05 Jul

Should You Eat Fruits Before Or After A Meal?

With all the recognized health benefits of eating fruits, why do people suggest one shouldn’t eat fruits at certain time?

Most health experts claim how eating fresh fruits and vegetables are important to lead a healthy diet. They are a source of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants that promote a healthy body. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, fruits and vegetables should make up at least half of your plate at meal times. While vegetables are believed to be consumed at any time, it is said that fruits should be at certain times, considering the excess amount of sugar they contain. So, with all the recognised health benefits of eating fruits, why do people suggest one shouldn’t eat fruits at certain time?

Fruits are superfoods that are nature’s potent sources of essential nutrients; however, it is important to know that you cannot have fruits at any time of the day. Especially, you should avoid eating them right after eating your meal. One of the most common arguments for this statement is that sugar plus carbohydrates plus bacteria may result in the fermentation of the food, which may hamper your digestive system. Macrobiotic Coach and Nutritionist, Shilpa Arora ND agrees, “Fruits are a meal in itself. They should never be combined with main meals. The sugar in fruits gets fermented if they are digested with heavy proteins that usually take time in digestive processes.” Dr. Zamurrud Patel, Consultant Dietitian, Global Hospitals Mumbai suggests, “Eating fruits right after a meal is not a great idea, as it may not be digested properly. The nutrients may not be absorbed properly either. You need to leave a gap of at least 30 minutes between a meal and a fruit snack.”

So when should one ideally eat fruits?

According to Dr. Patel, “Fruits should be eaten in the morning after a glass of water. If you eat fruits on empty stomach, it will play a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities. Ideally, fruits should be best eaten first thing in the morning, between breakfast and lunch and in the evening as snacks.

Eating a few pieces of fruits at least half an hour before your meal may help control overeating during lunch. Fruits before a meal allow you to put something that is low in calorie into your stomach. Also, eating fruit before your meal increases your intake of fibre as most fruits contain fibre. So, when you eat fibre, you tend to feel fuller for long and it also tends to delay your digestion process. High fibre fruits include apple, pears, bananas and raspberries.


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