FRUIT-EATING - ITS BENEFITS AND PROBLEMS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© October 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Most people enjoy eating fruit, and many health authorities recommend eating it as part of a balanced and healthy diet. However, I find fruit, except for a few olives, is not a healthful food today, and is not needed at all in the diet.
Fruit is mainly sugar and water, with a small amount of minerals and other nutrients. The potassium and some of the phosphorus fruit contains today is often somewhat toxic, and the balance of its minerals is not correct for most people.
Fructose found in most fruit is a very harmful sugar that puts on weight, feeds parasites in the body, and fruit is much too yin for regular use. This article discusses these and other aspects of eating fruit.
BENEFITS OF EATING FRUIT
Reasons why many health authorities suggest eating fruit include:
Š Fruit is a whole, natural food.
Š Fruit contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, natural sugars and other nutrients.
Š Fruit is convenient, easy to eat, and tasty.
SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH EATING FRUIT
This section incorporates our own research findings and that of many others who have worked with those who eat fruit or have eaten a lot of fruit for a period of some years, in most cases.
Birth defects. Mothers of unborn children are deeply affected by vegetarian, vegan and fruitarian diets. This can cause more birth defects. This is due mainly to very low zinc in fruits, and a deficiency of the sulfur-bearing and other amino acids in fruitarian and vegetarian diets. Vegan diets are among the worst.
Attention deficit disorders, autism, cancers and other problems in children. Eating fruit is particularly harmful for fast oxidizers, which includes most young children. Fast oxidizers must eat fat with each meal. The sugar in fruit upsets the metabolism severely.
Deranged digestion. Eating fruit seriously deranges the digestive system in many people. Sugar in all fruit feeds yeasts, parasites, and other harmful pathogens in the intestines. The digestive tract becomes more yin, more fragile and often more “leaky”. This affect the digestion and absorption of all nutrients. It always seems to aggravate or cause overgrowth of yeasts such as candida albicans. Fruit acids and the toxic potassium found in today’s fruit also irritate the intestines. Most fruit is also sprayed with pesticides, and the residues often also irritate the intestines, even with organically grown fruit. Fruit requires pesticides in many areas to grow it at all. Even the natural pesticides used on organic fruit are somewhat toxic.
Interferes with sulfur metabolism. This may sound esoteric, but it is extremely important. Fruit is very low in sulfur, and sulfur is a critical nutrient. Many fruits also contain copper, a sulfur antagonist.
Cardiovascular problems. Fruit can weaken this body system and can cause a shortened lifespan, among other disorders and problems. Fructose affects copper metabolism, which may be the reason for its negative effects on the cardiovascular system.
Pain syndromes. Stopping all fruit and returning to a diet with plenty of cooked, and not raw, vegetables often stops joint pain and other types of pain within a few weeks. Causes for pain with fruit-eating may be a zinc deficiency, inflammation due to fruit acids, toxic potassium, too much sugar, or possibly other causes.
Diabetic symptoms. The combination of low zinc, a higher-sugar diet, and B-vitamin deficiencies that can develop from eating too much fruit may result in diabetic symptoms. The most prominent is often peripheral neuropathy, which causes tingling, burning or numbness in the legs and feet and rarely in the hands or elsewhere. Other symptoms may include frequent urination, fatigue, depression and others.
Weight gain. Many people believe that eating fruit will cause weight loss, and they are seriously disappointed. Fruit is not a low-calorie food. Also, eating sugar in any form causes weight gain by many mechanisms, such as stressing the insulin mechanism of the body, impairing the activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands, causing some water retention, and perhaps other mechanisms, as well. Yeast infestation from eating fruit can also cause bloating and weight gain.
Parasitic infections. Eating fruit makes the digestive tract much more yin and toxic with chemicals, in some cases. This makes the gut much more susceptible to parasites, which are “cold” infective organisms that love sugar. Other reasons may be that fruit may carry some parasitic organisms if it is not washed properly and is eaten raw. Also, a damaged and somewhat delicate digestive tract cannot protect itself against some parasites that are found commonly in some foods and water supplies.
Pesticide poisoning. This occurs because most fruit is sprayed heavily, even if it is advertised as being organically grown. Even natural pesticides that must be used on fruit can build up in the body in a toxic fashion, affecting the liver and kidneys, in particular.
Toxic metal poisoning. Those who eat a lot of fruit seem to be particularly prone to the accumulation of mercury and copper, perhaps because fruits lack the balancing element of zinc. High-fruit diets also lack sulfur-containing amino acids that are needed for liver detoxification of the metals and of many toxic chemicals as well.
Mental/emotional symptoms. These are very common and include anxiety, depression, irritability, and even panic attacks. We know this because when a person who is eating a lot of fruit and having any of these symptoms stops eating fruit, often these symptoms vanish within a few days to a few weeks. If a person has eaten fruit for a long time, symptoms may take longer to reverse. The cause of the symptoms can be the upsetting effects of a high-sugar diet, or perhaps the effects of candida albicans infection, which produces alcohol and acetaldehyde in the body.
Anger and belligerence. Another interesting symptom that occurs now and then is the development of a stubborn, and often belligerent and angry nature. This could be due to a zinc deficiency or perhaps a B-vitamin deficiency of some type. It may be due to a more yin condition, which makes a person more fearful and anxious.
Loss of mental acuity. This symptom, also called brain fog, is very common in those who eat a lot of fruit and sometimes seen in those who eat any fruit at all. It is often due to yeast overgrowth in the brain. Low iodine may also play a role, or perhaps low levels of some of the B-complex vitamins. Taking supplements of these nutrients may help, but frequently they are not enough to stop the progress of this mental degeneration that is very sad to observe.
Yin disease. This condition is a composite of many of the symptoms listed above. I refer to it as yin disease because it is a general change in the body toward a very yin overall condition. Symptoms usually include a feeling of malaise or weakness, often coupled with some of the symptoms mentioned above.
Slower mental development. Yin foods, or anything that makes the body more yin, appears to impair what is called on this website mental development. Also, eating sugar seems to impair this development. Also, fruit is very low in etheric energy, and this is needed for development today. To learn more about development, which is amazing, please read Mental Development and other articles on this subject on this website.
A shorter lifespan. In my experience, fruitarians shorten their lives, often significantly. Interestingly, they may live apparently healthfully for years, but suddenly their health declines and they die quickly at an earlier age than most other people. I do not know the exact cause, but it may have to do with depletion of some vital nutrient or the accumulation of a toxic substance due to fruit-eating. Eating food containing sugars also causes glycation, a toxic process that destroys the body eventually.
WHY DOES FRUIT-EATING CAUSE THESE PROBLEMS?
1. Fruit is one of the most yin foods one can eat. In the Macrobiotic conception of yin and yang, fruit is an extremely yin food. Yin refers to certain qualities such as cold, expanded, and sweet-tasting or sugary. Fruit also grows above ground and often up in the air, another quality associated with yin. In botanical terms, fruits are expanded ovaries of plants. This “body part” appears to make them even more yin.
In the traditional Chinese conception of yin and yang, fruit is not uniformly yin. However, it is uniformly yin in the macrobiotic view of yin and yang, and we find this to be most accurate. The problems with yin foods are:
1. Most people’s bodies today are already extremely yin. Eating more yin food tends to unbalance their bodies even more. This tends to cause more weakness and illness in the body, even though fruit is a source of certain vitamins and other nutrients. This is very important to know!
2. The problem of becoming yin is even worse if a person is a slow oxidizer (even more yin), if a person is ill (also more yin) or if the person eats large amounts of fruit. Eating more of a yin food tends to make the body even more yin.
3. Tropical fruits are even more yin, and thus the worst from this perspective. They include common fruits such as bananas, pineapple, coconut in all forms and preparations, dates, figs, papaya, citrus fruits and others. It also includes the tropical fruit drinks such as noni, goji, nopal, acai and others (see Tropical Fruit Drinks for more on this subject). A little of these is not too bad, but a lot is definitely very yin.
4. Eating anything raw is even more yin, and fruit is often eaten in the uncooked state.
5. Fruit juice is even more yin. It is more concentrated, contains much more sugar and less fiber to buffer the acids and sugars in the fruit.
For much more on the serious problem of yin with fruit, read Yin Disease and other articles about yin and yang on this website.
2. Fruit upsets the blood sugar level and causes excessive insulin release. The relatively high sugar content of almost all fruit causes this reaction. This adds stress to the body, can cause weight gain or impair weight loss, and causes other imbalances deep inside the cells.
Many people are unaware of the high sugar content of most fruit. It can be extremely high, especially with fruit juices, dried fruit or fruit that is packed or dipped in sugar. These are even worse than eating fresh fruit.
3. Fruit-eating often contributes to yeast overgrowth. Most people, even those who do not eat much fruit, already have an overgrowth of intestinal yeast such as candida albicans and others. This is due to toxic metal poisoning, and especially copper imbalance. Other mineral imbalances may also contribute, as does overeating on carbohydrate foods.
The high sugar content of most fruit worsens this important condition. The yin nature of fruit also tends to worsen all fungal and parasitic infections because fungus and yeast conditions are yin infections. That is, they tend to be cold and parasitic in nature. For more on this subject, read Candida Albicans Infections and Parasites on this website.
4. Fruit is a carbohydrate food, and most people are overeating on carbohydrates already.
5. Fruit dehydrates the body. This may seem very strange. Some health authorities even tell their followers that the water in fruits is “naturally distilled” and that one does not need to drink other water.
This is very bad advice. First, eating anything that contains sugar, including fruit, tends to cause dehydration due to an osmotic process in which sugar draws water with it wherever it goes.
Also, the water that is in fruits is not distilled at all. It contains many minerals, and unfortunately it often contains residues of pesticides, which are often used on fruits even if the fruit is supposedly organically grown. For more on this important subject, read Hydration on this site.
6. Fruit seems to send the body’s energy in an outward and upward direction. This is a very subtle, but critical problem perhaps related to the yin quality of fruit, and also with its sugar content.
Our bodies are polarized. Downward moving energy is healthy and life-giving, while upward moving energy and outward-moving energy is not as healthful. For more on this, read Downward-moving Energy And Healing.
7. Fruit is quite harmful for babies and children, as it enhances the oxidation rate, especially in the short term. This is a stimulatory effect due to its low fat content and higher sugar content. This is particularly harmful for younger children, whose oxidation rate is already too fast.
For this reason, please do not give babies and children ANY fruit or fruit juices, or for that matter, any sweets at all. This is hard for many parents, since children often love sweets and doctors and television personalities often recommend it highly. They are wrong! It will help your child’s health immensely if you keep them away from all sweet foods, including fruit and fruit juices of all kinds. This is very important for children.
Some people may respond to the above by saying that milk is sweet, and milk is good for babies. This is true. However, milk also contains a lot of fat and protein. This counteracts some of the yin and the other effects of the milk sugar. Also, milk sugar or lactose is a disaccharide and is therefore burned or utilized more slowly than fructose or glucose found in fruit.
8. Fruit can actually be acid-forming in the body. I know that this statement goes against that which is found in most nutrition books. However, we find it to be true in clinical practice. Several reasons for this are:
A. Fruit acids. Textbooks of nutrition often say that even though fruit contains some mild acids, the mineral content of the fruit eventually causes an alkaline reaction in the body. However, we find that this is no longer the case because of the genetic modification of fruit and its lower mineral content today. As a result, the acids in the fruit can give many fruits an overall acidic reaction, which is not healthful at all. This applies particularly to acidic fruits such as citrus, which is often picked unripe and never ripens properly. However, it applies to other fruits, as well.
B. Fruit sugars. Sugars tend to be acid-forming in their internal reaction, especially fructose.
C. Imbalanced minerals in most fruit today. The mineral content of fruit is not optimum for our bodies. Today, this is due in part to the use of superphosphate fertilizers used on most farms, including organic fruit orchards. The mineral content seems to cause unpleasant reactions and deficiencies of zinc, in particular, especially if one eats a lot of it. It does not seem to matter if the fruit is organically grown. More on this topic is found in the article entitled The Acid-Alkaline Balance.
9. Fructose, a prominent sugar in fruit, is one of the worst sugars to consume. Fructose does not directly raise the blood sugar as fast as glucose, for example. Instead, it is sent directly to the liver, where it should be converted to glucose. However, most people cannot process it very well and it can instead be converted to triglycerides and other fats. This is related to obesity, in some cases.
Medical evidence also indicates that fructose may interfere with copper metabolism, is inflammatory, and may contribute to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Read more about fructose in the article entitled Fructose.
10. Fruit-eating is often damaging to the enamel of the teeth. Fruit acids can damage the dentin or outside layer of the teeth. This is well known by some dentists, and is another reason be careful with eating fruit. The worst offenders are the acid fruits, such as citrus – oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.
11. Fruit is often sprayed with pesticides, even if labeled organic. In order for fruit to grow in most areas, particularly some parts of the United States, it needs to be sprayed. Even if fruit is labeled organic, it is often laced with some pesticides and insecticides, even if they are natural ones. Many of them, even the natural sprays, add more toxins to the fruit.
One of the most commonly sprayed fruits are grapes grown to make wines. We find that people who drink a lot of wine usually have higher levels of arsenic and often lead in their hair. Lead arsenate and other compounds containing these metals are often sprayed on grapes.
Also, even organically grown fruit can suffer from the residues of pesticides and other chemicals that had formerly been sprayed on the fruit, or small quantities that somehow find their way into the fruit. Because fruit is so yin, it picks up more of some toxic metals that are less yin such as lead and some chemicals.
12. Genetic Modification and Hybridization. Fruit today is not the same as it was 100 years ago. Modern fruit is often hybridized and genetically modified. Few people realize this unless, perhaps, you have an old crab apple tree where the fruit was small and it was not as sweet as it is today.
Most fruit today is grown for mass consumption and is larger, sweeter, less nutritious, lower in mineral content, and for these reasons even more expanded or yin. For more, read GMO Foods on this site.
13. Fruit seems to tire out the body. I am not sure why it is so, but eating fruit seems to have an irritating quality for many people. Perhaps this is due to upsetting the yin and yang balance, or just its higher sugar content.
Also, the seeds of some fruits are slightly toxic, such as seeds of apples, peaches, pears, strawberries, blueberries and others. This may also tire the body somewhat when eaten regularly. Eating very cold foods, such as fruit kept in a refrigerator, is even worse. The body literally has to warm up the food, which may also tire it somewhat.
14. Fruit is rich in potassium, but a lot of it is a toxic form of potassium. I say this because people who eat a lot of fruit, when placed on a nutritional balancing program, often begin to eliminate a biounavailable form of potassium. When it is gone, the person often begins to feel much better.
I suspect this potassium compound must have come from eating fruit because those with the potassium problem almost always have a history of enjoying a lot of fruit in their diets. Fruits, more than other foods, seem to take up a lot of toxic potassium from N-P-K fertilizers or superphosphate fertilizers that are used on almost all fruit trees, even organic commercial fruit-growing operations.
This potassium compound may also interfere with the absorption and utilization of other important trace minerals in the diet. Although fruit-eating is the main cause of an accumulation of toxic potassium, there are other causes of toxic potassium. For more, please read Toxic Potassium on this website.
15. Cleanliness can be a problem with some fruit. Fruit may be picked by hand by workers whose cleanliness is not always the best. The surface of the fruit always contains bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms. If it is not washed thoroughly, eating it can cause hepatitis, parasites and other subtle infections.
If you must eat fruit, always wash it carefully and never eat it right from the store or even from a tree, without washing it carefully. Also, do not leave fruit sitting out on the kitchen counter overnight and then eat it without washing it again. Fruit attracts flies, mites, ticks and other tiny insects that can quickly infect the fruit with disease.
16. Eating a lot of fruit can demineralize the body. This appears to occur because eating a lot of fruit raises the sodium and potassium level of the tissues. This, in turn, lowers calcium and magnesium in the soft tissues, in part because sodium and potassium are solvent monovalent minerals.
There may be other reasons for mineral depletion as well, such as the upsetting effects of sugar on the body, the pH of fruit, the improper balance of minerals in many fruits, and more. The two minerals most affected are calcium and magnesium, which are already somewhat low in most people. This, in fact, is a tragedy.
FRUIT-EATING AND HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS
1. The oxidation rate. Fruit tends to unbalance the oxidation rate, in general. Therefore, those who eat a lot of fruit may have a very fast oxidation rate, or a very slow oxidation rate. Many factors can do this, however, so it is just an observation.
2. Beam Me Up pattern. Those who eat a lot of fruit sometimes have a hair mineral analysis pattern I call Beam me up, Scottie pattern. It is a fast oxidation rate, often with a good or fair sodium/potassium ratio. It is a tipoff that a person may be consuming a lot of fruit. For more on this pattern, please read Beam Me Up Pattern on this website.
WHAT IF I CRAVE FRUITS?
When the body is out of balance or ill, food cravings are common. These slowly disappear with a nutritional balancing program. Sometimes the cause is low protein or low fat in the diet. This is common with vegetarians, for example, who do not eat enough meat or eggs. Other reasons are low levels of zinc, manganese or chromium, which is also very common.
To reduce cravings for fruit, be sure to eat every few hours and be sure to include some animal protein and perhaps a little fat or oil with most meals, especially if you are in a fast oxidation state.
If you must eat a little fruit. For those who cannot stop their fruit intake immediately, here are some guidelines:
a) Eat as little fruit as possible.
b) Eat fruit from heirloom (or very old) trees, as it will be less hybridized.
c) Eat smaller, cold-weather fruits such as a little apple, peach, pear or a few berries either by themselves or perhaps added to some raw milk yogurt.
d) Ideally, eat fruit alone as a snack. It does not combine well with other foods.
e) Totally avoid all fruit juices, dried fruit, canned fruit packed in sugar, and all tropical and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Sub-tropical fruit to definitely avoid are coconut, avocado, dates, figs and other sub-tropical fruits. This is true for babies and children as well.
f) Dried fruit is more yin in some ways, and certainly more sugary. Avoid it, please, even as a snack. It is far better to eat some leftover cooked vegetables, turkey or beef jerky, almond butter, blue corn chips, a piece of cheese or other protein-rich snacks, than a piece of dried or fresh fruit.
WHAT ABOUT EATING VEGETABLES THAT ARE REALLY FRUITS?
In a word, avoid most of them except for peas, green beans, winter squashes and a few olives! So-called vegetables that are really fruit are those with seeds, such as:
All tomatoes (red, green, cherry, and others).
All peppers (red, green, and hot chili peppers).
All squashes (zucchini, summer squash, butternut, spaghetti, acorn and perhaps others).
Others include okra, cucumbers, eggplant, olives, peas and string beans.
Recommendations. Peas and string beans are not too yin, and are excellent foods to eat as often as one likes. Olives and okra are not too yin, and okay to eat, although I don’t recommend eating them too often. Olive oil is okay to use, but it is yin. Butter is better for cooking and to put on things. The olive is an unusual fruit in that it is not too sweet.
Winter squashes (spaghetti squash, butternut squash and acorn squash) are not too yin, and may be eaten up to twice a week if one wishes. However, summer squashes (zucchini, sunburst, yellow squash or others) are more yin. They are not recommended at all, or only on rare occasions.
I suggest avoiding the rest of the so-called vegetables that are really fruits. These are all of the nightshade family vegetables. These include all tomatoes, white and red potatoes, peppers of all kinds, and eggplant. These foods are all quite yin, and they contain a toxin called solanin that is irritating and inflammatory.
Always cook vegetables and do not eat them raw.
WHAT ABOUT CONSUMING FRUIT OILS SUCH AS OLIVE, GRAPE SEED, COCONUT AND PALM OILS?
Olive oil is okay, but not as good as butter. Grapeseed oil is another fruit oil. It is also okay, but not as good as butter, a much more yang fat.
Coconut oil and palm oil are not good, no matter what other benefits they have. A little is okay now and then, but do not use them regularly, no matter how nutritious they may be.
One can also buy walnut oil, hazelnut oil and other nut oils. These are also fruit oils, and they are also very yin. I would avoid them.