People who may balk at vegan or vegetarian diets, are embracing another plant-based nutrition plan. It’s called fruitarian, which sounds fun, but is it healthy?
The typical fruitarian diet consists mostly of, well- fruits. But it goes beyond your apples and oranges, strawberries and watermelon. This diet leans of other foods that are often grouped under the veggie umbrella, such as tomato and avocado. Along with some foods we think of as nuts; that’s you coconut and almond. These are actually hard-shelled fruit. Incorporating them into the fruitarian eating plan fulfills the element of protein needed for good health.
There are plenty of things to love about this diet. It is natural and sustainable. Harvesting the fruit doesn’t kill the plant and purists go so far as only consuming fruits that have already fallen to the ground, therefore causing less trauma to the host plant. Okay, that may be hard-core, but it is indisputable that this has lower impact on the environment. Fruit fans also appreciate the fact that their food of choice is nutrient-dense and easy to digest.
Another benefit is that generally speaking, fruit is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. We all know they are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium. But wait, there’s more….fruits also have phytochemicals, which are natural compounds linked to anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Additionally, fruits are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great choice for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
When you consider gut health, which is all the rage these days, a fruitarian diet is your friend with benefits. Through the digestion process, it helps rid the gut of toxins and impurities. The high fiber content promotes regular bowel movements as well and prevents constipation.As yummy as all this sounds, there are a few points to ponder before you dive into the fruit bowl.
if not managed properly the all-fruit approach can lead to:
Weight gain- fruits are heavy in sugar, That doesn’t mean you ‘will’ gain weight, but you need to manage portions.
Diabetes- see above relating to sugar, although this is naturally occurring which is better than processed sugars.
Tooth decay- again, the sugar wash may corrode your teeth. Simple fix: brush your teeth and don’t let them bathe in sugar
Nutritional deficits- Strict fruitarians need to make sure they have enough vitamin B12, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. You may need to supplement in order to stay balanced because the lack of these nutrients are linked to osteoporosis and anemia.
The Cleveland Clinic says eating fruit in moderation, is good for you and doctor’s often recommended upping your intake of whole fruit when you want to revamp your diet and eat healthier. Plus, fruit makes a great addition to meals as a natural sweetener and is a good snack to grab instead of chips or cookies. But, their experts recommend it as part of a balanced diet. Preferring that people keep their fruit intake to no more than 25% to 30% of their diet to avoid nutritional imbalances.
Athletes, pregnant women and children are not good candidates to go all-in on the all-fruit diet. These groups need to pay extra attention to protein and nutrients. Some experts consider this a fad diet, but a lot of people would disagree. The balance is likley somewhere in between for most of us.
If you’re considering a fruity makeover, these modifications may help you get the best of both worlds. So try:
20% plant-based protein
10% whole grains
This provides better range and ensures that you have access to things your body needs to stay strong.
And, by consuming mostly fruit, you can still consider yourself a fruitarian. We won’t tell.