August 12

The Mono Fruit Myth

Filed under Picking & Preparing Fruit by Frederic Patenaude

There’s a myth spread in some raw food circles, that says it’s better to consume fruit one at a time, rather than mixing them together. Proponents of this idea think that each fruit is better digested when it’s consumed “mono style,” one at a time, and ideally one type of fruit per meal.

They will make giant meals containing only watermelon, or papayas, or mangoes, or bananas.

I’ve got nothing against this practice, but it’s false to say that it’s healthier to do it.

Ripe fruits of all kinds are easy to digest, and have an almost identical chemical nutritional composition, consisting of mostly carbohydrates, some fiber, and low levels of protein and fat (around 5% each by calories). Your body will have absolutely no problems digesting them together, when mixed in a fruit salad, for example.

Other people are afraid of consuming certain fruits, like melons, along with other fruits, like oranges, fearing that this combination will lead to fermentation and gas.

Many of these ideas come from Dr. Herbert Shelton, in his book “Food Combining Made Easy.” Shelton gave a lot of rules with no reasoning at all behind them.

Also, a lot of people have misinterpreted that book. Because Shelton said “eat melons on their own”, some people think they should never eat melons with other fruits (such as peaches), when in fact Shelton clearly stated you could do so.

Essentially, his rule was meant to avoid the common combination/abomination in those days of a big slice of watermelon after of rich meal of meat and pasta.

There is absolutely no problems combining ALL kinds of fruit together, including bananas with melons, oranges with figs, or any combination you fancy. If you find that a certain combination gives you problems, avoid it in the future.

Also, by combining certain fruits together, you can avoid the problems of consuming a great quantity of any one fruit.

For example, pineapple and oranges are very acidic, and can hurt the enamel if you eat too much of it. But combining them with other, less acidic fruits buffers this extra acidity.

Eating great quantities of grapes or melons can give people a stomachache. Again, by eating a combination of different fruits, you avoid the problems.

If you’re used to eating your fruit “mono style,” you may not understand the appeal of having a big fruit salad ready, but once you try it, you’ll be converted!

It tastes amazing. When you use high quality fruit, the flavors not only blend and become more intense after just a few hours of marinating. A great homemade fruit salad doesn’t taste anything like the low quality stuff that’s sold in restaurants and in convenience store.

In addition to making a giant fruit salad, you might also want to prepare some other fruit and store it in containers, having it pre-cut and ready to eat.

Ingredients for the Fruit Salad

Any fruit you fancy can be thrown in a fruit salad, but I don’t personally add bananas. That’s my personal preference, because I don’t like the texture of bananas after it marinates in a fruit salad. But if you enjoy this combination, there’s no reason to avoid it.

My favorite fruits to add to a fruit salad are:

Pineapple, especially when ripe and extra-sweet
Melons, including watermelon. I’ll generally use only one type of melon
Berries, I always try to include some type of berries in the salad, often strawberries and raspberries
Mangoes, they add extra sweetness and creaminess
Citrus, a few oranges or tangerines are excellent.
Apples, I’ll throw in an apple or two for crunch
Grapes: As long as good grapes are in season, I use them in fruit salad, generally slicing them in half.
Papayas — in cubes, they’re my favorite in fruit salads!


Apricots — Deseed and slice in quarters.
Bananas – Slice them, if you enjoy the taste in fruit salads.
Cantaloupe and other Melons — Deseed, peel, and cut in cubes.
Cherry — Remove seed, ideally using a cherry pitter. I love the Cherry-It cherry pitter by Progressive. Cut in half.
Figs — Add fresh figs to salads, sliced.
Grapes — Use seedless grapes and slice them in half, or more if they are really big.
Kiwi — Gold kiwis are best. Peel and slice.
Watermelon — Use seedless and cut them in cubes.
Nectarines and peaches— Use good quality ones. Slice the flesh.
Berries — Throw them whole. Slice strawberries.
Oranges and citrus fruits — Slice the orange quarters in half.
Papayas — You may use them slightly (but not too) hard. Peel and cube.
Pears — Use the bosc varieties. Other varities are too soft.
Pineapple — Use fruits that smell the fruitiest. Do not use the inner core.
Pomegranates — Add seeds to the salad.
Star Fruit — It may add a visual element to the salad, when sliced in “stars.”
Fresh Herbs — Fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, parsley,  etc. — all go great in a fruit salad!

4 Responses to “The Mono Fruit Myth”

  1. mary kay says:

    I’ve always believed this. Thanks for confirming.

    I’ve also heard that if you do eat watermelon after a huge meal that not only can it cause fermentation and indigestion, but that it produces a toxin. Do you know if it does?

  2. Hi Frederic
    thanks for a great article.
    I totally agree with you on this.
    Every morning here in Okinawa we are having mangoes, papayas, pineapples, dragonfruit – keeps me going all day. It’s all cut up into a fruit salad & tastes out of this world.
    5 stars !
    Jagadvira das
    Hare Krishna

  3. Eric says:

    Are you aware of any science showing that: “pineapple and oranges are very acidic, and can hurt the enamel if you eat too much of it.” Thanks.

  4. Perry says:

    Inconsistent article.
    1) You say: “There is absolutely no problems combining ALL kinds of fruit together, including bananas with melons, oranges with figs, or any combination you fancy.”
    2) then you say: “If you find that a certain combination gives you problems, avoid it in the future.”

    So you’re saying there’s no problem…and then there could be a problem? Huh?

    Bottomline: the simpler the meal, the easier it will be to digest. Some people have more tolerance for mixing intense acids (citrus) with other sweeter fruit (banana), but it’s still harder to digest than if eaten separate. People should do what works and it will obviously not work for some people, contrary to your claim that it’s a “myth.”

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