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Arguments Against the Fruit Diet

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– Frederic’s Update

– Arguments used against the high-fruit diet

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Greetings from Costa Rica!

Today, I’m going to talk about some recently heard statements used by some raw-foodists to try to scare people away from eating fruit. Is fruit healthy or deadly? Some people would like you to think that eating fruit will turn you into an alcoholic. No kidding… Check out these shocking statements below and my answers.

I’m currently in Costa Rica and about to prepare my event Day in Costa Rica With Frederic.

Have you ever fancied moving to a Tropical Paradise? This live event is just one part of my course “How to Move to a Tropical Paradise”. Check it out at:

http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/tropicalparadise.html

A few videos below for you:

Eating Dates in Costa Rica?


Having Trouble Opening a Coconut

How to Move to a Tropical Paradise

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Arguments Used Against the High Fruit Diet Don’t Add Up

Over the years there has been an increase in the number of raw “gurus” or leaders speaking out against excessive and even moderate fruit consumption, while more and more packaged, refined, and fragmented questionably raw superfoods enter the market.

There are experts on both sides, long term raw foodists and even doctors. For a while now some leaders have been “scaring” people away from fruit or simply giving them vague misinformation.

I have over 10 years experience with both sides of the raw food lifestyle, going from eat anything as long as it’s raw (heavy avocado and nut consumption) to a high fruit low fat no superfood diet. I feel that the
insight that I can provide into these misconceptions is honest and valuable.

Some arguments against the high fruit diet and misleading advice on moderate fat consumption.

ARGUMENT: 100% raw foodists and especially fruitarians run into problems eating excessive quantities of fruit over the long run.

First of all this is a very vague statement, “problems” could be defined as any number of things.  Secondly, the same could be said about anyone following any other kind of diet in the world, be it raw, vegan, vegetarian, standard american etc.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything so there’s no doubt some people will have “problems” on any diet. But “especially” fruitarians is a bogus argument, my good friend Anne Osborne has been eating fruit exclusively for 17 years and has raised 2 children raw and is very healthy and vibrant.

I have many friends that live on a predominantly fruit based diet and they are the most active, healthful people I know.  Your health is in your own hands, do not blame a particular “diet” or “lifestyle” if you have not informed yourself, kept good physical shape and oral hygiene and adapted your eating plan to make up for any deficiencies.

There is no proof of anyone succeeding long term on a high fruit low fat diet.

Clearly this argument is unfounded and meant to scare people away from a natural diet and probably sell them something.

If you look at the diets of any of the primate family you will note that they all eat a high carbohydrate, low fat, low protein diet.

Also fats are simply not available in season year round in abundant quantities for regular consumption (Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts). So why would it make sense that we were meant to thrive on a high fat, unnatural diet?

Perhaps they are omitting the works of numerous natural hygienists such as Dr. Shelton, Albert Mosseri and Dr. Graham, not to mention many other people following natural hygiene around the world.

Eating as much as you want as long as it’s raw is a healthy way to transition.

Everyone coming to the raw food diet has a different issue with food in general, whether it’s selecting the wrong foods to eat most of the time or eating too much of what they crave.  So giving that kind of advice to someone who probably already has issues with food and making poor choices is just not serving their purpose for achieving better health.

You need to be aware of how food effects you and get informed on carbohydrates, protein and fat and calories.  If you do not know the difference between false hunger and true hunger you’re not going to get anywhere by eating anything as long as it’s raw.

You want to get healthy and probably sooner than later. I’ve found too many times people are stretching out their “transition” periods because they like binge eating whether it’s on cooked food or raw treats.

Eating enough fruit calories is going to give you sufficient hydration, vitamins and fibre to help you feel full and curb your cravings for any other unhealthy foods.

Fermentation occurs when digested fruit (glucose) turns into carbon dioxide. C02 is irritating to the body when not eliminated properly. Frequent consumption of massive quantities of fruit leads to fermentation and a highly acidic condition in the body from excessive C02 levels.

Claiming that the sugar in fruit is turned into carbon dioxide is a very deep misunderstanding on how the body works. Fermentation occurs when yeast metabolizes sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. This is commonly done in the production of wine, beer and other spirits.

However, the human digestive track is not an alcohol producing machine. The food we eat doesn’t just sit there and ferment. It passes through a complex set of chemical processes to be quickly assimilated and eliminated. In fact, fruit sugar starts being assimilated as soon as we put fruit in the mouth. The only way for fruit sugar to ferment would be to eat large quantities of it and miscombine it with other foods, such as is commonly done by most raw-foodists.

Food combinations to avoid are:

–    Sweet fruit combined with nuts, seeds or avocados (such as any type of raw bar)
–    Sweet fruits like dates, combined with watery fruits like watermelon

ARGUMENT: Eating fruit by itself is dangerous to the body like taking a shot of hard liquor.

Sure. We see it all the time: alcoholics everywhere are getting their fix by eating apples and bananas! Fruit eaters are walking around in a drunken state. Next thing you know, we will all gather at “Fruit Eaters Anonymous”, or maybe anyone who eats fruit should sit in a session of “Alcoholic Anonymous”.

I’m quite disturbed that this level of low-quality, misleading information is still circulating on the Internet in raw circles.

Fat is a more stable form of energy because it converts slowly.

It’s a frequent misconception to think that fruit should be combined with fat, or fat should be eaten because it “digests more slowly”.

Most fruits are not very high on the glycemic index, and the fact that they are assimilated quickly is a good thing, rather than something to fear.

When we exercise and go through our day, our blood sugar reserves go down. As blood sugar is low, we get hungry and eat to naturally raise our blood sugar to healthy levels. When a person constantly experiences low-levels of blood sugar, we call it “hypoglycemia”, and it’s not a good thing to have.

Furthermore, to experience health we do not want our blood sugars to be high all the time. We want the natural sugars in food to be assimilated quickly and utilized by the cells. We don’t want that sugar to accumulate in the bloodstream.

Eating fat, on the other hand, encourages high blood sugar levels. First of all, high levels of fat in the blood streams lowers what we call “insulin sensitivity — which is the ability for insulin to quickly carry sugar to the cells.

A low fat diet improves insulin sensitivity.  Therefore, it’s a mistake to want to add fats to fruit to “slow down digestion”. All you’re doing is contributing to the problem, rather than solving it.

ARGUMENT: You should eat a small amount of fat with each meal to slow the sugar absorption.

All foods contain carbohydrates, protein and fats in the PERFECT ratio, even lettuce contains some fat.  So why on Earth for proper digestion and sugar absorption should you need to add MORE FAT to your meal?

Especially at each meal that is just going to zap more energy from you to digest food and not going to make you feel more healthy or well balanced.

Eliminating nuts and overt fats in the diet is unhealthy and leads to a fasting like state with increased detoxification of the body.

I do not understand why so many raw-foodists are afraid of detox. It must be because their diet is so unhealthy, that as soon as they start to eat well, they can feel the “detox” more than anybody else.

In my opinion, this idea of “detox” has been greatly exaggerated. It doesn’t take more than a few weeks for the body to adapt to a low-fat, raw food diet. Eating nuts and fats in quantity is absolutely not necessary to keep the “detox” at bay. In fact, even when one eliminates all fats from the diet, there is no resemblance of a “fasting state” as long as one eats enough calories.

It is healthier to overeat on fat than fruit.

This is a rather dangerous and disturbing argument in itself.  It is actually quite hard to overeat on fruit (based on appetite) as removing processed and cooked foods from your diet will make your body more receptive to true hunger and feeling full after an adequate amount of food is eaten.

Fruit has a high water content and is full of fibre and will make you feel full faster than the same amount of calories in pure fat.

It is much easier to overeat on fat and in fact quite detrimental to your health.  It slows down digestion, thickens the blood stream, impedes healing of the body as oxygen is not able to reach cells as quickly and can cause numerous problems with candida and fungal overgrowth.

It is unnatural to eat a high fat diet as it flies in the face of any natural vegetarian mammal diet.  Humans are meant to be active and not require massive amounts of recovery time after each meal.

Eat a whole meal of fruit and you will see that the down time needed to digest your food is minimal if non existent. In no way, can I see it ever being healthier to overeat on fat, than on fruit.

Long term raw foodists and fruitarians experience dental decay because their bodies are acidic and leaches calcium from their bones.

There is only one thing that causes dental decay, and it’s bacteria on your teeth feeding on sugar. This sugar can come from different sources. Usually, the biggest culprits are dried foods like nuts and seeds (and raisins), because they tend to stick to the teeth.

Fruits are actually alkaline foods. According to the Acid Renal Load Chart, all fruits are alkaline forming (so are vegetables). On the other hand, many nuts are acid-forming. And all oils are neutral (they don’t alkalize your body like fruit do).

My advice for fruit eaters when it comes to dental decay has to do with dental hygiene more than anything. I personally experienced the most dental decay when I was eating a high-fat raw diet. Now that I eat a high-fruit diet and with a strict dental hygiene routine, I have perfect checkups.

Consuming greens does not fix the problem of an acidic body when maintaining a high fruit diet.

Again, fruits AND greens are alkaline forming. There is absolutely no evidence to prove that fruits are acid-forming.

The best diet is one that balances all of the raw food groups.

This is another very vague statement as it can be interpreted in many ways depending on what you consider a healthy raw food.

For some people anything that is not heated above 118 degrees is raw, for some it is fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and for some maybe even grains and superfoods.  This is actually where the majority of raw foodists’s diets lie. Somewhere in the middle of confusion, trying to get their greens, trying to get good fats, trying to get all their vitamins and minerals.

Yet the majority of people eating this way have varied health from one person to the next and often nagging issues with candida, excess body weight, low energy, poor skin clarity, bad digestion etc.

As we’ve seen with the Standard American Diet, trying to have a balance of food groups really doesn’t work as people tend to eat what is marketed the most to them as healthy and they don’t listen to their bodies.

If you try to eat an equal quantity of fruits, vegetables and nuts and oils you’re going to have a lot of issues.  Almost no creature eats a well rounded balanced diet of many food groups.  That is strictly something that the human psyche has been programmed to accept.

For long term success don’t have a large amount of fat in your daily diet but be careful to not increase the amount of fruit you are eating once you reduce your fat intake.

Now they acknowledge that a high fat diet is not ideal, but to say “be careful about increasing your fruit intake” isn’t giving you a lot of options of what you can eat.

There are only two sources of sufficient calories in a raw vegan diet, carbohydrates from fruit or fat from nuts and oils.

If you follow their advice you are either going to be trying to eat as many vegetables and greens as you can (which won’t be sufficient for caloric needs) or try to resist the urge to eat more fat or fruit and live on a low calorie diet by will power alone.

Either way this is not only unsustainable it is also quite ridiculous when you think about it logically.  If you are a long term raw foodist you will have a better sense of appetite and should be able to trust your hunger when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption.

Fats are always slower to register with your hunger receptors so it is still advisable to be aware of how much fat you are consuming because it adds up quickly.

When you are 100% raw you will eventually evolve to require less food over the years.

I don’t like this word evolve as it makes it sound like right now you are subhuman and will eventually become something different the longer you eat raw foods.

While it is true as you age your energy levels decrease and thus you will require less calories to sustain your level of activity, this is grossly misrepresented.  You will probably have the same level of energy when you’re 20 as you’re 25, 30 as when you’re 35.

So unless you still have a lot of weight to lose years after being successful at a raw food diet, I don’t suggest believing you’ll magically require less food to function optimally.  Your body will be less tolerant to large quantities of fats, salts and spices yes, but that is because it’s cleaner than before.

You’re not going to “evolve” to require less fuel from fruits if you’re maintaining the same exercise levels.  No athlete in the world runs a calorie deficit on purpose because they believe their muscles can run more efficiently as they get older.

Perhaps the only type of person this would be true for is if they immediately stopped expending so much energy while being on a raw food diet and spent most of their time idle and not exercising at all.  This of course I don’t recommend to anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.

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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.