Friday, June 3, 2011

Raw Diet - Fruitarianism vs. High Fat

I experimented with a "fruitarian" diet for a while and found that while my energy increased, in other areas, my health was decreasing. Among the side effects I experienced were frequent urination and a high level of heartburn. While I do believe fruit is an essential part of a raw or high raw diet, I personally prefer a more balanced approach. Instead of "30 bananas a day", as is promoted by fruitarians, today I might eat 5-8 pieces of fruit a day (for some daily meal plans, read my other post Here). Everyone is different, and I know the high fruit diet works well for some people, especially athletes. I do believe fruitarians get enough energy throughout the day.Yet one misconception is that we can get all of our essential vitamins nutrients from fruit. The truth is that it is important for all vegans, including fruitarians, to take a B12 supplement, as B12 is not found in a fruitarian diet. Most vegans should also be taking vitamin D and Iodine supplements (both of these supplements are added to cow's milk).

Pasted below is a critique of a fruitarian diet by a website called Beyond Veg. While Beyond Veg argues in favor of a high fat diet, fruitarians argue in favor of a high carb diet. Personally, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle, with both fruits and fats (avocados, nuts, etc.) as major sources of energy. LINK

" There are a few things that raw vegans can do to reduce the impact of the calorie paradox. A partial list of these mitigations is as follows.
  • Include avocados as a regular part of your diet. To minimize possible problems from the insulin-inhibiting sugar in avocados, consume them separately from sweet and/or starchy foods. (Avocados are very popular with raw vegans; the calories here primarily come from fat.)
  • Consume calorically significant amounts of nuts and oily seeds, dry or sprouted, as a regular part of your diet--e.g., 1-day sunflower seed sprouts, sesame sprouts, almond sprouts, etc. Make milk substitutes/analogues from nuts and oily seeds, to increase your calorie intake. (The calories here are primarily from fat.)
  • Consume raw sprout breads, to increase your consumption of grain sprouts. Recipes for sprout bread can be found in a number of raw (recipe) books. (The calories here are primarily from starch.)
  • Adopt a combined raw + cooked diet, where the cooked food includes some starch foods, an easily digested source of calories, and/or some cooked legumes. Note here that one should just ignore the extremists who promote crank mal-nutritional claims that cooked foods, starch, and/or protein are poisonous. (The calories here are primarily from starch.)
  • If you eat sweet fruit, consume it in moderation. Modern fruit is so high in sugar that some authors (e.g., Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute) make the sensible recommendation that sweet fruit juices be diluted with water before consumption. Although they are higher in calories than a number of other raw vegan foods, the high sugar content of sweet fruits may promote cravings if consumed in excess. (The calories here are primarily from sugar.)
  • Blend coarse vegetable foods into raw soups; e.g., Ann Wigmore's energy soup or the blended salads suggested by Dr. Stanley Bass. This helps you to eat more of these foods. Note: this has limited utility calorie-wise, but is nutritious and worthwhile in its own right, as it provides ample vitamins and minerals. Also, you can increase the calorie level of blended foods to significant levels by including avocado or soaked/sprouted nuts. (The calories here are primarily from protein.)
100% raw diets that are most likely to be successful:
  • A diet in which raw fat (avocados, nuts) is the primary calorie source, and where sweet fruit has a very minor role.
  • A diverse diet in which raw sprouts (nuts/seeds and grains) are the predominant calorie source.
  • A raw diet in which starchy tubers are the predominant calorie source (though raw tubers are considered unappetizing by many).
100% raw diets that are most likely to fail:
  • A diet based on cucumbers and sweet fruit (this may, in effect, constitute anorexia--though the motivations are much different than "traditional" anorexia, of course--and/or the "expert" may be lying about his/her diet).
  • A diet that is predominantly sweet fruit.
Readers should be aware that 100% raw vegan diets have a dismal record of failure in the long-term. Surprisingly, mixed diets (i.e., raw plus cooked) have a better record of success, in the long-term, than do 100% raw diets."

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