TOVITA X ELITE DAILY: To Eat Or Not To Eat - 2 Major Myths Behind Snacking Debunked

Clients and friends are always asking us about the latest nutrition fads and there is nothing we love more than setting the record straight so that you can focus on what matters without all the riff raff. In our article for Elite Daily, we give a little science lesson in order to debunk two of the latest nutrition myths. 

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These days, the tremendous amount of nutrition information you can find surfing the web can be overwhelming.From juice cleansing to the raw food diet to the grapefruit diet, understanding how to maintain a healthy diet can be downright confusing.

That’s why we’ve brought over Leah Silberman and Molly Rieger, the dietitians behind Tovita Nutrition to set the record straight.

Today we are going to debunk one of the latest two-part health myths: firstly, that a meal must be fully digested before you can send more food down; secondly, that it is dangerous to eat fruit when you haven’t fully digested a meal because it rots and ferments in your digestive tract.

We’ll begin with some Biology 101, so follow closely.

Digestion begins the moment food enters your mouth and ends the moment it exits your body, past your colon.

So, let’s map it: Your food travels from your mouth, to your stomach, to your small intestine, large intestine and finally, let’s just say, it exits. This entire process generally takes between six and 10 hours. Think of your stomach as an acidic blender.

The cells in your stomach secrete hydrochloric acid in response to the presence of food, which helps to break down anything you’ve swallowed. It churns this mixture until it succumbs to the consistency of a liquid-paste. From there, it slowly moves into the small intestine, where actual absorption begins to take place.

Now you might be starting to put the pieces together. Typically, you probably get hungry every three to four hours. If you had to wait for digestion to complete before you could eat another morsel of food, you could be waiting up to 10 hours until your next meal.

So no, you should not wait until digestion of a previous meal is complete before you send your next meal down.In conjunction with the above myth, you may have heard that eating fruit after a meal causes the fruit to rot and ferment in your stomach. 

Again, the pH of your stomach is very low, meaning it is a strongly acidic environment. One of the reasons your stomach is so acidic is to prevent bacteria from proliferating and making you sick. Fermentation takes place when bacteria are present, and your stomach contains very little bacteria.

Once fruit enters your stomach, it is broken down by enzymes, regardless of any other foods that may be simultaneously present. Generally, the more macronutrients you consume in a given meal (ie. proteins, fats, or carbohydrates), the longer it takes to digest in the stomach, which is totally fine!

In fact, combining nutrients in a given meal will help keep you satisfied for longer. Have you ever noticed that if you eat an apple alone, you’re hungry again after an hour or so?

On the contrary, if you were to eat an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter, you would stay fuller for much longer. This is simply because the protein, fat and carbohydrates from the apple and peanut butter combined take longer to digest.

The bottom line is, no matter when you eat fruit, it will ultimately be digested, the same way any other food is; there is no “correct” order to eat it in. As for fermentation, the only place fruit or any food can ferment is in the colon, which is a bacterial haven. Just remember, this is not a bad thing! (Hello, probiotics!)

So, yes, you may resume eating fruit with or in-between meals, as you prefer. And no, please don’t wait until you have completely digested your breakfast before you sit down for lunch. But, if you do, be nice and give your coworkers a heads up, so they don’t take your hangry attitude personally.

Spotlight on Haitian Mangoes: Because Trying Unfamiliar Food is Fun


This week we’re all about Haitian mangoes, (also known as Madame Francis mangoes) which in our opinion are the most underrated types of mangoes on the market. Though they’re ubiquitous throughout Haiti, they are exported to the U.S. for just a short window during the spring season. So if you’re reading this today it’s NOT too late.

Most people are familiar with mangoes indigenous to Mexico and South America. Don’t get us wrong, we love the entire mango family, but these Haitain guys are special. They have a sweet and intense tropical flavor that pretty much makes your mouth feel like it’s on vacation.

They’re recognizable because they are flatter and hold a more elongated shape than their mango cousins. When ripe, they take on a yellowish-gold color and become freckled with little black dots. Cut them in half and their insides are a vibrant orangey-yellow.

If you’re not sold yet, we’ll give you a brief mango-nutrition 101 to seal the deal:

1) Studies have suggested that mangoes play a protective role in eye health by filtering out harmful rays, thanks to its antioxidant power

2) Dietary beta-carotene, another component of the mango, may protect against certain types of cancer – namely prostate cancer

3) They’re rich in vitamins A and C, which help to keep hair strong and skin radiant, as vitamin C is required for collagen production

4) They’re a good source of fiber, which provides a host of digestive benefits

We think Haitian mangoes are awesome sliced fresh and served plain. But you can also get creative and prepare these mangoes in a salad, salsa, or smoothie. Below is a mango salsa recipe adapted from Martha Stewart that adds a sweet and spicy kick to any grilled fish.


  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2-1 habanero chile, minced (stem and seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix!

Aside from their health benefits, Haitian mangoes are simply really, really good. Trying new foods is always fun, so next time you’re in the grocery store, make it a point to ask where you can find a Francis mango. We can guarantee you won’t regret it.