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7 Foods to Avoid Before a Romantic Night Out

  • Caucasian couple reading menu at urban cafe, New York City, New York, United States
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    Gastronomical Guide for Couples

    En español | Aphrodisiacs have long been prized for their arousal-inducing properties. But nothing can turn off a potential lover like lethargy, gassiness, bad breath, excessive burping or tummy troubles so severe they send you racing to the bathroom. With that in mind, steer clear of the following seven foods if you have any desire to bring your romantic dinner to a satisfying conclusion.

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    Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart; the more you eat, the more you — well, you get the drift. Although just a cheeky ditty, this childhood rhyme serves as a good reminder that eating beans — which contain a complex sugar, oligosaccharide, that’s almost impossible to digest — can result in flatulence. And let’s face it. A toot is never cute.

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    Everyone knows that garlic causes bad breath but what you might not know is that the smell can haunt you for hours. And hours. When you eat garlic, it produces sulfur-containing gases that are absorbed into your bloodstream during the digestive process. Once there, they can exude through your pores and also pass into the air inside your lungs. And that’s why even after a first round of bad breath, the foul odor can present itself again hours later, even after you’ve brushed your teeth.

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    Photograph by Eric Isaac

    Hot Dogs

    Although this summer favorite might seem sexily suggestive on the surface, chowing down on wieners is actually not conducive to between-the-sheets action. The humble frankfurter’s high saturated fat content clogs the penile and vaginal arteries, making this anything but a romantic treat. Processed foods in general should be avoided before a hot date as they can drain your energy and make you feel sluggish.

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    French Fries

    Who doesn’t like fries? No one. And yet you might want to skip this snack before a date. This overly processed food with a very high glycemic index may cause an energy spike — at first. But very quickly your energy level will drop, leaving you feeling sluggish. Another downside? Their saltiness increases water retention and bloating.

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    This global favorite’s pungent odor is so offensive it warrants its own label. Look at the online Urban Dictionary and you’ll find a listing for Kimchi Breath, defined as a “sour smell coming from the mouth, most often associated with the Korean dish made from fermented cabbage.” If you’re a fan of this traditional dish made by salting cabbage leaves and covering them with garlic, ginger and red pepper paste, make sure to drink plenty of water while eating it. Not only does water lubricate your mouth, which keeps odor-causing microbes at bay, but it also washes away many of kimchi’s fermented food particles.

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    Dairy Products

    Many of us have a tough time breaking down milk, cheese and other dairy products — because they contain the enzyme lactase — so you might want to forgo eating, say, macaroni and cheese the day of a date in order to prevent gas and bloating at night. Dairy products also contain a mucus-forming agent that can cause nasal congestion. Not sexy.

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    Actually, you should shy away from anything that can stain your pearly whites. What’s more, foods like smoothies and salads may be amazingly healthy, but tiny bits from either can wind up getting stuck between your teeth. And nothing ruins a smile faster than a piece of spinach that’s lodged in a conspicuous crevice. To avoid the problem, drink plenty of water while eating and always keep a few toothpicks on hand.

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