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Why the heck are you all afraid of fruit?

by (163)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM
Created March 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM

One of the biggest arguments for the paleo diet is that humans are genetically the same for about 2 million years and lived off that same diet. Evolution takes a very very long time. For over 90 percent of that time Humans lived in a TROPICAL climate with fruit year round. Humans didnt leave Africa until about 50k years ago.

I dont understand how you can call yourself paleo and not eat fruit, which was one of the main parts of our ancestors diet.

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723 · May 06, 2014 at 12:43 AM

Also, the fructose that many people become obese from eating is High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is far more concentrated than fructose in fruit. It also lacks the fiber that is in fruit.

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10134 · May 31, 2013 at 2:32 PM

The whole point of force feeding corn to ducks is to give them fatty livers. A human equivalent is drinking 32 oz sodas sweetened with HFCS. In lesser amounts the fructose and glucose are metabolized.

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1580 · May 30, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Tropical climate? Are you sure? Last time I checked, the African plains weren't tropical and being able to walk around on feet isn't that practical in a tropical rainforest compared to being able to climb. Anatomically modern humans evolved around 200k BC in the Middle Paleolithic. Most scientists think that this happened in East or South East Africa, not in Tropical Central Africa. So we would have hunted big game, small game, gathered shellfish, tubers, berries, plant materials and SEASONAL fruits

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10134 · May 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM

My ancestors are from the same latitudes. Even recently their carbs came primarily from dairy and roots. The further away from the equator the less carbs there are that occur naturally.

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10134 · May 30, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Nine days aren't enough to see any effect. And all that reading can be replaced with tests for TG's, LPIR and blood sugar. In hindsight it's worth it to know where you're starting from.

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10134 · May 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Anthropology is key and paleos ignore it. The ancestral eaters in the high latitudes where I live didn't get a lot of carbs because they don't grow here. But they AND the Amazonian tribes you cite are all part of the same early Neolithic migration from Asia. In my area they adapted to more carnivorous diets (as did the Inuits and Siouxans). In your area they adapted to more fruit. But their common ancestors were Eurasian grain-eaters. The most significant difference between us and our omnivorous ancestors isn't macronutrients. It's motor vehicles.

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3422 · January 30, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Nobody's afraid of carbs, and I'm pretty sure most everyone here understands that Paleo does not equate to low carb. However, depending on your current physical state and your goals, avoiding carbs may be an extremely effective route. That definitely includes most fruit.

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5381 · July 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM

This is from pregnant mothers drinking tea...

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7292 · July 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I upvoted it just because heaving whipping cream is awesome with fruit!

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1448 · July 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Who the heck would give an infaint black tea?

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4266 · July 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

In an anthropology class it was explained that the reason we seem to almost universally love open views of grasslands with a few trees or open views of wide bodies of water is that this is our true habitat.

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70 · July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

That "evolutionary approach" only works in northern climates. In some tropical climates one can get their hands on some type of fruit(sometimes very sweet) almost all year round.

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1786 · July 16, 2012 at 3:58 AM

^except, we dont know their quality of life, including their moods. if eating exactly like a caveman gave you high physical health, but low mental/emotional health... what then?

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18635 · July 03, 2012 at 8:51 PM

hehe....I just posted on a thread about why we should go ahead and allow anonymous downvotes and bam I get 2! Must be karma :p. Good news is it don't bug me none....downvote away.

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6709 · July 03, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Umm what? If you eat fruit, its a combo of fructose/glucose, and yes fructose does replenish the glycogen in the liver, and shuts ketosis down, does not turn it on.

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6709 · July 03, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Its a proposterous idea to believe that early man ate fruit as a staple. The only thing early man ate as a staple was meat. Period.

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1257 · July 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM

This sums up my own conclusions on carbs very well, which is that a moderate level of carbs is probably what is optimum. Moderate being less than a typical SAD diet, but far more than the typical Paleo diet (or rather, what Paleo has come to mean for a lot of people--which is low carb).

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78417 · July 03, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Plus! Jimmy Moore says you can have fruit on a low carb/paleo diet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKchPego4ZU See? I wasn't making it up. I'd say that settles the issue.

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78417 · July 03, 2012 at 9:47 AM

As the great Kurt Harris said, "Fruit: candy from trees."

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476 · July 03, 2012 at 1:36 AM

arrowsican, I have noticed the same thing, somewhat. The avoidance of fruit has helped my cysts subside. I do feel better when I eat fruit, overall. I urinate less at night without it

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4218 · July 02, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Sugar is something of a rarity in nature, actually. The fruits we get in the supermarket are not what our distant ancestors foraged -- we breed most of our fruit to be increasingly sweeter, larger, juicier than their wild forbears. (Though berries are said to be fairly close to their original versions.) We *did* eat what we could find, but various sources say we weren't getting nearly as much sugar per bite. As for why we would crave sweet things, I am reminded of hummingbirds who only suck down enough nectar to give them enough energy to go hunt their proteins and fats in mosquito format.

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610 · March 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

No. I eat more sweet potatos, yuca, and rice, but white potatoes don't bother me. I know squash are fruits, and do have fructose, but they don't seem to bother me either. Plantains seem to be on the edge.

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78417 · March 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

@Wisper and Sunshine - I guess I should have clarified that I believe that the conventional Paleo wisdom is that you avoid fruit to lose weight. I did mention that I eat a ton of fruit but I didn't mention that I have also lost about 15+ lbs. in about 3 months. So, no I don't personally believe that you have to avoid fruit to lose weight and I think one would be missing out on a lot if they did give up fruit.

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4218 · March 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM

And *I* only lost weight when I gave up fruit entirely. Back to my point that no single diet or version of the same diet works for everyone. Paleohacking is partly about science, and partly about folks sharing their personal experiences/anecdotes.

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4218 · March 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Also, I'm given to understand that a good deal of the fruits we find in the stores is not what our distant ancestors actually had access to, seeing as how we've bred most of our produce to be bigger, sweeter, more palatable, more pleasing somehow than their wilder forebears. I find it interesting that I do okay on things like blueberries, crabapples and cranberries which various sources say have remained effectively unchanged by selective breeding.

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4218 · March 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM

There's no single diet, or even one version of the same diet, that works for everyone. We can't all eat grains, we don't all thrive on meat, some people don't feel good eating dairy. Sometimes it's an allergy, sometimes it's not. I resist the mindset that says because I can't or don't eat X or Y that I'm 'metabolically deranged' or that my brain isn't working correctly. Paleo*hacking* is about each of us figuring out what works for us as individuals and hopefully avoiding the dogma that can sometimes unfortunately attend any philosophy, theory or approach to anything.

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698 · March 24, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Interesting.. This is almost entirely the opposite of my own experience with fruit. Back when I still obsessed over the idea of an occasional cheat, fruit would seriously mess with my head. That mentality is long gone now, my metabolism functions beautifully now, and I find that fruit satiates almost just as well as meat. Personally I feel strongly that if you are a person who consumes a piece of fruit, and it increases your appetite further, your hypothalamus isn't regulating food intake properly. Fruit can absolutely shut down my hunger 100% now.

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3049 · March 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

This is my experience as well.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Now you have me craving a mango!

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20519 · March 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM

"Umm... wha'?" she says while eating a bowl of berries. The Paleo template is flexible - not one sock fits all. You make it your own as what works for me may not work for you. Every body is different, right? Right.

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1774 · March 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

yea, i eat a shit ton of fruit and the weight is dropping

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799 · March 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Warren - I also suffered from gout, quite horrifically for over 15 years. I tried so many things to get rid of it, finally trying the Paleo Diet over a year ago. Against all conventional gout and dietary wisdom, the Paleo Diet got rid of my gout. I still eat a piece or two of fruit a day and love my berries, but compared to the my pre-Paleo sugar intake, it doesn't even compare. So yes, the large reduction in fructose, along with cutting out all alcohol (mainly beer which = sugar/wheat), got rid of my gout.

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Seriously though, is there anyone here "afraid" of fruit? Paleo is way more about experimentation than it is about re-enactment, and I don't think many people here will disagree. Maybe you spent a bit too much time on dogmatic low-carb forums, like Jimmy Moore tends to do.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Which people are those Korion?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

*If we can accept that whole grains are bad, saturated fat and red meat are good for you, why do (some of) the paleo folks have a hard time accepting that fruit may be bad for us?* Are you saying we should disagree with conventional wisdom just for the sake of disagreeing?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Love it how some people here eat rice and then say fruit is bad because Grok wouldn't have access to it. As if you'd have access to rice and sweet potatoes. Fruit is a whole food. I'll eat it whenever I feel the need to. I totally understand some people need to cut it out, but don't generalize your own experiments.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

South Africa isn't tropical. And while the fruit is tasty people weren't living off it.

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5135 · March 24, 2012 at 1:13 PM

The best fruit I ever had was in South Africa, especially the mineolas.

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2423 · March 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

You knocked that strawman right out of the park. Great work.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM

There might have been some fruit available for much of the year. I'm sure we are able to eat some fruit. But it's very difficult to argue that we would have had access to the amount of fruit that some recommend and as regularly.

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720 · March 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

"They really are spoiled for food availability over there" This sounds like sarcasm?

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

"If you suffer from health issues that can be worsened by fructose (insulin resistance, PCOS, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, gout..." I had problems with gout. I cut way down on carbs because of candida and noticed that my gout went away at the same time. This was a real surprise to me because my protein intake had gone up to replace the carbs and I didn't know about any carb and gout connection at the time.

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4936 · March 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM

If you want to go "all evolutionary approach" on it - surely, if we evolved between the tropics, there would have been fruit available year long?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM

White potatoes are not a problem for your acne?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I don't see what's bad about fruit either. The first 3 go against evolution, fruit does not, as it's a whole, natural food. People are all over the safe starch idea, but fruit is the devil?

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2949 · March 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Have references to back up the claim that fructose from fruit slows down weight loss? I've lost 22kg in the past 14 months, and I eat 1-5 servings of fruit daily.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Thank you. This dovetails with my comment under the OP.

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78417 · March 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Not sure where you got the idea that the pleistocene was tropical. It was ice ages, deserts and grasslands and not so much fruit at all much less year round.

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605 · March 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Not afraid of fruit, it's just disgusting. I only eat foods like, like steak.

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941 · March 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Actually, there are many fruits in Africa that have not been carefully selected for their sugar content that are supposed to be very sweet. Check out this book, LOST CROPS of AFRICA, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11879&page=R1

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1902 · March 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Ah--I didn't see this when I commented. Umm....DITTO! :)

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5509 · March 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I try to limit fruit because I have no self-control!! I could eat three pears in one sitting and go on to eat a pint of strawberries, ha ha.

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Of course if we tried that we'd probably poison ourselves sooner rather than later.

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1590 · March 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Just be sure to cover the berries in a quart of heavy whipping cream to blunt the insulin spike. You don't want cancer from all dat evilz frooctoze.

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319 · March 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

i need to be in ketosis for mental health reasons and fruit directly replenishes liver glycogen responsible for establishing ketosis while starch can be use to fill up muscle glycogen eaten around workouts wihtout really affecting the liver that much thus fructose in fruits is less ketogenic opposing the goals of those who need it.

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Why the downvote? Was this not a serious question?

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1115 · March 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

This. Plenty of paleo people are attempting to "lean out" and do so through lowering carbs/ketosis/etc. Fruit doesn't fit well with the VLC crowd bc they (myself included sometimes) would rather eat a fatty grassfed steak than a banana.

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5043 · March 23, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Apples are incredibly good for you and they store well over the winter. The pectin in them is satiating, and they have been shown help people lose weight and reduce cholesterol. http://www.livestrong.com/article/541841-do-apples-help-people-trying-to-lose-weight/ An apple has about 65 calories, with water and fiber along with vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and even a bit of natural Fluoride. No matter how hard I try I can't see what is so "bad" about this.

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Don't you have apples already? That's all there's been for months.

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231 · March 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Exactly. I eat fruit seasonally, since I'm trying my best to source all of my food locally. I can't wait for apple/berry picking season!

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1363 · March 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I'm not afraid of fruit. Fruit is afraid of me. I like to cut it apart with sharp knives and eat it. No wonder its scared.

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2949 · March 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Always wondered about it as well. I think it's because so many people going on paleo are overweight, and it's easy to over-eat on delicious fruit.

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1590 · March 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Because this is paleohacks.

I can't tell whether half these threads are trolls or just mother nature letting her ''special'' children have a place to play.

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I didn't know there was a we that were all afraid of fruit. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much time you've spent in Africa, gorging yourself on the wondrous bounties that nature provides. They really are spoiled for food availability over there. On my third hand, I might note that while we may have eaten plankton in our evolutionary past and retain an impressive array of abilities, as a species we were largely genetically selected to survive the ice age hunting mega-fauna. And my fourth hand might remark that fruit today would be scarcely recognisable to our ancient ancestors.

You can argue against all these of course, but just ignoring them doesn't make for a very convincing rant.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

South Africa isn't tropical. And while the fruit is tasty people weren't living off it.

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5135 · March 24, 2012 at 1:13 PM

The best fruit I ever had was in South Africa, especially the mineolas.

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720 · March 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

"They really are spoiled for food availability over there" This sounds like sarcasm?

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1902 · March 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Ah--I didn't see this when I commented. Umm....DITTO! :)

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Why the downvote? Was this not a serious question?

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5043 · March 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

I'm not scared of fruit. No sirree, I totally dominate berries and I figure with all my crossfitting I'll be able to take on a grapefruit one of these days. Long term goal: a melon.

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7292 · July 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I upvoted it just because heaving whipping cream is awesome with fruit!

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1590 · March 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Just be sure to cover the berries in a quart of heavy whipping cream to blunt the insulin spike. You don't want cancer from all dat evilz frooctoze.

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4218 · March 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

For me it's just personal experience, and symptoms like I'm having today.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the grocery store, saw some perfectly ripe mango and thought, why not? It's been two years since I had one back home in California, and about a week since I've had any kind of fruit at all.

I bring one home, peel it, eat it. It's delicious.

By ten in the evening I've got a massive craving for sugar of any kind. ANY kind. I nearly tore into some Larabars but decided to just go to bed instead.

I slept like shit, then I overslept. This morning my joints hurt, my head hurts, I'm ravenously hungry and I never ever wake up hungry, I'm craving the damn Larabars already, I'm stiff, I'm irritable (on a Saturday morning), my eyes are crusty and I have the beginnings of a cystic blemish on my chin. [Edited to add: Also, my tongue is furry and I'm having a hard time waking up even after two hours.]

This particular constellation of symptoms happens to me every time I eat more than a very, very small handful of berries or fresh-juiced lemon (I do lemons pretty nearly every day). Seriously, every time. Bananas, apples, figs, pomegranates, grapes, doesn't matter.

I don't avoid fruits for evolutionary reasons, science reasons or dogmatic reasons. I avoid them because I quite simply don't like how they make me feel after I eat them. Which is pretty "Paleo" by my definition.

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78417 · July 03, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Plus! Jimmy Moore says you can have fruit on a low carb/paleo diet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKchPego4ZU See? I wasn't making it up. I'd say that settles the issue.

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78417 · July 03, 2012 at 9:47 AM

As the great Kurt Harris said, "Fruit: candy from trees."

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4218 · March 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Also, I'm given to understand that a good deal of the fruits we find in the stores is not what our distant ancestors actually had access to, seeing as how we've bred most of our produce to be bigger, sweeter, more palatable, more pleasing somehow than their wilder forebears. I find it interesting that I do okay on things like blueberries, crabapples and cranberries which various sources say have remained effectively unchanged by selective breeding.

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4218 · March 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM

There's no single diet, or even one version of the same diet, that works for everyone. We can't all eat grains, we don't all thrive on meat, some people don't feel good eating dairy. Sometimes it's an allergy, sometimes it's not. I resist the mindset that says because I can't or don't eat X or Y that I'm 'metabolically deranged' or that my brain isn't working correctly. Paleo*hacking* is about each of us figuring out what works for us as individuals and hopefully avoiding the dogma that can sometimes unfortunately attend any philosophy, theory or approach to anything.

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698 · March 24, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Interesting.. This is almost entirely the opposite of my own experience with fruit. Back when I still obsessed over the idea of an occasional cheat, fruit would seriously mess with my head. That mentality is long gone now, my metabolism functions beautifully now, and I find that fruit satiates almost just as well as meat. Personally I feel strongly that if you are a person who consumes a piece of fruit, and it increases your appetite further, your hypothalamus isn't regulating food intake properly. Fruit can absolutely shut down my hunger 100% now.

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3049 · March 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

This is my experience as well.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Now you have me craving a mango!

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20908 · March 23, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I'm not going to comment on the goodness/badness of fruit. But I always cringe when one of these fruit questions comes up. First some statements from "the authorities":

  • Eat your heart-healthy whole grains, they lower cholesterol and protect your heart
  • Stay away from artery clogging saturated fat
  • Don't eat red met, it'll kill you
  • Make sure you eat lots of fruit it's good for you

For some reason, paleo-folk have no problem with ignoring the (bad) advice in the first three, but hold dearly onto #4 (or at least the people asking the "what's bad with fruit" questions over-and-over).

If we can accept that whole grains are bad, saturated fat and red meat are good for you, why do (some of) the paleo folks have a hard time accepting that fruit may be bad for us?

If you want to go all "evolutionary approach" on it, you're only going to have fruit available (in large quantities) at the end of the summer when it's all (naturally) ripe. That's when you stuff your face with it to fatten up for winter.

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70 · July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

That "evolutionary approach" only works in northern climates. In some tropical climates one can get their hands on some type of fruit(sometimes very sweet) almost all year round.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Which people are those Korion?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

*If we can accept that whole grains are bad, saturated fat and red meat are good for you, why do (some of) the paleo folks have a hard time accepting that fruit may be bad for us?* Are you saying we should disagree with conventional wisdom just for the sake of disagreeing?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Love it how some people here eat rice and then say fruit is bad because Grok wouldn't have access to it. As if you'd have access to rice and sweet potatoes. Fruit is a whole food. I'll eat it whenever I feel the need to. I totally understand some people need to cut it out, but don't generalize your own experiments.

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5188 · March 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM

There might have been some fruit available for much of the year. I'm sure we are able to eat some fruit. But it's very difficult to argue that we would have had access to the amount of fruit that some recommend and as regularly.

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4936 · March 24, 2012 at 9:11 AM

If you want to go "all evolutionary approach" on it - surely, if we evolved between the tropics, there would have been fruit available year long?

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 8:40 AM

I don't see what's bad about fruit either. The first 3 go against evolution, fruit does not, as it's a whole, natural food. People are all over the safe starch idea, but fruit is the devil?

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5043 · March 23, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Apples are incredibly good for you and they store well over the winter. The pectin in them is satiating, and they have been shown help people lose weight and reduce cholesterol. http://www.livestrong.com/article/541841-do-apples-help-people-trying-to-lose-weight/ An apple has about 65 calories, with water and fiber along with vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, folate, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and even a bit of natural Fluoride. No matter how hard I try I can't see what is so "bad" about this.

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Don't you have apples already? That's all there's been for months.

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231 · March 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Exactly. I eat fruit seasonally, since I'm trying my best to source all of my food locally. I can't wait for apple/berry picking season!

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6889 · March 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Er, I'm not. I already ate 3 bananas and an orange today... and it's only 2pm.

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1101 · March 23, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Some people have a problem with fructose and the amount of carbs, so I imagine that's why they try to avoid it. I try to make it a treat since I'm trying to lose weight.

But God knows once I hit my target weight, I'll probably eat it every day. :) I kind of agree with you on that. I don't understand why some people say we should only eat fruit in season, when some people have it year-round in quite a bit of the world.

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6709 · July 03, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Umm what? If you eat fruit, its a combo of fructose/glucose, and yes fructose does replenish the glycogen in the liver, and shuts ketosis down, does not turn it on.

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319 · March 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM

i need to be in ketosis for mental health reasons and fruit directly replenishes liver glycogen responsible for establishing ketosis while starch can be use to fill up muscle glycogen eaten around workouts wihtout really affecting the liver that much thus fructose in fruits is less ketogenic opposing the goals of those who need it.

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1115 · March 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

This. Plenty of paleo people are attempting to "lean out" and do so through lowering carbs/ketosis/etc. Fruit doesn't fit well with the VLC crowd bc they (myself included sometimes) would rather eat a fatty grassfed steak than a banana.

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1902 · March 23, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I think it's worth pointing out that if we modern humans tried to eat the fruit that our ancestors were eating "year round" (year round? dubious claim), we would probably have a hard time putting it in the same category as the apples and bananas we pick up at the store. The sugar content of the fruit we eat today is significantly higher than that of the wild fruits that were available back in the day.

That said--I think your premise that all paleo folks are fruit phobic is pretty unfounded.

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941 · March 23, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Actually, there are many fruits in Africa that have not been carefully selected for their sugar content that are supposed to be very sweet. Check out this book, LOST CROPS of AFRICA, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11879&page=R1

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5188 · March 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Of course if we tried that we'd probably poison ourselves sooner rather than later.

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78417 · March 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I don't think there is a conflict between fruit and Paleo. I eat tons of fruit. I think that if you are trying to drop weight as fast as possible you want to avoid it because the fructose will slow that down. However, I think there are so many other foods to avoid that fruit is really the least of my worries.

I think the taste, nutrients and fiber that fruit brings makes it one of the best things you can eat if you are at or near your target body composition.

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78417 · March 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

@Wisper and Sunshine - I guess I should have clarified that I believe that the conventional Paleo wisdom is that you avoid fruit to lose weight. I did mention that I eat a ton of fruit but I didn't mention that I have also lost about 15+ lbs. in about 3 months. So, no I don't personally believe that you have to avoid fruit to lose weight and I think one would be missing out on a lot if they did give up fruit.

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4218 · March 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM

And *I* only lost weight when I gave up fruit entirely. Back to my point that no single diet or version of the same diet works for everyone. Paleohacking is partly about science, and partly about folks sharing their personal experiences/anecdotes.

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1774 · March 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

yea, i eat a shit ton of fruit and the weight is dropping

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2949 · March 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Have references to back up the claim that fructose from fruit slows down weight loss? I've lost 22kg in the past 14 months, and I eat 1-5 servings of fruit daily.

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10134 · March 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I think the major reason is that fructose is easily over-consumed, resulting in obesity and diabetes in modern society. The paleo connection is that our ancestors would only have had fructose-rich foods available seasonally. Affordable access to fresh fruit in temperate climates is very recent - only over the last 50 years - not paleo by any stretch.

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723 · May 06, 2014 at 12:43 AM

Also, the fructose that many people become obese from eating is High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is far more concentrated than fructose in fruit. It also lacks the fiber that is in fruit.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

I sometimes wonder if the people that ask questions about why some of us rarely eat fruit, think that the tropics look like something from a Del Monte commercial? lol. Do people in the tropics really gorge themselves on fruit every day? Is there that much wild fruit availabe?
I really like fruit but find that I don't do well on it at all, so I tend to not eat any for months on end. I'm sorry if that ruins the day of somebody that insists on getting his or her "5 a day" but I like to suit myself and not some government guideline.
I get a bit tired of hearing about how "fruit is really good or us" when I have never noticed any benefit at all but have noticed belly aches and a sore mouth after eating fruit. I may have mentioned this before but there is a toothpaste commercial in the UK where they talk about people eating a "healthy diet" that includes fruit and that the acid in fruit erodes the enamel off of our teeth. Just how healthy is something that erodes away an important part of our body?

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402 · March 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM

For some reason people are very of afraid of carbs and think paleo eating should be low carb eating. Fruits and veggies are the healthiest thing you can include in your diet and should be the focus of your diet, along with a healthy protein source. Dont focus so much on the carb number, rather more on the quality of the food and carbs you are putting into your mouth.

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3422 · January 30, 2013 at 2:27 AM

Nobody's afraid of carbs, and I'm pretty sure most everyone here understands that Paleo does not equate to low carb. However, depending on your current physical state and your goals, avoiding carbs may be an extremely effective route. That definitely includes most fruit.

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3742 · March 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Which ancestors are you referring to? There's not much evidence about consumption of fruit unfortunately. We know that our distant ancestors left the trees where fruit was located to eat more meat however. Molecular biology seems to indicate that fruit in combination with other toxins are ok up to a point but for us it's much lower than other primates because they have larger livers and can detoxify a larger amount than us. That's why PHD recommends consuming up to 1.5 cups of fruit per day.

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614 · July 03, 2012 at 2:27 AM

http://www.nrjournal.com/article/S0271-5317(11)00091-1/abstract

Diets of modern hunter-gatherers vary substantially in their carbohydrate content depending on ecoenvironments: results from an ethnographic analysis

Abstract In the past, attempts have been made to estimate the carbohydrate contents of preagricultural human diets. Those estimations have primarily been based on interpretations of ethnographic data of modern hunter-gatherers. In this study, it was hypothesized that diets of modern hunter-gatherers vary in their carbohydrate content depending on ecoenvironments. Thus, using data of plant-to-animal subsistence ratios, we calculated the carbohydrate intake (percentage of the total energy) in 229 hunter-gatherer diets throughout the world and determined how differences in ecological environments altered carbohydrate intake. We found a wide range of carbohydrate intake (???3%-50% of the total energy intake; median and mode, 16%-22% of the total energy). Hunter-gatherer diets were characterized by an identical carbohydrate intake (30%-35% of the total energy) over a wide range of latitude intervals (11??-40?? north or south of the equator). However, with increasing latitude intervals from 41?? to greater than 60??, carbohydrate intake decreased markedly from approximately equal to 20% to 9% or less of the total energy. Hunter-gatherers living in desert and tropical grasslands consumed the most carbohydrates (???29%-34% of the total energy). Diets of hunter-gatherers living in northern areas (tundra and northern coniferous forest) contained a very low carbohydrate content (???15% of the total energy). In conclusion, diets of hunter-gatherers showed substantial variation in their carbohydrate content. Independent of the local environment, however, the range of energy intake from carbohydrates in the diets of most hunter-gatherer societies was markedly different (lower) from the amounts currently recommended for healthy humans

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1257 · July 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM

This sums up my own conclusions on carbs very well, which is that a moderate level of carbs is probably what is optimum. Moderate being less than a typical SAD diet, but far more than the typical Paleo diet (or rather, what Paleo has come to mean for a lot of people--which is low carb).

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78417 · July 03, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Certain gut bacteria love the carbs from fruit, particularly the ones with the short chain fermentable kind.

So it's not a question of fruit but rather of the type of bacteria that have colonised your intestine that you should be afraid/not afraid of. :)

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4002 · March 24, 2012 at 8:15 AM

There is nothing wrong with fruits if you are not metabolically deranged or fructose-sensitive. I have written a post about fruits and the Paleo diet here: http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/paleo-diet-and-fruits.html

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799 · March 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Warren - I also suffered from gout, quite horrifically for over 15 years. I tried so many things to get rid of it, finally trying the Paleo Diet over a year ago. Against all conventional gout and dietary wisdom, the Paleo Diet got rid of my gout. I still eat a piece or two of fruit a day and love my berries, but compared to the my pre-Paleo sugar intake, it doesn't even compare. So yes, the large reduction in fructose, along with cutting out all alcohol (mainly beer which = sugar/wheat), got rid of my gout.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

"If you suffer from health issues that can be worsened by fructose (insulin resistance, PCOS, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, gout..." I had problems with gout. I cut way down on carbs because of candida and noticed that my gout went away at the same time. This was a real surprise to me because my protein intake had gone up to replace the carbs and I didn't know about any carb and gout connection at the time.

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1528 · March 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Please consider this:

"The Expanding World of Early Homo

As predicted by the variability selection hypothesis, hominins were not found solely in one kind of habitat, but rather in a variety. A major signal of the ability to tolerate different environments was the dispersal of hominins beyond Africa and into Asian environments. After 1.8 Ma, hominins are found in a variety of locations in Asia, including some that are relatively far north. Compare the ranges of Australopithecus afarensis and Homo erectus.

Early evidence of the diversity of Homo erectus environments in Asia includes the following sites:

  • Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, 1.7 Million years ago. This site has grasslands surrounded by mountains with forests. Hominins had access to lava as a raw material for tools.

    Yuanmou, China, 1.7 Million years ago. This site, located near an ancient lake, had a mixture of habitats with grasslands, bushlands and forests.

    Nihewan Basin, China, 1.66 Million years ago. The Nihewan sites were also near a lake. They experienced many changes in vegetation over time, with habitats ranging from forests to grasslands. This region may have been much more arid than others, and temperatures changed seasonally between warm and cold.

    Java, 1.66 Ma: Hominins here encountered grasslands, rivers and marine coastal environments in a tropical latitude setting.

In these locations, hominin groups encountered distinctly different environments, different plants and animals and foods, and different climatic conditions ??? both an increased temperature range and wide variations in aridity and monsoonal rains."

We did not all reach our current form in the same environment, or the fantasy environment where Raquel Welch wears fur.

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4266 · July 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

In an anthropology class it was explained that the reason we seem to almost universally love open views of grasslands with a few trees or open views of wide bodies of water is that this is our true habitat.

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78417 · March 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Thank you. This dovetails with my comment under the OP.

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418 · March 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

I eat fruit. It has great nutrition. I think its silly not to fruit unless you have an allergy.

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45 · May 29, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Lol sounds like many of these "fruit phobic" paleo-ers either 1: don't read research, 2: put everything with "carbs" in one box, and/or 3: haven't traveled much.

I lived in Brazil for a year and spent two weeks in the Amazon where I was frequently mingling (i.e., dining, being taken on tours, fishing) with a local tribe. These people live HEAVILY on fruit and fish. Very little vegetables in the Amazon, mainly just leafy greens. So thats it, fruit, fish, and leafy greens. For a population that has almost no contact with the outside world, doesn't farm (so they aren't "selectively breeding" their fruit to be sweet....because its already SUPER sweet), and don't gorge on fat (relatively few fatty sources aside from coconut) they are in fantastic shape. Didn't see any 24H fitness centers or crossfit gyms around the Amazon either, they didn't really seem to do any sprints, did some walking maybe but not hours at a time by any means. They did climb trees though which burns some SERIOUS energy.

So for people that think we didn't eat fruit and that all the fruit available today is genetically modified or selected for their sugar content, look up some of the fruit that available in the Amazon.....wait for it....YEAR ROUND!!! Many of these are far sweeter than the typical apple, orange, pear, and peach we get here in the states.

As far as research related to fruit intake, I thought I'd do a search using Type 2 Diabetics because it doesn't get too much more insulin resistant than T2D lol....except for maybe PCOS.

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/29/abstract (WORK/FAMILY SAFE)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2012.03764.x/full (WORK/FAMILY SAFE)

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/95/4/925.short

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10134 · May 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Anthropology is key and paleos ignore it. The ancestral eaters in the high latitudes where I live didn't get a lot of carbs because they don't grow here. But they AND the Amazonian tribes you cite are all part of the same early Neolithic migration from Asia. In my area they adapted to more carnivorous diets (as did the Inuits and Siouxans). In your area they adapted to more fruit. But their common ancestors were Eurasian grain-eaters. The most significant difference between us and our omnivorous ancestors isn't macronutrients. It's motor vehicles.

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413 · July 03, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Because many people don't employ 'moderation'. Whether you're climbing trees to pick your coconuts, or busting shells for nuts - you're earning your snack. If you're waddling up to the cashier and unsheathing your Amex card, not much work for 3 days worth of berry picking.

Fructose is what it is, but even Robert Lustig specifies that the obesity promoting variant he speaks on is that found in densely packed formulas like HFCS. The fiber does play a part in fruits, unlike processed sugary foods, in that it signals your satiety, and the vitamins are necessary.

Just gauge your intake and be weary of your satiety. If you're an over-eater, don't keep fruit in the house. After dinner go and forage for an apple at your local supermarket ;)

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5381 · July 03, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Two good reasons I can think of :

1) Argicultural fruit is much higher in fructose, which is linked to some very serious health issues like fatty liver.

2) The so called "anti-oxidants" in some plants AKA polyphenols, which demonstrate no anti-oxidant properties in vivo, are 95% eliminated from the body almost instantly like toxins, have been shown to be cancer promoting in large doses. Low doses=cancer prevention, high doses=cancer causing.

They probably act via hormesis, rather than as anti-oxidants, as there is no evidence that they are anti-oxidants, but there is evidence that they are genotoxic. They certainly are nothing like uric acid, q10 or melatonin, which are real human native anti-oxidants.

Black tea for example can cause leukemia in infants (via polyphenols).

Theres no doubt that northern african hunter gatheres ate fruit. But it had less fructose, and they didnt have the confused impression that the more you ate the better your health.

Eating moderate amounts of low fuctose fruit, better emulates paleo man, rather than eating large food pyramid or fruitarian amounts of very high fructose fruit. Some level of fruit/vegetable polyphenols, phytochemicals and vitamins are clearly health promoting. But fructose isnt, in excess healthy. Theres a rate limiting factor on how much fructose you can digest at once, and it puts a heavy load on the liver, because unlike glucose, or starch, which can be digested and absorbed into the blood, fructose must be metabolised in the liver. Hence why an excess causes problems.

Just google "high fructose corn syrup", if your curious about why fructose in excess is a bad guy.

TLDR: the liver doesnt like loads of fructose, and excess polyphenols may promote rather than reduce cancer.

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5381 · July 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM

This is from pregnant mothers drinking tea...

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1448 · July 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Who the heck would give an infaint black tea?

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610 · March 23, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Well, I've found that I ALWAYS get acne when I eat fruit, probably the result of dysbiosis. I look forward to the day when I can resolve that and eat fruit again! (I don't eat VLC though, luckily I've found that safe starches do not trigger my acne, so I get moderate amounts of starch instead)

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476 · July 03, 2012 at 1:36 AM

arrowsican, I have noticed the same thing, somewhat. The avoidance of fruit has helped my cysts subside. I do feel better when I eat fruit, overall. I urinate less at night without it

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610 · March 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

No. I eat more sweet potatos, yuca, and rice, but white potatoes don't bother me. I know squash are fruits, and do have fructose, but they don't seem to bother me either. Plantains seem to be on the edge.

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8953 · March 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM

White potatoes are not a problem for your acne?

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8953 · July 03, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I feared fruit because I felt so weak, cold, depressed and sick on a raw vegan, fruitarian diet. I assumed it was the fructose, now I know better and my diet is 50% fruit.

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5949 · March 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM

I have no fear of fruit. I don't go out of my way to eat bananas and grapes because they mess with my blood sugar, but I eat some fruit every day in the form of apples, stone fruits, citrus, cherries, or berries. The carbohydrate I avoid almost completely is starch because it increases hunger, and in sufficient quantity, crashes my blood sugar something fierce.

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1232 · May 31, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Do the effects of fructose on the body depend in part on the rest of one???s diet? I'm thinking that certain factors might affect fructose tolerance and how it gets absorbed, for example:

  • interactions between certain nutrients
  • the macronutrient ratios the body is used to

Many people seem to positively thrive on a diets consisting of mostly of fruit, veggies and fish and it seems strange that they would be at serious risk of developing fatty liver.

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10134 · May 31, 2013 at 2:32 PM

The whole point of force feeding corn to ducks is to give them fatty livers. A human equivalent is drinking 32 oz sodas sweetened with HFCS. In lesser amounts the fructose and glucose are metabolized.

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253 · July 16, 2012 at 1:32 AM

I love fruit! It's just that for me, it's easy to overeat it b/c I used to have a sweet tooth. I try to keep a balance between fruits, veggies, meats, and yummy fats.

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25 · July 16, 2012 at 12:38 AM

I'm not afraid of fruit. Something I often wonder about is why I crave carbs before my menses and it dawned on me that maybe its my body telling me to up my fruit intake because I also get very constipated around the same time. If I eat fruit instead of twinkies this isn't as much of a problem. Even upping my leafy greens doesn't help as much as eating some juicy fruit.

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30 · July 03, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I think it depends on your goals. I am not at all afraid of fruit, I kind of feel a low level of blas?? towards them, unless of course you are talking about durian in which case I get a kind of neurological erection in my excitement levels.

I have felt a little 'burnt out' at times doing low carb eating and find a banana makes me feel like a billion dollars.

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965 · May 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I love fruit!!! And 100% fruit juices too. Granted, I'm not overweight or watching my carbs or anything like that.

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4936 · May 30, 2013 at 7:30 AM

"Humans didn't leave Africa until about 50K years ago" - just plain not so. There's heaps of archeological evidence that humans or pro humans were living here in the temperate UK at least half a million years ago - and butchering meat as a major food source. Yes, there would have been some fruit in season - but not enough to be a year round staple, I'm sure.

If you read "Fair weather Eden" by Michael Pitts and Mark Roberts, that alone will give you heaps of evidence that humans had left Africa long, long before you claim.

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10134 · May 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM

My ancestors are from the same latitudes. Even recently their carbs came primarily from dairy and roots. The further away from the equator the less carbs there are that occur naturally.

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4266 · July 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Sometimes I feel like more people are trying to cram fruit down my throat than otherwise. It's like fruit and protein shakes are things people just can't let go of and they get really crabby at those who do let go of them. So to try to see if I was really missing something I've eaten a lot more fruit the past few weeks. I've suddenly ballooned in belly fat around my waist and my upper arms. I think I'll go back to eating stricter paleo. Thanks but I'll pass on the fruit for now.

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2913 · July 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I think the general Paleo rule is not to avoid fruit altogether, but to be smart about consuming fruit. Obviously our ancestors could only consume what was seasonal and available and it's very easy to go to the grocery store and find something completely out of season and say "oh, that looks goooood!". Also, if you are watching your weight and sugars, obviously fruit can be a concern. Having had experience with Weight Watchers when I ate SAD, the encouragement to eat "as much fruit as you want" can really sabotage a weight loss goal, particularly when people are like "bananas fill me up! I'm going to have 30 of them a day!" Er, I digress.

I think a good rule for fruit is to not use it for constant snacking, to eat seasonal and organic and preferably locally grown and to watch the sugar content. Except for pineapple. Because it's delicious.

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71 · July 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I'm not against fruit either, but I'm not touching it till I hit my hard goal. I'm losing weight at a steady pace right now (fat burner mode!) and I am not going to do anything to mess that up. I could probably slip in some low GI fruits and be ok but I'd rather just do without for a bit longer.

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10 · July 03, 2012 at 2:40 AM

I've drank a half gallon of OJ a day, plus other fruits, for the past 6 months and have stayed at a steady 165 pounds at a height of 5'10. I don't know what my body fat percentage is but I can see my abs, so I'm guessing around 10%.

Half my calories come from fructose and I'm leaner than I've ever been. The only "side effect" I've seen so far from so much fruit is just a bit more muscle than I use to have.

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18635 · July 03, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Whose afraid? I just don't like the shit.

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18635 · July 03, 2012 at 8:51 PM

hehe....I just posted on a thread about why we should go ahead and allow anonymous downvotes and bam I get 2! Must be karma :p. Good news is it don't bug me none....downvote away.

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24528 · July 03, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Some people need to be afraid of fruit because they burned out their pancreases and deeply impacted their livers suckling at the high fructose corn syrup teat for too many years. Some will be able to regain normal digestion and be able to eat as much fruit as they like, but for some the damage will be too severe, and they will not be able to tolerate much more than some sour berries or a little citrus.

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10 · July 02, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This is a very interesting thread. I have only been paleo for 9 days now. My goal is to decrease insulin resistance and burn fat, to get my body fat down from my current 33% to something more reasonable for my weight/ht (I am 5'4" and 130 lbs). So, I limit fruit because from what I've read spikes in blood sugar caused by high glucose in the bloodstream lead to insulin resistance, which leads to fat storage (rather than fat burning). This means I eat one or occasionally two pieces of fruit a day, usually berries with cream or whatever is in season (today, melon).

But, I do believe fruit is a healthful food and am sure humans have eaten it whenever they found it throughout history because:

a) it's high in calories b) it's high in nutrients c) it's high in water d) it's sweet

Why would we crave sweet things - that is, why would nature design us with a drive to consume sweet things if that did not serve a purpose? The purpose is to eat, to get enough calories. We have had to struggle for calories throughout most of our history. Of course fat and protein are a more efficient way to get more calories and complete nutrition. . . .

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10134 · May 30, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Nine days aren't enough to see any effect. And all that reading can be replaced with tests for TG's, LPIR and blood sugar. In hindsight it's worth it to know where you're starting from.

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4218 · July 02, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Sugar is something of a rarity in nature, actually. The fruits we get in the supermarket are not what our distant ancestors foraged -- we breed most of our fruit to be increasingly sweeter, larger, juicier than their wild forbears. (Though berries are said to be fairly close to their original versions.) We *did* eat what we could find, but various sources say we weren't getting nearly as much sugar per bite. As for why we would crave sweet things, I am reminded of hummingbirds who only suck down enough nectar to give them enough energy to go hunt their proteins and fats in mosquito format.

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3979 · May 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM

No other reason than pure experience-- Whenever I eat fruit, I get anxious, inflamed, irritable, nervous, etc. Need I say more?

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