The fear of eating fruit at night is a myth that has been diffused in our society during years. Nevertheless there´s no relevant study that proves that doing this produces any specific harmful effects in our health.
There are other factors we could consider equally or even more relevant when speaking about some affections that are caused by eating certain foods before going to bed.
One of them is the time we wait between our last meal and the time we go to sleep. Therefore, the question shouldn’t be limited to what I eat at night and rather be, What is it that I eat and how long do I wait before going to bed?
Just like the sun sets the rhythm of the day, our hormones as well respond to certain stimulus, and hormones that help us regulate sugar respond to the famous circadian cycle or rhythm.
The sensitivity to process some sugars (fructose) works at its best during the night, therefore we can consider the idea of eating fruit at night to be harmful for humans as a myth.
There are a series of foods that can affect our organism and cause damage or disease if we eat them always before going to bed, this is NOT the determining factor though and it isn’t the case of the fruit either.
For many persons, especially those who are used to work for long periods of time, dinner is usually the heaviest meal of the day and it´s generally composed of plenty of processed food. In these cases the problem isn’t only the food they ate but the lack of necessary time for digestion so the stomach may empty it´s content after eating.
Recommendations to use fruit as an ally instead of an enemy
Fruits are food from the earth, nature and therefore are gifted with properties that have helped nourish our bodies, survive and evolve. They have the wisdom of nature and human beings have been in contact with them since the beginning of humanity, making it a food that our bodies are used to.
Regardless of all it’s benefits there´s some moments better than others to consume them and this is because of their properties. So if we want to take advantage of all the benefits of these foods I’ll leave you here some information that will be really helpful:
- Don’t eat fruit as dessert after having heavy meals, now that most of the nutrients are lost during the digestive process that is longer in these cases, causing the fruits to ferment in the stomach.
- The best time to eat fruits is between meals, which is a time when we have an empty stomach therefore our digestion is more efficient avoiding fruit to ferment in the stomach.
- It´s important to consume it during hours when we know we’ll have the time to burn the energy the fruit gives us. Remember that fruits contain fructose, which the body turns into glucose and energy. If we don´t consume this energy the body will store it in the form of fat.
Let’s Break the Myth
When I’ve personally tested this myth, in my case and other people who I’ve worked with, we haven´t been affected in any negative way by eating fruit during the night. Now, I should also note that in my experience I’ve learned that there are exceptions and some bodies work differently. Nevertheless most of the times this is not the case. If you love fruit at night my advise is to try and observe. Avoid to mix it with other food so it doesn’t interfere with the easy digestion of the fruit.
Last, remember that every body works in a very different way and we can’t say there´s one same rule that everyone can follow, especially when speaking about diet.
- Observe your body and get to know it, now that many of the nutrition beliefs we have don’t have a scientific base
- Use common sense as your ally. For example a “miraculous” cake vs. a fresh fruit
- Stop eating when you’re satisfied, sound simple and it´s benefits are infinite
- Give your body time to perform digestion between your last meal and bedtime
Here´s a list of the 5 worst foods to consume before going to sleep. Avoid this and stop worrying about the fruit:
- Fried food
- Spicy food
- Sauces and Dressings