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“Fruit at night is fattening”: fact or fiction?

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Have you ever heard the mythical phrase “you shouldn’t eat fruit at night”? In a world where there are so many different opinions on “how you should eat”, differentiating between reality (what science and clinical practice have proven) and day-to-day opinions or advice becomes all the more important.

In this article we solve the big question about whether fruit at night is fatteningor not, when is the best time to eat fruit and why. Is there a difference between one fruit and another? What happens if you eat fruit at night?

What happens if fruit is eaten in the evening?

It’s OK.

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Fruits are healthy, nutritious, low-calorie foods that are filling and provide you with a variety of essential nutrients. Usually, eliminating fruit from the diet means missing out on an important source of nutrients and a very healthy choice.

In fact, fruit can be eaten at any time of the day and there is no scientific evidence to show that it should be avoided at a certain time of the day. However, taking into account the combination of foods, there are some better times than others to eat fruit to avoid possible bloating or abdominal distension and digestive discomfort.

For people looking to to lose weightFor people looking to lose weight, fruits provide a feeling of satiety and can help reduce calories consumed, as they can substitute for unhealthy snacks and ‘junk’ snacks.

Fruits are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet, they provide a wide variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and can be consumed daily, provided that there is no pathology or digestive discomfort that prevents it or for which it is not advisable.

“Fruit at night is fattening”: myth or reality?

Myth.

fatten-the-fruit-by-night

Fruit has the same calories at any time of the day.

When is the best time to eat fruit?

The best time to eat fruit is mid-morning or as a snack, eating it on its own and not mixed with other foods.

What is the reason for this?

  1. Combination of foods

The guidelines related to food combining are based on the clinical practice of nutritional treatments, as well as on the experience and symptoms described by their patients.

The two best known authors on food combining are William Howard, who laid the foundations of the theory, and the scientist Herbert M. Shelton, who wrote the book “Food Combining Made Easy”.

Digestion is necessary to transform large molecules such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats into smaller molecules that are able to pass through the intestinal wall and reach the bloodstream to provide nutrients to the body.

In other words, food that we do not digest properly cannot be used by our body. When this happens, fermentation and putrefaction occur, which are harmful substances resulting from digestion that has not been completed correctly.

In short, the right combination of foods at each meal ensures a better digestive process and protects us against toxic substances.

Basic pillars of the food mix in relation to fruits

  1. It is recommended to eat fruit on its own, separate from other meals.
  2. Best time to eat fruit: mid-morning or afternoon.
  3. Fruit requires a very simple digestive process compared to other food groups. When mixed with other foods, it is retained in the stomach until they are all digested, resulting in fermentation of its fructose.
  4. Avoid mixing sweet and sour fruits.
  5. Olives and avocados: due to their fat content, their combination with protein is not recommended.
  1. Digestive process

Each food requires a certain acidity of the gastric juices in order to be digested. Therefore, when we mix a large amount of different types of food in the same meal, we force our digestive system to make a great effort. This causes a much slower and heavier much slower and heavier digestion..

Benefits of eating fruit separately from meals

Eating fruit between meals (separate from main meals) is a healthy habit. This is when your body digests food quickly and secretes various enzymes needed to break down fruit more easily. They will also keep you satiated for a long time, preventing hunger between meals. Fruit combined with some dried fruit, an excellent source of silica is an ideal mix.

Which fruit can be eaten in the evening?

If you want to have some fruit in the evening, we recommend eating it approximately 20-30 minutes before dinner and remember to always eat at least 2 hours before bedtime to facilitate digestion and nutrient absorption.

Which fruits are best to eat at night? The best option if you decide to eat fruit at night is red berries, as they are the fruit with the lowest sugar content and the lowest glycaemic index. It is always preferable to choose fruit that is as unripe as possible in order to reduce the amount of fructose, as this will be converted into sugar in our bodies and, as it is hardly used up because we are sleeping, it will end up being transformed into fat.

eat-fruit-at-night-fattening

What fruit can be eaten at night to lose weight?

While there is no ‘magic’ time to eat fruit, there are some better times than others to eat fruit for someone aiming to lose weight. Since fruit tends to be high in fibre, it will help to keep you from feeling hungry for longer.

A diet rich in fibre can help us eat less at certain times. Since eating fewer calories promotes weight loss, people who want to lose weight may benefit from planning their fruit intake.

Eating a nutritious, low-calorie piece of fruit before a meal can make a person feel ‘fuller’ and therefore less likely to overeat during or after the meal, thus avoiding overindulgence in other, higher calorie foods.

Replacing high-calorie snacks or appetizers with fresh fruit (not juices or smoothies) is an excellent way to promote weight loss.

The glycaemic index of foods is classified by levels:

  • Low: 0-55
  • Medium: 56-69
  • Height: 70+

These are the most recommended fruits because of their low glycaemic load and low calorie content:

FRUIT (red fruits)GLYCAEMIC INDEXCALORIES (Kcal) per 100gr
Raspberries25.043 kcal
Blackberries25.043 kcal
Strawberries25.036 kcal
Fresh blueberries45.046 kcal
Cherries25.055 kcal
Fresh blackcurrant15.044 kcal
Fresh red currant25.044 kcal

Source: own elaboration

Fruits richest in minerals, vitamins and fibre

Fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals and are high in fibre. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-enhancing antioxidants, including flavonoids.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflammation and diabetes. Citrus fruits and berries can be especially powerful in preventing disease and contributing to weight loss. For example, oranges, strawberries and cherries are rich in a variety of vitamins and are particularly rich in silicon, a key mineral in the body.

Silicon is present in the cells that make up cartilage and bones, in the collagen of the skin and is responsible for maintaining its elasticity. It also forms part of connective tissue, which protects the body’s structures. To enhance this effect, there are supplements such as Living Silica Collagen Booster [Collagen Booster™], the highest absorbable organic silicon (silanol) on the market.

Which fruit should I eat at which time of the day to maintain a healthy weight?

Tomorrow

Fruits that provide a burst of energy and antioxidants such as berries, bananas or citrus fruits rich in vitamin C.

Afternoon

We recommend choosing fruits that promote digestion, without overloading your digestive system before bedtime. Apples and pears, both rich in fibre, are the best choices.

Night

If one night you are hungrier or crave fruit and decide to have it after dinner, even if it is not recommended, try not to eat it too late and choose fruit with certain properties to induce quality rest during the night. Cherries, kiwis and custard apples, known for their melatonin content, can help ensure a deeper sleep.

fatten-the-fruit-by-night

Eating fruit is a great habit, but knowing when to eat it can make all the difference.

The best nutritionists agree that the best time to eat fruit is as important as the act of eating fruit itself to ensure that the body digests it properly, thereby helping to maintain an optimal weight. If you follow a good nutritional plan and combine your food properly, you will not fall into other habits that are as detrimental to weight loss as “snacking between meals”.

As we have explained, although the claim that “fruit at night is fattening” is not true, eating the right fruits at the right time, for example in the evening, promotes better digestion and improves nutrient absorption during your active hours. This will help make your lifestyle healthier by maximising the benefits of the foods you eat.

Remember to prioritise local and seasonal fruits to guarantee the best nutritional properties, as well as the freshest products that work best for your body in each season of the year.

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