Do you like to eat fruits at any time of the day? But, you feel afraid of something untoward? There is no doubt that fruits are a major component of a balanced diet. However, there are a lot of controversies regarding the best time to eat fruits. Surprisingly, almost all of those are based on myths with no research support.
Know the Best Time to Eat Fruits
Here, we will discuss 8 myths regarding the best time and the right way to eat fruit. Additionally, we will burst the myths with facts as well.
Myth No#1 – Do Not Consume Fruits With Meals
This is one of the most common myths about fruit consumption. It is popular because of various internet sites.
Most people think that eating fruits and meals together will slow digestion. Consequently, the food will stay on the stomach for a longer time. This, in turn, will cause the food to rot and cause the following symptoms:
- Excessive gas in the stomach (bloating)
- Nausea and vomiting
However, there is no scientific proof of this. Although fruits digest slowly due to the presence of fibers; as a result, the stomach empties at a slow speed. However, it doesn’t cause rotting.
The function of the stomach is:
- Firstly, temporary food storage
- Secondly, the grinding of food contents
- Thirdly, Killing of bacteria by its very low pH (2-3)
- Finally, Protein digestion
The stomach’s low pH is the reason why the bacteria cannot grow here and cause fermentation. So, there are no chances of any trouble if we eat fruits and meals together.
The slow digestion of fruits helps to maintain satiety for a long period.
Myth No#2 – Is It Wrong To Eat Fruit Before Or After Meals?
It is believed that if you eat fruit right before or after meals, it will not provide enough nutrients. However, this is also a misconception.
This myth is also based on the one we discussed above. The thought behind this is that the fiber in fruit cause a delay in stomach emptying. Therefore, nutrients do not get absorbed properly.
As a matter of reality, the stomach is a temporary storage-room for food. Moreover, it is the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. This intestine is not small at all. It is almost 600 cm long.
The small intestine, additionally, possesses finger-like projections. These two features on the whole cause maximum nutrients absorption from the digested food.
So, you can fearlessly consume fruits before or after meals.
Myth No#3 – Is The Afternoon The Best Time To Eat Fruits?
There is a misconception that the digestive system slows down towards the evening. However, eating fruits at that time will tend to activate the stomach by increasing carbohydrate levels, and will improve digestion.
But, there is nothing in favor of this as the stomach has no activation and deactivation timings.
Whenever we take a portion of food, the whole digestive system comes into action. No matter what time of the day it is. The functioning of the digestive system is not at all, dependent on the biological clock.
So, as soon as you take a fruit or any other food, the sugar levels in your body will rise.
However, fruits are considered a good afternoon snack. Because eating fruits keeps the stomach full for a longer time due to the presence of fibers. Consequently, there is a sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Hence, consuming fruits in the latter part of the day keeps one away from frequent snacking.
Myth No#4 – Is The Best Time To Eat Fruits For People With Diabetes Is 1-2 Hours Before Or After Meals?
Diabetes slows down the digestive system; therefore, people with diabetes have digestive problems. The slowing down of the digestive system is called gastroparesis.
Again the thought behind this myth is that if the diabetics consume fruit with meals, it will further slow down the digestion. Hence, this will increase blood glucose levels. Moreover, they will suffer from bloating and diarrhoea.
So, eating fruits one or two hours before or after meals will improve digestion. However, this carries no scientific support; instead, it is a piece of bad advice.
The fact is that it is a healthy practice to pair fruits with a meal.
Fruits have carbohydrates. If a protein and fat-containing diet are combined with fruit. Protein and fat will cause delayed stomach emptying. Consequently, the carbohydrates will release slowly into the bloodstream. Finally, preventing glucose spikes in the blood.
Myth No#5 – Can You Eat Fruits At Night?
There is a hypothesis that if you eat fruit at night, your body will not get sufficient time to stabilize glucose levels. Subsequently, weight gain results.
Conversely, this is not the case. Instead, fruits are the best bedtime snack. On the one hand, the sustained release of sugars controls blood glucose levels. On the other hand, the fibers give a feeling of satiety. Hence, you will not need to snack for the rest of the night.
It is advised to eat a banana at night as it contains potassium. This prevents leg cramping while asleep. Almonds are another excellent choice to snack on during the night.
Myth No#6 – Is It Good To Drink Fruit Juice In The Morning?
There are myths regarding this as well. They say that drinking juice with an empty stomach can cause acidity and disturb the digestive system.
However, this is not the case. Instead, drinking juices in the morning can be beneficial. Empty intestines allow more absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
Also, taking juice with meals will cause them to ferment with the food and release essential chemicals to aid digestion.
However, it is never a good idea to replace your meals with juice. Both have their nutritional value.
Myth No#7 – When To Eat Fruits For Weight Loss!
Eating fruits help in losing weight in the following way:
- Fibers cause delayed emptying of intestinal contents. The stomach feels full, and there is less appetite. Thus, there is a lesser need to eat. Decreased calorie intake leads to weight loss.
- Slower glucose absorption maintains optimum blood glucose levels. Hence, there is no abrupt fall in glucose levels. There is no triggering of the hunger center in the brain. Eventually, a person eats less.
However, no strong shreds of evidence are suggesting the good or bad timings for eating fruits to lose weight. You can eat anytime and get the benefits as mentioned above.
Myth No#8 – What is the Right Way to Eat Fruits?
You must have heard that one should always consume fresh fruits. There is a lot of debate regarding the consumption of dried, frozen, and canned fruits. Also, there is a lot of controversy regarding 100% juices.
It is said that processing reduces the actual nutritional value of fruits. Hence, they become less nutritious as compared to fresh fruits.
Let us bust this myth. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals in any form. The canning, drying and freezing all take place when the fruits are at their peak of freshness. This causes the preservation of the nutrients.
The Bottom Line
The myths regarding the best time and ways to eat fruits carry no weight. One may say that these are just rumours. Instead, the present age of science and technology asks for strong logic and proof.
So, enjoy your favorite piece of fruit whenever you want to.