after drinking a carbonated drink leads to instant death because the mixture turns into cyanide poison and cause your "stomach to explode".
This is probably because there have been many videos and experiments that show carbonated drinks such as Pepsi or Coca-Cola "erupting" after Mentos mints are dropped into it.
Contrary to popular belief, the reaction is not chemical but physical one. Scientists have come up with detailed explanations on how this phenomenon occurs due to a process that is known as 'nucleation'.
Basically, Mentos has thousands of small pores on its surface (they're called nucleation sites) and the carbon dioxide in the fizzy drink is attracted to these tiny bumps. What happens next is the rapid formation of bubbles that eventually turn into a raging form.
So don't worry — nothing is going to explode when you have your favourite carbonated drink and Mentos together.
5. Eggs and banana
A lot of people have been misinformed by a rumour that says the combination of egg and banana in the stomach can turn into poison and result in death.
This belief was perpetuated because of an Internet hoax that originated from India.
The rumour claims that a young man died after eating egg and banana together and the food reacted with the acid in the stomach, which then created poison in the stomach. The fake story is still making its round on social media until today.
There is no scientific study that suggests banana when eaten together with eggs would form anything toxic.
Nevertheless, keep in mind the safe steps in food handling and cooking, especially for eggs because uncooked or raw eggs have a risk of producing Salmonella, a type of bacteria which can increase the risk of food poisoning.
What other food combination that you thought was harmful but found out later that it's not true? Let us know in the comment section below!
You might have heard about these "facts" from your parents and thought they were true, but in reality...