Fruits are considered in dietary guidance because of their high concentrations of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, especially electrolytes; and more recently phytochemicals, especially antioxidants (
). Various reviews have associated low intake of fruits and vegetables with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, many cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, respiratory problems as well as mental health problems (
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the consumption of fruits along with when they should be eaten. Some of the most common myths surrounding the consumption of fruits are:
Table of Contents
Consuming Fruits on an Empty Stomach:
The myth says that consumption of fruits with meals can cause bloating, gas, and discomfort. While the fiber in fruit can slow the release of food from the stomach, it does not cause any of the aforementioned symptoms.
A study found that participants who consumed gelled pectin, a type of fiber in fruit, had a slower stomach emptying rate of around 82 minutes, compared with around 70 minutes in those who did not eat pectin (3✔ ✔Trusted Source
Pectin is not pectin: A randomized trial on the effect of different physicochemical properties of dietary fiber on appetite and energy intake
Go to source). This is actually a good thing because this might help one feel full for longer, which can aid in weight loss as well.
There is no evidence that shows that eating fruits with meals can cause any kind of stomach discomfort.
Diabetics Should Not Consume Fruits:
While some fruits have a high glycemic index and should be eaten in moderation by individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes, the myth that diabetics should not be allowed to eat fruits needs to be let go.
A study of more than 3 million people suggests that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk (4✔ ✔Trusted Source
Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies
Go to source). That being said, pairing fruit with other food or a meal that’s high in protein, fat, or fiber may cause the sugar from fruit to enter the small intestine more slowly, which is beneficial for diabetics.
Juicing Fruits is Better than Eating Whole Fruits:
The fruit juice fad diet implies that juicing fruits is better than eating them whole because the body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives the digestive system a rest from digesting fiber.
Juicing is not healthier than eating whole fruits. There is no scientific evidence that backs the claim that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the whole fruit.
While the juice that is extracted from fresh fruits contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals found in the fruit itself, whole fruits also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing.
In fact, the fiber in whole fruits prevents postprandial hyperglycemia, which may help prevent type 2 diabetes (5✔ ✔Trusted Source
Eating whole fruit, not drinking fruit juice, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
Go to source).
Consuming Fruits Before or After a Meal Affects its Nutritional Value:
According to this myth, if someone eats fruits before or after a meal, the nutritional value of the fruits will be lost.
When food is ingested, the stomach acts as a reservoir and releases only small amounts at a time so that the intestines can easily digest it. Likewise, the small intestine is designed to absorb as many nutrients as possible. It is 6 meters in length, with over 30 square meters of absorptive area. This means that getting nutrients is not a big deal for the intestines and it does not matter whether fruits are eaten alone or with a meal (6✔ ✔Trusted Source
Gastric Emptying Scan
Go to source).
Eating Fruits Before Bed Leads to Weight Gain:
Some people say that eating fruits before sleeping increases the blood sugar level. As the body does not have time to stabilize the blood sugar levels before bed, this can lead to weight gain. There is no evidence to show that consuming fruits at certain times of the day varies weight gain.
However, there is substantial evidence to show that eating 2 servings of fruits and a lot of vegetables throughout the day correlates to lower fat percentages and a decreased risk of weight gain.
- Health benefits of fruits and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables moderate lipid cardiovascular risk factor in hypertensive patients
- Pectin is not pectin: A randomized trial on the effect of different physicochemical properties of dietary fiber on appetite and energy intake
- Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies
- Eating whole fruit, not drinking fruit juice, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Gastric Emptying Scan
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