Health experts dismiss baseless warning against eating banana with milk, watermelon or potato

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on March 7, 2023 at 11:00
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Malaysia
Health experts have rubbished claims warning against eating banana with watermelon, milk or potato. Videos of social media influencers sharing the unfounded advice have attracted millions of views. Nutritionists said there was no scientific basis to advise against this combination and pointed to the high nutritional value of pairing foods like banana and watermelon.

"3 foods that are not suitable to be eaten with bananas," reads the Malay-language caption of this Instagram post, dated Febuary 9, 2023.

The post also shared a 29-second video, which has been viewed more than 1.2 million views since.

In the clip, a woman claims that drinking milk after eating a banana can cause indigestion. She also warns that eating banana and potato can trigger hyperpigmentation, and that eating banana with watermelon can cause diarrhea as both fruits are "cooling".

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on March 1, 2023

The woman, who regularly shares health tips to her hundreds of thousands of social media followers, also posted the same 29-second video on her TikTok account here, racking up more than 7.2 million views.

Her video has been viewed more than 220,000 times after it also circulated on Facebook and Twitter.

But she was not the only one. Other Malaysian TikTok influencers posted similar advice here, here and here, attracting more than 2.6 milion views.

Baseless advice

Dr Tee E Siong, president of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia, said there was "no reason" that banana could not be enjoyed with milk, watermelon or potato.

"We know bananas and milk are good for the body and so consuming both will give us extra nutrients," he told AFP. "The same goes for watermelon and potato."

Health experts have made similar recommendations to consume bananas and milk together to provide extra nutritional value.

Dr Sareena Hanim Hamzah, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Science at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, agreed that the advice was unfounded.

"The term 'heating and cooling' fruits doesn't exist in science, except in traditional medicine," she told AFP.

"The items mentioned can be consumed together and what's important is how they are taken."

She recommended choosing fresh food over processed food, such as fresh fruit instead of banana fritters or watermelon juice with sugar, and fresh milk rather than condensed milk.

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