What is the Fruit Diet?
The fruit or fruitarian diet is a highly restrictive vegan diet. It excludes all animal products, including that of dairy. People who are following this program eat a diet consisting primarily of raw fruits.
Dried fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts can also be eaten in moderation.
Other types of food, such as legumes, grains, and tubers, are severely limited or eliminated completely. Cooked food of any kind, including that of cooked fruit, is avoided.
Is the Fruit Diet Healthy?
The dietitian said that while relying on fruit as your primary energy source will deliver a plethora of minerals and vitamins, it is unlikely that your body will be able to utilize all of them at once.
Vitamin C, for example, is a water-soluble vitamin, this means that excessive amounts will be excreted through urine. Therefore, it will not be stored in the body for later use like fat-soluble vitamins will.
Also, fruit does not provide all of the minerals, vitamins, macro-nutrients, and fatty acids you need to sustain good health.
“Fruit alone cannot supply many of the raw materials the your body needs for repair, healing, and maintenance, including protein,” as per Cynthia Sass, RD, CSSD, LA-based performance nutritionist. “This imbalance can throw your body out of whack, which can lead to serious health risks if followed long-term. Even if you include vegetables and some nuts you will not get the spectrum of nutrients needed for health.”
What are the Potential Benefits of a Fruit Diet?
When eaten in moderation, fruit can be a very nutritious part of a healthy diet. Some benefits from eating fruit include:
- Red peppers, strawberries and oranges, are examples of fruits that contain lots of vitamin C. This helps to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Also, vitamin C also supports the immune system.
- Fruits contain fiber, this can encourage regular bowel movements and help lower your cholesterol. Pears, apples, blackberries, and raspberries are examples of fruits high in dietary fiber.
- Tropical fruits and oranges such as mangos are high in folate. This can help your body produce red blood cells. Also, folate supports healthy fetal development.
- Guavas, bananas, mangos and cantaloupe are examples of fruits higher in potassium. Potassium can help regulate fluid balance in the body and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Prunes, black plums, and all berries are examples of fruits rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants limit the production of free radicals. Also, they can fight off illness and protect your skin.
What are the Risks With Adopting the Fruitarian Diet Long-Term?
As per Sass some of the most likely side effects that could happen if you take on the fruit diet long-term include:
- A decrease in bone density
- A weakened immune system
- Hair loss
- Susceptibility to injury
“If you have other blood sugar issues, diabetes or a condition like PCOS, the fruit diet may be especially inappropriate,” advises Sass.
Nutrition can be described as a balancing act; you need specific types (and also amounts) of certain nutrients and building blocks in order for the body to properly function.
“The goal is to prevent both surpluses and shortfalls”, she says.
Therefore, any diet that get rids of a significant amount of vital nutrients while at the same time boosting too much of others can also hinder your body’s ability to carry out normal processes.
“Nutrition is about balance,” as per Sass. “That may not be a sexy word, but it is a vital concept.”
Consult Your Doctor:
Whether your goal is for increased health, a more natural way of life, or weight loss, always check with your doctor before beginning the fruit diet. This diet may have adverse effects on your overall health, if you have an underlying medical condition or take any medications. Your doctor can help you to understand your individual risks, and can help you modify the diet to suit your needs.
Also, meeting with a registered dietitian is a good idea. They can help make a plan that works for you while also ensuring you have no nutritional gaps.
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