Eating Fruits at Night

It’s night time and you just want to eat something. But you don’t want to add weight either. So you think fruits might be the right snack. After all, a juicy orange, melon or strawberry is so satisfying and healthy, with less danger of packing up more pounds. Still, you are wondering whether eating fruits at night could have some drawbacks. Read on to determine whether you want to eat fruits at night.

Should You Eat Fruits at Night?

The answer to the question may be contentious. But there are some facts you can’t run away from.

Pros

Fruits contain vitamins, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals that have many health benefits. And eating a fruit at night is healthier than eating the ordinary snacks packed with unhealthy sugar and fat. Some experts even say that eating some types of fruits in night time gives you better sleep quality. 

Cons

Some experts argue that eating fruits at night can disrupt sleep and upset hormonal balance. In addition, eating outside of the normal three-meal per day pattern can mess calorie intake and appetite. Experts also say that if you suffer from irritable bowel disease or Crohn’s disease, or have a fructose absorption problem, eating fruit in the evening could aggravate the problems. Eating highly acidic fruits such as pineapples and oranges at night can be a big problem if you suffer from acid reflux. 

The Possibility of Weight Gain

Fruits are generally low in calories and eating a piece will not lead to weight gain, at least significant weight gain. However, if you consume the required amount of calories every day and then consume one extra medium-size banana before going to bed, you will get slightly more 100 calories. If this habit becomes a consistent routine and you take an extra banana daily, in one week you will gain 735 calories. And in four and a half weeks, you will gain an extra pound of weight (equivalent to 3,500 calories).

The Bottom Line

In the final analysis, you should take all the previous merits and drawbacks into consideration. It’s up to you to decide whether to eat fruits at night. And if you choose to eat, go for the right type of fruit for your body. Many experts advise that you should eat fruits at least three hours before going to bed.  

What Fruits to Eat If You Choose to Eat Them at Night

If you choose to eat fruits at night, whether on its own or paired with other foods, choose a healthy option. Avoid canned fruits because they contain sugary syrup which adds lots of calories to your snack. Accompany your fruity snack with low-fat milk or yogurt, for instance, skim milk topping for blueberries and strawberries with non-fat Greek yogurt. And if eating before going to bed is an enduring habit, monitor your calorie intake for a week to ensure that you don’t exceed your daily intake. If your fruit disrupts your sleep, pick a more agreeable option.

Different types of fruits have different effects on blood sugar, which determine their GI (glycemic index). Low GI fruits are associated with maintaining constant blood sugar for longer while high GI fruits lead to a sharp rise in blood sugar that is soon followed by sudden drop. The sudden drop leaves you feeling hungry and causes you to crave sweet foods, leading to weight gain in the long term. In order to maintain healthy weight, you need to choose low GI fruits. Some good options are shown in the following table.

Fruits

GI

Cherries

22

Grapefruit

25

Apricot (Dried)

31

Pears

38

Apple

38

Peach

42

Orange

44

Grapes (Green)

46

Kiwi

49

Banana

55

The Best Time to Eat Fruits

If you are still hesitant about eating fruits at night, you definitely want to know the best time to eat fruit for most benefits.

1.     On an Empty Stomach in the Morning/Between Meals

It is best to eat fruits on an empty stomach in the morning and in between meals. In this way, digestion of the fruit takes place immediately, allowing for maximum assimilation of nutrients –fiber, vitamins and simple sugars. In addition, digestion of fruits requires different enzymes than those used in digestion of other foods.

If you want to eat fruits after a meal, wait for at least 30 minutes. For diabetics and those suffering from digestive problems such as acidity, you should eat fruits one hour before a meal or two hours after a meal.

2.     Pre/Post Workout

Another time to eat fruits is before or after a workout. When you eat fruits before working out, the fruits' simple sugars are assimilated for immediate use by the body. And when you eat fruits following a workout, the nutrients quickly replenish the bodies with energy used up during the workout.

 
 
Current time: 12/13/2017 05:43:40 pm (America/New_York) Memory usage: 3223.54KB