Beware Gorging on Fruit Before Bed to Keep Obesity at Bay

Fruit serves as a healthy energy source rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidizing agents, but it can have adverse effects if consumed immediately after a big meal or just before bed due to its high fructose content. This can boost blood sugar levels, potentially leading to a number of diseases.

"People tend to believe that eating fruit is unequivocally beneficial to their health, but over consumption can actually be harmful," said Lee Eun-jung, a professor of internal medicine at Gangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul.

According to an analysis of surveys conducted by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Koreans consume 61.4 g of saccharide per day on average, with the largest proportion (24.9 percent) coming from fruit.

Overconsumption of saccharide increases the risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. In particular, people with diabetes need to pay careful attention to how much fruit they consume at certain times of day.

In general, it is recommended to eat fruit no more than twice a day, and limit each serving to the equivalent of half a persimmon, one tangerine, half a banana, one-third of an apple, or 20 grapes.

It is also advisable to avoid drinking bottled fruit juices as they are often not as nutritious as fruit, having low levels of fiber and vitamins. According to the ministry, adolescents consume too much sugar, one of the main causes of obesity, from these and other soft drinks.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 13, 2014 12:54 KST