It's a popular proverb: An apple a day keeps the doctor away (better safe than sorry, in the English proverb prevention involves eating an apple a day). But what happens when, instead of an apple, you eat 3 pounds of this fruit? Can there be too much of a good thing?
Sarah Krieger, a dietitian registered in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, believes it. She says that everything, even nutritious foods, should be eaten in moderation.
"More than anything is not always the answer," says Krieger. "Do not blame apples, it can be anything, it could be pears."
Although some foods are healthy for you, "more" does not always mean "better." Eating too much, even healthy foods, can cause problems.
Any food eaten in excess will not be recommended. This is why we recommend that people follow a balanced eating plan that includes a variety of foods.
Joanne Larsen, registered dietitian and website operator Ask The Dietician
An embarrassment of wealth
Apples, rich in vitamins, also contain fiber. But eating too much dietary fiber can adversely affect your health, says Lona Sandon, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
American Dietetic Association recommends that adults consume around 25 to 35 g of fiber daily, or about 5 cups of fruit or vegetables per day. Sandon warns that eating more can prevent the body from absorbing certain valuable minerals, such as iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
As dietary fiber (plant material found in fruits, vegetables and grains) is resistant to digestion in the human gastrointestinal tract, it has advantages and disadvantages.
Fiber is beneficial because it improves the digestive functions, avoiding costipation and slows the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates, an extra for people who are trying to lose weight.
On the other hand, fibers affect the time it takes to digest food. Therefore, eating too much may not allow enough time for certain minerals and nutrients to be absorbed into the system. Other consequences of eating too many fibers at one time is swelling, abdominal cramping and gas.
Sandom goes on to say that although it seems inconvenient for someone to eat too much fiber (or in this case, too many apples), people who are vegan or vegetarian or who eat a lot of apples while taking fiber supplements may be at risk.
"They can be easily passed if they are not careful," says Sandon.The same applies to vitamin C.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is essential for good health. This antioxidant vitamin is necessary for the growth and repair of body tissues as well as to repair and maintain teeth, bones and cartilage. But taking more than 2000 mg a day can cause stomach pain, diarrhea and gas. In some people, excessive doses can even develop kidney stones.
Tara Gidus, dietician for the Orlando Magic basketball team and owner of Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting, says that however she is not aware of anyone who consumes too much vitamin C. She says such a problem often appears when vitamin supplements they are more used or abused.
"Again, some people take things to the extreme," says Gidus.
The catch of the day
Fish is generally considered a nutritious and healthy food, particularly fatty fish. This type of fish, rich in oil (such as sardines, salmon or tuna) have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaeonic acid, or EPA, and docosahezaenoic acid, or DHA. These essential fats benefit heart health, decrease triglycerides and slow the development of atherosclerosis, the accumulation of plaques in the arteries.
Gidus states that, on the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids are also mild anticoagulants. Eating too much of this type of fish can cause a slight liquefaction of the blood.
For most people, this is not a cause for concern. But for some it can be a risk.
"If you take anticoagulants or your doctor has told you not to take (fish oil supplements), then be careful," says Gidus.
Even so, it is unlikely that a person will experience bleeding problems just because of their omega-3 diet. This tends to be more of a problem for those who get their omega-3 acids from fish oil supplements, which are easier to consume in the extreme.
Gidus' biggest concern about eating too much fish is the level of mercury in fatty fish. She suggests that people should avoid eating shark, swordfish, tilefish and mackerel very often. These fish, in particular, tend to have high levels of mercury, a heavy metal that damages the nerves and is especially dangerous for children and pregnant women.
Get up and smell the coffee
For some adults, running without a cup of coffee in the morning is almost impossible. And because coffee contains antioxidants, Gidus says that some coffee is good.
But coffee also contains caffeine, which in large quantities can raise blood pressure and heart rate. Krieger warns that those who must drink numerous cups of coffee to help them spend all day face certain health risks.
"If you already have hypertension and drink a lot of caffeine, this can trigger an attack," he says.
For others, it can cause anxiety and make it hard to fall asleep at night. To avoid the negative side effects and risks associated with the intake of too much caffeine, both Gidus and Krieger recommend limiting coffee to two cups a day.
The color of the carrots
See what you drink
We have also heard this: drink a lot of liquid.
The MayoClinic website. com, recommends drinking eight glasses of water per day, but states that the amount of water that people need depends on their health, where they live and how active they are.
But Larsen says problems can arise when someone drinks too much liquid. It is a more common problem among athletes, who often perspire more and deplete their water and electrolyte systems.
"Excess water can dilute sodium levels in the body and even cause death due to water intoxication," says Larsen.
Although a healthy body can process any amount between 10 and 15 liters of fluid per day, athletes go through these problems when they drink a lot of water very quickly or without enough electrolytes that the body needs.
Larsen offers this simple guide on how much water to drink: "Drink enough so that your urine is colorless or light yellow after waking up in the morning until you go to sleep at night."