Let’s be honest – between us, us ladies have tried almost every diet plan out there. From Slimming World to Weight Watchers, the Paleo diet to the 4X4 diet, there aren’t many we haven’t attempted, in the hope that this one might just be THE one.
But sometimes, it doesn’t work like that. So forgive us for thinking that something a little more left field could, perhaps, maybe, be the answer to our dieting problems.
Introducing: the fruit diet. We know what you’re thinking – do I really have to live on a diet of fruit in order to lose weight? Don’t panic – there’s more to it than you think.
The fruit diet – what’s it all about?
Essentially, the fruit diet requires you to eat fruit, plus nuts and seeds, for all three of your meals in a day. Fruit, nuts and seeds should also be your only snacks. The general rule of thumb with the diet is that you eat at least 75% raw fruit (by weight), and 25% nuts and seeds.
Otherwise known as a raw vegan diet, the fruit diet is a subset of veganism.
Although the diet can be flexible (within reason, of course), it generally features 7 main food groups. These include, acid fruits (citrus, pineapples, cranberries); subacid fruits (sweet cherries, raspberries, figs); sweet fruits (bananas, melons, and grapes); nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews); seeds (sunflower, squash, pumpkin); oily fruits (avocados, coconuts, olives); and dried fruits (dates, prunes, raisins). So while lots of food are off limits, you are allowed savoury foods in order to vary your diet.
READ MORE: 40 delicious Slimming World recipes we love!
The diet claims that it’s the best approach to eating, as it leaves dieters with only raw, unprocessed foods, which don’t contain any of the added sugar and fat of regular diets. It began with followers saying you should only eat fruit you can pick. Although, you can understand how that might be a bit difficult nowadays…
Fruitarians on Instagram…
The diet appears to be hugely popular over on Instagram, with the hashtag #fruitarian featuring on the social media site over 496.5k times.
However, despite its popularity, the fruit diet is certainly not without its critics…
What does the science say?
In general, eating more fruit is a good thing. Fruits are chock full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. And all that good stuff can even help to prevent your risk of some diseases, such as cancer. But the recommendation is that fruit doesn’t take up your whole diet – hence the rule that you consume just 75% fruit. This leaves space for more substantial foods.
But dieticians point out that this diet means that you’ll have only eaten carbs for the day. Considering our bodies also need protein, iron and fat to function properly, depriving yourself of these food groups is a risky idea.
One writer, who tried out the diet for three days for the Independent, berated the diet plan and admitted that it only left her hungry, tired and uncomfortable. She wrote: ‘By the end of the day, I counted up that I’d had 14 portions of fruit, which cannot be healthy. I didn’t even want to think about how much sugar I’d consumed.’
She continued: ‘I went to bed feeling incredibly bloated – I genuinely thought I could pass for six months pregnant.’
Another dietician Laura Jeffers, writing for Cleveland Clinic, suggested that the diet is SO restrictive that it could even push your body into starvation mode.
She wrote: ‘By relying mainly on fruits and depriving yourself of needed vitamins, fats and proteins, it’s possible to push your body into starvation mode. If your body feels it’s starving, it will slow down your metabolism in an attempt to conserve energy for vital functions.’
Dr Jeffers even admitted that diet could leave you at risk of some pretty scary sounding nutritional deficiencies, including anemia and osteoporosis.
‘Fruitarians frequently have low levels of vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lead to anemia, tiredness, lethargy and immune system dysfunction. Low calcium can also cause osteoporosis.’
Can you eat too much fruit?
So what are the side effects of that much fruit? We’re always told to up our fruit intake, but if you’re on a fruitarian diet, can that much sugar really be good for you? Considering the fact that there is around 10 grams of sugar in an average sized apple, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams a day, you can see how easily you can overeat!
But there’s been some bad press…
Plus, the diet has been subject to some seriously bad press in the past. Back in 2013, actor Ashton Kutcher undertook the diet for one month, before taking on the role of Steve Jobs in the biopic, Jobs.
It was claimed that Steve himself was a fan of the diet, so, method actor he is, Ashton began the diet in order to properly emulate the tech CEO.
But it all came to a terrible end when Ashton was admitted to hospital after less than a month on the diet. At a film festival, Ashton admitted: “I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie. I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was terrifying, considering everything.” Steve Jobs died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer, so some fans have inevitably tallied up his untimely death to his controversial diet. Scary stuff…
What sort of exercise should you do whilst on a diet like this?
Fruit diet recipe ideas
Despite the controversy, it really can’t hurt to get more fruit in our lives, so give this raw inspiried recipe a go for your fix of the recommended 5-a-day…
Try our super quick detox smoothie. Itwill provide you with an instant vitamin hit in an easy, tasty drink.
The Rawtarian, a raw food blogger, offered up this recipe for raw spinach wraps. A great idea for a savory option…
You will need…
5 ounce fresh spinach, half a bag, roughly
¼ cup flax seed, finely ground
2 tablespoon cilantro
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Process all ingredients in the food processor until pretty smooth. 2. Spread the batter into 4 rounds onto teflex sheets. Divide the batter into four small mounds on the teflex sheets. Lay a clean gallon sized ziploc on top of one of the mounds. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter using a circular motion, it should be the thickness of a flour tortilla. 3. Dehydrate until the teflex can be peeled away, it took me 4 hours in our humid climate. 4. Put directly on the screens and dehydrate until dry but still pliable.