Answer: Busted! The idea that fruit will rot and ferment in your body unless eaten by itself on an empty stomach is a myth that is circulating widely again. This myth is the foundation of many odd “food-combining’ diets. The fact is you can eat fruit any time. You can eat fruit with other foods as part of a meal. You can eat fruit as a dessert after a meal or you can eat fruit as a snack all by itself.
The human digestive system handles all food combinations very efficiently. As foods are broken down during digestion into their various components, they pass into the small intestine where naturally occurring bacteria are present. Sometimes these bacteria will act upon certain compounds in fruits and vegetables and give you gas. This has nothing to do, however with the fruit fermenting or in what combination the food was eaten. In fact, most nutrients from foods are best absorbed when eaten in combination with other foods.
The best advice for choosing foods to eat is to follow the MyPyramid guidelines. If you need more fruit in your diet try these tips from Missourifamilies.org.
Contributor: James E. Meyer, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, firstname.lastname@example.org