You can hear all about it: eating fruit on an empty stomach would be best, fruit should not be right after a heavy meal and certainly not as a snack. What is true? Health Bas asked a nutritionist and natural dietician at what time of the day it is best to eat fruit.
Uh oh, we hear you think. A scientist and a nature dietitian? Of course they have a completely different story to tell. And then in the end I still don’t know whether I should take my apple in the morning or in the afternoon. Yet both nutrition ‘camps’ agree on one thing: if you are healthy, the time at which you eat fruit makes little difference. “We have to eat enough fruit to get enough nutrients,” says Jorn Trommelen, nutrition scientist at Maastricht University. “But when you do that doesn’t matter.”
‘Many people have digestive problems’
That’s right, says the natural dietician. But then you have to be healthy. And more and more people are not, says Marijke de Waal Malefijt, nature dietician and writer of I have a belly full of it, intended for people with stomach and intestinal complaints. In her work she comes across many ‘gas bellies’ caused by digestive problems in the intestines.
Bloated feeling? Eat your fruit dessert before a meal
For those who often suffer from a bloated feeling after a meal with a fruit dessert, she thinks it may be better to eat an apple or kiwi before than after a larger meal. “Fruit is easier to digest. As a result, it passes through your gastrointestinal tract much faster than an entire evening meal. But if you eat fruit after a meal, it will land on top of it. If you don’t have such a good digestion already, that could be just a bit too much of a good thing. ” She admits that it is all not scientifically substantiated.” But practice has shown that eating such a different order in fruit often provides relief.”
Fruit on an empty stomach? May, should not
You can also take fruit on an empty stomach. “That never hurts,” says De Waal Malefijt. “But not everyone likes that – some people literally get cold, especially in winter.”
Fruit is not always the best snack
And are you someone who quickly or often has an appetite? Then a piece of fruit alone may not be the best snack. “It could well be that the fruit sugars make you hungry again half an hour later,” says De Waal Malefijt. “If you often suffer from this, it is better to keep your fruit until half an hour before a meal, because then you know that you will get something again afterwards.” If this doesn’t work, take a handful of fresh nuts with your apple, she advises. “The fats and proteins in the nuts slow down the absorption of the fruit sugars.”
‘Not a panacea for hunger’
Nevertheless, fruit is always a better snack than many other snacks that are less filling and contain more calories. “You can eat a lot more from fruit before you consume as many calories as from one filled biscuit,” says nutrition scientist Trommelen. “But of course it is not a panacea for hunger. If you eat an apple in the hope of satisfying your hunger, you will still be hungry afterwards. But if you had opted for a block of chocolate or hadn’t eaten anything, you would probably have been even more hungry. ”
Wait twenty minutes
Also, don’t forget that your body needs some time to process that you’ve eaten. First, the signal must be sent from the stomach to the brain to give the signal ‘filled’. “So eat your piece of fruit,” advises the nutritionist, “and don’t ask yourself if you’re still really hungry until twenty minutes later.”