fruitarian diet

Plant based eating is rising these days considering its health and planet saving actions. But some people take it to the extreme. On TikTok and such social media platforms, one diet that is trending is the fruitarian diet. What is this diet? Know it’s advantages and disadvantages.

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Fruitarian diet or fruitarianism

As the name suggests, a fruitarian diet consists of eating only fruits. Health and ethical reasons have prompted people to start eating less of meat and increase the consumption of plant based foods. It lowers the risk of heart diseases and reduces blood cholesterol. This plant based eating can also help control blood sugars. It improves gut health and can lower the risk of chronic body inflammation and cancer. It decreases weight and can prevent stroke. Plant foods have a lot of antioxidants that mop up harmful free radicals and are thus useful for the body.

fruitarian diet
The fruitarian diet (Source: Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials)

But there are certain people who take this concept to the extreme. And this is how the fruitarian diet came into being.

This diet has another name of fruitarianism. It entails eating raw fruits throughout the day. On first look, this sounds healthy. But it is a highly restrictive diet that is not balanced. Hence it is not healthy in the long term.

Disadvantages of this diet

This diet has no scientific backing. There are no studies on this diet to show whether it is useful or not. Moreover, this diet is highly restrictive type.

There is no clear-cut rules on this diet. But generally, raw fruits should form 55 to 75% of the diet daily. The other foods can be whole grains or nuts and seeds or oils.

fruitarian diet
The fruitarian diet food pyramid (Source: Google sites)

Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder had tried this diet. He used to have raw fruits with grains and nuts and seeds. Some followers of this diet follow 80:10:10 rule. In this, 80% of the daily calories is from fruits, 10% is from proteins, and 10% is from fats. But this might lead to fat and protein deficiencies. This diet will also cause deficiency of calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B. This will cause growth issues and affect bones, teeth, skin, muscles and hair. It can lead to anemia and rickets and osteomalacia.

The concept came up after the belief that humans are not omnivores but are frugivores. The advocates of this diet believe that the gut of humans can digest fruits and vegetables easily. But they overlook the fact that human evolution has taken place including that of their gut.

Advantages claimed

The adherents of this diet claim that the fruitarian diet can decrease body odor. It can prevent bloating and gas formation. They even go to the extent to state that this diet has the potential to cure cancer. But none of these claims have any scientific studies to support them.

This diet implies eating more fructose. This is metalized differently in the body. It can cause fat buildup in the liver and thus lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver. It will increase insulin resistance and cause type 2 diabetes.

fruitarian diet
The fruitarian diet (Source: Very well fit)

Animal studies in rats have also confirmed these ill-effects of fructose on the liver. Additionally, it can cause orthorexia nervosa, anxiety and depression. It can even lead to death especially in small kids and infants. It can also affect brain health.

Also, read 13 water-rich fruits for rehydration and nourishment during summers!

Avoid this diet and eat balanced and wholesome. It is not recommended to follow this diet.