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Should You Eat Fruits Mono-Style?

There’s a belief in some circles, whereby we should consume fruit one type at a time, rather than mixing them. Proponents of this school of thought think that each fruit is better digested when it’s eaten “mono style,” ideally one type of fruit per meal.

They will make large 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 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.

Shelton’s rule was meant to avoid the universal combination/abomination in those days of a big slice of watermelon after of rich meal of meat and pasta.

You can safely combine ALL kinds of fruit, including bananas with melons, oranges with figs, or any combination you fancy. If you find that a particular combination gives you problems, avoid it in the future.

Also, by combining certain fruits, 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 overeat of it. But combining them with other, less acidic fruits buffers this acidity.

Eating large quantities of grapes or melons can give people a stomach ache. Again, by eating a combination of different fruits, you avoid the problem.

If you like eating your fruit “mono style,” you may not understand the appeal of having a big fruit salad ready, but give it a try.

It tastes amazing. When you use high-quality fruit, the flavors blend and become more intense after just a few hours of marinating.

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 add bananas 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
  • Berries
  • 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.
Cherry — Remove seed, ideally using a cherry pitter. Cut in half.
Figs — Add fresh figs to salads, sliced.
Grapes — Use seedless grapes and slice them in half, or more if they are huge.
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 types 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!

Let me know what you think in the comments below.


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.