Is eating fruit after meals bad?

Myth about whether eating fruit with meals is harmful

Is it bad to eat fruit after meals?

source of fruit
The fruit platter in the kitchen is a symbol of health. Will eating fruit for dessert be bad?

I would like to clarify if it is true that dessert fruit is bad for our health. I have also been told that it is better to eat yogurt after meals, which has less sugar and calories than fruit.

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Fruit myth after eating

It is totally false that you should not eat fruit after meals. There is no medical or scientific argument, or any physiological explanation, to justify such a recommendation.

It is not recommended to remove fruit from any meal because eating fruit protects us from many diseases, because it is a food very rich in antioxidants, fiber and it is satiating, among other benefits.

Why is it said that eating fruit for dessert is fattening?

The myth of separating fruit from meals was born with dissociated diets such as Atkins, Dukan, Montignac or philosophies like those of Ann Wigmore, who argue that not eating fruit after meals will help improve digestion and maintain a low weight.

All these diets have a mainly commercial purpose, since the authors got a lot of popularity with them (the diets carry their surname) and the sale of their books. The evolution of obesity has shown that no diet works for weight loss.

In other cases, some low-calorie diets propose reducing the consumption of fruit to ingest fewer calories, which is totally ineffective for losing weight and inadvisable from a healthy point of view.

Does fruit make digestion difficult? Quite the opposite

saldad with fruit and seeds
Photo of salad with fruit and seeds

For some reason, in food there are many myths that are lies but that after repeating them end up becoming popular. A detailed study of food allows us to disprove these claims:

  • Fruit is not a difficult food to digest. Its residence time in the stomach is very short, and if it is ingested after meals, it does not hinder digestion, quite the opposite.
  • Some fruit helps improve digestion, such as lemon, orange, apple, etc., due to their content of citric and malic acid. These fruit acids help to slightly lower gastric pH and speed up the digestion of food in the stomach.
  • Fruit also has water, soluble fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and other powerful antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, beta-carotenes, and flavonoids. They are foods that hydrate us, that provide vitamins and that are beneficial for the health of the entire digestive system.

Is yogurt better than fruit for dessert?

Yogurt is no better than fruit. Based on scientific evidence and diet studies, it is better to eat fresh fruit than any dairy, because high fruit consumption has been shown to improve and prevent many diseases, including cholesterol, depression, and obesity.

On the other hand, it has not been shown that the consumption of milk or dairy protects against osteoporosis, although they can be healthy foods. Therefore, there is no reason to say that yogurt is better than fruit for dessert.

Is yogurt better because it is low in sugar and calories?

Yogurt with papaya
Yogurt with papaya. Yogurt is healthier if it contains fruit

On the other hand, yogurt is also a nutritious food, rich in protein and with a lot of calcium. (People who don’t eat dairy and get their protein and calcium from other foods.)

It is true that yogurt is low in calories, but not always. On the market there are some dairy products that have up to 4 times more sugar than fruit.

Therefore we should specify that yogurt is healthy when it does not contain added sugars, flavors or sweeteners.

Does fruit have a lot of sugar?

It is not true that fruit contains a lot of sugar, especially when compared to cookies, pastries, drinks, cereals or snacks.

Fruit contains mainly water and only 5-10% natural sugars. It is a very small amount of sugar, and natural sugar in food is better than added sugar.

What does have a lot of sugar are fruit jams, juices and smoothies that combine different fruit. It is always better to eat the whole fruit.

Is it recommended to reduce the consumption of fruit to lose weight?

Not at all. Fruit is satisfying, nutritious, healthy and totally recommended food. No health personnel should recommend removing fruit for dessert.

It is a serious mistake to recommend reducing the consumption of fruit because eating too little fruit is detrimental to health, and figures indicate that too little is currently consumed.

punto rojo More information on fruit and food myths

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

25 February, 2024

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