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Fruit Sugar and Cancer, and Other Questions

I’m in Montreal, preparing for my trip around the world that starts in just one week, that will take me from Europe, through Asia and Pacific… with stops in several key cities where we will be meeting with raw-food enthusiasts and sharing the word about health.

In all the excitement, I haven’t been writing on my blog as much, but today I decided to make it up to you by answering your questions about health and raw foods.

If you have a question to ask, make sure you let me know. You can comment on this article at:

Grains and Honey

Frederic, what about grains and honey?

ANSWER: As I’ve explained in my book the Raw Secrets, fruit, vegetables and roots are superior to grains in many ways. Most fruits and vegetables (including roots like carrots or sweet potatoes) are alkaline-forming, while most grains are acid-forming. There is also a growing concern with gluten-containing grains, as a good portion of the population is either intolerant or sensitive (often without even knowing it). If grains are consumed, better to choose gluten-free grains such as amaranth, rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, if you choose to have any grains at all.

I’m especially against the sprouted-grain craze. Raw starch in those grains is particularly indigestible. This is one special case where it would be better to cook your food than eat it raw. In any case, fruit is superior to grains.

About honey: I’m not a big fan of honey, but occasionally (usually less than once a month) I might use some in a recipe, and rarely more than 1 tablespoon. Honey is quite acidic, and the sugars are too concentrated for regular consumption. I also do not subscribe to the concept of using honey as a medicine. Some people put honey on their teeth to heal them, which is complete insanity since the sugar will only feed the bacteria and cause even more decay, in spite of the mild anti-microbial properties of some honey. Honey is also often used to treat colds and sore throat, but it should be viewed as a remedy that masks symptoms rather than something that actually goes at the root of the problem.

Are You 100% Raw?

I enjoy your presentation and believe you are the most open and balanced of the raw food folks out there. You speak from
hard experience, which I appreciate. Are you 100% raw? If so, How long have you been 100%? Do you eat any “SAD” at all,
at social functions, etc.? If not, how do you respond when asked, while not wanting to “up the ante”? Sometimes people
still take offense at my politest, “it doesn’t work for me.” A lot of raw food folks I’ve met become zealots, are rigid,
and look joyless and unhappy. What do you attribute this to? Do you think some people substitute a raw food program for
an emotional void in their lives? I find that raw foods are no substitute for the emotional work I need to do, yet it
gives me the energy in which to pursue the work, if that makes any sense. thanks again. Dave Meeks

ANSWER: Thank you Dave! I’ve been following a raw-food program since 1996. I have been 100% raw at times — the longest period was 3-4 years. I eat mostly fruits and vegetables, but not always 100% raw. I avoid all animal products, and aim at following a strict low-fat diet, with no added oil. I might add foods such as steamed vegetables, potatoes and brown rice to my diet — more or less depending on the period of the year or whether I’m traveling or not. I always find something to eat at a restaurant or social function and never feel it’s necessary to eat SAD! Socially, the best approach is to be non confrontational. Interested people will come to you and ask questions. Stay cool and don’t be a food nazi! But also promote the right message or demystify some myths when it’s appropriate.

Some raw food people are indeed very uptight, but keep in mind the saying that “There’s nothing like the zeal of the newly converted”. When I first became a vegetarian at 18, I wanted to convert everybody!

Raw foods or any diet are not a magic potion. They will not change your personality fundamentally, or replace psychological growth and maturity.

The Perfect Stimulant

Just watched your videos on YouTube. As usual, your answers were simple and clear. I have dubbed you “Common Sense Fred” and share your info with anyone who will listen. Thanks for using your mind on behalf of all of us for better health. I do want to say that agreeing that “coffee is a stimulant” in your video will tend to support, for many people, their reason for drinking coffee in the morning – they think it is the only effective way to have a bowel movement.
I drink two tall glasses of room temperature water every morning and it works beautifully – no need for ‘stimulants.’ I’ve been about 80% raw now for almost a year and look and feel great – finally reached a natural weight at age 60! Again, thank you for all you do.

ANSWER: Way to go! Water with lime is a great “stimulant” 🙂

Blood Pressure Changes

I appreciate your video responding to hate-mail, especially what you said about sugar and cancer, and that the real thing to avoid is high blood sugar. Once I caught on to the concept of low fat, high fruit diet, and adhered to it, my blood sugar went from averaging between 110-140 to an average of 85-90. I know this is because my cells are
getting most of it, and it shows in my musculature. Thank you for promoting the truth.

Fruit and Sugar

Do cancer cells thrive in a more high fruit environment? Hippocrates Institute does not advocate high fruit

ANSWER: There’s no such thing as a “high-fruit environment”. What matters is your blood sugar, and level of antioxidants. A constantly elevated blood sugar may be a risk factor for cancer. However, eating a lot of fruit does not necessarily cause high-blood sugar. What matters is insulin sensitivity, which is mainly affected by your fitness levels (get your exercise!), body fat (lose that tire!), and most importantly, the fat content in your diet. A low fat diet has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, and it’s very important to lower the fat content in the diet so that healthy foods like fruit don’t affect your blood sugar.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.