Fruit Diet (Fruitarian)

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

fruit-dietFruitarians (or ‘fructarians’) are a subgroup of vegans, who are in turn a subgroup of vegetarians, most of whom adopt their particular dietary preference for reasons of health, ecological/environmental responsibility, or ethics.

A Vegetarian diet excludes meat and fish, and products derived from them (such as cochineal, lard, tallow, gelatin), although it can include honey, milk and other dairy products, and eggs.

A Vegan diet goes further by excluding dairy and egg products – only vegetables are eaten.

A Fruitarian (fructarian) diet goes further again by excluding all parts of all ‘vegetables’ (that is, plants and trees) except the fruit of the plant.

Fruitarian Diet

In a fruitarian diet, the only parts of plants used are the fruit, nuts, seeds and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.

In other words, ‘culinary’ fruit (apples, oranges, pears etc) and ‘botanical’ fruit or seed-containing reproductive parts of flowering plants (beans, berries, capsicums, cucumbers, grains, nuts, peas, pumpkins, seeds, squash, tomatoes, and the like), can be eaten, but not carrots, potatoes or spinach etc., which require destruction of the plant.

A true fruitarian believes that removal of a vegetable from its roots (say a potato or a lettuce leaf) injures it, which is against the fruitarian concept of causing no death or injury to anything in order to consume part of it (the tomato and avocado are considered either fruit or vegetable, and thus are exceptions to this rule).

The fruitarian diet may appear to be limited in variety and in nutrition, but nuts of any type provide a protein source, and grains and pasta are suggested for a balanced diet. Eggs may also be eaten if from organically grown chickens.

Negative factors to Eating Only Fruit

A fruitarian diet is difficult to follow, and long-term fruitarians can develop health problems, such as:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency – B12 is essential for normal nervous system function and the production of blood cells. To be absorbed by the body, B12 must bind to a protein (secreted by glands in the stomach lining) called ‘intrinsic factor’. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is produced exclusively by microorganisms (bacteria), and the main sources of vitamin B12 are meat, eggs, and dairy products, all absent in the fruitarian diet. B12 is not present in any fruit, and even if found on the fruit’s surface due to bacterial action, there will be nothing left after cleaning/preparing the fruit. Of course, there are other causes of B12 deficiency apart from it being low in the diet, such as:
    • Abdominal/intestinal surgery or disorders affecting the production or absorption of intrinsic factor
    • Chronic alcoholism
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Fish tape worm
    • Pernicious anemia, due to a lack of intrinsic factor
  • Diabetic or hypoglycemic-type symptoms, due to the high sugar content of the fruitarian diet, which also lacks protein, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Eating disorder symptoms – long-term fruitarians are prone to food cravings and consequent binge-eating of either ‘allowed’ or ‘illegal’ foods, and often become addicted to dates (for their high sugar content) and avocados (for their high fat content). Some may develop a type of eating disorder for which a name has been coined, “orthorexia nervosa
    (“ortho” meaning straight, correct, and true), which has similarities to “anorexia nervosa”. Orthorexia nervosa refers to a pathological fixation on eating so-called ‘proper’ food.

Maintaining nutrient levels

Care should be taken with a fruitarian diet to ensure sufficient consumption of certain nutrients, by identifying and including the appropriate sources of:

  • calcium
  • energy
  • An iron supplement
  • riboflavin
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D

Look for healthy vegetarian  and fruit recipes here.

A Fruitarian Diet Book Review

fruitarianiasm-the-path-to-paradise
Fruitarianism: The path to paradise is written by Anne Osborne who is a long term fruitarian. For eighteen years Obsorne has eaten only fruit and has also raised her two children on a fruit diet.

Osborne says that she wrote this book to share her personal experiences about a fruit diet and she claims that she does not profess to know which diet or lifestyle is the best for everyone.

Fruitarian Diet Basics

Osborne believes that the natural diet of humans is one based on fruit and supports her statements with comparative analysis charts that show how human anatomy relates to other species.

Osborne says that when we live on fruit alone it is vitally important to eat the highest quality fruit. She believes that when fruit is of excellent quality it can give us everything we need in order for our bodies to be healthy.

Osborne brings our attention to fruits high in calcium (figs and oranges) as well as those high in iron (prunes, watermelon, dates, raisins and apricots). She recognizes that a fruit diet may be low in minerals unless it consists of top quality, wild, organic fruits and berries.

In these situations she says that the solution is either to improve the quality of the fruit or to add good quality green vegetables to the diet. She also believes that green vegetables can have a role in healing and well being and states that if you are attracted to them in their natural state, without salad dressing or other methods of preparation, then they are most likely a good food for you.

Osborne recommends the use of avocados as a transitional food, in colder climates, as well as for those who are underweight. She does not recommend eating seeds because many of them contain chemicals that are poisonous to the human body. She believes our role is to eat the fruit and scatter the seeds so that a new tree can grow and provide us with nourishment.

Fruitarianism includes chapters on raising fruitarian children, cleansing, juice fasting and sunlight as well as entire chapters devoted to many individual fruits.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

Watermelon

Morning Snack

Canteloupe

Lunch

Grapes

Afternoon Snack

Mangoes

Dinner

Bananas

Exercise Recommendations

Osborne says that “exercise and a healthy diet are inseparable if we truly want to flourish”. She highlights the benefits of exercise to improve appetite, increase circulation, enhance the function of the lymphatic system and allow us to appreciate a better quality of life.

Costs and Expenses

Fruitarianism: The path to paradise is available on the author’s website for $27 AUD.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Pros

  • Eating more than five serves of fruit a day is associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
  • Food preparation is easy.
  • Fruit is easy to digest.
  • Includes tips on how to select the best fruit.
  • Beneficial for the environment.

Cons

  • Most people will develop nutritional deficiencies on a fruitarian diet.
  • Does not provide adequate protein or essential fats.
  • Deficient in many important vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, zinc and selenium.
  • May be expensive to buy the large quantities of fruit that are required.
  • Not very appealing in a cold climate.
  • May be socially alienating.
  • Book is not available in stores.

Conclusions

Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise provides unique information about fruit and the fruitarian diet and will appeal to those who are interested in raw food and cleansing diets.

It is however vitally important for readers to be aware that it is extremely difficult to maintain health on a fruit diet as many essential nutrients are missing or in short supply.

    Citations:

  • Qureshi, A. R., Alvestrand, A., Danielsson, A., Divino-Filho, J. C., Gutierrez, A., Lindholm, B., & Bergström, J. (1998). Factors predicting malnutrition in hemodialysis patients: a cross-sectional study. Kidney international, 53(3), 773-782. link
  • Roberts, I. F., West, R. J., Ogilvie, D., & Dillon, M. J. (1979). Malnutrition in infants receiving cult diets: a form of child abuse. BMJ, 1(6159), 296-298. link
  • Jarvis, W. T. (1983). Food faddism, cultism, and quackery. Annual review of nutrition, 3(1), 35-52. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: February 11, 2015. Disclaimer

60 Comments

  1. Veggie Lover

    How ignorant can people get? Sure this may provide excellent results for weight loss, but c’mon a long-term fruit diet? Anyone who decides to live their life this way for the sake of not harming anything, is just making an excuse for an eating disorder. How ridiculous!

    Reply
  2. Shannon

    oh i LOVE the fruit diet. i went on it for 30 days, and i had lost 10kg. for me, that was a huge acomplishment, as i didnt really have much weight to lose in the first place. but my eyes were clearer, skin was perfect and i was always happy. i always suggest it to people. and to add to all this, i didnt exercise at all while i was on it. so if i had exercised, i would have lost a lot more.
    go ahead and try it!

    Reply
  3. kate Florio

    i eat mainly fruit and some nuts. it is a deep seeded belief system that we do better on fruit; i know it has changed my self esteem from a 2 to an 8, it has improved aches and pains (there ARE none), it has improved my quality of life from a 2 to a 6, i enjoy people more than before, etc etc etc. maybe i have orthorexia, but it works for ME!!!! i’ll take it any day – over conventional food – if i can have the discipline to stay on it!!!!

    Reply
  4. EA

    You know the fruit diet does work and it is not a sin not to eat meat once and a while if so then all of rome is sinning because easter is apon us. I took the fruit diet for one month and lost 25 lbs that stayed off. It works and my doctor is the one that told me about it. Friut will help you lose wieght if you need weight loss and if you are to underwieght it will help you gain back.

    Reply
  5. anonymous

    to those who think that eating only fruit will cause a ‘protein deficiency’: The recommended daily intake of protein is 10% of daily caloric intake. Pretty much all fruits and vegetables have about 10% protein in them… and many have much more. Plus its the most efficient protein for our bodies, much more complete than animal products.

    On a side not, nearly every food we eat has enough protein anyway so its impossible to have a protein deficiency. Even if we only at rice we would still be getting 8% of our daily caloric intake from protein. Read the 80/10/10 book and get informed!!

    Reply
  6. Luke

    Just try it for a few weeks and then see how you feel. Definitely clears your mind. You can think about it philosophically all day but you’ll never really know until you try it. It won’t kill you. Mind what you are truly craving, is unseasoned meat or bread appealing to your tastes? Also, try and realize when you are really truly hungry, not just craving, because when you are truly hungry even raw carrots and lettuce are appetizing. Eat to live

    Reply
  7. lavi

    but isn’t this diet a bit out there? dont you get a protein deficiency? (as well as other deficiencies)

    Reply
  8. anonymous

    this actually sounds really great but i’m not quite sure, can someone pls give me a hand here

    Reply
  9. anonymous

    how awesome i’m a childcan i try it

    Reply
  10. db

    I started out over 3 months ago with a transitional detox.
    Vegan first week. Juicing and raw 2nd week. Master Cleanse, I succeeded religiously for 10 Days! In the last 2 1/2 months I have gone from primarily raw with 1 mini cooked vegan soup or meal a day, to about 70% raw fruits and vegetables. For the most part I feel fabulous! In my mid 50’s and feeling that these past 3 months have been a gift.

    I do not “should” on myself. I am still learning my reactions to food, how often I need to eat…and am still playing with this. I doubt if I will remain this strict. Cooler weather approaching I will probably do light cooked grain, millet or quoina, some soups or warmed vege burgers several times a week. I do eat sprouts daily and 2 slices of sprouted Ezekiel bread per week.

    My only words of wisdom….Do not make a religion out of this….whether you are doing it for health or moral reasons
    trust your intuition, learn the signs of healthy detox (do not mistake aches and pains, or even mild fatigue for malise) and find a professional guide to assist you.

    I am learning more about my body and my relationship to food every day….some comments here ring true to me and I will pay attention and some will never speak to my condition. Do what works and retain an open mind and a trusting body.

    Reply
  11. Joyce

    I decided to change my eating habits, to fruits, i am on day 8, can i eat a garden salad?

    Reply
  12. mario

    I was reading an article that says lemons are great for u eat them or the juice of them whenever my questiobn is can u subtitute limes? Can someone please tell me

    Reply
  13. Gemima

    I’m not a fruitatarian, nor do I plan to become one, I’m happy with my vegan diet. However, nathalie, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make an appointment to see your GP, If you think its ‘bad for my health.. but.. it’s not tht i care bout it’ then I think you may be slipping from a fruitatarian to somebody with an eating disorder.
    PLEASE make an appointment because if anything, your Dr. can help you make a nutritious fruitatarian diet for you!

    And to everyone who is doing it for a weight-loss diet, I don’t think that is motivating enough for you to keep it up, and if anything, could evolve to a eating disorder.
    However, to everyone whodoes it for spritual/ religious/ ethical beliefs, good on you for doing what you believe in!
    -Gemima

    Reply
  14. Natalie

    today i started this diet 🙂 i love fruit…
    right now i’m recovering from a light form of bulimia.. and i certainly need to detox and to bring my skin in order..
    hope everything will go fine 🙂
    wish me luck!:)

    Reply
  15. IQRA

    I love fruits so i will try

    Reply
  16. nathalie

    i’ve been eating fruits for 3 weeks… and i lost like 4-5 kg.. (only fruits).. i havent eaten anything sweet, sugars, meat, fish.. only 4 small fruits per day.. n i feel very good.. although i know its bad for my health.. but.. it’s not tht i care bout it.. XD

    Reply
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