Fruit, Fruit, More Fruit ...
By: Dr. Douglas Graham, Ph.D
I do not, nor have I ever,
recommended a diet exclusively
made up of fruit. This is because
everyone I have ever met who
attempts to sustain him or herself
exclusively on fruit for an extended
time runs into serious health
Those who attempt to live on just one fruit, such as watermelon, oranges, or
tomatoes, run into similar health challenges, but more rapidly than those who
vary their fruits.
I have seen people irrevocably lose their health in this fashion, and I have seen
people die by clinging to this premise of eating only fruit.
Fruit can be defined several ways. Culinary experts define fruit according to
the way a food is used in the kitchen. Hence, for them, a pineapple is a fruit.
Botanists use more technical methods of classifying foods, and for them a
pineapple is a vegetable, but the tomato is a fruit. Some in the health
movement have taken the liberty of defining nuts and seeds as fruit, and I have
even met a few folks who refer to vegetables such as celery as fruits. I tend to
use the culinary definition. Technicalities aside, we have three types of fruit to
Sweet fruits run the gamut from melons to dried fruit. They all taste sweet and
tend to fall into four (not distinctly defined) groups: melons, subacid, acid, and
sweet. These are the fruits typically referred to when someone speaks of
Vegetable fruits include tomatoes, okra, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and
eggplant. Botanically, these foods are all fruits, as the seeds are inside. They
do not provide the simple carbohydrates that sweet fruits do; hence we have
difficulty accessing sufficient calories from eating them.
Fatty fruits are true fruits, but they provide more fat than most fruits (all fruits
provide some fat). Avocados, olives, and to a lesser extent durian, are
examples of fatty fruits. (The first two average three-quarters or more fat, and
durian is about one-quarter fat, measuring by calories.)
Fruits come closer to meeting our nutritional needs, on every level, than any
other group of foods. However, if you try to eat only fruit for months or years
at a stretch, you run the risk of gradually running low on certain vital nutrients,
primarily minerals. This is particularly true for active people and those who
live in warm climates.
These minerals are best provided via the consumption of tender green leafy
vegetables. I recommend that people consume about 1 to 3% of their total
calories in the form of greens. For most men, that equates to almost a pound
of greens per day, on average, less for an average woman.
Often, a person will embark upon an all-fruit program and feel quite well. Their
mistake is making a long-term decision based upon a short-term experiment.
We would expect anyone who reduces the fat content of their diet by eating
more fruit to feel better initially.
High carbohydrates and low fat in the diet suits us extremely well. However,
undermineralization takes a subsequent toll on their health. When health
problems finally do hit overzealous fruitarians, they often respond to the
problem by eating more fruit.
Picture a man in a lifeboat who has succumbed to drinking seawater. After
drinking the seawater, he will get even thirstier. Drinking even more seawater
will only exacerbate the problem.
Consuming young tender greens does not have to be a daily part of one's
lifestyle. When plain lettuce or celery sounds and tastes appealing, you can
be sure that you are ready for some greens. Many people find that after eating
fruit for a few days or weeks that greens are really a welcome treat.
It is important for me to stress that health is not created by, nor does it hinge
exclusively upon, the consumption of healthy food. Health requires a
full-spectrum approach, and one's health can only be as good as your
weakest lifestyle link.
A varied diet of fruits, vegetables, and a moderate amount of nuts and seeds
tends to result in the best of health and nutrition. Whole, fresh, ripe, raw,
organic plants are the most healthful for us.
While simplicity at mealtime usually provides the conditions required for ideal
digestion, variety in the diet over time yields optimum nutrition.
Optimum health also cannot be achieved without including a daily fitness
program. We are designed to be fit, and without fitness activities our
consumption of foods must be minimized.
Hence, nutrition is compromised. The rhythmic motion of many fitness
activities enhances the peristaltic action of the intestines, helping to move
food along for optimum digestion.
In closing, I would strongly recommend against the 100% fruitarian
experiment. I do believe that eating the fruit of the season is a good program.
In mango season, for example, mangos predominate heavily in my diet. In
persimmon season, I will make many a meal of just persimmon. Some days I
eat fruit only, for sure.
Overall, however, I eat about a pound of greens per day, and recommend that
young tender greens, or shoots, comprise about 2% of your total caloric
By: Douglas Graham www.foodnsport.com
Article: Fruit, Fruit, More Fruit ... and Fruitarianism