The 5+ Fruits to Avoid After Turning 50 (2024)

by | Feb 21, 2024

As we age, our nutritional needs and the way our bodies process food evolves, making it essential to adjust our diets accordingly.

This is particularly true when we cross the threshold of 50 years, a time when metabolism slows, and the risk for certain health conditions increases.

While fruits are generally considered a cornerstone of a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, not all fruits are equally beneficial for those over 50.

This article breaks down specific types of fruits that individuals in this age group might consider consuming with caution or avoiding altogether, highlighting the importance of tailoring dietary choices to changing health needs.

Watch this video or keep reading to learn which foods to avoid after age 50.

Fruits to Avoid After Turning 50

  1. High Sugar Fruits
  2. Acidic Fruits
  3. Fruits High in Potassium
  4. Dried Fruits
  5. Fruits with Stones or Pits

High Sugar Fruits

As individuals cross the age of 50, their metabolism often slows down, and they become more susceptible to health issues like type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

This makes the choice of fruits an important consideration.

Among the various types of fruits, those classified as ‘high sugar fruits‘ demand particular attention.

High-sugar fruits, as the name suggests, contain a significant amount of natural sugars. This includes fruits like mangoes, grapes, cherries, bananas, pineapples, lychees, and figs.

While these fruits are undoubtedly nutritious, offering vitamins, minerals, and fiber, their high sugar content can lead to rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. This is a key concern for individuals with diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic.

Moreover, for those monitoring their calorie intake due to slower metabolism or weight management goals, these fruits can add extra calories without the same satiety level provided by lower sugar options.

It’s important to note, however, that consuming these fruits in moderation can still be part of a healthy diet. The key is balance and portion control.

For those over 50, especially those with blood sugar regulation issues, it’s recommended to prioritize fruits with lower glycemic indices.

These include berries, apples, and pears, which provide the nutritional benefits of fruits while minimizing the impact on blood sugar levels.

Acidic Fruits

For individuals over the age of 50, particularly those with sensitive digestive systems or conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acidic fruits can pose some dietary challenges.

Acidic fruits include citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, as well as certain berries like strawberries and raspberries.

These fruits are celebrated for their high vitamin C content and antioxidants, which are essential for immune health and skin vitality. However, their high acidity can trigger discomfort in some individuals.

The acidity in these fruits can exacerbate symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn or acid reflux.

This is because acidic foods can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that prevents stomach contents from moving back up into the esophagus.

This leads to discomfort and can harm esophageal health over time. Additionally, people with sensitive stomachs or conditions like ulcers might find that acidic fruits irritate their gastrointestinal lining, causing pain or discomfort.

It’s also worth noting that the acid in these fruits can affect oral health. Dental enamel can erode over time due to regular exposure to acidic foods, leading to increased sensitivity and potential for cavities.

This is a particular concern for older adults who may already be experiencing dental wear and tear.

While these fruits offer significant health benefits, moderation is key for those over 50, especially for those with acid reflux, sensitive stomachs, or dental concerns. Alternatives like melons, bananas, and pears can be more gentle on the stomach while still providing nutritional benefits.

Fruits High in Potassium

As individuals age, particularly after 50, monitoring potassium intake becomes increasingly important, especially for those with kidney issues or those taking certain medications that affect potassium levels.

Fruits high in potassium include bananas, oranges, kiwis, and apricots.

These fruits are nutritionally rich, offering vital minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Potassium itself is an essential nutrient, crucial for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions, including the heartbeat.

However, for individuals with compromised kidney function, high potassium levels can be problematic. The kidneys regulate potassium in the body, and when they are not working efficiently, potassium can build up in the blood.

This condition, known as hyperkalemia, can lead to serious health issues such as heart rhythm disturbances and even cardiac arrest. It becomes essential for those with kidney issues to monitor and regulate their potassium intake.

Additionally, certain blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) can increase potassium levels in the blood. Therefore, individuals on these medications should be cautious about consuming high-potassium fruits.

While these fruits are generally healthy and beneficial for most people, those with specific health conditions must manage their consumption carefully. Alternatives with lower potassium content, such as apples, grapes, and berries, can be safer options.

Dried Fruits

For individuals over 50, dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, dates, figs, and prunes offer a convenient and tasty snacking option. These fruits are appreciated for their long shelf life and concentrated source of nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

However, there are several considerations that make them less ideal for some people in this age group.

Firstly, the process of drying fruits significantly concentrates their natural sugars. This can be a concern for individuals managing diabetes or blood sugar levels, as dried fruits can cause quicker and higher spikes in blood glucose compared to their fresh counterparts.

Additionally, for those monitoring calorie intake, it’s important to note that dried fruits are more calorie-dense, making it easy to consume excess calories inadvertently.

Another issue is that many commercially available dried fruits contain added sugars and preservatives, such as sulfur dioxide, to enhance flavor and prolong shelf life. These additives can lead to potential health issues, including digestive discomfort and allergic reactions in some people.

Dried fruits are also known to be stickier and tougher to chew compared to their fresh counterparts. This can be a problem for dental health, especially for those with dental restorations, as sticky foods can adhere to teeth and gums, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

For those over 50, especially those with specific dietary concerns or dental issues, it may be advisable to consume dried fruits in moderation, opt for varieties without added sugars and preservatives, or choose fresh fruits when possible.

Fruits with Stones or Pits

For individuals over 50, particularly those with dental issues or difficulties in chewing, fruits with stones or pits can present some challenges. These fruits include peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, and nectarines.

Known for their juicy flesh and sweet flavor, these fruits are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, making them a healthy addition to any diet. However, the hard stones or pits in the center of these fruits can pose a risk, especially for those with dental concerns.

Dental health often changes with age, with issues like tooth sensitivity, weaker teeth, or dental restorations becoming more common. Biting into a hard pit accidentally can cause dental damage, such as cracked or chipped teeth.

For those with dentures or dental implants, these fruits can be particularly challenging and potentially damaging.

Moreover, the process of removing the stone or pit from these fruits can be cumbersome for individuals with arthritis or reduced hand dexterity, a common issue in the older population. This can make the preparation of these fruits less convenient and more time-consuming.

While these fruits are nutritious, it is important for those over 50, especially those with dental issues or hand dexterity concerns, to consume them with caution. Opting for pitted versions or cutting the fruit open to remove the stone before eating can be safer options.

This approach allows individuals to enjoy the health benefits of these fruits while minimizing the risk of dental damage or the inconvenience of dealing with the hard pits.

Note: As dietary needs can vary greatly from person to person, especially in the presence of health conditions, consulting with a healthcare provider for personalized advice is always recommended. This ensures a diet that supports overall health without exacerbating existing health issues.

Final Thoughts

While fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet, it is clear that certain fruits may not be as beneficial for those over 50, considering the unique health challenges that come with age.

High-sugar fruits, acidic fruits, fruits high in potassium, fruits with stones/pits, and dried fruits each pose specific concerns, from managing blood sugar levels and digestive health to ensuring dental well-being.

It’s crucial for individuals in this age group to be mindful of these considerations and adjust their fruit consumption accordingly.

Personal health conditions and dietary needs vary, so consulting with healthcare professionals for tailored advice is always recommended.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others live a healthier life.


    • Muraki I, Imamura F, Manson JE, Hu FB, Willett WC, van Dam RM, Sun Q. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ. 2013 Aug.
    • Herdiana Y. Functional Food in Relation to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Nutrients. 2023 Aug.
    • Simon LV, Hashmi MF, Farrell MW. Hyperkalemia. [Updated 2023 Sep 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-.
    • Fletcher, Jenna. What Are the Worst Fruits for Someone With Diabetes? 10 Nov. 2023.

Recommended Reading