You may have heard of the fruit diet and disregarded it because there is limited information about it.
A fruitarian diet is a branch of a raw vegan diet. When you participate in a fruit diet, you will eat a variety of botanical fruits while they are in their natural state. You will be eating natural sweet fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas. You will also be eating seeded fruits like tomatoes, avocados, olives, and cucumbers.
Some people that follow the fruit diet will also include seeds and nuts. Those that are very strict with their fruitarian diet won’t eat any vegetables or starches. They will solely stick to fruit. Those that follow a fruitarian lifestyle will typically consume up to 80% of their calories from fruits.
While there are some potential benefits to a fruit diet, there are also negatives to consider. If staying healthy is your goal, knowing the ins and outs of a new diet will ensure you maintain optimal health.
Potential Benefits of a Fruit Diet
When you start to look into why people get started on a fruit diet, the reasons vary widely. Many different goals can be achieved when participating in a diet like this one. Additionally, it can cut cooking out of the picture, which saves time and effort throughout your day.
Many people choose a fruit diet because it’s environmentally friendly. Fruits are replenishable resources, and the leftovers do not harm the environment at all because they are biodegradable. If you live a green lifestyle, a fruit diet can fit into your routine quite nicely.
Eating only fruit can reduce the number of calories you consume in a day. This reduction of calories can help you lose weight. When you pair this with an active lifestyle, you can see a serious decline in inches and weight.
When you participate in a fruit diet, you will increase the number of antioxidants and vitamins that you intake. The added antioxidants and vitamins can aid in detoxing your body. Many diets lack vitamin C, Potassium, and Folate, but a fruit diet can boost these items. The effect will be healthier teeth and gums, better-regulated blood pressure, and increased bodily production of red blood cells.
Many fruits are also high in fiber. Diets that are high in fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels, improve bowel functions, reduce heart disease, and keep you feeling full for longer. It’s important to note that added fiber will come from whole fruits, not juices.
4 Risks Associated with a Fruit Diet
Unfortunately, because the fruit diet is so restrictive, it comes with some pretty serious risks that need to be considered. It excludes a lot of food groups, which reduces the types of nutrients your body is getting. Without some of these nutrients, you may find your body is not in its optimal state. Let’s look at the main risks associated with a fruitarian diet.
1. Deficiencies in Nutrition
There are a variety of nutrients that our bodies need to maintain optimal health. When we only eat fruit, we are missing out on vital nutrients. You will be missing essential nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Each of these various nutrients plays a significant role in how our body functions and helps it to function correctly. If we don’t have these nutrients in our diet, there are a variety of health issues we may end up facing. You may end up dealing with brittle hair, depression, dry skin, fatigue, weak bones, cognitive problems, reduced immune system, and weakened muscles.
Ensuring your body receives all the nutrients it needs will help you avoid health-related complications. So, you need to be careful and think about what you’re going to eat to make sure you are providing your body what it needs to maintain excellent health.
2. Tooth Decay
The acid content in fruit is remarkably high. If your mouth care routine is not stellar, the acid in fruits may start to erode the enamel on your teeth. Over time this will lead to tooth decay.
Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all extremely high in acids. Their juices are, as well. These fruits are more apt to cause problems with your teeth. You may also find that consuming a lot of fruit juice leads to cavities.
If you rinse your mouth out after eating fruits, it can keep your teeth in better condition. Additionally, you can reduce your risk of tooth decay from a fruit-based diet by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and waiting a while after eating before you brush. This helps prevent enamel erosion and flossing.
3. Lack of Protein
A lack of protein is probably number one when it comes to the significant risks of a fruit diet. Some fruitarians add nuts and seeds into their diet to promote protein. Unfortunately, even adding seeds and nuts into your diet may not give you enough protein to maintain excellent health.
If your diet lacks protein, it can cause a plethora of different health problems. You may develop issues with swelling, a weakened immune system, anemia, stunted growth, and cardiovascular diseases.
Making sure to get some sort of protein in your diet is critical. It can be accomplished by tweaking your all-fruit diet. Some people disregard this, and it leads to medical concerns that can be avoided by eating foods that provide your body with protein.
4. Glycemic Index Problems
All fruits are naturally high in sugar. This sugar is called fructose. Fruits with the highest sugar levels are going to rank highly on the glycemic index. The glycemic index measures the speed at which sugars in food affect our blood sugar levels.
Fruits like grapes, bananas, and tropical fruit varieties carry the highest glycemic index rating. This means they are going to impact your blood sugar levels significantly. If you’re looking for fruits that will affect your blood sugar levels less, you will want to eat pears, apples, oranges, and berries.
Fruits contain carbohydrates, which is another reason they will increase your blood sugar levels. If you control your portion size and eat a balanced diet, your blood sugar levels will stabilize. Keeping your blood sugar stable can be really difficult for those on a fruit diet.
If you have diabetes, you will likely not want to partake in a fruit diet, as maintaining healthy blood sugar levels will be almost impossible. When you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keeping your blood sugar in check is vital. If you’re trying to avoid spiking your blood sugar level, you should also avoid drinking a lot of juice.
Transitioning to a Fruit Diet
If you and your healthcare provider or dietician decide that a fruit diet is the right decision for you, you will need to ease yourself into it. Starting all at once could lead to health problems and can be quite a shock for your body. You will find that this is even truer if you’re not already living a vegan lifestyle.
When you start to transition, you will want to cut these items out of your diet first:
- Processed Foods
- Animal Products
As you remove these items from your diet, you will want to increase your intake of:
- Raw Fruits
There are several different fruit groups that a fruitarian will eat from. Many will veer away from three meals a day and opt to eat five or six different small meals throughout their day.
The different fruit groups you’ll be choosing from are:
- Acidic Fruits: Acidic fruits include grapefruits, oranges, berries, plums, tomatoes, and cranberries.
- Semi-acidic Fruits: Fruits in this category are apricots, apples, cherries, and raspberries.
- Sweet Fruits: Sweet fruits are grapes, figs, bananas, and dates.
- Oily Fruits: The oily fruit category consists of coconuts, avocados, and olives.
- Starchy Fruits: Starchy fruits will include plantains and squash.
- Melons: Any type of melon is going to fall into this category.
- Vegetable Fruits: Many food items that people consider vegetables are actually fruits. This includes cucumbers and green peppers.
While you are transitioning to a fruit diet, there are a few things you should do to help your body acclimate. You may want to steam or soak your fruits and vegetables before you start to consume them completely raw. It’s also vital to include oily fruits in every meal that you eat.
This is going to provide your body with the fat it requires to maintain proper energy levels. Additionally, you need to find a protein source. You can get extra protein from eating seeds or nuts with each of your meals. Many people find it advantageous to include sweet potatoes and celery in their daily meal plan during the transitional phase.
Essential Items to Remember While on a Fruit Diet
Regardless of the diet, you decide to participate in. Make sure that you stay hydrated. Getting enough water into your diet daily can be hard, but it’s critical in maintaining optimal health. While it’s true that vegetables and fruit have high water content, it will not be enough to keep you hydrated and healthy.
Take the time to learn about nutrition and what exactly your body needs to keep yourself healthy. What you find in fruit will not be enough to sustain a body for an extended period. Adding seeds and nuts into your fruit diet is a good start, but even that may not be enough to keep you truly healthy. Know that if you are on a fruit diet, you will not solely eat fruit.
You also need to focus on exercising regularly. Some people that participate in a fruit diet have decreased energy levels, which can make participating in regular exercise difficult. If you are typically active and start a fruit diet to find yourself drained, you likely need to make some changes to your nutritional intake.
Before you start a new diet, it’s always advantageous to talk with your doctor or dietician. Regardless of if your goal is weight loss, a more natural diet, or enhanced health, you need to speak with a professional before making a drastic change in your eating habits. Because this diet can have some seriously detrimental effects on your health, especially if you have underlying medical conditions, talking with your doctor is very important. They will help you identify the risks and rewards of participating in this type of diet.
Some people prefer to talk with a dietitian to help them decide what the best diet for their situation is going to be. Dietitians are excellent in helping you figure out a meal plan that will help you achieve your goals but also keep you in excellent health. When you want to avoid nutritional gaps, visiting with a dietitian may be the best course of action.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to the fruit diet. Many people successfully meet their goals when entering into a fruit diet. With the correct balance, it can be a healthy way to live your life. You certainly need to be careful and keep an eye on your health to ensure that the fruit diet doesn’t have adverse effects. Ween yourself into it slowly so you don’t shock your body, leading to a variety of problems.
Don’t ever be afraid to talk with other fruit diet followers to see how it has positively and negatively impacted their lives. There are a variety of forums, websites, and YouTube channels that are devoted to fruit diets.
Seeing what others experience provides great insight into what it will actually be like once you start to give it a try. Know that some people only participate in fruit diets for a week or two at a time. This can be done to detox your body. Doing it for a short period may be the best solution for ensuring your body stays in optimal health.
Nutrition is essential, and ensuring your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs will keep you healthy for longer. Taking the time to understand a diet before you just jump into it will help you avoid adverse side effects.
While fruit diets have been around for a long time, they won’t be well-suited toward everyone. Knowing your individual make-up will help you understand whether or not this diet will work for you or not.