NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From vegans and vegetarians to those who go gluten free and paleo, there’s no shortage of incompatible eating habits.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, these dietary differences are causing heartburn for couples in and out of the kitchen.
“When I was buying milk he’d say, ‘Why do you have to buy almond milk, can’t we drink regular milk?” Grace Farren explained.
Sharing a meal at the end of each day normally brings couple together, but for Grace Farren — a nutritionist and vegan — it tore a five-year relationship apart.
When it comes to food fights, Farren is not alone.
“Watching my ex-boyfriend eat steak was at the same time alienating and depressing,” one woman said.
Dr. Drew Ramsey specializes in nutritional psychiatry.
“Food is an increasing issue for couples,” he said. “We’re seeing more specialty diets. You’re vegan or paleo or on Weight Watchers and that’s good, we want more people more focused on food. We don’t want to see that then causing a lot of conflict.”
Dietician Lauren Slayton devoted an entire chapter of her book to the issue.
She said dietary differences can become a huge problem when one person in the relationship goes on a health kick.
“I think couples are taking food more seriously and I think it’s a big part of their lifestyle. They want someone that sort of aligns with them in that way,” Slayton said.
Forget religion and politics, a recent survey of more than 500 singles found dietary differences are the newest deal breaker when it comes to romance.
Sometimes even before a relationship gets started said Benay Vynerib, the general manager of the vegan restaurant Candle 79, 154 E. 79th St.
“He found out that I was a vegan and he refused to call me, to even explore who I was as a person,” Benay said.
With most differences of opinion there are solutions.
“One thing I say is just lighten up,” Slayton suggested.
Slayton said you can find common ground, especially over ingredients.
That’s worked for meat eater Jennifer Chiminiello and her vegan husband of 13 years, Robert.
“We have some recipes that are amazing,” they explained.
The survey of singles also found that 72 percent of respondents would prefer dating someone with no dietary restrictions.