Food-combining theories surface from time to time, and one of them claims that fruit should be eaten alone. The food combination diet is based on the principal that certain food groups are incompatible, such as fruit, which is easily-digested, and protein.
The theories claim that fruit that are eaten with proteins or fatty foods will take longer to digest. This will presumably “delay the digestion of fruit and allow its sugars to ferment and putrefy”, which will then affect a person’s health.
The quick answer is that you don’t have to consume fruit on an empty stomach to properly digest all of its nutrients.
Nutritionists and dieticians have stated that contrary to food combination claims, a human being’s digestive system is generally well-equipped to digest a mix of nutrients, whether different foods are eaten alone or together.
There are also various benefits to having fruit before or after a meal, for example:
- Eating fruit right before a meal could help control your eating during mealtime. Fruit on a hungry stomach may help to fill you up with something low in calories, possibly preventing overeating and excessive calorie intake.
- Vitamin C contained in fruit helps the body absorb iron present in a meal, which is in turn important for the building of new cells. Fruit is also a wiser choice of dessert, since it contains sugar for a satisfying end to a meal and is lower in calorie than other sweet desserts.
That’s good news for all of us who are used to having our fruit at any time during our meals!
Sources of information:
1. Beck, L. (2011, June 1). Confused about fruit? Here’s what you need to know. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved on August 17, 2012, from Factiva.com database.
2. Roker, A. (2011, 11 January). Profile: Joy's Diet SOS; Dietitian Joy Bauer answers viewer questions about diet and exercise. NBC News: Today. Retrieved on August 17, 2012, from Factiva.com database.
3. Blonz, E. (2010, August 11). Digestive system can handle variety of foods at one time. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved on August 17, 2012, from Factiva.com database.
4. Clarke, J. (2008, January 22). Jane Clarke; Every Tuesday, Britain’s leading nutritionist explains how to eat your way to health. Daily Mail. Retrieved on August 17, 2012, from Factiva.com database.
5. Niedziocha, L. (2011, June 8). Eating fruit before meals. Retrieved August 17, 2012, from Livestrong.com website: http://www.livestrong.com
6. Carmichael, J. (2011, May 28). Is eating fruit after a meal bad for you?. Retrieved August 17, 2012, from Livestrong.com website: http://www.livestrong.com
7. Makofsky, N. (2011, June 11). Benefits of eating fruits before meals. Retrieved August 17, 2012, from Livestrong.com website: http://www.livestrong.com
1. [Top of post: Fruit] Roberto Pagani (2009). Retrieved August 17, 2012, from A Look Through Lens website: http://www.alookthroughlens.com/weblog/archives/2009/10/fruit.php
2. [Raspberries] Ian Britton (2001). Retrieved August 17, 2012, from FreeFoto.com website: http://www.freefoto.com/preview/09-08-3/Fruit-Raspberries