Should You Eat Fruit On An Empty Stomach?

A point of contention in various nutritional circles, the time at which to eat fruit gets debated more frequently than you may realize. While different camps advocate opposing ideas, it appears that eating fruit on an empty stomach may be relative in its benefits.

The idea behind eating fruit on an empty stomach is that if you eat it with other foods throughout a meal, it slows digestion to the point where the fruit rots from sitting for so long, Healthline explains. There's a small grain of truth to this belief. Since fruit contains a high amount of fiber, it may slow digestion and cause a slower rate of stomach emptying — but only marginally. In reality, this effect does not cause the stomach to stop digesting completely as the theory would suggest. Fruit's high fiber content is said to lengthen the time it takes for the stomach to empty —which also explains why you may have fewer cravings after you eat it.

Nonetheless, many people swear by eating fruit on an empty stomach due to its ability to hamper digestion speed. 

Fruit-eating rules don't have much scientific evidence

If you've ever followed the rule to only eat fruit outside of meals, you'll know how rigid these guidelines can be. Most of these theories revolve around the idea that fruit and its high concentration of carbs can interfere with digestion, as Medical News Today explains. Particularly rigid for those with diabetes, this rule may actually make it worse for this population because an empty stomach makes it easier for the bloodstream to absorb the sugars — thus leading to a blood sugar spike, the outlet notes.

However, the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda suggests that there's some anecdotal evidence supporting various fruit-eating rules. The concept of food-combining speaks to the body's ability to digest certain food groups more efficiently when eaten together. Some foods work well together and others don't. Fruit works best by itself in this tradition. Banyan Botanicals explains that the system simply has an easier time digesting different qualities of various foods when they reach the stomach together; paying attention to how you feel after you ingest certain items will help make this more clear.

It seems to be a matter of personal choice — some people feel better when they eat fruit separately, others don't. Try it out and see which side of the debate you fall on.