Monday, November 15, 2010

Fruit Fail

My healthy diet doesn't include fruit. Shocked? You're not alone: this surprises people who continually hear "eat lots of fruits and vegetables!"

I initially stopped eating fruit when I read Norm Robillard's theory of carbohydrates causing acid reflux in susceptible individuals. I found fruit to be the worst food for giving me acid reflux, and I've rarely touched it since. Anytime I have, I've almost always regretted it within 20 minutes. Non-starchy vegetables quickly became a much bigger part of my diet: they're low-carb and full of nutrients.

Am I missing anything by avoiding fruit? Lots of vitamin C and fiber? I made a chart to find out. Using, I chose five fruits and five vegetables that I eat (or used to eat) and looked up how much of certain vitamins they contained. I chose vitamins that most of them had at least of little of. I also noted their total carb and fiber content.

(Click for larger image.) Note that the bottom lines are averages, not totals. (I never ate five cups of fruits or veg a day; I doubt many people do.) For vitamins A, C and K, the vegetables listed are the runaway winners. Vitamins A and K are fat soluble, meaning they have to be eaten with fat to be absorbed. How often do people eat the fruits listed with something that has fat in it? I know I didn't before going low-carb. I eat veg with salad dressing, butter, olive oil or ranch dip.

It looks like I'd get a little bit more folate and two more grams of fiber from the fruit--and a lot more carbohydrate--23 grams per cup, on average. The carbohydrate in fruit is mostly sugar. It may be natural, but it's still sugar. If you're concerned about blood glucose levels, weight gain, your teeth, and a variety of other health issues, sugar in anything but very modest amounts is bad news.


Brooksie said...

Thanks for sharing this, I eat about two pieces of fruit a month and have done this for several years now. I cut way back on fruit consumption because is bothers my hypoglycemia, I pretty much listen to what my body tells me to do and I find that works the best. I am glad to know I am not alone.

Lori Miller said...

Brooksie, you're definitely not alone in eating very little fruit. My mom mostly leaves it alone (it jacks up her blood sugar) and Norm Robillard says he generally avoids it, too. Robillard adds that he uses a squirt of lemon or lime for flavoring, as do I. Dr. Atkins wrote that he had some patients who were so carb intolerant that they couldn't even eat the green salads he recommended on his diet.