Is Fruit Bad for You?

Imagine yourself 10,000 years ago, living the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. You didn’t have a lot to worry about back then, except for finding food and avoiding being something else’s food. As the day began, you would scrounge for leftovers or hopefully had stored food. After that, it was time to get on with the hunt and gathering to replenish the stock.

Food would be seasonal depending on where you lived. Lots of plant life in the summer with more of a reliance on meat and seafood in the winter. But no matter where you lived, fruit would be a seasonal encounter, occurring only in the late summer to early fall. Probably about a 6 to 8-week window to indulge on the sweet fruit. And indulge we would, as fruit is a great way to pack in some extra calories to store as fat for the upcoming winter when food may be scarce.

Fruit is the way many plant species spread their seed in a Darwinian attempt to survive. The color of fruit is attractive to animals and insects. Same for the sweetness. Animals, including humans, swallow the seeds in the fruit and “deposit” them somewhere else. You see, the plant uses us to spread their seed in their quest for survival. Knowing this natural phenomenon, it is no surprise Man is told to “be fruitful and multiply” in the book of Genesis.

But fast-forward to present day and fruit consumption is not seasonal, but every day. In just about every grocery store, dozens of varieties are available 365 days per year, imported from all over the world. In fact, government guidelines encourage us to eat fruit every day. I am here to tell you that eating this much fruit is NOT healthy and we need to be smart and cut back.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was, briefly and famously, an ardent fruitarian—meaning he ate a diet composed primarily of fruit, which he believed would cleanse his body of harmful fluids. Unfortunately, this plan did not save Jobs life. Just as famously, the actor Ashton Kutcher tried adopting Jobs fruit-centric diet, until he ended up in the hospital with a pancreatic issue.

Too much fruit can lead to:

  1. Sugar addiction. To me, fruit is a gateway food. Like any drug, fruit is a gateway to want for more sugar. This is especially a concern for kids and fruit juice, often considered a gateway beverage.
  2. Elevated blood sugar and elevated insulin. Most studies do not show a detrimental effect of fruit on health outcomes. But fruit contains fructose AND glucose. Although insulin only rises from glucose, this response is limited by the fiber housed in the fruit. Nonetheless, short term insulin spikes and fructose loads are tough on the system.
  3. Deuterium load. Our body is loaded with hydrogen atoms and the form found is fruit can be a problem. The deuterium form of hydrogen, which is high in fruit, is not the preferred version for cellular function. According to Laszlo Boros PhD, high deuterium leads to protein and enzyme malfunction. This is not good.

Fruit Groups:

  • Pome fruits such as apples and pears
  • Citrus fruit such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruit
  • Stone fruit such as apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums
  • Tropical fruit such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple and melons
  • Berries
  • Grapes

Some suggestions for fruit consumption:

  1. Always be 100% organic.
  2. Limit your amount to one to two servings per day max (except lemons/limes).
  3. Avoid dried fruit. Way too high in sugar and calories.
  4. Eat fruit in season, mostly spring and summer. Spring is citrus, summer is stone fruit and berries. Fall is apples.
  5. Use lemons and lime liberally. They have low sugar, but high polyphenols and vitamin C. This is good.
  6. Skip the grapes and bananas. Mostly sugar with little other nutritional value. Stick with berries and citrus for optimal health.
  7. Eat watermelon rind for citrulline and healthy blood vessels.
  8. Choose apples with the lowest fructose content. com has an excellent review on apples. Choose Granny Smith over Fuji for example.

For a delicious way to eat fruit and keep the sugar/insulin spike down, try our Organic Superfood Fruit Salad Recipe.

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