Should fruit be eaten on an empty stomach?

Shari Portnoy
Nutrition & Dietetics
Anything can be eaten on an empty stomach. If you have acid problems, then first choose something else. However, if you are like most people, you can eat anything on an empty stomach. Why not choose something healthy?
For most people eating fruit on an empty stomach poses no problems. Others may end up with a slight stomach upset and therefore should consume their fruits with other foods as part of or after a meal. Other than that, there's no truth to the internet argument on fruit being eaten on an empty stomach versus not because of the supposed different benefits or harm. It's a waste of time thinking about it -- just eat your fruits when you feel like it and you will be just fine.
Patricia Raymond, MD
Who knows? This rumor seems based on traditional Indian diet principals and has made its way into American popular culture through various diet fads that advocate non-mixing of foods, from concern regarding putrefaction of such mixed foods in the stomach. (I see stomachs daily and rarely find putrefaction of contents.) Review of scientific studies in PubMed does not readily reveal evidence-based support. If eating fruit apart from other foods makes you feel healthier, I have no objection. I just want you to eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit daily!
I guess the follow-up questions would be:
  • What is the purpose or the goal for eating fruit on an empty stomach? 
  • Are you trying to get leaner, are you trying to get healthier?
I think there is so much focus on eating certain things on an empty stomach and working out on an empty stomach and whether it is good or bad. I think there is quite a bit of scientific research on supplement intake, intake of food on an empty stomach, but our population is not very scientific, we need to be elementary with our population.
So lets get elementary:
  • If your goal is to be healthier, then consuming fruit is a good thing and it will not hurt your health at all.
  • If you want to get leaner and lose body fat, then eating fruit will not prevent that, you just have to monitor calories levels in versus calorie levels out.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.