While eating fruit offers nutritional health benefits, restricting your diet to only fruit-based can increase your calorie intake and reverse weight loss efforts.
You will lose weight when you include the recommended amount of fruit in your daily diet along with calorie restriction and regular exercise. However, only eating fruit in large portions as main meals can put you at risk of weight gain by increasing your overall calorie intake.
Such a diet where an individual eats only fruits as parts of main meals is called a fruitarian diet and is highly restrictive. For individuals with diabetes, eating too many fruits in one go can spike blood sugar levels, causing them to need more insulin and increasing insulin-induced weight gain.
Restricting your diet to only fruits can lead to cravings, food obsessions, and binge eating behaviors. When you rely mainly on fruits as main meals and deprive yourself of needed fats, complex carbs, vitamins, fats, and proteins in the form of lean meat and vegetables, you may push your body into starvation mode. If your body feels it is starving, it will slow down your metabolism in an attempt to conserve energy for vital functions. This will hamper any weight loss efforts.
How many fruits are recommended in a daily diet?
Nutritionists recommend that adults eat at least one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables per day as part of a healthy eating pattern.
Typical serving of fruit may include
- banana, or
Two pieces of smaller
A cup of chopped fruit salad or tinned fruit is considered adequate as long as there is no added sugar.
What are the health benefits of adding fruits to the diet?
Fruits are a powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin C and beta-carotene. They contain polyphenols that help cells regenerate and halt tissue aging. Having the daily recommended helping of fruits can reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
The soluble fiber present in the fruits helps the growth of “good bacteria” in your gut, thus promoting your immunity and overall health. Fruit, if eaten in moderation, are especially beneficial for your hair, skin, and digestion and is a better choice than processed and fat-laden fast foods.
However, fruits are best eaten as a mid-meal snack rather than as a main meal. Make sure to eat a “rainbow diet” consisting of orange, red, and yellow fruits, such as bananas, citrus fruits, rockmelon, and mangoes. These have vitamin C and B that are essential for cell repair.
What are the other dangers of a fruit-only diet?
Other than the weight gain and poor control of blood sugars in those with diabetes, the fruit-only diet can result in the following side effects:
- Fruit is high in potassium, which can be dangerous for those who cannot filter potassium out of their kidneys.
- The high sugar content in fruit can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Some fruits, such as oranges, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel if taken in excess.
- Fruit is a poor protein source, with one cup serving giving you less than six grams of protein.
- Hence, there is no way you will compensate for your protein intake if you stop eating grains, cereals, and eat only fruits.
- Additionally, those who eat restricted diets can often suffer from deficiency of iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins.
Medically Reviewed on 10/21/2021
Cleveland Clinic. The Fruitarian Diet: Is It Good or Bad For You? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/fruitarian-diet-is-it-safe-or-really-healthy-for-you/