Is Being a Fruitarian Healthy or Dangerous?
Definition of Fruitarian
In the world of nutrition, there are typically four options that most people are familiar with, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and omnivore. While vegans eat only plant-based foods, and vegetarians do not eat meat, omnivores will eat both plant-based foods as well as meat and a pescatarians diet is mostly vegetables but will include fish and seafood. However, another form of diet is the fruitarian. While this is still a plant-based diet, a fruitarian will chiefly consume fruit. Considering the levels of natural sugar fruit contains, one must ask is this a healthy lifestyle choice or is this dangerous?
The Benefits and Dangers
The benefits of becoming a fruitarian are limited, but there are a few. The first impressive benefit would be that fruits are packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which increases the body’s defense against Cancer. It is also possible to lose weight while being on a fruitarian diet, but it will be limited and once off the diet the weight will inevitably creep back up (health.clevelandclinic.org).
As mentioned, the benefits are limited, and the dangers are far more profound. One thing to keep in mind with fruit is there are very high levels of sugar in fruit. Anyone that is diabetic or pre-diabetic should speak with a medical professional if considering this diet. Too much fruit could negatively affect blood sugar levels. While some folks may lose weight on this diet, it is more likely weight gain will be a factor simply due to the levels of sugar being consumed. Tooth decay can also become an issue with eating too much fruit. Fruits that are highly acidic such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons could cause erosion with tooth enamel. When eating higher portions of fruit, dental care is very important. Sugar from fruit can build up on the teeth as easily as drinking soda or eating candy.
Fruit has little to no protein levels. It is very important to include protein and fat in any diet. Nuts, seeds, and vegetables should be included with the fruitarian diet. The protein will help increase muscle mass and level out the amount of sugar taken into the body by slowing down sugar spikes. Avocados, bananas and coconuts are good sources of fat that the body needs. When it comes to fat, most people have a fear of consuming it, though fat is necessary in a healthy diet.
A healthy diet should include protein that can be found in fish, meats, poultry, dairy products, nuts and beans. There should also be fat that may be found in animal and dairy products, nuts and oils. The dreaded carbohydrates are also necessary, and finally, vitamins, minerals and water (webmd.com). Many Americans are already familiar with the food pyramid and although it has gone through several changes over the years, it is still a valuable source when considering a diet plan. Based on the most recent food pyramid, half of the plate should consist of vegetables and fruits, though there should be more vegetables than fruit (hsph.harvard.edu).
The Break Down
While eating fruit it is highly recommended by medical professionals, if an individual should be considering changing their diet or becoming a fruitarian, vegetables, seeds and nuts should be included in the diet plan. Fruit has large quantities of sugar and can be detrimental to the overall health and well-being of the body. Blood sugar spikes, tooth decay, weight gain and nutritional deficiencies can become an issue if a proper diet plan is not in place. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before changing diet plans.
Fruitarian Lunch Preparation [ID 99224379 © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz | Dreamstime.com]
Woman with Banana [ID 46043143 © Endostock | Dreamstime.com]