There are so many diet plans out there. Some of them focus on more protein and no carbs, while others focus on the high fat intake to create the process of ketosis. Just which one should you follow?
The only way to make a decision is by knowing everything about a particular diet. You may have heard about the fruitarian diet and now wonder what that entails. Could this be the best way to live a healthier life and enjoy everything that you consume throughout the day? Is this the best way to help you lose weight and keep it off in the long term?
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the fruitarian diet. We’ll look at what it is, what you can eat, and any side effects concerned with this particular way of life.
It’s All About the Fruit
As it sounds, the fruitarian diet is all about consuming fruit. There are people throughout history and celebrities today that describe(d) themselves as fruitarians. Just one of the most popular people in history is Leonard da Vinci. He used the term in his own writings. Ashton Kutcher is one of the more popular fruitarians in the modern day celebrity world, although for some of the wrong reasons.
There are certainly some dangers to following the fruitarian diet. This is something that we have to cover a little later, based on the horror stories gained from Kutcher’s month-long attempt at following the diet in a more extreme way.
In short, the fruitarian diet is one of the most extreme vegan diets in the world. Those following this plan will mostly only eat fruits. They can include all types of fruits, including citrus fruits, sweet fruits, and even oily fruits. There are a few other ingredients that can be added, including nuts and seeds – both consider part of the fruit family.
The majority of fruitarians will only eat organic fruit. They believe that foods on sale in the supermarkets are of poor quality and don’t offer all the nutrients that they could. This is a belief among many individuals, although not everyone has an alternative choice. Organic fruits are on the more expensive side since they aren’t as mass produced. Organic options have no chemical pesticides or fertilizers added to them.
If people can’t buy from supermarkets, they will look at health food stores and farmers’ markets. Some will even choose to grow their own fruits where possible!
It is possible to eat other foods. This will depend on how serious and strict a fruitarian is, but there are some who will eat vegetables and other vegan foods. Some will even eat meats! Those who don’t stick to a diet that is 100% fruit will need to consume water throughout the day. Those who eat just fruits alone have no need to consume water!
Eating Multiple Pieces of Fruit Throughout the Day
The main recommendation in the diet is only to eat one type of fruit at a time. This wouldn’t necessarily mean apples for the whole time, but focusing on the type of fruit that apples come from.
There are seven fruit groups that people can choose from:
- Acidic fruits
- Sub acidic fruits
- Sweet fruits
- Oily fruits
- Dried fruits
Each type of fruit has its own benefits. They have different levels of natural sugars and acid, along with other nutrients.
If someone still feels hungry after eating one type of fruit, they should eat another piece of that type of fruit until their hunger is satisfied.
There are some fruitarians who will take a far stricter process to the diet. They will eat just one type of fruit at a time. If they eat a peach, then that is all they eat until they are satisfied. After a 45-90 minute break, they will choose to eat another type of fruit. If that is grapes, they will eat them only until they are, again, satisfied.
There is some debate over how long to wait between different fruit groups. Some recommend 45 minutes and others recommend 90 minutes. They aim to help the type of fruit digest through the system. All fruitarians agree that sticking to one type of fruit will help a person know when they are satisfied. Mixing and matching can cause problems for the stomach to get the message to the brain.
Some believe that sticking to a particular type of fruit – not just from the same group – is important. They believe that the brain gets the message that the fruit is no longer satisfying when the body is no longer hungry. That is the sign that the body has eaten enough.
Fasting on the Fruitarian Diet Is Possible
There are some people who will fast while on the fruitarian diet. This is usually limited to just one day a week and usually on the same day each week to ensure that the body gets enough energy throughout the rest of the week.
When fasting, it is only from consuming food. A fruitarian is encouraged to drink plenty of water to protect the body from dehydration. Most fruitarians recommend drinking between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day to ensure a healthy diet while fasting.
On the days when the fruit is eaten, water will again depend on the amount of fruit that is included in the diet. Those who stick to a 100% fruit based diet will not need to drink water.
Health Benefits of Following the Fruitarian Diet
There is no denying that there are some health benefits to following the fruitarian diet. The question is whether these benefits will outweigh some of the side effects and dangers to following a strict fruitarian diet.
One of the biggest benefits is a number of nutrients a person will get. Fruit is full of vitamins that the body needs, including vitamins A, C, and K. Getting all these will help to support the immune system, cell repair, muscle mass, and blood clotting.
Fruit is also full of antioxidants. This is especially the case if you get the likes of berries. Antioxidants are essential for fighting free radicals in the body. It is these free radicals that encourage the cells in the body to repair and grow abnormally, opening the door for cancer and dementia, along with other long-term health problems.
It isn’t all about the fruit, either. Nuts and seeds also contain plenty of nutrients. One of those is selenium, a nutrient that many people are unknowingly deficient in. Selenium offers the body energy. The problem is that those deficient in selenium get some similar side effects as being deficient in other nutrients, specifically iron.
Nuts also have healthy fats, which the body needs. The healthy fats help to support the liver to remove toxins while creating a state of ketosis to aid with energy creation and weight loss. There are also proteins in nuts to help with the muscle building.
We also can’t forget about the fiber benefits within fruits, seeds, and nuts. All types of fruit are full of fiber, which is an essential part of the digestive system. When it comes to nuts and fruits, the fiber is soluble, which is the best type of a healthy digestive system.
Fiber helps to keep pushing the waste through the system and past the colon. It keeps stools soft to remove, but not too soft that they become loose. Fibre also helps to keep the digestive system working fully and lined well to protect it from bad bacteria and indigestion problems, like Crohn’s disease and IBS. It can help to avoid stomach cramps and ensure full absorption of all nutrients.
Meanwhile, fruits are full of water. This is the reason why someone following a pure fruitarian diet doesn’t need to drink water. It is possible to get your eight glasses of water through just the juice alone.
You can turn your fruits into juices or smoothies if you would like. This is a way to help create a waterier base to increase a number of fluids that you get if you are worried about getting enough liquid. A recommended fruitarian diet allows unlimited melon juice on a morning for example. Orange juice is also recommended at some points of the day.
The Downsides of a Fruitarian Diet
Like with any type of diet, there are downsides to following a strict fruitarian diet – or following it for too long a period. Kutcher showed some of the bad side effects of following the diet when he was hospitalized with malnutrition and poor energy levels.
You need to think about a number of calories that you consume while following this diet. Fruit is low in calories, even though it has natural sugars and carbohydrates. Because of this, you could create an extremely calorie deficit, meaning that the body needs to use the stored calories.
This could be good for weight loss, but only for a short time – usually a few days. If you continue to follow such a low-calorie diet, your body will start to lose water, muscle mass, and bone density. There are some who follow the diet that finds themselves suffering from malnutrition and even anorexia because they don’t give their body enough.
There is the benefit of following the fruitarian diet while including some other foods. This can help to reduce the risk of malnutrition and is one of the recommended ways to get the benefit of all worlds.
One of the other downsides – and a reason why many people avoid following the diet for long periods of time – is the social aspect. Our social lives tend to revolve around food, even if we don’t plan for it. We meet friends in coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.
When we follow a fruitarian diet, especially a strict one, we limit the types of foods we can eat when out. We can even limit the drinks we have. Our friends aren’t always going to be supportive of our diets, and we can end up suffering from being left out of plans – our friends don’t want to find ways to include our strict new diet plans that can seem like fads.
Instead of missing out or dealing with criticism, we start to change our diet plans. We work with the social norms, and the fruitarian diet definitely doesn’t fit into those.
And let’s be honest – the fruitarian diet is extremely restrictive even if we take the social expectations out of it. We’re limited to fruit and nuts. Sure, they may seem tasty at first, and we know they’re good for us, but there’s only so much fruit that we can take. We want to try other foods and stop limiting the recipes that we make.
On top of that is the risk of Type II diabetes. Fruit is full of sugar. It may be natural sugar, but it’s still sugar. This is especially a problem with fruit juices and dried fruit. They either take the fiber or the water out of the fruits, meaning that our bodies get a higher concentration of the natural sugars. They absorb directly into the blood stream and create higher than normal glucose levels.
Even if we eat whole fruits, we still have to deal with the calories in the natural sugars. Our bodies will still release some insulin. It’s important to get a full balance of all the nutrients in the diet.
There is also the cost implication. There’s no denying that fruit is expensive. Healthy eating, in general, tends to be expensive. However, fruitarians have the view that supermarket fruit isn’t healthy. Sometimes it’s definitely not! But organic fruit is much more expensive. It can be too much for some individuals to follow.
A Typical Day on a Fruitarian Diet
Now that you know more about the fruitarian diet, you may decide that you want to give it a try. For a short period of time, it can certainly be beneficial for weight loss and detoxifying the body. Here’s a look at a typical day.
6am to 9am: Start with some lemon juice right away. Move onto raisins to help add more fiber to the diet. You can also have plenty of melon and the juice of melon throughout the morning.
9am to Noon: Move onto the sub acidic and sweet fruits, like apples, grapes, and kiwis. This is also the time to get some more acidic fruits into your diet, like pineapples.
Noon to 3pm: Focus more on the acidic or sub acidic fruits for this point in the day. This includes oranges, papayas, and apricots.
3pm to 6pm: This is the time for sweet fruits and some berries. You can also get some of the more acidic and juicy fruits including watermelon, pomegranates, and tomatoes (yes, tomatoes and cucumbers are classed as fruit for this diet).
6pm to 9pm: Berries are the fruit of choice at this point of the day. You’ll get light fruit and plenty of antioxidants to support your immune system while you sleep.
9pm to midnight: If you are still awake during these hours, stick with some of the berries. You can also have dried fruits and some water based fruits, like watermelon and red plums.
Is the Fruitarian Diet for You?
This isn’t a diet for everyone. There are certainly side effects that you need to consider, especially if you have an active social life. However, this could be an excellent option for those who want to detox for a few days. It can also help to boost initial weight loss efforts to get your metabolism ready for a long term diet.
You don’t have to follow the strict fruitarian diet. If you’re not going to eat 100% fruit, don’t forget about your water intake. Otherwise, follow the plan above and you’ll get plenty of juice from the fruits to support your body.
Vegetarian Diet and fruitarian diet Protects From Cancer
A vegetarian diet or fruitarian diet seems intrinsically healthy, maybe because a vegetarian and fruitarian diet tends to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and accompanying fiber. Fruitarian Diet: But few large, or long-term, studies have been carried out on the health impact of the vegetarian diet and fruitarian diet. In a new report, researchers at the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University gather data from the original Oxford Vegetarian Study and a more recent one called fruitarian diet EPIC-Oxford.
The research involved more than 61,000 people divided up into pure, fruitarian diet, vegetarians and vegans (20,601 people), fish-eating vegetarians (8,562 people) and meat-eaters (32,403 people) followed for around 12 years. Overall, vegetarians are 12% less likely to get cancer than meat-eaters. Fruitarian Diet: The incidence of 20 different cancers was recorded and some interesting differences between fruitarian diet, vegetarians and meat-eaters noted.
Cancer of the stomach, bladder and ovary were less common among vegetarians and fruitarian diet people than among meat-eaters. Also cancers of the blood, including leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma were, taken together, 45% less common among vegetarians. Fruitarian Diet:There was also a decreased risk of prostate cancer among fish-eating fruitarian diet vegetarians compared to the meat-eaters.
How do these findings on the fruitarian diet and vegetarian diet compare to those of other studies? The Adventist Health Study in California showed that vegetarians /fruitarian diet have a lower risk of colon and prostate cancer than non-vegetarians. And the UK Women’s Cohort Fruitarian Diet Study showed a lower risk of breast cancer in fruitarian diet vegetarians. As with all these studies, there are challenges in assessing fruitarian diet /people’s diet – are they really vegetarian and which vegetarian foods are the healthiest? The Fruitarian Diet researchers declare themselves most surprised by the link between the vegetarian diet and a lowered risk of blood cancers. This deserves a fuller fruitarian diet investigation. There is clearly much more to be learned about how the vegetarian diet affects both overall cancer risk and the risk of individual types of cancer.
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