Question:

I am trying to lose weight but have had no luck. I’m 44 years old. I’m somewhat athletic but have serious knee issues. I weigh 197 lbs., trying to get to 180 lbs. My question is: Is there a bad time to eat fruit? Is late in the day not a good idea? I like fruit as a snack, but I’ve heard that late in the day is not a good idea.

– Andy M.

Answer:

In twenty years as a dietitian, I rarely see an excess of raw fruit be the culprit in someone’s weight gain. The 10-20 grams of fructose bound with water and fiber from a serving of fruit isn’t a concern. It’s the other sources of fructose (sodas, sweetened teas, bakery desserts) that have added sugars which will prevent you from losing weight since they are usually excess calories.

Eating fruit in the evening as an alternative to higher calorie and fat desserts is ideal. As a snack, a 16 oz fruit smoothie is probably best earlier in the day – unless you’re using it as a recovery drink from a heavy afternoon workout. A plain apple with a few nuts or hard-cooked egg makes a great between meal snack!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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