Drinking coffee after meat may be bad for your health - expert

Learn why drinking coffee after a meat meal can be problematic, the drawbacks of iron supplements, and the benefits of incorporating black grapes into your diet.

  (photo credit: FLASH90)
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Some foods shouldn't be eaten together in a meal for health reasons. While the separation between meat and milk is primarily observed from a halachic standpoint, it also holds significance from a health perspective.

However, the impact of combining coffee and meat is a topic addressed by Dr. Maya Roseman, a renowned Israeli nutritionist, on 103FM.

Roseman explained certain substances in coffee can hinder iron absorption even after eating iron-rich foods like. If you have normal blood iron levels, you don't need to worry about milk or caffeine hindering iron absorption. However, you do have to be concerned about what happens when you have coffee after already having had food with iron.

Do iron supplements have excessive amounts of iron?

The listener explained that her husband takes a 40 mg iron supplement. In response to this, Roseman expressed concern about the excessive amount of iron in supplements.

She stressed that our bodies are naturally designed to obtain iron from food, such as beef liver containing approximately 7 milligrams of iron. By contrast, iron supplements often contain much higher levels of iron, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb it efficiently.

An illustrative image of food supplements. (credit: INGIMAGE)
An illustrative image of food supplements. (credit: INGIMAGE)

Roseman described some of the potential adverse effects of consuming excessive iron, including constipation and abdominal pain, and said that such high doses of iron are unnecessary. However, if he must take iron supplements, he should do so during his meal in order to avoid any discomfort from iron supplements on an empty stomach.

The woman asked if her husband should completely avoid eating beef. However, Roseman pointed out that beef offers more than just iron – it is a valuable source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, and other essential nutrients. However, if the woman's husband prefers alternatives to beef, he can easily find these nutrients in various other foods. 

Switching gears, the woman asked Roseman about the benefits of eating black grapes. Roseman responded positively, explaining that black grapes' polyphenol content aids in preventing arterial calcification. However, diabetics should still be careful when eating them due to the high glycemic index of grapes.

Michal Kadosh/103FM contributed to this report.