Every night after dinner, I break apart one-third of a Trader Joe’s Absolute Black Dark Chocolate and eat it with frozen raspberries. The simple pairing is like fireworks to my tastebuds, and I honestly never get sick of the sweet-tart finalé to my day. And thus, when someone casually mentioned that eating fruit at night “was bad for digestion,” I was miffed. In attempt to prove this individual wrong, I consulted Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, dietitian and host of Well+Good’s You Versus Food.
“It is completely false that ending a meal with fruit can disrupt digestion,” says Beckerman. (A-ha!) “Your body is designed to eat and break down all types of food—proteins, fats and carbohydrates—no matter the order in which you decide to eat it.”
Beckerman tells me that no research to support the idea that topping off lunch or dinner with fruit will throw a wrench in your body’s digestive processes. Instead, the myth likely stems from the fact that eating large portions of certain fruits can make your stomach feel queasy. “Having a lot of fruit post-meal could be a one way to ticket to the bathroom. Some fruits are tough to digest in large doses, like grapes or apples, so don’t say I didn’t warn you,” she says.
That said, your body will be totally on board with a smaller serving of apples, oranges, or—say—raspberries, once you’ve done the dishes and have a hankering for something sweet. “You just enjoyed a lovely (and hopefully balanced) lunch or dinner, so you don’t want to go overboard with a huge baggie of delicious grapes just because it’s sitting there! Just like anything, be mindful of how much fruit you throw back,” says the dietitian. “Keep it to just a handful of berries, one small clementine, or a couple of strawberries to round it out!”
Now, please excuse me while I go enjoy my fruity, chocolatey dessert in peace.
Ever heard of a lil’ fruit called the avocado? Here’s the nutritional verdict on everyone’s favorite fat: