So, I was reading on Rob Wolf's website, that (for weight loss) fruit should limited to 1 serving/day. I have a few questions about that idea:
Does that seem to be true?
What constitutes 1 serving (clearly, I assume 1 small apple, plum, etc. for that, but what about berries and melons?
If I add lemon/lime to my water, should that be included in the 1 serving/day?
Should bananas be avoided? If so, what's a good substitute for them in smoothies that already have nut butter?
Similarly, WHY is sugar considered bad for Paleo? I understand refined sugar, since it's so processed. But, how are brown sugar, molasses, cane syrup, rapadura, etc?
I also put stevia in my coffee everyday. I use 2 Truvia packets (I know, not the best option, but I had a box of 300, and I want to use it up). I don't see myself not drinking coffee, or not sweetining it. Would there be a better option? Liquid stevia, or some other sweetener?
Sorry for long post!
Assuming Wolf actually says this...The utterly absurd notion that more than one piece of fruit a day will "stall weight loss" is a classic example of why some folks refer to paleo-gurus as paleotards.
Many folks suggest limiting fruit if weight loss is your goal. Some of that is the carbs, but in Robb's case, he's also concerned about the fructose. Whether this is necessary is VERY dependent on your individual situation (much like the larger question of carbs in general). You should do what works for you. I don't care for fruit (much) so don't miss it.
But if you like it and you're making progress, I'd keep it in your diet. I like what Yoni Freedhoff says about "living the healthiest life that you can enjoy, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate." If you really enjoy fruit, then include it in your diet.
Re a serving, I'd work with what works as a standard meal portion. So 1/2 to 1 cup of berries or melon. I wouldn't count lemon or lime.
Re bananas, they are higher in sugar and carbs, so I wouldn't avoid them as part of a typical paleo diet, but again, you should see how they work for you and adjust as necessary. But I'd be careful. Lots of smoothies with bananas and nut butters sounds like a calorie fest to me!
Re sugar, brown sugar, molasses, cane syrup, rapadura are all refined sugars. They're just not as refined as white table sugar. Some paleo folk use these in making paleo versions of their favorite SAD treats. That may be okay occasionally -- especially if you're weight is where you want it to be -- but for others, it may affect your progress wrt weight ... those paleo desserts aren't magically free of calories, but they do tend to be less nutrient-dense than paleo staples.
Re stevia, the biggest issue with it is that it's still artificial and it may reinforce cravings for sweets since it delivers a sweet taste with nothing to back it up. But I use it in my iced tea. You have to pick your battles ;).
Elle, I don't know what Robb Wolf said, but I'll see if I can fill in some answers for you. :)
One of the mainstays of the Paleo approach to eating is to avoid excess fructose. There are lists showing of the amount of fructose in fruit, relative to glucose. Some try to eat only fruit that has an equal amount of fructose and glucose.
Fruit is also what is called a fast-acting carbohydrate. That means it raises the blood sugar more quickly, or to a higher level, than slow-acting carbohydrate. If a person has normal blood sugars, a healthy pancreas, etc., this is not a problem. If a person has diabetes, or some other kind of abnormal blood sugar regulation, then limiting or avoiding fruit helps normalize blood sugar, and to maintain normal blood sugar. Dr. Richard Bernstein explains the science of this in a way that is very easy to understand. Here is a page at his site on what foods to avoid, due to their raising blood sugars too much.
There is a great deal of interesting information on nutrition at his site. :)
ETA: To add to what Jasmine posted about it not being good for weight loss, if one eats too much of it. Eating carbohydrate raises the blood sugar, which tells the body to produce more insulin to keep the blood sugar at a constant level. More insulin means that more fat gets stored. For someone who is at a healthy weight, with normal blood sugar regulation, this is not problematic. For someone who needs the fat to come out of storage, having lower insulin levels helps. Less carbohydrate means less insulin. Dr. Bernstein explains the science of carbohydrate, blood sugar, insulin, fat storage, etc., at his site, and in his books.
As to how much fruit you can eat and not have it cause you any trouble:
No one on the internet can tell you this. It depends on how your body uses what you eat.
As Jasmine posted, we are all different. It takes experimenting, for some of us, measuring, and for some, testing blood sugars with a glucose meter, to determine how much of what one can safely eat.
Hope this helps some. :)
Eating fruit--too much fruit, by PH standards--hasn't stopped me from losing the first 40+ lbs. The pleasure I get from fruit has made it possible for me to stay on plan, in fact. On a typical day, I eat a whole banana in my extra-fat yogurt and a whole grapefruit as the first item in my main meal. At least once per week, I add blueberries or some other, sweeter fruit to the mix.
I am also one of those whose thyroid is working perfectly, etc., and who never gets constipated or has problems with diarrhea so either I'm healthy enough that fruit doesn't affect me or including fruit has been a good thing for my health. I also eat very large leafy salads and plenty of raw/cooked vegetables along with generous portions of fatty meat. What I don't eat, or limit to miniscule portion sizes, is nuts.
I'll soon begin work on the final 25 lbs or so and we'll see what happens. I may or may not change my tune as the spring and summer unfold.
If you saw the handful of photos that are "before" images, and then you saw me now, you'd head directly to the fruit section and load your cart. :-)) But, as Jasmine said, it's different for individuals and you have to test both ways for a week or two at a time to see how your system responds.
I just want to address one part of your question: the difference between "refined" sugar and "natural" sugar. To your body it's all the same. Sugar is sugar is sugar. There is a metabolic difference between glucose and fructose (I believe fructose is much worse for you but that always starts a firestorm here), but it doesn't matter where that glucose or fructose comes from. It's treated the same in the body. Also artificial sweeteners (even non-caloric ones) aren't good for you. Robb Wolf calls this the food porn effect. My broadly stated rule is "if it's sweet it will kill you". People often accuse me of being a sugar nazi but thats not what I intend. I just want people to think about how much sweet stuff they eat and to not make excuses; just cut it out of your diet.
I think different people tollerate different amounts of fruit. I myself am totally addicted to anything sweet, so if I cut way back on the fruit I feel better and my blood sugars are normal. If you have a blood sugar issue then a few servings a day COULD (but wont always) keep your blood sugar up and that will slow weight loss. Really the only way to know is to try it, see how you feel, see if you drop weight. Don't listen to what anyone else says works for them.
There is only one thing in your body (aside from your taste buds) that like and thrive on sugar: cancer. Sugar stalls the immune system. If you can get off sugar and sweeteners for a couple weeks (I've been off them for 65 days, now) you'll be amazed at how sweet everything actually is.
I've successfully lost 25 lbs in the last 69 days surging on mostly fruit and veggies (and more fruit than veggies). The key is to eliminate grain.
I've also been off caffeine, too - not sure if that's a factor in my weight loss or not...
I've been blotting my experiences if you're interested.
(No commercialism on my blog.)
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