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Critical examination of a more raw fruit/veg centered approach

by (716)
Updated November 21, 2014 at 3:42 AM
Created October 13, 2012 at 7:49 PM

After instances that resembled severe food allergies/intolerances on what resembled a nutrient dense paleo diet, I decided that regardless of how "right"(scientifically and such) the paleo diet it, maybe it was time to try something different. I stumbled upon the fruitarian fringe and decided to give it a go. Now before anyone writes me off as a troll of some sort, or even a shill for the 30bananas loony camp, give me a chance. I decided that the science behind all those raw vegan anecdotes is spotty at the moment, but that doesn't mean there isn't any. Chances are that people who try all these different diets are people who are sick to begin with (duh!). So what could a highly fruit/veg diet offer in terms of benefits for sick people? Well i thought of a few reasons and was hoping people could pitch in to suggest some more.

1)Low protein content

As we know, food allergies and sensitivities are linked to various different proteins (e.g. gluten, casein), so it should make sense that by greatly reducing our protein intake and especially the most reactive types of proteins that we should see some sort of improvement.

2)Food reward reduction and subsequent weight loss

The one thing that I noticed most heavily is that in the general population, and even in paleo circles and such, people who eat cooked food are always combining foods and increasing foods reward value (e.g. potatoes and butter, potatoes and meat, seasonings..etc). The one thing that most people have in common, irregardless of the diet they follow, is that they eat fruit by itself (i.e. you don't see bananas and butter together--FOR THE MOST PART--i know banana splits and other desserts are the exception)

Those are some of the preliminary musings i have in regards to why certain people experience improvement when adopting a raw fruit/veg diet. I hope to find out if there is additional evidence to counter indicate this or bolster and add more to it. Thanks again for all your time!

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716 · October 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

> And the interesting part is that there are 'fruitarians' and such that are thriving even though they are on the cusp of protein malnutrition. Can you point to some long-term successful fruitarians? Such a diet is not sustainable. E.g., I took 3kg of bananas amounting to 2670 calories. All in all 685g carbs, 10g fat, and 32g protein. And I don't see any problems with such a low protein amount, if it was a high quality protein like egg yolk protein for example. Instead, from these 32g, tyrosine is at 18% of the RDA for this essential amino acid, methionine 27%, and the others barely pass 50%

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716 · October 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Good luck anyway! It seems you've made your mind.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Think you're being a bit too dogmatic, possibly?

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12702 · October 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Oh no worries, I enjoy a good heated discussion. I agree that there are things about a fruit filled diet that seem of unique benefit. I think the Ray Peat approach has some interesting theories, not all of which I agree with, but are possible theories. He alleges there are benefits to a diet with less iron, less tryptophan/methionine, and more sugar/carbs than what a lot of paleo diets offer.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 11:50 PM

I feel like i was a bit mean. I apologize. Everything you say has merit, all i'm suggesting is an alternate hypothesis for a niche population within the paleo community that may benefit from such an approach--for whatever possible reasons is what i'm trying to understand. And the interesting part is that there are 'fruitarians' and such that are thriving even though they are on the cusp of protein malnutrition. That's what's so interesting!!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 11:45 PM

This study, for example, found a low protein diet less beneficial to immune function in elderly women: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/62/1/30.full.pdf+html

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM

On the first point, I was forming a speculative hypothesis based on the effects of fibers, but for lack of space we can agree to disagree if you feel the evidence is insufficient to determine the mechanism. On the latter point, my claim was that a low protein intake is more likely to precipitate poor immune function due to the many important roles played by amino acids. I've seen the dietary composition of fruitarian diets and they often seem to fall close to protein deficiency territory.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM

by your use of choice words I can assume you have had some background biology so this shouldn't be too hard for you to understand. Everything in biology is tentative, especially the microbiology involved in the human body. We can culture less than 1% of known bacteria in the lab; so how much do you expect we know in terms of which prebiotics are beneficial. Honestly? And low protein intake, lumped together, is not silly at all; Different protein ratios affect many things, but i'm sure you already knew that.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I would also really like some explanation of why you think I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about in regards to prebiotics. In the meantime, let me explain: fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, either digestible or indigestible (fiber) which are digested by and allow for the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria (such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus) that have numerous health benefits via producing beneficial SCFA, blocking potential epitope or pathogen binding sites, and/or by affecting gene regulation (among other mechanisms).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I would also really like some explanation of why you think I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about in regards to prebiotics. In the meantime, let me explain: fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, either digestible or indigestible (fiber) which are digested by and allow for the intestinal growth of beneficial bacteria (such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus) that have numerous health benefits, potentially by producing beneficial SCFA, blacking potential epitope or pathogen binding sites, and/or by affecting gene regulation just to start with.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

You shouldn't use the title "low protein content" then. "Low intake of problematic proteins" would at least posses some accuracy relevant to your intended argument. Otherwise it seems like you're lumping all protein sources together without differentiation, which is silly.

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716 · October 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "food ratios", but I'm pretty sure in cases where people are getting hot flashes, rashes, and overall malaise after eating "nutrient dense paleo", it's probably a good idea to look into "food ratios". P.s. though it may be helpful to look to our ancestors milieu to recreate an ideal environment, most people who look to paleo have experienced too much damage to follow the 'eat anything they could get their hands on' ideology. Just my personal experience =)

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Without getting into too many specifics I'm just gonna say your comment is bad. Sorry. (e.g. I never said protein malnourishment you say lowering protein intake is bad when using examples from animal models of protein malnourishment, #1 does relate to total protein intake as high protein foods--that contribute substantially to daily calorie intake-- like dairy, nightshades, eggs are the suspects i'm attempting to incriminate, and finally, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about in regards to prebiotics--it sounds like the same fat is bad mantra that you just repeat to look kewl.)

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3 Answers

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37187 · October 13, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I'm not an expert, so I can speak only from n=1. Basically, whatever I ate yesterday is what I'm NOT hungry for today.

I have all-meat days and no-meat days, but on the majority of days I eat meat, fruit and vegetables. The majority of my food volume is fruit and veggies; at least half of my calories are from meat.

Honestly, I have to believe my ancestors ate anything they could get their hands on. They feasted on meat when there was plenty, probably ate fruit only when a given type was at its peak and then gorged on it (same with nuts), and scavenged greens and tubers/veggies when there wasn't enough meat or fruit to get full on.

It's only me, but I think it's silly to get too hung up on food ratios. Excluding junk food, because I always want too much of that, whatever looks and smells great is what I need and whatever doesn't look/smell/taste good I probably don't need today.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "food ratios", but I'm pretty sure in cases where people are getting hot flashes, rashes, and overall malaise after eating "nutrient dense paleo", it's probably a good idea to look into "food ratios". P.s. though it may be helpful to look to our ancestors milieu to recreate an ideal environment, most people who look to paleo have experienced too much damage to follow the 'eat anything they could get their hands on' ideology. Just my personal experience =)

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716 · October 14, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I hope you're not planning to go into frutarianism? There's all sorts of potential problems with such a diet, especially that it provides a lot less fat than you need and a lot more carbs than you need.

Btw, banana and butter or any other fat go great together! This is how I typically eat fruits :)

1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd
716 · October 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Good luck anyway! It seems you've made your mind.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Think you're being a bit too dogmatic, possibly?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
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12702 · October 13, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Number one doesn't really relate to total protein intake, rather what foods are removed, like wheat, dairy, soy and other sources of potentially immunoreactive proteins.

People with intolerances to such foods likely benefit from cutting them out, but a lower protein intake likely isn't doing them any favors. In many studies and animal models, protein malnourishment results in abnormal immune responses. The ratio of TH1 to TH2 mediated antibodies and glutathione production consistently declines. This occurs during zinc deficiency as well, another possible side effect of such a diet.

So if your propensity for food intolerance declines on a fruitarian diet, either you're too immunosuppressed to mount an immune response at all (which is more bad than good) or another factor(s) other than low protein intake is likely at play. My first guess would be improvement of gut flora through increased prebiotic intake, which can be of huge benefit to people with such issues.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM

by your use of choice words I can assume you have had some background biology so this shouldn't be too hard for you to understand. Everything in biology is tentative, especially the microbiology involved in the human body. We can culture less than 1% of known bacteria in the lab; so how much do you expect we know in terms of which prebiotics are beneficial. Honestly? And low protein intake, lumped together, is not silly at all; Different protein ratios affect many things, but i'm sure you already knew that.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

You shouldn't use the title "low protein content" then. "Low intake of problematic proteins" would at least posses some accuracy relevant to your intended argument. Otherwise it seems like you're lumping all protein sources together without differentiation, which is silly.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM

On the first point, I was forming a speculative hypothesis based on the effects of fibers, but for lack of space we can agree to disagree if you feel the evidence is insufficient to determine the mechanism. On the latter point, my claim was that a low protein intake is more likely to precipitate poor immune function due to the many important roles played by amino acids. I've seen the dietary composition of fruitarian diets and they often seem to fall close to protein deficiency territory.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Without getting into too many specifics I'm just gonna say your comment is bad. Sorry. (e.g. I never said protein malnourishment you say lowering protein intake is bad when using examples from animal models of protein malnourishment, #1 does relate to total protein intake as high protein foods--that contribute substantially to daily calorie intake-- like dairy, nightshades, eggs are the suspects i'm attempting to incriminate, and finally, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about in regards to prebiotics--it sounds like the same fat is bad mantra that you just repeat to look kewl.)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I would also really like some explanation of why you think I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about in regards to prebiotics. In the meantime, let me explain: fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, either digestible or indigestible (fiber) which are digested by and allow for the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria (such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus) that have numerous health benefits via producing beneficial SCFA, blocking potential epitope or pathogen binding sites, and/or by affecting gene regulation (among other mechanisms).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 11:45 PM

This study, for example, found a low protein diet less beneficial to immune function in elderly women: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/62/1/30.full.pdf+html

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373
716 · October 13, 2012 at 11:50 PM

I feel like i was a bit mean. I apologize. Everything you say has merit, all i'm suggesting is an alternate hypothesis for a niche population within the paleo community that may benefit from such an approach--for whatever possible reasons is what i'm trying to understand. And the interesting part is that there are 'fruitarians' and such that are thriving even though they are on the cusp of protein malnutrition. That's what's so interesting!!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I would also really like some explanation of why you think I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about in regards to prebiotics. In the meantime, let me explain: fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, either digestible or indigestible (fiber) which are digested by and allow for the intestinal growth of beneficial bacteria (such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus) that have numerous health benefits, potentially by producing beneficial SCFA, blacking potential epitope or pathogen binding sites, and/or by affecting gene regulation just to start with.

1b47e0a6d7984e33e59581d8364cc3dd
716 · October 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

> And the interesting part is that there are 'fruitarians' and such that are thriving even though they are on the cusp of protein malnutrition. Can you point to some long-term successful fruitarians? Such a diet is not sustainable. E.g., I took 3kg of bananas amounting to 2670 calories. All in all 685g carbs, 10g fat, and 32g protein. And I don't see any problems with such a low protein amount, if it was a high quality protein like egg yolk protein for example. Instead, from these 32g, tyrosine is at 18% of the RDA for this essential amino acid, methionine 27%, and the others barely pass 50%

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · October 14, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Oh no worries, I enjoy a good heated discussion. I agree that there are things about a fruit filled diet that seem of unique benefit. I think the Ray Peat approach has some interesting theories, not all of which I agree with, but are possible theories. He alleges there are benefits to a diet with less iron, less tryptophan/methionine, and more sugar/carbs than what a lot of paleo diets offer.

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