Within the past few months, fruitarianism has gained more popularity than it’s had in past centuries. Rumored to have been around since before the 15th century, the idea of eating only fruit hasn’t changed much.
This very restrictive diet limits intake to fresh fruit, but some individuals do include the occasional nut, seed or vegetable with their meals.
Although my first thought about this was, “sounds like an easy way to lose weight and be healthy,” I quickly retracted that statement. Fruit, a carbohydrate, contains a lot of sugar and very little protein and lipids (fats and oils), both of which are essential for the human body.
The primary function of carbs is to give us energy. So for fruitarians, great! They have a ton of energy, but are lacking in the essential nutrients for body development.
According to a Livestrong article, “Without enough of these fats’ sources in your diet, you may not get enough essential fatty acids, which could cause problems with your hair, skin, immune system and vision.”
In addition to the aforementioned issues, fruitarians also consume too much sugar, which can lead to cavities, diabetes and weight gain, among other health concerns.
Despite the latter, there are quite a handful of individuals who claim that there are health benefits from a fruitarian diet. Take Michael Arnstein, for example. This marathon runner tried a fruit majority diet, and fell in love (I assume there are some nuts and seeds involved, as most fruitarians include, but he neglected to say).
In an interview with CNN, he claimed, “I couldn’t get sick. My body wouldn’t break down, and I kept performing at a higher and higher level… I’ve become almost superhuman.”
Maybe the reason it works so well for him is because he uses the energy in all of his races, whether they be 50 mile or 150 mile runs. He also claims to have no deficiencies. Perhaps there is an underlying element that is not being seen.
Included in this fruitarian craze is the late Steve Jobs. Jobs, who was known for his odd diets, died of pancreatic cancer in 2011.
Oddly enough, when actor Ashton Kutcher took on the role of Steve Jobs in the film Jobs, he prepared by going fruitarian, only to be hospitalized from pancreatic related issues. Sadly, there is not enough evidence to draw a conclusion from this coincidence.
When I first heard of this diet, I didn’t understand how people could live their lives off solely eating fruit,but maybe this was a genuine diet I had just never heard of. So, I decided to give it a try. For three days, I attempted to become a fruitarian. I restrained myself from everything but fruit for breakfast and lunch, with a protein (usually peanut butter and an oat and honey bar) for dinner.
On the first day, I felt the result of a sugar crash. I was incredibly sleepy, but eager to see where everything would go, I pushed on. The second day, I discovered what felt like a peak to the diet. I felt full after my meals and well energized throughout the morning. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to eating bananas and reverted from the diet that night.
Even though I may not have enough experience as a fruitarian, I still believe that devoting one’s entire appetite to consuming fruits (I should note that this does include tomatoes and avocados, as both are classified as fruits) is unhealthy. Not only would an individual be taking in way more sugar than he or she needs, but also would be missing out on nutrients that are needed to support growth, development and regulation within the body.
If you are considering a fruitarian diet, please consult a doctor or health professional before doing so.
Alexandria Saurman can be contacted at email@example.com