Come summer and you only want to eat fruits all day and sip on chilled fruit juices, right? But did you know that a fruit diet is actually a thing, and that loading up on fruits can also help you lose weight! If you’re intrigued, read on and find out more.
A fruitarian diet or fruit diet is a highly restrictive vegan diet which primarily consists only of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in moderation, and completely excludes dairy and animal products. Cooked foods of any kind are mostly avoided, but there’s no one particular way to the fruit diet.
Following a fruit diet can offer several benefits ranging from reduced caloric intake, aid in weight loss, increased antioxidant intake, detox, etc. Most fruits are particularly rich in vitamin C, which helps maintain overall health, and fibre, which is important for good bowel movement, lowered blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, etc.
Since the fruitarian diet is restrictive and excludes macronutrients and food groups, it doesn’t contribute to optimal health. Fruits are also high in sugar, and eating a fruit-based diet can lead to various health problems.
Here are some health issues that can arise with a fruit diet:
• Fruits lack vital nutrients like vitamin B, vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Deficiency of these nutrients can cause dry skin, brittle hair, weak bones and muscles, low immunity, fatigue, depression, and other life threatening health issues.
• Lack of protein in the diet can cause anaemia, swelling, low immunity, weakness, cardiovascular disease.
• Fruits are rich in sugar called fructose, and eating fruits that rank high on the glycemic index (GI) scale cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Blood sugar levels can be maintained through portion control and following a balanced diet, which is not possible when your eating just fruits.
• Fructic and citric acids in fruits and fruit juices can dissolve tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay over time, especially if one doesn’t practise appropriate oral hygiene. Note that citrus fruits are more acidic than others. Also, fruit juice can increase risk of cavities.
Now that you know what following a fruit diet entails, proceed accordingly. Avoid making major changes to your diet without consulting a doctor or nutritionist.