Consuming an All-Fruit Diet Exposes You to Many Health Hazards
October 05, 2015 | 3,820 views
By Dr. Mercola
Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective lifestyle strategies you should try if you want to lose weight and maintain optimal health. Operating on the concept of “feast and famine,” this eating plan requires strategically timing your meals so you can fast for a particular number of hours.
By doing this, you can train your body to shift from burning sugar into burning fat as fuel, as well as minimize your unhealthy craving for sugar and processed foods.
You can employ different intermittent fasting strategies, such as doing alternate-day fasting or the 5:2 concept, which requires eating normally for five days per week and fasting for 2 days. You can even fast 7 days per week. I prefer this technique: I skip breakfast, make lunch the first meal of my day, and eat my dinner at 7pm. This gives me at least 16 to 18 hours to fast.
However, remember that intermittent fasting is not only taking note of when NOT to eat – it is also crucial to be mindful of WHAT you eat when breaking your fast and during your non-fasting days.
I advise you to consume mostly high-quality protein, such as grass-fed meat and whey protein, and healthy fats like eggs, raw butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and nuts. At the same time, you should minimize your consumption of carbs like bread, pasta, and potatoes.
I also recommend avoiding sugar-loaded foods. You should restrict your intake of fruits, as there are some varieties that are actually high in sugar and may go against your goal of eliminating your sugar cravings.
Why I Recommend Minimizing Your Fruit Intake
It’s true that fruits are loaded with healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and that eating them in moderation is fine for most healthy people. In fact, many people believe that consuming unlimited quantities of fruit – as long as it is natural and raw – has no adverse metabolic repercussions on their health.
However, this is not true. Keep in mind that fruits still contain fructose, a simple sugar that is metabolized into fat in your liver. Eating high amounts of fructose has been linked to negative endocrine and metabolic effects, which can increase your risk of insulin and leptin resistance, and even chronic diseases like cancer.
Should You Remove All Fruit from Your Diet?
I don’t believe you should eliminate fruit from your diet entirely, as small amounts, especially if you’re healthy, can be good for your health. The fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes in fruits can help minimize the adverse metabolic effects of fructose.
However, if you suffer from fructose-related health issue like metabolic syndrome, obesity, or insulin resistance, then it would be wise to limit your fructose consumption to 15 grams per day from all sources, including whole fruit.
Finally, I advise you to never follow an all-fruit diet, as it can severely wreak havoc on your health. Studies have shown that fructose can lead to:
- Fatty liver disease
- Renal (kidney) damage
- Abdominal obesity
- Inflammation and oxidative stress
- Elevated triglyceride levels
- Insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and diabetes
When consuming fruit, make sure that you pay attention to your metabolic parameters. You can also use your uric acid levels as a marker for your susceptibility to fructose damage. The higher your uric acid levels, the more sensitive you are to the effects of fructose.
Lastly, it would be better to get most of your vitamins and antioxidants from vegetables, instead of fruit – so when doing intermittent fasting, make sure to consume higher amounts of vegetables than fruits.
Learn more about burning fat for fuel and the risks of eating an all-fruit diet by reading my latest book, Fat For Fuel, and my article "Surprising Health Hazards Associated with All-Fruit Diet."