Why Have Fruit at Meals

Should fruit be eaten before or after meals?

Why Have Fruit at Meals

Fruitsare an important part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. They are low in calories and fat but high in fiber. They also contain health-enhancing plant compounds such as antioxidants and they are filled with vitamins and minerals.

Experts recommend fruits for improving an individual’s overall well-being and helping prevent various diseases (heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some cancers).

Examples of healthy fruits include apples, blueberries, bananas, blackberries, cherries, pears, pineapples, oranges, kiwis and many more. Diets rich in nutrients typically include fruits because they help individuals sustain a healthy weight.

Commonly asked questions in regard to fruit

  • Should fruit be consumed before a meal or hours after a meal?
  • Should fruit be consumed on a full stomach or on an empty stomach?

One response in particular comes from a study published in the journal of ‘Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders -Drug Targets’.

 Fruit and its derivatives, such as fruit juice, contain polyphenols. Polyphenols have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that shield the body from free radicals and other molecules that cause inflammation.

 These “enemies” of the body are produced in large quantities just after eating an unbalanced meal, particularly food high in fat, carbohydrates or calories.

Citrus fruits after a fatty meal

It is not the first time that scientific research has dealt with the benefits of eating plentiful fruit after a meal.

For example, a study at the University of Buffalo (United States) appeared in 2010 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, promoting the role of flavonoids in orange juice as “scavengers” in the body.

 Two antioxidants, naringin and hesperidin, neutralize the oxidative stress and inflammation generated by a unhealthy meal and prevent damage to the blood vessels.

“Naringin is a flavonoid found in grapefruit, lemon, oranges, clementines, tangerines, and cedar. This flavonoid is important for strengthening the capillary walls, purifying the body and promoting weight loss. It also has effect on the flu, acts as a muscle relaxant, it has anti-cancerous agents, hepatoprotection and anti-atherogenic mechanisms” – concludes Dr. Testa. 

What kinds of fruit have a positive impact on postprandial stress?

“Fruits that best play an antioxidant role are purple fruits that fight free radicals responsible for cellular aging and inflammatory diseases. Among these fruits are blueberries, black plums, black grapes, blackberries and plums” – says Dr. Sara Testa, Nutritionist at Humanitas Hospital.

Is it better to eat fruit before or after meals?

“Preferably, fruit should be eaten before the two main meals because the fibers it contains help reduce the absorption of simple sugars, thus reducing the glycemic index of foods.

 Contrary to what is often recommended in weight loss diets, fruit in between meals stimulatesthe endogenous production of insulin and therefore stimulates hunger rather than reducing it” – explains Dr. Testa.


Source: https://www.hunimed.eu/news/fruit-eaten-meals/

Is there a best time to eat fruit? Facts and myths

Why Have Fruit at Meals

Despite online claims, there is no best time of day to eat fruit — people can get similar health benefits from fruit at any time of the day. That said, people with weight loss goals or diabetes can benefit from timing their fruit intake.

Many online sources claim that people can get better health benefits from fruit if they eat it in the afternoon, on an empty stomach, or if they avoid eating fruit along with specific foods. There is no evidence to support these claims.

In this article, we explore the various myths linked with when to eat fruit, along with ways to time fruit intake for weight loss and diabetes management.

There are many myths concerning when to eat fruit. Below, we discuss four of the most common myths and the evidence behind them.

Myth: Afternoon is the best time to eat fruit

Share on PinterestFruit is an excellent option for an afternoon snack.

Some sources state that eating fruit in the afternoon can provide more health benefits than eating fruit in the morning. Others say differently, claiming that the best time is first thing in the morning with a glass of water.

However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating fruit in the morning or afternoon changes how fruit affects a person’s health.

The theory behind eating fruit in the afternoon is the idea that eating a high-sugar snack during that time can raise blood sugar levels and “wake up” the digestive system.

However, all carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood sugar levels, and the time of day has little effect on this. The digestive system is always prepared to begin operations at any time of day.

That said, when choosing an afternoon snack, fruit is an excellent option. Fruits are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, meaning that they take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates, such as white bread. This can help keep people fuller for longer and avoid unhealthful snacks during the day.

Fruits also provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and health benefits. Consuming fruit with a healthful fat or protein can provide balance and more sustainable energy. Enjoy fruit with a small handful of nuts or seeds or some avocado for a nutrient-dense snack.

Myth: Avoid eating fruit before bed

Generally speaking, eating a full meal in the hours before sleeping can interrupt a person’s sleep cycles. However, when snacking at nighttime, fruit is less ly to interfere with sleep, compared with other foods, especially processed foods.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, eating certain foods before bed can interfere with sleep due to the body’s digestive processes. They recommend avoiding foods with processed sugars just before bed, as these can cause energy levels to rise and fall quickly. Choosing fresh fruit may be a better option.

They add that eating a banana before bed provides potassium that may prevent nighttime leg cramping. Including fruits with higher magnesium, such as plantains, apricots, or dates, can also aid in relaxation and better sleep.

Myth: Eat fruit on an empty stomach

Some people believe that eating fruit on an empty stomach provides greater health benefits. This myth has been popularized mainly through websites and email chains.

The idea is that eating fruit with a meal slows down digestion, meaning that food sits in the stomach for a long time and can rot or ferment. The theory says that this causes gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort.

While it is true that fruit slows down digestion — fruits are high in fiber, which slows the progression of food through the digestive tract — this is not a bad thing. Fiber is an important part of all diets and boosts gut health. Slower digestion also helps a person feel full for longer.

Even if fruit remained in the stomach for an unusual length of time, the fruit would not have a chance to rot due to the stomach’s ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth. Most microorganisms are incapable of growing within the acidity of the stomach.

People with gastrointestinal issues should speak with a doctor or dietitian about specific needs and remedies that may help the process of digestion.

Myth: Diabetes and fruit separate from meals

Another claim states that the best time for people with diabetes to eat fruit is 1–2 hours either before or after a meal.

This myth is based around the idea, as discussed earlier, that eating fruit with a meal can interfere with digestion, and that this can especially affect a person with diabetes, due to common co-occurring digestive problems.

Firstly, there is no evidence suggesting that eating fruit separate from meals will improve digestion. Secondly, for someone with diabetes, eating fruit alone can cause the sugars to enter the bloodstream more quickly, potentially raising blood sugar more than when eating fruit with other foods.

Rather than eating fruits separately, a person with diabetes can benefit from pairing fruits with other foods that are high in protein, fiber, or fats.

According to research, protein, fiber, and fat help the stomach slow the release of food into the small intestine. This way, the body absorbs smaller amounts of sugar at a time, which limits its effect on blood sugar levels.

Research also shows that soluble fiber can reduce a rise in blood sugar, which can be very beneficial for people with diabetes. In addition, enjoying a piece of fruit before a meal can help deter overeating, as it aids in feeling full sooner.

Share on PinterestA person may eat less if they follow a high-fiber diet.

While there is no overall magic timing, there might be better times to eat fruit for someone with a goal of weight loss. Since fruits tend to be high in fiber, they can help a person feel full for a longer period of time.

According to a 2017 study, a high-fiber diet can help someone eat less. Since taking in fewer calories promotes weight loss, people aiming to lose weight could benefit from planning their fruit consumption.

Eating nutritious, low-calorie fruit before a meal may make a person feel fuller and therefore make them less ly to overeat during or after their meal. Eating fruit alongside a meal can help a person eat fewer high-calorie foods.

Replacing high-calorie snacks with fruit — at any time during the day — is a great way to promote weight loss.

When a person has diabetes, carbohydrate-containing foods can cause big spikes in blood sugar levels. Over time, repeated spikes can lead to lasting health complications.

Fruits contain carbohydrates, including sugars, and they can therefore affect blood sugar levels. However, fruits have a low glycemic index rating, meaning that they have less of an effect on blood sugar levels, compared with other foods. This is due to their higher fiber content, making them a good choice for people with diabetes.

Learn more about fruit for people with diabetes here.

To reduce the effect of fruits on blood sugar, people with any type of diabetes can pair fruit with other foods or even a meal higher in protein or fat. The fruit’s fiber can cause sugars to enter the body’s small intestine more slowly.

Eating fruit separately from meals could result in sugars entering the bloodstream too quickly, unless a person pairs the fruit with a healthful protein or fat.

Speak with a doctor, a dietitian, or a diabetes educator regarding specific carbohydrate needs and how to incorporate them appropriately while managing any type of diabetes.

Fruits are a healthful food that provide the body with many beneficial nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

There are many myths surrounding the best times to eat fruit, but little scientific evidence to back them up. There is no perfect time of day for eating fruit. Most people can pair fruit with or without a meal at any time of day.

People can, however, plan their fruit intake to help promote weight loss or reduce the effects on blood sugar levels.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325253

14 Rules I Follow When Eating Fruit

Why Have Fruit at Meals

As sugar awareness increases, fruit has lately become more heavily scrutinized. Even though it offers vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, most of fruit’s is-it-good-or-bad debate stems from its fructose (the most metabolically damaging sugar) and overall sugar.

You might know fruit contains various amounts of sugar, but I bet you didn’t think could contribute to your sugar addiction or cravings, and your inability to drop that unwanted weight.

Let me be very clear: That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat fruit. I’m not here to deny fruit’s goodness, nor do I want you to give it up. Rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach, with these 14 distinctions you can make more informed fruit choices:

1. Some fruits are better for you than others.

Higher-glycemic, sweeter fruits bananas, mangos and grapes can raise blood sugar pretty quickly because they have more sugar and less fiber than fruits berries. If fat loss or reducing your diabetes risk is among your health goals, stick with lower-sugar options blueberries or raspberries.

2. Fruit can be a sneaky sugar source.

Fruits we’re told to eat every day apples can actually be some of the worst offenders for sneaking more sugar into your diet than you ever imagined, especially because you’re probably giving yourself a pass to have an apple (it's healthy!) and a sweet treat later in the day. For future reference, one medium apple contains about 19 grams of sugar.

3. Though they contain sugar, they're full of the good stuff, too.

Nature packed blueberries and other fruits with nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and all kinds of other goodness that cumulatively lower their sugar impact.

Fiber and nutrients in blueberries are the reason they’re relatively low on the glycemic index, despite their sugar content.

In fact, studies show blueberries can actually help normalize blood sugar levels and reduce your risk for diabetes.

4. You can reduce fruit’s sugar impact with this delicious strategy.

Protein and healthy fat can help buffer out fruit’s sugar impact. So if you have apple slices, smear a tablespoon of almond butter onto them.

5. Not all fruits contain sugar.

Because of its sugar load, you probably classify all fruit as a carbohydrate. But a few anomalies including avocado, olives and coconut, are low-sugar impact and offer healthy fat.

6. Frozen is fine.

Especially during off seasons, frozen fruits can become more practical and last longer than fresh fruit. Just read labels for added sugars — make sure you're buying frozen versions of the real thing, and not pre-packaged processed fruits.

7. Fruit is not an all-you-can-eat food.

Certain meal plans claim fruit is a “free” food. Sorry to bust that myth, but gorging on bananas all day won’t do you any favors. Excessive amounts of any fruit — we’re talking more than a few pieces a day, and even less for sugar-sensitive people — can stall fat loss.

8. Dried fruit should be treated candy.

Seemingly healthy foods raisins or dates count as processed food. Why? Even if you get a little fiber in them, you’re not getting enough nutrients and antioxidants to offset the impact of concentrated sugar on your insulin.

9. No, fruit juice does not count as fruit.

When food is “unwrapped” from its fiber — and fruit juice most certainly is — it’s left without its protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and its sugar impact is exponentially increased. More processing is performed to make it into commercial juices and that just makes it worse.

10. Juicing creates a huge sugar surge.

Vegetable juice is fine, but juicing fruit strips most of its fiber, creating a huge sugar surge. Read those labels: You might become surprised to see how much sugar that “healthy” commercial juice contains!

11. Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt can have as much sugar as a candy bar.

Skip the sugar-loaded commercial varieties and stir real berries into unsweetened Greek yogurt (if you’re not dairy sensitive) or low-sugar impact coconut yogurt (if you are).

12. Any nutrient that fruit contains, vegetables do better.

Here is one of my favorite quotes on this topic: “If you put a gun to my head and made me choose one of the two categories, it would be no contest: Vegetables are the clear winner,” writes Dr. Jonny Bowden in The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. “Almost all the nutrients found in fruits are obtainable in vegetables, and with substantially less impact on blood sugar.”

13. Fruit as a sweetener does not automatically entail healthy.

Health-halo sweeteners fruit-juice concentrate aren’t any healthier than sugar. Doesn’t matter whether it comes from bees, fruit, or sugarcane— it still breaks down in your body as sugar.

14. You don’t always need to buy organic.

If you’re on a budget, don’t have availability, or just need help making choices, use these lists to guide your fruit purchases.

The “Clean Fifteen” list covers the fruit and vegetables with the least amount of pesticides, so it's not necessary to purchase the organic versions.

Alternately, the “Dirty Dozen” list covers the fruits and vegetables that you should purchase organic versions of — since they have the most pesticides.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21300/14-rules-i-follow-when-eating-fruit.html

Time to eat fruit

Why Have Fruit at Meals

According to experts, you’re eating the right fruit but your timing is wrong. There’s a popular belief that healthy food can be eaten whenever you want. Experts say this is not true.

To get the maximum benefits, they say, fruit should be eaten between meals, not along with lunch or dinner. That is because fruits slow down digestion, says Luke Coutinho, doctor of alternative medicine and founder of the health start-up Pure Nutrition.

“If you want to eat healthy, what matters is how much of what you eat is absorbed by your body. Tea and coffee have substances tannin and caffeine that hinder absorption of the nutrients you find in fruits banana and chikoos.

In fact, fruits are best absorbed on an empty stomach, early morning, as a snack between two meals, or before or after a workout to refuel your body,” says Coutinho.

Fruits are essential to a healthy diet—they’re a rich source of vitamins, minerals, natural sugars, enzymes, fibre and antioxidants.

“Vitamins and minerals are necessary for life processes, antioxidants help flush toxins from the body and build up your immune system, while fibre is important for easy bowel movement,” says Anita Jatana, chief dietitian, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

In addition, these nutritional powerhouses protect you from heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure, eye disease and chronic diseases, says Pavithra N. Raj, dietitian executive, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bengaluru.

The best time of day to have fruits, if you want to lose weight and make sure your body absorbs the maximum minerals and vitamins, is 30 minutes before a meal, says Shikha Sharma, a Delhi-based wellness consultant and nutritionist.

The digestive enzymes released in the stomach help you digest the meal that follows.

“Avoid eating citrus fruits immediately after a meal as dessert, as it will increase acid formation in the stomach, causing a feeling of heaviness and digestive problems, and minimize nutrient absorption,” she adds.

Other than a little before a meal, fruits are best had as a snack between the three major meals. Fibre-rich fruits banana and chikoo are good pre- or post-workout foods, says Sharma.

A fruitful choice

To imbibe the maximum benefits, fruits should be eaten fresh and whole, with fibre, skin and flesh intact, says Jatana. “Drying or extracting juice results in loss of vitamins and fibre, respectively, and the sugar concentration is also quite high,” she explains.

Stick to seasonal produce, and have a good variety. “Different fruits are rich in different nutrients, so it is best to have two-three different fruits daily and keep changing the type of fruit you consume to maximize benefits,” Jatana says. Three servings a day is ideal—it could be a banana, apple or pear along with a small cup of melon or grapes.

While fruits are healthy, people with lifestyle diseases such as kidney problems or diabetes need to choose their produce carefully. “If you suffer from kidney disease, include low-potassium fruits apple, papaya, pears, guava, etc. in your diet,” says Ritika Samaddar, chief dietitian, Max Healthcare, Delhi.

People with diabetes should stick to fruits low on the glycaemic index (which measures the effect of carbohydrates present in food on blood sugar levels) apples, berries, kiwi, peaches, apricots and oranges as a midday or mid-evening snack, keeping a 1-2-hour gap between meals to ensure sugar levels remain stable.

Fruits can help people suffering from indigestion. Samaddar recommends pineapple, grapes, pomegranate and papaya before a meal, on an empty stomach—the enzymes, vitamins and minerals will help the digestive process. Those who have diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should avoid high-fibre fruits bananas, apples and oranges.

So make sure you time it right when you reach for that banana or bowl of melon.


Source: https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/OMkzV0oEfYfrHhOnHbPhbJ/Time-to-eat-fruit.html


Why Have Fruit at Meals

Most Australians eat only about half the recommended quantity of fruit.  However many of us drink far too much fruit juice. Fruit juices can be high in energy (kilojoules) and low in dietary fibre, and can even damage your teeth. Whole fruits are a much better choice, and are more filling.

What’s in the fruit group?

A wide variety of fruit is grown and available in Australia. There is plenty of choice throughout the year.  Choosing fruits in season provides better value and better quality.  Eating seasonally also adds more variety to your diet throughout the year.  And just with veggies, choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health! 

Choose fruits from these different fruit categories:

  • pome fruits such as apples and pears
  • citrus fruit such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruit
  • stone fruit such as apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums
  • tropical fruit such as bananas, paw paw, mangoes, pineapple and melons
  • berries
  • other fruits such as grapes and passionfruit.

For a longer list of the different fruits take a look at the Go for 2 & 5 Fruit and Vegetable information at www.gofor2and5.com.au

How much should I eat from the Fruits Group?

Follow the links below to find out how many serves you need to eat per day.

Did you know that by the age of nine, 2 serves of fruit per day are recommended!

A serve of fruit is approximately 150g (350kJ) which is:

  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
  • 2 small apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
  • 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)

Or only occasionally:

  • 125ml (½ cup) fruit juice (no added sugar)
  • 30g dried fruit (for example, 4 dried apricot halves, 1½ tablespoons of sultanas)  

Eating dried fruit regularly, is not recommended as it is high in kilojoules, can stick to the teeth and increases the risk of dental decay. Also, you can easily eat more than you realise! 

Fruit juice should only be drunk occasionally as it is acidic and can increase the risk of dental erosion.  Fruit juice also has less fibre and other healthy nutrients than the whole fruit provides.

What can I do with fruit?

Eat fruit fresh and whole of course!  In fact, fruit is the most nutritious for you eaten fresh and raw. Fruit can be added to cereal, porridge, toast, salads, or used to finish a meal. Fruit also makes a convenient snack in between meals and while out and about.

Fruit based desserts baked apples, fruit crumbles or stewed or poached fruit, are healthy and nutritious. Fruit is also great for adding to pancakes, pikelets, scones and low fat muffins.  Take a look at the healthy recipes on our website for ideas.

Canned or frozen fruit can also be included for variety and convenience.  Look for varieties that are canned or preserved in fruit juice not with added sugars or syrup.

Health benefits of fruit

Did you know there is increasing evidence that whole foods such as fruit are more effective in reducing the risk of cancer than specific vitamin and mineral supplements. There is also building evidence that some risk factors for cancer can be avoided by eating fruit (and vegetables and legumes) during childhood and early adult life.

Most fruits are low in energy (kilojoules) and high in fibre and water, making you feel fuller. This reduces the risk of over eating which can cause weight gain. The fibre in fruit is also thought to reduce the risk of some cancers, including colorectal cancer.

Fruit is abundant in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Vitamins such as vitamin C and E and different phytochemicals may reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions. Potassium and magnesium found in fruit have also been linked to lower blood pressure.

Different coloured fruits, especially orange, red and yellow fruit, contain carotenes (Vitamin A) which are also thought to assist in immune function.

Source: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit

Fruits and Vegetables

Why Have Fruit at Meals

Using more fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and beans, is a safe and healthy way to lose or maintain weight.

In addition, diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body uses

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat less food.

You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients.

The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

Breakfast: Start the Day Right

  • Substitute spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one egg or half the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese.
  • Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.

Lighten Up Your Lunch

  • Substitute vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap, or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.
  • Replace 2 ounces of meat or 1 cup of noodles in broth-based soup with 1 cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans, or red peppers. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won’t miss those extra calories.


  • Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version.
  • Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, white pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will reduce the total calories in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat. BUT remember to use a normal- or small-size plate — not a platter. The total number of calories that you eat counts, even if a good proportion of them come from fruits and vegetables.

Smart Snacks

  • Most healthy eating plans allow for one or two small snacks a day. Choosing most fruits and vegetables will allow you to eat a snack with only 100 calories.

Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit from home. A 1-ounce bag of corn chips has as many calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip.

Substitute one or two of these options for the chips, and you will have a satisfying snack with fewer calories.

Remember: Substitution is the key

It’s true that fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods, but they do contain some calories. If you start eating fruits and vegetables in addition to what you usually eat, you are adding calories and may gain weight. The key is substitution. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of some other higher-calorie food.

More Tips for Making Fruits and Vegetables Part of Your Weight Management Plan

Eat fruits and vegetables the way nature provided—or with fat-free or low-fat cooking techniques.

Try steaming your vegetables, using low-calorie or low-fat dressings, and using herbs and spices to add flavor.

Some cooking techniques, such as breading and frying, or using high-fat dressings or sauces will greatly increase the calories and fat in the dish. And eat your fruit raw to enjoy its natural sweetness.

Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are also good options.
Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as the fresh varieties. However, be careful to choose those without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that will add calories.

Choose whole fruit over fruit drinks and juices. Fruit juices have lost fiber from the fruit.
It is better to eat the whole fruit because it contains the added fiber that helps you feel full. One 6-ounce serving of orange juice has 85 calories, compared to just 65 calories in a medium orange.

Whole fruit gives you a bigger size snack than the same fruit dried—for the same number of calories.
A small box of raisins (1/4 cup) is about 100 calories. For the same number of calories, you can eat 1 cup of grapes.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html

Best Time to Eat Fruits – Before Meals or After Meals?

Why Have Fruit at Meals

Fruitsare an important part of a healthy diet. They play a crucial role in promotinggood health by providing the body with essential vitamins and antioxidantswhich helps the body to fight against diseases.

Fruits are also rich in dietaryfibre which has been shown to help in weight management; if you want to losesome weight, making fruits a regular part of your diet together with vegetableswill help you achieve that.

Related:4 Simple Ways to Manage Your Weight in Your Kitchen 

In spiteof all these benefits, the ideal time to eat fruits has become a source ofcontention, with some people advising certain fruits be eaten at certain timesin order to have their full healthful benefits.

In addition, some people assertthat you have to eat fruits on empty stomach for your body to adequatelyutilize the nutrients they contain.

This post addresses popular myths abouteating fruits and also provides an explanation for when it is best to eatfruits.

Related:17 Food and Nutrition Myths Debunked

Mustone eat fruits at all?

Thestraightforward answer is YES. If you are interested in having good health nowand in the long term, you need to eat fruits and eat them regularly. Fruits arenot sweets you eat when you are satisfied; it should form part of your diet, anessential part of your diet without which you are not satisfied.

Aside thenutrients they provide for your body to be able to utilize carbohydrates, fatsand proteins, fruits are packed with antioxidants (some of which are vitamins)which ensure that harmful chemical species (called free radicals) in your bodyare removed, hence, significantly reducing your risk of cancers and otherdiseases.

Studies have shown that individuals who consume fruits (andvegetables) have fewer free radicals in their blood as compared to those who donot eat fruits (and vegetables) and those who consume fruits (and vegetables)have a better cognitive performance than those who don’t.

This means eating fruits helps you to utilize yourbrain’s capacity better, enhances your ability to retain information and evenimproves your attention span.

Bananas and apples looking very sumptuous

With thisin mind, you don’t have to eat a week’s worth of fruits in a day in an attemptto give the body a large dose of the vitamins to work with over the week. Allthe excess vitamins will be removed from the body. The body does not store thevitamins you get from eating fruits (or any other food).

Anytime you have moreof a particular vitamin than what your body needs, the excess is removed fromthe body. It is best to eat at least a handful serving of cut fruits each dayso that your body will have a daily supply of vitamins to help it in itsactivities.

And you need to eat a variety of fruits to get a variety ofvitamins and other nutrients.

Related:6 Letters To Consider for Good Nutrition

Keynote:It is important to eat fruits every day. Fruits are not sweets you eat after ameal should form part of your diet.

Fruitsor Fruit Juice?

Bothwhole fruit and fruit juice are good. However, whole fruit is regarded a betteroption because in addition to the vitamins you would get from drinking thejuice, you get dietary fibre.

Dietary fibre helps to control your intake ofcalories by making you feel full quicker; as a result, it will help youmaintain a healthy body weight.

Further, dietary fibre helps to reduce the riskof diabetes, high blood cholesterol and some cancers.

Delicious looking orange juice

Somepackaged fruit juices, moreover, contain the pulp (source of fibre in thefruit) of the fruit in addition to the juice from the fruit. Such fruit juicesare just as good as eating whole fruits.

But many packaged fruit juices onlyhave the juice from the fruit and may also, contain added sugar.

Hence, isimportant to read food labels in order to have an idea of how much calories youmight be drinking, especially if you are on a calorie-restriction diet.

Keynote:Both whole fruits and fruit juices are good, but whole fruits are betterbecause of the dietary fibre they contain. Your top priority should be wholefruits followed by fruit juices which contain the pulp then fruit juiceswithout the pulp.

ShouldI eat fruits before meals or after meals?

One ofthe myths that has been made popular in recent times is that it is best to eatfruits on an empty stomach. Otherwise, the fruits cause your digestion to slowdown indefinitely, hence, the food ferments in the stomach leading to bloating.This is not true. Yes, fruits slow down your digestion due to the dietary fibrethey contain and that is a good thing.

Further, eating fruits with your mealdoes not slow down your digestion indefinitely. A 2014study found that in healthy people, fibre increased thetime it takes for the stomach to empty half of its content from 72 minutes to86 minutes.

This makes you feel full for longer and the energy from the food isslowly released into your bloodstream helping to reduce your risk for type-2diabetes.

Having fruits with your breakfast is very healthy

Whilethere is no scientific evidence to support that claim that eating fruits beforeor after meals is healthier, there is enough proof to show that eating fruitsbefore meals is helpful in weight-loss.

The reason is that when you eat fruitsbefore your meal, you partially satisfy your hunger because of the dietaryfibre the fruits contain thereby reducing the quantity of food you wouldnormally eat.

As a result, you eat less calories and this with time, togetherwith exercises, will help you to lose some weight.

Related:Exercise: How Much Is Enough?

Further,studies have shown that for people who have type-2diabetes,it is helpful to pair fruits with another food that is rich in protein (e.g.yoghurt with cut fruits in it), fibre (e.g. oatmeal/corn porridge with cutfruits in it) or fat (e.g. mango avocado salad). This would help the bloodsugar to rise more slowly compared to when the fruit is eaten alone.

Keynote:Eating fruits together with a meal helps slow down your digestion, whichreduces your risk for type-2 diabetes. It is best to eat fruits before meals ifyou want to lose weight. Otherwise, you can eat fruits any time of the day.

Inconclusion, it is important to make fruits a part of your daily diet. Theycontain essential nutrients for proper growth and function of the body. Thereis no evidence that supports any of the claims on when the best time is to eatfruits.

Moreover, if you want to lose weight, it is best to start eating fruitsbefore meals. Also, if you have type-2 diabetes, it is best to pair fruits witha source of protein, fibre or fat to help control how the sugar is releasedinto your blood.

Make sureto eat fruits. Fruits at any time of the day is good. Share your comments and questionsbelow and share this post with a friend you believe would need this.

Source: https://www.staywellnow.com/post/best-time-to-eat-fruits-before-meals-or-after-meals