In Malaysia, fruits are usually served as desserts to be consumed after a meal. However, did you know there are numerous benefits to eating fruit before starting a meal?
Fruits constitute an essential group of foods to ensure a healthy and balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables are placed at the first level in the Malaysian food pyramid recommended by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (KKM). This indicates that fruits and vegetables are foods that should be consumed in significant quantities, with a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day. The question is, when is the best time to consume fruit?
The Malaysian food pyramid recommended by the KKM (Source: Official Portal of the Ministry of Health Malaysia) suggests that you can eat fruit at any time. Morning and snack times between meals are some of the suggested times by health experts.
So, let's discuss some benefits that can be obtained by consuming fruits before a meal. If you aim to lose weight, eating fruit 30 minutes before a meal is the best approach. This is because fruits contain high levels of fiber, which helps you stay full for a longer period. Additionally, the high fiber content also slows down the digestion process. Hence, you can reduce your calorie intake and portion size during a meal.
In addition to aiding digestion, consuming fruits before a meal also optimizes the function of antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals. Excessive free radicals can lead to various diseases such as cancer. Therefore, consuming fruits can prevent dangerous illnesses.
Better nutrient absorption can be achieved by eating fruit before a meal rather than after. Fruits contain sugar that requires a longer time to digest. Therefore, nutrients from other foods might not be absorbed properly if fruits are consumed after a meal.
Apples, pears, bananas, and raspberries are among the fruits high in fiber recommended by health experts, while grapes, strawberries, and papayas are among the fruits rich in antioxidants. However, fruit consumption should be moderate, especially for diabetic patients, to avoid excessive sugar intake.
In conclusion, eating fruit before a meal offers numerous benefits compared to consuming fruits after a meal. Let's work together to change our eating habits for a healthier life.
Article prepared by:
Nur Khairunnisa binti Mohd. Azhari
Industrial Training Student 2021
Date of Input: 01/11/2023 | Updated: 01/11/2023 | izzatussofia
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Selangor Darul Ehsan.