5 Myths About Fruit Consumption You Should Stop Believing

Despite being one of the safest and most popular choices when it comes to healthy snacking, fruit consumption has also suffered from a fair share of myths and misconceptions. Here are five of the most common ones, debunked:

1. Frozen fruits are less nutritious than fresh ones

This myth has perpetuated the idea that nutrients are lost when fruits are frozen. "Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen within hours of being picked, locking in a majority of the nutrients," explained Dr. Joy Bauer, a nutrition and health expert from the Today Show on NBC.

If that wasn't enough, your wallet can reap some benefits too. Buying fruits in frozen form has been recommended as an effective way to eat healthy even when on a budget

2. Fruits are best consumed on an empty stomach

According to this myth, fruits can cause digestion problems and are less nutritious when consumed along with meals. No studies have been able to confirm such a link. The only effect fruits can have is to slow down the release of food from the stomach. According to Healthline, this is actually beneficial as it can create a feeling of fullness and moderate the intake of calories.

Nutritional value is also unaffected as the digestive system is capable of extracting nutrients from fruits whether they are consumed with a meal or on an empty stomach.

3. People who have diabetes can't eat fruits

Compared to carbohydrates, fruits in moderation do not cause a sharp spike in blood glucose levels. "Whole fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants," said Katie Barbera of Northwell Health Systems in New York. "They have a lot of fiber, so they make you feel fuller and satisfy your hunger. They also add a lot of flavor to a diabetes diet."

One study found that whole fruit consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes while fruit juice consumption was linked to a higher risk. This brings us to the next well-known myth.

4. Drinking fruit juice is just as healthy as eating fruit

While drinking fruit juice can still have some nutritional benefits, experts have stated that eating whole fruits is preferable. Store-bought juice may contain added sugar, which can explain why it has been linked to childhood obesity.

According to WebMD, previously-contained sugars are released when the fruit is crushed, making the juice more likely to cause tooth decay when compared to eating fruits. The juicing process also removes the natural fiber content from fruits, lowering the glycemic index. As a result, people are likely to consume more calories for lesser nutrition.

5. Vitamin C is a natural remedy to prevent the common cold

While many studies have been conducted, researchers have found little to no benefit in consuming vitamin C-rich fruits (such as oranges) for the prevention or cure of colds. However, the vitamin did seem to help those who were marathon runners, skiers and soldiers in sub-arctic environments.

"Vitamin C in doses as high as one gram daily for several winter months had no consistent beneficial effect on incidence of the common cold," concluded one review of both randomized and non-randomized trials.