Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fruit myths exposed!

Frederic Patenaude is one of my favorite raw food authors.  He has recently written an excellent 3 part article on myths surround fruit. Enjoy!  I applaude this because I have always seen fruit as one of nature's truly perfect foods.  And our body verifies this, especially when fruit is eaten alone.

Hi Sheryl, 
I'm literally shocked by the amount of confusion around nutrition that exists in the natural movement, especially the confusion surrounding the particular issues with eating fruit. [I'm shocked too Fred!]!

Fruit has universally been recognized as the healthiest food there is, yet it's also the one natural food that's vilified the most by many trends of the natural health and raw food movements. This of course started with the dangerous low-carb trend, which would like you to believe that eating slabs of butter on grilled steaks is actually healthier than eating the natural "sugar" in fruit.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that a lot of people in the raw food movement are actually scared of eating fruit. Literally.
So let's take a look at the most common statements made about fruit, and bust them once and for all.
1-Eating too much fruit will cause symptoms of blood sugar problems.

It's no secret that a proper, healthy raw food diet contains a lot of fruit. In fact, the quantity of fruit that I consume in one single day probably exceeds the quantity consumed by an average family on a weekly, if not monthly basis.
When people look at all that fruit, they're suddenly afraid that eating so much of it will cause them health problems, the most common being cited is blood sugar issues.
I've known many people who are absolutely convinced that whenever they eat a lot of sweet fruit, their blood sugar "goes out of wack." Their interpretation of what is happening to them is often "getting sudden energy, followed by a blood sugar crash."

In other words, they compare their body's response to eating fruit to a common response to stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine: a sudden stimulation followed by a depressed, "recovery" state.

In reality, in a fairly healthy individual, blood sugar will remain stable no matter how much fruit is eaten. I have tested this myself by testing my blood sugar throughout the day, and I found that it didn't matter how many bananas I ate: my blood sugar remained normal throughout the day.
That's because fructose is processed differently in the body as other types of sugar.  
In fact, even when I eat more than 8 or 10 bananas in a day (which I do regularly), my blood sugar stays absolutely normal.

Steve Pavlina, who's a professional author and speaker and whose website is one of the most visited on the web, did a 30-day trial of a 100%, low-fat, fruit-based raw food diet. During these 30 days, he recorded every single meal he ate. He also monitored closely his blood sugar, weight, blood pressure and other key stats. Here's what he has to say about the effects of eating fruit on his blood sugar:
"I monitored my blood sugar using a blood sugar testing device, the same kind diabetics may use. It showed no discernible spikes in blood sugar throughout the trial whatsoever -- absolutely none. In fact, my blood sugar remained incredibly steady throughout the trial. My highest blood sugar reading of the trial was 94, which is still medium-low. 

All that sweet fruit in my diet simply did not have any adverse effect on my blood sugar.
Eating this way gave my blood sugar more consistency than ever. I couldn't spike my blood sugar on this diet if I tried. Even eating 19 bananas in one day made no difference."
Dr. Graham, author of the book "The 80-10-10 Diet", also told me that whenever people came to him thinking that their "blood sugar was out of balance" due to sweet fruit consumption, they were found to have perfectly normal blood sugar after being tested.
That being said, I think that it's still possible for some people to experience a negative reaction from eating sweet fruit. However, it's not the fruit that's to blame in this case, but their overall diet which is too high in fat. 
In most cases, people who think they have blood sugar spikes have in fact perfectly normal blood sugar. And in the few cases when they truly are not handling the sweet fruit they eat properly, their high-fat diet is to blame, not the fruit.

2- Diabetics Should Not Eat Fruit

What about diabetes? Should diabetics avoid fruit altogether or should they not worry about it?
Again, it's best to look at the root of the problem, rather than analyze it superficially.
Eating fruit does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is actually caused by a high-fat diet, combined with other factors (some possibly genetic) that will cause insulin sensitivity.
While type 1 diabetes occurs early in life and is rarely reversible, type 2 diabetes is simply an acute form of insulin resistance or "reduced insulin sensitivity." This type is completely reversible when the root of the problem is addressed in time.
If you want to improve your body's response to the natural sugar in fruit -- and all of the food you eat for that matter -- all you have to do is improve your insulin sensitivity by doing the following:
 · Reduce your body fat to a healthy level
 · Eat a high-fiber diet (or should we say, an "adequate" fiber diet)
 · Eat a low fat diet (15% or less by total calories)
 · Exercise regularly (and favor cardio type of exercises)
 · Avoid animal foods
These recommendations, endorsed by many health professionals with extensive experience healing with diabetes naturally (Fuhrman, Mc.Dougall, Ornish, Barnard, etc.), are actually perfectly compatible with a high-fruit, low fat diet.
Most diabetics I know have done incredibly well on a fruit-based diet (as long as it's a low-fat one), by reducing dramatically the quantity of insulin they have to take, or eliminating it completely.
The problem of diabetes should be addressed by looking at the root of the problem rather than superficially claiming that sweet fruit will only exacerbate it. You should pay attention to all the important factors that can improve insulin sensitivity, the main ones being: a low fat diet, regular exercise, low body fat, and a raw food diet.

3- Eating too much fruit, especially bananas, will have you overdose on potassium
It's important to make the difference between artificial, supplemental potassium (K), and the naturally occurring potassium in fruits. The FDA does not allow a supplement to contain more than 99 mg. of potassium, and injecting yourself with 200 mg of artificial potassium can rush you to the hospital. But three bananas contain up to 1,200 mg of natural potassium, which will not cause any negative symptoms.
There's really no point to fear any potassium "overdose" even when eating a fair number of bananas. Research done on wild monkeys showed that they eat over 6500 milligrams of potassium per day. It would take you over 15 bananas to eat as much potassium as they do. Plus wild monkeys are much smaller in size than we are, so we could eat even more bananas and not even reach the potassium intake of a monkey on a daily basis.
Early humans consumed 40 times as much potassium as sodium. It makes sense because we lose potassium a lot faster than sodium.
The "official" recommendations by nutritionists are to eat more potassium and less sodium.
Even standard nutritionists agree that most people do not eat enough potassium and that ideally they should consume close to 5000 milligrams per day, and even more for active people.

4- Fruit causes cancer.
Every single week, it seems like a new anti-cancer antioxidant is discovered in some fruit or vegetable. The American Cancer Society also recommends to increase fruit consumption.
So it's beyond me how some knucklehead naturopaths could make the outrageous claim that eating sweet fruit can cause cancer, or that cancer patients should avoid it completely.
The theory is that since cancer cells feed on sugar, cancer patients should avoid fruit to make sure those cells don't grow out of control. Obviously, they don't realize that blood glucose can be created by any food you eat. Even if you avoid sweet fruit but eat more protein or fat, those nutrients will be converted to glucose and fed to the cells. So what's the solution, not eat anything at all and waste away?
Again, it's best to address the root of the problem. Does eating fruit cause cancer? If it did, how many scientific studies can you cite that have linked sweet fruit consumption to increased incidence of cancer? You haven't heard of these studies simply because they don't exist.
Can't wait to get started on the Raw Food Diet? Make sure to check out the Raw Health Starter Kit, at:
It's the best kit of raw food information available anywhere! 
Yours for health and success,
PS: Stay tuned for the next part of this article, when I will review the other half of the "Top-10 Myths About Eating Fruit".

Part 2
Today I want to continue my series on the "Top 10 Myths About Eating Fruit" that I started about two weeks ago. 
Myth # 5 -- Today's fruits are too hybridized and contain too much sugar.
We often hear the claim that "modern" fruit contains too much sugar, as opposed to the low-sugar wild fruits, which are generally not available for sale in most grocery store. The critics of fruit tend to view the cultivars and varieties that are available today as "unnatural". Their claim is that the artificial hybridization of fruit creates an inferior product that is too high in sugar and too low in minerals.
Let's take a look at these claims one by one.
First, the whole idea that cultivated fruit contains "too much" sugar.
It's entirely possible that on average, cultivated fruits contain more sugar than wild fruits. There are a variety of reasons for that and I won't go into all of them.
One of those reasons is simply because as humans moved away from a hunter-gatherer type of lifestyle to a more agricultural one, thousands of years ago, we have perfected certain techniques for fruit cultivation which enabled us to get the best varieties that we preferred. Many wild fruits were left on their own, so to speak, and didn't evolve with the qualities that we normally seek (such as sweetness).
This is not to say that all wild fruit is sour and low in sugar. I have tasted various types of completely unknown fruits in my travels. Many of them were quite sweet and tasty.
For example, in Brazil I tasted at least 5 different types of fruits I had never seen before -- all of which grew 100% wild. The sweetness was comparable to a very sweet white peach.
But even if it were true that commercial fruits contain more sugar than wild ones, the real question is: does it contain too much?
As I explained in the first part of this article, I can personally consume over 10 bananas in a day and not get the slightest symptom of blood sugar imbalance. But when I was eating a high-fat diet and probably less fruit than I am eating today, I was constantly plagued by low-energy, blood sugar swings, frequent thirst, and many other problems.
So does modern fruit contain "too much sugar"? The answer is a definite no. Unless you consumed more calories than you actually need, you will not take in "too much sugar", even if all you ate was dates.
As for the mineral content of fruits, it's fair to say that it's probably not as high as it could be. But it's not that much of an issue since the diet I recommend includes more vegetables than any other diet. Vegetables contain a higher mineral content than most fruits, and will perfectly balance an otherwise high-fruit diet.
As for the entire issue of hybridization, I find it funny that many of these authors would like us to stop eating "hybridized" bananas, carrots and grapes, while they promote a diet which is composed of a tiny portion of vegetables and a generous serving of artery-clogging, mineral-free oils and fats, and other exotic, packaged foods that are apparently better for us than fresh fruit.
The word "hybrid" means nothing bad. It's simply the description of a process that also occurs in nature. The fruits and plants that are preferred by animals are spread around more and tend to be "hybridized" naturally.
The truth is that every single fruit OR vegetable you buy has been hybridized to the point of being almost totally unrecognizable from its wild counterpart. Is that a bad thing? Well, a complete return to the wild would mean eating absolutely bitter celery, ridiculously sour oranges and mushy and tasteless watermelon. I don't know about you but I think I'll stick to the delicious cultivated fruits I'm eating now rather than go back to the jungle.

Myth #6 -- Tropical fruits are too high on the glycemic index

Another strange recommendation that I hear a lot these days is to avoid certain fruits because they are too high on the glycemic index. The culprits are generally the high-sugar, tropic fruits such as bananas and mangoes.
I could completely destroy this claim, but instead I will explain why I don't even consider the glycemic index a valid and reliable guide to tell us what to eat.
What is the glycemic index? Basically, it's a table which describes the average response in blood sugar after the ingestion of a fixed portion of carbohydrate.
Now how is this average created? By averaging the data collected by a certain number of human subjects.
So here's my problem: about 99.9% of the American population eats a diet that is too high in fat, and that on averages contains 45% fat per calorie. Their response to food is not going to be healthy, no matter what they eat! I explained the reasons for that in the first part of my article.
Therefore, this so-called index is completely unreliable because the blood sugar response to food eaten will vary tremendously from one individual to the next, and even from day to day.
The factors that will influence it will be: fitness levels, activity levels in any given day, blood glucose level at the time of the meal, insulin sensitivity, age, body fat levels, and more!
If you want to improve your blood sugar response to the foods you eat, focus on improving your health by lowering the fat content of your diet and engaging in daily fitness activities, rather than focusing simply on eating foods that are low on the glycemic index.
By the way, even on this index, every single fruit is listed as "low" to "moderate" on the index.

Myth #7 -- Fruit Causes Dental Decay
It's quite legitimate to worry about the possible effects of a diet high in sweet fruit on your dental health. To answer this question, we have to first understand the true cause of dental decay: a proliferation of certain types of bacteria in the oral environment. As we know, these bacteria will feed on carbohydrates and produce acid by-products, which will eat into the enamel, causing decay.
In a healthy individual, fresh sweet fruits such as oranges, bananas and peaches will not cause decay because of the fiber and water in the fruit, which will naturally cleanse the teeth. On the other hand, dried fruits and nuts can be a disaster on the teeth because they tend to stick to form a sticky paste that is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
But if someone already has dental problems to begin with (even just one cavity), there can be potential dangers to introducing greater quantities of carbohydrates in the diet.
The solution is obviously to deal with the problem at its root by stopping the proliferation of the bacteria. This means to go on a more aggressive dental hygiene program which will dramatically reduce the bacteria count and keep it under control. To know more about this, please consult my eBook "How to Heal and Prevent Dental Disasters", available with any order of Toothsoap, at
If you pay attention to some simple dental hygiene rules, the consumption of fresh fruit will not result in dental decay, as long as you avoid dried fruits such as figs and dates or immediately brush your teeth after eating them.
As for the acidity in fruit and its effects on the enamel, I have a few simple tips:
 · Only eat acid fruits once a day, and not every day. This includes oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, pineapples, and other very acid fruits.
 · If you eat more than one fruit meal per day, make one of those meal of a fruit with little or no acidity, such as bananas, figs or persimmons.
 · Rinse your mouth with water after eating acid foods
Stay tuned for the next part of this article! 
PS: If you'd like to get some more practical applications of making the diet work in the real world, including a deeper discussion on this topic of deficiencies and "what to eat" (including what to do for Vitamin B12), you owe it to yourself to check out my "Raw Health Starter Kit", the most complete kit of information available on the topic. For more information, go to 

Fruit and Candida

This is the last part of our series on the Top 10 Myths About Eating Fruit
Myth #8- Fruit Causes Candida
It seems like every other person I meet in the raw food movement has issues with Candida. Usually, the main culprit blamed is sweet fruit.
The question remains whether they actually have a real overgrowth of the yeast "Candida Albicans" or not. I'm personally very skeptical of the self-diagnosis that most "Candida" sufferers come up with. In most cases, I believe they are simply showing symptoms of a diet that doesn't work, whether it's related to Candida or not.
The real problem with Candida is once you are convinced of the problem, you generally follow what is called the "Candida Diet," which does exactly what it claims in its name: it gives you more Candida! It's funny that they don't call it the "Anti-Candida diet" but the "Candida Diet."
When you analyze the diet you will find yet another variation of the medical model for dieting: elimination of carbohydrates and increase in fat and protein. Fortunately for the promoters of this diet, these recommendations actually cause your Candida to stay for a long time. The elimination of sugar might control some of the symptoms, but the root of the problem is being fed with every meal.
Issues with Candida are easily solved once you understand the concept of insulin sensitivity and realize how a high-fat diet actually contributes to elevated blood sugar, which in turn will feed Candida.
Every food that you eat will be transformed to sugar to feed the cells. The word sugar has been slandered so much that some people seem to be afraid to have sugar run in their bloodstream at any time! But without blood sugar, your cells will die, and your muscles and brain function will stop working.
Your goal should be to keep your blood sugar stable and normal, and not let the sugar accumulate in the blood. It should be swiftly escorted to the cells when they need it. And the way to do that is to simply improve your insulin sensitivity.
So the "Anti-Candida diet" is quite counter intuitive, but addresses the root of the problems, not the superficial symptoms. On this program, you will eliminate any overly fatty foods from your diet (such as oils, avocados, nuts and seeds) for a period of several weeks or months. You will also pay attention to the other factors I have mentioned that can improve your insulin sensitivity.
And if you're afraid of going on a "no-fat" diet, remember that all fruits and vegetables contain a tiny but sufficient percentage of fat, enough to meet your basic needs.
Myth #9 -- Sugar is sugar, and too much of it is bad, even if it comes from fruit
There's this growing trend of people who are starting to think that because sweet fruit contains simple sugars, that automatically that sugar is the same as the refined white sugar we all know is bad for us.
Fruit, however, is very different from other types of simple sugars due to the presence of fiber. Fiber literally binds with some of the sugar in the fruit, allowing a slow release in the bloodstream. 
In addition to fiber, fruit contains many important vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in the SAD. 
Remember that ANY food you eat will ultimately be convented to energy, and that means glucose. Glucose is the currency of the human body! 
If you avoid fruit, but eat fat, then the fat will be converted into sugar to feed your body. Doesn't it make more sense to consume that natural sugar directly, in the form of a low-glycemic fruit like a banana? 
Myth #10 -- Eating a lot of fruit will lead to dangerous deficiencies
Fruit is surprisingly more nutritious than most people think. 
If you were to eat fruit only, and stay within the guidelines of a low-fat diet, you would not develop any major deficiencies as long as you consumed enough to meet your caloric needs. You could maintain this diet for months or years and stay in perfect health during that time.
At some point however, you could get certain imbalances caused by a lack of minerals that are generally more abundant in vegetation. You would also be lacking protein and essential fatty acids. For this reason, I do not recommend a pure fruitarian diet. You should include vegetables such as lettuce, celery, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers in your daily diet, as well as nuts and seeds. 
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables over the course of a year, along with other nutritious foods like nuts and seeds, and you will cover most of your needs (except for a few nutrients like B12, that must be taken as a supplement. See my books for more details). 
I will tell you however that the biggest "deficiency" that people experience when they try a raw food diet is a "calorie deficiency" or deficit. They are simply not eating enough! By not eating enough calories, they might lose weight faster but are compromising their health and their ability to stay on the program.
If you'd like to get some more practical applications of making the diet work in the real world, including a deeper discussion on this topic of deficiencies and "what to eat" (including what to do for Vitamin B12), you owe it to yourself to check out my "Raw Health Starter Kit", the most complete kit of information available on the topic. For more information, go to: 

If you were afraid somewhat of fruit, I hope that reading this article has helped you eliminate your fears of it completely. Remember that every study ever done on the effects of eating a lot of fruit in the diet has only come up with positive results in favor of fruit consumption.
Nobody gets sick from eating fruit. But because it's easy or they have something to sell, they might try to make you believe that fruit was the reason for your problems.
All of the so-called "fruitarians" who crashed on the diet were making some obvious mistakes, such as:
 · Not eating enough calories
 · Eating only fruit
 · Eating lots of dried fruits and dates
 · Eating large quantities of avocados, thinking that's it's okay because it's a "fruit" (botanically speaking, it is)
For the record, I do not recommend a diet of only fruit, but one where fruit dominates by calories, with plenty of vegetable matter added for variety and overall nutrition. Fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds can be consumed, but in smaller amounts.
Yours for health and success,
To get complete, step-by-step directions for making this diet work in the real world, check out the "Raw Health Starter Kit", it contains everything you need, whether you're just getting started or you're an experienced raw foodist who wants to take things to the next level! Get more info now at: 

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