Skip to content

One Major Side Effect of Eating Too Many Apples

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but eat too many and you could face serious consequences.

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it's surprisingly easy to overdo it when it comes to these tasty fruits. While eating one may benefit your health, eating too many apples on any given day can lead to some seriously distressing side effects. Experts say that, in particular, the acidity in apples may actually worsen certain digestive conditions.

"Apples are acidic, so they can cause reflux in some people," explains Vanessa Rissetto, RD and co-founder of Culina Health. In fact, while they may not taste as acidic or bitter, apples are only slightly more basic on the pH scale than grapefruits, according to Clemson University.

However, that's not the only problem all those apples you're eating may cause. Read on to discover what registered dietitians say you may find yourself experiencing if you eat too many apples—many of which are related to the one major side effect of digestive distress. And for some foods worth adding to your meal plan, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.


You might feel bloated.

Bloated woman putting on jeans

While fruits and vegetables are typically thought to benefit digestion, the high sugar content of apples may leave you dealing with some unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects.

"Apples are especially high in fructose, a type of sugar found in fruit. Some people have sensitivities to fructose, leading to malabsorption and an increase in gas from bacteria fermenting the sugars in the large intestine," says Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, CDE, a registered dietician with Next Luxury.

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!


Your blood sugar level may spike.

Doctor checking blood sugar level with glucometer. Treatment of diabetes concept.

Whether you're diabetic or simply sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations, eating more than an apple or two in one sitting can cause major spikes in your blood sugar level.

"While fruit is a very healthy food, it still contains sugar, which can accumulate from eating too many apples. A medium apple contains around 25 grams of carbohydrates, 19 of which come from sugar," explains Gariglio-Clelland. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these blood sugar spikes can precipitate a number of undesirable symptoms, from fatigue to headache to increased thirst or hunger. And if you want to keep your blood sugar stable, check out the 50 Best Foods for Diabetics.


You may find yourself needing to use the bathroom more often.

Door handle open to toilet can see toilet

If you're eating multiple apples throughout the day, you may have to make more beelines to the bathroom than you normally do.

"Apples are rich in fiber, which is a positive thing since fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugars, and increase satiety. However, increasing fiber in the diet quickly may result in more frequent bowel movements until the digestive system adapts," explains Gariglio-Clelland. And if you want to make your belly more comfortable, check out the 15 Best (and Instant) Anti-Bloating Foods.


Your stomach may hurt.

Young sick woman with hands holding pressing her crotch lower abdomen.

Too much of any food can give you a tummy ache, but apples may make you more susceptible to digestive discomfort than the other foods in your diet.

"Eating too many apples can lead to digestive upset due to the fruit sugar, or fructose, content of this fruit. Fructose is a type of carbohydrate found in fruit and can cause gastrointestinal distress," says Trista Best, RD, the resident dietitian at Balance One Supplements.

While how many apples you can eat without side effects depends on a number of factors, Best says, "It is best to limit your apple consumption to around two or less a day." And for more foods to avoid if you're having digestive issues, check out these 15 Popular Foods Proven to Wreck Your Stomach, According to Dietitians.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
Filed Under