Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Eat That! The Fruitarian Diet
Most of us, when we think of fruit we see a clear picture of something natural, sweet and healthy. Fruits contain lots of vitamins and minerals; they are low calorie in comparison to processed sweets and have quite a bit of fiber in them. Eating around two or three portions of fruit a day is considered the ideal amount for average sized men and women. But what about people who want to have more? Some actually want little or nothing else than fruit in their diet, thinking of fruit as the most “ethical” or “healthy” food of all. These people call themselves fruitarians, since they follow the fruitarian diet. Is such a restricted diet even healthy? What are the benefits and drawbacks? We’ll have a good scientific look at this lifestyle.
What is the fruitarian diet?
The Fruitarian diet is a diet that consists mostly, or completely, of fruit. Usually it is a step further down the path of veganism, the effort not to eat products made from animals. Many are drawn to such a lifestyle for ethical reasons, others because of their religion and some just because they like this way of eating. Human digestive systems and teeth are well designed to digest fruit, so we do get a lot out of them compared to vegetables, but fruit are not complete sources of nutrients sadly. This is why some fruitarians include vegetables and nuts to their diet in small quantities. Even with this addition though, many nutrient needs are not met.
What are the benefits of a fruitarian diet?
For an extremely restricted diet like this there are surprisingly many benefits. Some of these are:
- Fruit are low calorie and it is hard to eat that many to get fat from them.
- Fruit are an excellent source of fiber. This will ensure the health of your digestive system. Note that too much fiber can cause Diarrhea.
- Fruit have quite a few vitamins and minerals in significant quantities. Fruit are in many people’s diets that best sources of plenty of vitamins like Vitamin C.
- Fruit are sweet and usually very appealing in taste. With a few exceptions like the Duran that takes some getting used to, most fruit are popular all over the world.
What are the drawbacks of a fruitarian diet?
Sadly there are too many drawbacks to adopt a fruitarian diet long-term. The most important of those are:
- This diet is far too restrictive. In fact it is so restrictive that you miss most essential macronutrients your body absolutely needs to function properly. Fruit are very poor in protein and essential fatty acids. They also lack some minerals and vitamins in significant quantities for humans to live with.
- It is very hard to live with. There will be intense hunger, food craving and social alienation when you start eating in such an extreme way. For most humans that is too much to ask for.
- Your stools might be too loose. Eating only fruit will cause you to have loose bowel movements, which will cause you to absorb less liquid and nutrients.
- Fruit are predominantly sweet and that can be too boring for most people to handle. Some actually can’t stand the idea of only consuming sugary sweet fruits all day.
- Fruits are high in sugars and this can cause problems if you’re not able to break them down properly. This diet should never be undertaken by people with diabetes and similar diseases.
Is it worth the trouble?
Actually the answer is not as simple as it might seem. Many healthy diets offered by licensed dietitians include a “fruit day” in the menu where you only eat as much fruit as you like. This can actually be a pretty healthy and fun break in a tiring and monotone diet. Eating exclusively or predominantly fruit for very long period of time is not recommended and it certainly is always a terrible idea to make children and adolescents eat fruitarian even for a day. This diet is far too restrictive to be productive for long-time weight loss, so it is not worth it to try it out for weight loss purposes. If you’re a healthy adult try a fruit day or two after holiday feasts, don’t push it any further than that.