Now this is interesting. So, who is right?
These days there are more and more conflicting reports - be it on and about food or science. It has become difficult to tell who is right and what is true. As if live is not complicated enough.
Should you avoid eating at certain times of the day? You may have asked yourself this question after reading articles exhorting you to eat fruit only on an empty stomach.
The reason given? If you eat fruit on an empty stomach, it will not mix with other foods and cause fermentation and rot.
According to Dr Mark Pochapin, the director of the Monahan Centre for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Centre, that is utter rot.
Fruit can be eaten at any time, he said in a question and answer column in The New York Times.
Nothing can rot in the stomach, he said. Rotting, or fermentation means bacterial action on food resulting in its decomposition. Due to the presence of hydrochloric acid, the stomach has very few bacteria. “One of the main purposes of the stomach is to sterilise food by mixing and churning it,” he said.
Before the age of refrigeration and supermarkets, food spoiled easily and stomach acid helped protect the body from food poisoning, he said.
“The place where fruit produces gas is in the colon, not the stomach,” Dr Pochapin said. The colon is loaded with bacteria and acts as the body’s sewage system.
Food takes 6 to 10 hours to reach the colon, which explains why it does not really matter when you eat the fruit, he said.
Fruit contains sugar and vitamins, which are absorbed in the small intestine, and complex fibres, which pass through the gastrointestinal tract without much digestion. When the fibre reaches the colon, the colonic bacteria feed on the fibre and produce gas as a by-product, regardless of when and with what the fibre was digested.
- The New York Times