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Connecting Dots: Fruit is Real Food; Eat It

Hope you all had a great long weekend, as did I. I didn’t read a lick of diet, fitness & health "crap," instead spending most of the time outdoors — in the sun when available — eating well, drinking well, and reading some classic fiction for a change (Heinlein, if you must know).

I’ve been eating more fruit, lately, have been enjoying it, and might just continue to do that. For one, it’s pretty self limiting for me. Since I’m typically eating it in conjunction with something else — such as with eggs and a breakfast meat, or perhaps after a meal as a surrogate for "dessert " — it’s rarely huge. In no way am I eating the pounds of it the raw vegan fruitarians do. And no, I haven’t bothered with sticking pins and needles in my fingers to make sure that feeling normal and good after eating a few helpings of fruit is not "spiking" my blood sugar and insulin. It may be. Don’t know — probably is a bit — don’t care.

…I should probably post on that too, one of these days, but to bottom line it: acute spikes in blood glucose and subsequently, insulin, in healthy people, constitute a perfectly normal physiological cause/effect. The problem is with chronically raised blood sugar and consequent chronically elevated fasting insulin. The latter is insulin resistance and the former is normal.

So once I got back into the swing of reading everything I’d  missed over the last few days I was quickly led to yet another Denise Minger masterpiece: Wild and Ancient Fruit: Is it Really Small, Bitter, and Low in Sugar? Uh, in a 4-letter word, fuck no.

fruit monkey orange
Monkey Orange

Sure looks "fibrous, small, and tart" to me. Here’s Denise:

Contrary to popular belief, wild fruit—including the stuff we would’ve had access to during our evolution—is not necessarily any of the above. In fact, it can be bigger, tastier, and sweeter than anything you’ll ever find in the aisles of your grocery store.

Fruit is decidedly sparser once you get out of the tropics, but considering we were stationed in Africa until about 50,000 years ago, the flora of a backyard in Michigan might not be a great reflection of the plant life we encountered for the majority of our evolution. As a result, comparisons of cold-climate fruits to their wild ancestors (for instance, a Red Delicious versus a crab apple) tend to be misleading, and tropical fruits may offer more insight. Although we’ll probably never get a clear picture of the exact fruits available to early humans, we can look at the wild fruits growing today to get an idea of what nature is capable of producing on its own.

There’s a great book called “Lost Crops of Africa” (readable online) that has a brilliant section on wild fruit. The authors start by describing the vastness of Africa’s wild fruit supply:

Most of Africa’s edible native fruits are wild. One compilation lists over 1000 different species from 85 botanical families and even that assessment is probably incomplete. Among all those fruit-bearing plants, many of the individual specimens growing within Africa are sheltered and protected, some are even carefully tended, but few have been selected to bring out their best qualities, let alone deliberately cultivated or maintained through generations. They remain untamed. … Africa’s wild-fruit wealth is essentially unknown to science.

I won’t steal any more of her thunder or marvelous images of delectable looking fruit. Go check out the post.

As to connecting a dot or two, I always find it interesting that as soon as I begin to question something or even become more aware of an issue and begin to ponder, it’s never long until something comes along to grab my attention. In this case, first thing this morning: The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: a randomized controlled trial. (via @chrismasterjohn)

One of the proposed causes of obesity and metabolic syndrome is the excessive intake of products containing added sugars, in particular, fructose. Although the ability of excessive intake of fructose to induce metabolic syndrome is mounting, to date, no study has addressed whether a diet specifically lowering fructose but not total carbohydrates can reduce features of metabolic syndrome. A total of 131 patients were randomized to compare the short-term effects of 2 energy-restricted diets-a low-fructose diet vs a moderate natural fructose diet-on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters. Patients were randomized to receive 1500, 1800, or 2000 cal diets according to sex, age, and height. Because natural fructose might be differently absorbed compared with fructose from added sugars, we randomized obese subjects to either a low-fructose diet (<20 g/d) or a moderate-fructose diet with natural fruit supplements (50-70 g/d) and compared the effects of both diets on the primary outcome of weight loss in a 6-week follow-up period. Blood pressure, lipid profile, serum glucose, insulin resistance, uric acid, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and quality of life scores were included as secondary outcomes. One hundred two (78%) of the 131 participants were women, mean age was 38.8 ± 8.8 years, and the mean body mass index was 32.4 ± 4.5 kg/m(2). Each intervention diet was associated with significant weight loss compared with baseline. Weight loss was higher in the moderate natural fructose group (4.19 ± 0.30 kg) than the low-fructose group (2.83 ± 0.29 kg) (P = .0016). Compared with baseline, each intervention diet was associated with significant improvement in secondary outcomes. Reduction of energy and added fructose intake may represent an important therapeutic target to reduce the frequency of obesity and diabetes. For weight loss achievement, an energy-restricted moderate natural fructose diet was superior to a low-fructose diet. [emphasis added]

According to subsequent Tweets by Chris, this was apparently grains vs. fruit, so I guess you can take it with a grain of salt, too. But I think the wider and more general point to take is that a level of natural, real food fructose of ~60 grams per day was not harmful. A medium raw apple has about 10g of fructose, so you’re talking the equivalent of about a half dozen apples per day. A banana is about 6g, so ten of those (source: nutritiondata.com). For me, that’s more fruit than I would almost ever eat, except the once or twice per year I’ll eat a whole watermelon (150g fructose) or a couple of pounds of ripe bing cherries in season (50g fructose). You might take note that a coupla 12-16 ounce flavored sugar water drinks (they euphemistically call them Coke & Pepsi) per day get’s you in that 50-70g fructose range. And without benefit, if it exists, of fiber — but that’s nature’s way of delivering fructose, normally. No fruit for you!

But here’s why I’d not been much interested to blog lately, and then jumped on this with gusto this morning: we’re learning. What are we learning? Well…this just in via email from Chris Masterjohn, with his take on the full text of the study (with permission to quote him).

Both groups eliminated "added sugars from processed fruit juices and punch; sugar-sweetened soft drinks and beverages; and bakery products such as pies, cakes, strudels, doughnuts, and cookies, in addition to dairy dessert, chocolate, candy, and dried fruits." Members of both groups were overweight, reduced their calories based on a formula that took into account their age, sex, and height. Both diets were 55 percent carbohydrate. One group restricted total fructose to 20 grams per day, while the other group only restricted fructose to 50-70 grams per day, consuming roughly 30 percent of their calories as fruit. The low-fructose group primarily ate cereal grains in the place of fruit. The group eating more fruit rather than grains had a statistically significantly greater loss of weight, and had a somewhat greater loss of fat and somewhat greater improvements in blood glucose and insulin sensitivity, which approached but did not quite reach statistical significance. Ultimately what this study shows is that, over the course of six weeks, fruit produces better weight loss than cereal grains.

Unfortunately, the study did not include a group that continued eating added sweeteners and junk food, so there is no way to determine the effect of eliminating these foods and to distinguish it from the effects of caloric restriction or other confounders that are naturally present with enrollment in a study. Ideally, we would have liked to see the study include groups eating "paleo" safe starches or low-carb diets so we could make those comparisons as well.

Overall, the good news that comes with this study is not the rather small increase in knowledge about the short-term clinical effects of fresh fruit compared to grains, but rather the clear indication that some researchers are well aware of the need to study the effects of natural fruits and take them into account when studying "fructose." This means we should see more and more evidence in the future that can clarify just what the role of fresh fruits are in a healthy diet.

Yea, this came in (because of a Tweet I sent him) just as I was about to write, in summation, that it’s not about carbohydrates and now, apparently, not even about fructose. What it seems to me to be shaping up to is that real, whole foods that you get yourself and "process" yourself, with care and love is really the fundamental key. Yes, I do understand that some people are going to do well or better on very low carb intake, either because of insulin resistance (Type II Diabetes) or because of a significantly compromised metabolism over decades of abuse. I’m very quickly dismissing the notion that low carb is essential for more than a small minority and I think eating a reasonable amount of fruit will be fine, perhaps beneficial, for the large majority.

In a subsequent post soon I am going to address — head on — the issue of "individual optimality." Hopefully, we’ve dispensed with the notion that there is any such thing as optimal for any large group and certainly not, an entire population.

Tired of dogma, from all stripes & corners? Then energize the thing. Let’s go. Like & Tweet buttons have been provided up top for your convenience.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

174 Comments

  1. Uziel on May 31, 2011 at 12:00

    While I subscribe to your RSS feed, I generally don’t have any comments, but I have to ask. Which Heinlein work were you reading? He’s my favorite author.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 12:15

      I’m not a big fiction reader because all the non-fiction crowds it out. Have wanted to read him for a long time and have had a number of his books for a long time. Of course, I’m starting off with “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

      We’ll see. Loved Sci-Fi as a kid and I do love Sci-Fi films. But that’s total fantasy and is only a 2-hr investyment. So far, I’m the teentsiest bit impatient with the newspeak, but at least looking forward to how the story develops.



    • Be on May 31, 2011 at 18:33

      You have chosen well Grasshopper! I have read all his works and the only other one I really recommend is “Strangers in a Strange Land” – maybe even mores so for you sir.



    • susan on May 31, 2011 at 21:12

      I read Stranger in a Strange Land when I was twelve and I became hooked on Heinlein at that time. Man that was a long time ago!



    • Bushrat on June 2, 2011 at 02:33

      The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is his best work. After a while you don’t notice the lingo. In fact, by the end you kind of wish more people spoke that way. To disagree with practically everyone else alive, I thought Stranger in a Strange Land was over rated. His most ambitious, and arguably most impressive work, is Time Enough For Love.



    • Joanne Unleashed on July 23, 2011 at 08:13

      Bushrat, I’ve read all of Heinlein’s work and completely agree that The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress was his best book. I also agree that Stranger in a Strange Land was overrated. My favorite story of all was the one about Dora and Buck from Time Enough for Love.



    • rob on June 1, 2011 at 13:11

      I’ve read Heinlein, probably my favorite is “The Number Of The Beast”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Number_of_the_Beast_%28novel%29

      One hell of an entertaining novel.



  2. Grok on May 31, 2011 at 12:05

    Evil Frooktos!!!!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 12:44

      Hey Grok:

      If you’d had a steak or even a can of tuna this morning I might have expected you to say something like:

      “It’s important to distinguish between fructose we evolved to eat — such as in fruit — and that we didn’t — such as in a bunch of cans of soda every day.”

      In other words, your comment is dishonest, on its face; truthful, but dishonest. Ever contemplated the difference, how you can tell the truth, while being dishonest? Context? You know the blog as well as anyone and thus, not making critical distinctions while being technically true, is dishonest.

      Nope, fructose is not evil. It’s a natural sugar and in its natural form does not appear to cause harm and in normal doses is likely beneficial.

      That’s not what the food processors do.

      Look, it would not annoy me if some random stranger logged the same comment you did, but more is expected of you.



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 13:02

      You made me smile this morning Richard 🙂 I still have about 2lbs of tuna sushi/sashimi trying to process in there from Sunday night 😉

      “Nope, fructose is not evil. It’s a natural sugar and in its natural form does not appear to cause harm and in normal doses is likely beneficial.”

      Since they paleosphere generally doesn’t drink cans of soda and I’m a known fruit eater, I assumed that 2 and 2 might be put together 🙂



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 13:09

      My fucking goal in life: Make Castle Grok smile.



    • Michael on May 31, 2011 at 17:35

      Did I miss something? When did you start eating animal foods again?



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 13:14

      P.S. I’ll keep the comments here a little more intelligent. Promise! I’ll save the two word sentences for paleohacks where they’ll be lost in a sea of dogma.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 13:15

      NDH: No Dogma Here. Promise.



    • Pundit on May 31, 2011 at 16:04

      Richard, do you eat only food that you hunt and gather yourself with your own hands or do you also eat food that is processed, packaged, transported and stored by a chain of various employees?



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:24

      Pundit:

      Do you go fuck yourself every day, or just every other?



    • Daniel on June 2, 2011 at 17:59

      Haha oh my god that is the funniest damn thing I’ve ever read!



    • Paleo Josh on June 2, 2011 at 21:27

      YEs! Why this is becoming my favorite paleo blog.



  3. Monte Diaz on May 31, 2011 at 12:22

    There is such a thing as optimal. Good luck to whomever tries to define it though. Because the “optimal” diet is not only going to be different for each individual….it changes within an individual on a daily and even hourly basis. Thus the macros in a “optimal” diet are always 1. Intuition 2. Variance. Not so much in the “what” but the “how much” of each.

    Deficiencies, toxic overloads, and industrialized hyperpalatability have derailed us. “Instinctos” unite!

  4. David H on May 31, 2011 at 12:33

    I can agree. It probably has to do that the sugar in fruit is in the natural delta-fructose (I think) configuration that we are meant to eat. The Industrial crap is the gamma-fructose configuration which is the one fattening us most likely. The shape of a molecule is really important in determining its effects. Once again the lesson is to eat real food. Probably the real deal doesn’t hurt at all unless you’re chugging it down like 30 BAD.

  5. KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 12:43

    As someone who is surrounded by fruit orchards, I can tell you that in the middle of the summer I can pack on the pounds. You eat 3 or 4 nectarines or pears per day and you can watch your ass grow. Not as efficiently as wheat but nonetheless it’s fast.

    Furthermore, they need to stop using obese people in these studies. Their metabolism is already torqued.

    Sugar is sugar. Whether it’s from a coke can or a cantaloupe.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 12:57

      “I can pack on the pounds.”

      Yep. Now let’s wait for someone to weigh in who looses pounds, for whatever reason.



    • Jake on May 31, 2011 at 13:01

      Just wait. I’m sure it’ll be a fruitarian or such 🙂



    • KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 13:04

      It will be short-term. Most likely due to increased peristalsis.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 13:08

      OK, so almost nobody can eat a moderate amount of fruit, be healthy, fit and lean, unless they have energy gobbling poop shoot muscles.

      OkAyyyyy.



    • Jake on May 31, 2011 at 13:26

      I think you would be okay eating fruit if you’ve fixed the insulin resistance caused by SAD.I know there are some people who have metabolisms where they can eat anything and still lose weight or maintain…and I’m jealous. But I think they’re the exception, not the majority. It would be worth it to try the standard 30 day “elimination diet” and see which works.



    • KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 13:27

      That depends on the definition of moderate.

      Fruit is a vehicle for sugar and sorbitol and that’s all it is.

      People need to stop doing these mental gymnastics in order to justify it’s consumption. I’m not advocating the elimination of fruit from your diet, that’s your choice. Just don’t convince yourself it’s healthy.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 14:37

      This is simply not true. There are important nutrients in fruit, just as there are in animal products and news flash: we need nutrients.

      What this shows is that a fairly decent amount of fruit in an otherwise healthy person is not harmful and could be beneficial.

      Go figure. And we didn’t evolve a microsecond eating even a gram of it. …Oh, and do not read Denise’s posts. That’s not ancient fruit that wasn’t selectively bread. That’s mere blog props.



    • KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 16:17

      With all due respect, fruit has very little nutritional value when compared to vegetables. So to argue that fruit is important nutritionally is an overstatement.

      People eat fruit for one reason and one reason only: It’s loaded with sugar and that’s what people are looking for. People, for the most part, are addicted to sugar whether they know it or not. Hence the constant debate.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:31

      Let’s see, 50g or so of sugar is 200 calories, about a 12th of caloric intake. Add in another 100g or so of starch for a total carbage of maybe 25% of energy.

      Look out. Heroin is certainly on the horizon.

      Sheesh, some of you folks really make me glad of blogging as I do.



    • rob on May 31, 2011 at 16:40

      I think vegetables are over rated when it comes to nutritional value, back when I was low-carbing it sometimes I ate three pounds of cruciferous vegetables a day, let me tell you that it does not feel terribly good in your stomach, and it does nothing to provide you with protein, fat or carbs, so aside from the fiber what’s the point?

      I still eat them to fill up when I am really hungry but it’s like eating hay, it’s just a filler that you crap out the next morning, vegetables can be categorized by their utter lack of nutritional value.

      Animal flesh, starches, even for quick bursts of energy fruit are valuable, but vegetables are the poor cousins of the nutritional world, I am taking out a 12 ounce bag of broccoli and here is the nutrition:

      calories = 100
      fat = 0g
      protein = 4g
      carbs = 16g but 8g of that is fiber, 2g is sugar

      How do you not starve to death on a diet of vegetables?

      I agree that many people gorge on fruit products because they are addicted to sugar but vegetables are no great thing either, unless you want to crap like a hippopotamus.



    • KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 16:46

      You’re on the right track because heroin doesn’t jack up your triglycerides and blood pressure like fructose.

      It’s just a little harder on your wallet

      🙂



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:50

      Still waiting for my trigs to measure over 50 or my BP to go back up. Fruit has always been part of my path, but I don’t eat tons of it, nor do I eat it all the time. Every now and then, I gorge on it. Twice so far this year, by my recollection.



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 17:33

      Ha-ha. Funny shit eh Richard? This is the plant ignorance I’ve been battling since I dumped VLC/LC paleo and tried veganism for the better part of a year and a half. I truly believe these people will never understand until they’ve run the course.



    • keithallenlaw on May 31, 2011 at 18:23

      …and that’s exactly why old world fruit has been molested to be sweeter and sweeter, FOR that reason.

      But on the flip side, things that are bitter are usually that way to warn us of a poisonous alkaloid presence. Not always.

      This stirs up a good question. Are there any active deadly poisonous sweets in nature, besides the slow death from life long consumption?



    • Pundit on June 1, 2011 at 11:00

      Karmapolice, here is the actual nutritional value of broccoli;

      Veggies are good for you.

      However, eating 3 pounds of broccoli or cauliflower per day sounds like more of a psychological food obsession than anything else. Who told you to do this and why?

      The problem with most ideological foodies is that have OCD around food and are completely out of touch with the concept of “balance”.

      As far as people eating fruits only for the sugar buzz, not I. I eat berries for their antioxidant and nutritional value and papaya and its seeds as a digestive aid and cleanser when I’m sick.

      Other than that I do not eat fruit everday.



    • Curmujeon on June 1, 2011 at 08:26

      Yes, I find once I get started on fruit, it’s hard to stop. Anything with sugar. It’s easier not to get started in the first place. Happened with my niece and blueberries. Three kid sized bowls and she was still asking for more. I said no and got her busy with other things and she forgot she wanted blueberries.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 08:49

      I , as others have mentioned, find that fruit actually increases satiety, particularly a piece or two after dinner. Keeps me from heading to the huts in the cupboard at 10pm in front of the TeeVee.



    • Paul on June 1, 2011 at 12:10

      We even use a little bit of fructose directly. Its the main energy source of sperm.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semen



    • Grok on June 1, 2011 at 12:15

      Curmuleon, a growing child eats less than 250 calories/60 carbs (3 cups) of blueberries an you’re surprised she was still asking for more?

      Maybe it’s just me… but as long as it’s real whole food they’re eating, doesn’t seem like we should be questioning how much a child wants. Sound reasonable? When in our past or any animal’s past have we tried to limit our offspring’s consumption? This is a question.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 13:16

      Interesting, Paul. Without digging, that would suggest to me a very deep evolutionary adaption, like glucose metabolism in cells.

      Poison indeed.



    • Paul on June 1, 2011 at 14:26

      Fructose has always struck me as the odd man out in Kurt Harris’s Neolithic Agents of Disease. Our evolutionary history with fructose and gluten couldn’t be more different.

      I have no idea what the optimal fructose intake is, but I’m betting its not zero.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 14:40

      Certainly not if sperm use it, per a previous comment. That’s deep selection.



    • Pundit on June 1, 2011 at 14:45

      Rob, by mistake I addressed my 2 comments regarding the vitamin and mineral content of broccoli and other veggies below to Karmapolice instead of you.



    • keithallenlaw on June 1, 2011 at 19:31

      Don’t think Grok gave one iota about antioxidants and if certain food groups were good or bad for him. Ate what was available and tasted good.



    • jenny on May 31, 2011 at 13:31

      energy gobbling poop shoot muscles.

      you may have reached the pinnacle of your writing prowess. there may never be another phrase to top that.

      i am a little disturbed with this obsession with “lean” and assuming that anything above 12% body fat is a sign of ill health.

      and this whole sugar is sugar is sugar thing…i guess so, but eating a banana or eating a spoonful of table sugar is similar to chewing a coca leaf or snorting a line of cocaine.



    • KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 13:54

      “but eating a banana or eating a spoonful of table sugar is similar to chewing a coca leaf or snorting a line of cocaine.”

      That depends on the size of the line. As the metabolism is exactly the same.



    • Pundit on June 1, 2011 at 12:31

      People need to eat veggies for their vitamin and mineral content, which I see you conveniently did not list when you laid out the “nutritional value” of broccoli.

      To get your facts straight, go here

      You can get your protein and fats from other sources, but for vitamins and minerals you need to eat veggies.

      I don’t know anyone who exclusively eats veggies specifically for “fat and protein”.



    • keithallenlaw on June 1, 2011 at 19:35

      Horse shit! Pedal that crap elsewhere. The majority of the smart folks around here doesn’t by it.



    • Jenny on June 3, 2011 at 05:54

      There are too many Jennys in the world. We must knife fight now.



    • WeeMike on May 31, 2011 at 13:44

      Seriously – 3 or 4 nectarines and you put on weight, are you sure they are not GM fruit? 😉

      I work on an apple orchard here in the UK where we also grow lots of other fruit, including berries – and yes OK I work a hard manual labour job, but I can eat 3-4 apples, pears and plums plus a bowl full of berries on top of that each and every day during the summer months and I still didn’t put on any weight.

      It may have something to do with not feeling hungry afterwards and I would normally skip a meal, but throughout last summer I didn’t put on a pound of weight.

      This year will be different though, I’ll be eating the same again and hoping with fingers crossed that I will put on some weight because i’m on a fitness kick where I’m building muscles mass and strength – so I’ll see how increasing my fruit intake that much will effect my body size and shape.



    • Melissa McEwen on May 31, 2011 at 13:54

      I have spent extensive time at fruit orchards and I don’t gain weight. In fact I lose it. BUT I do become more jittery, irritable, and anxious. No fun.



  6. Jake on May 31, 2011 at 12:49

    Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love fruit. I could sit down and eat a 2lb box of blueberries from Costco in a sitting and not think anything of it.

    However, it seems that glucose/fructose (and associated fruit), and carbs are causing me to not to get lean. So I’m on a 30 day cyclic ketogenic experiment to see how I do. If I do great, I’ll continue it, but if not, I’ll go back to eating fruit (well, in reasonable quantities).

    Yeah, optimality of diets for one large population is a crock, so thanks for bringing it up 🙂

    I’ve seen through my medical/health/diet journey over the last couple years that I usually end up being the exception to the rule. So while I love studies, I realize that n=1, and I have to experiment to get my body where it needs to be.

    • Anivair on June 2, 2011 at 12:44

      Seems to me that it’s all about what you want to do (ie: what your goals are). If you have weight to lose and your goal is to lean out, then may off the fruit for the most part. eat a little if you crave it, but don’t make it a regular thing.

      If you are as lean as you care to be and/or you’re not trying to lose weight, then eat fruit all you like.

      Fruit isn’t bad for you. it might not help you lose weight, but lots of things fall into that category.



  7. Contemplationist on May 31, 2011 at 12:53

    Richard

    I agree with the thrust of your post, however, the tactic of using an admittedly flawed study comparing HealthyWholeGrains(TM) with fructose is not cool. This is probably no better than an n=1 anecdote as it doesn’t show us what you used it for, which you and Chris admitted! Why include it as a support then?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 12:58

      Contemplationist:

      I stated it clearly. 50-70g fructose did no harm. That’s the huge taking.



    • Ned Kock on May 31, 2011 at 15:44

      The combination of fructose+glucose found in fruits seems to turn the liver into a “sugar sponge”:

      http://bit.ly/edzA7t

      What seems to make all the difference is the delivery method, which may be influenced by a number of factors. An important one, in my view, is the need to chew fruits.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:14

      Ned, that ia an awesome post from a year ago and contributes super well to this discussion. I agree with everything in it.

      Thanks for linking it up.



    • Poisonguy on June 1, 2011 at 00:49

      I enjoyed the mention of Lustig in your post. Most people know Lustig from his viral video, but he’s been at this for a long time (top expert in child obesity) and is one of the most pragmatic characters around (everyone needs to pubmed his name and download his free articles). He knows what’s he’s taking about.

      On a semi-related matter, in pharmacology, efficacy is generally associated to the area under the curve (AUC), while the maximum concentration partners with safety/toxicity. This principle relates to fruits, too. The fiber in fruits slows down absorption of the fructose and leads to a more attenuated C(max); AUC doesn’t change, but you get a lower peak concentration, which translates to lesser toxicity. Especially if the liver glycogen is depleted.



  8. Shanta on May 31, 2011 at 13:13

    Just today my internist told me to drop the fruit completely (among other things) for weight loss.

    I can’t help thinking about the bears that eat berries all summer long to fatten up for the winter.

    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 14:02

      I don’t study bear physiology, but it seems like a bear might have a metabolism that is at a virtual standstill after hibernating all winter? Eating almost anything would cause them to gain weight. Not unlike a long term reduced calorie human dieter. In the bears case, this is a good thing. Their body knows what it’s up against for the next winter.

      Couldn’t be the gorging on virtually endless amounts of fatty fish all day long. Must be the small percentage of calories from berries making them fat. The fact is, it’s both. The combo. The bear knows. He’s trying to gain weight. Survival depends on it.

      There’s a very simple age old concept when it comes to weight gain/loss that seems very tough for people to grasp. Eat low-fat/high-carb or high-fat/low-carb. Not both! Although everyone likes to think they’re “unique” or some exception to the rule, the majority of the time it’s really that simple.

      A lot of the fruit hate in the paleo world stems from the above. They eat a big high calorie breakfast of bacon & eggs, chases it with fruit (because one of us bike riding, fruit eating morons told them fruit is not the devil), and then they’re pissed off and “fruit makes gain weight.” Duh. The fruit hate then continues with “I got heart burn.” “Fruit gives me diarrhea…” I could go on for hours! Bottom line… it’s not the fruit 😉



    • Sue on May 31, 2011 at 16:03

      Fruit better eaten on it’s own. But some believe better with another macro.
      I’m getting back into some fruit after being so anti in my early low carb days.



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 17:37

      Congrats Sue 🙂 Glad to hear it.



    • Shanta on May 31, 2011 at 23:19

      My problem is that I have fatty liver and now fruit is verboten until my liver improves, it hasn’t been taken away forever. At least I hope not – I’m a fruit bat and will dearly miss my summer fruits this year, the cherries, peaches, plums…. and it’s not just fruit he’s taken away, although he specified it – he’s put me on a ketogenic diet for 3 months to help move the fatty deposits out.

      I live in Spain, surrounded by various fruit groves – the minute I can have fruit again, I’ll be picking a fresh one right off the tree.



    • Shanta on May 31, 2011 at 23:34

      Grok – thanks for the new thoughts on the bear diet. Like I said, I can’t help thinking about it – basically talking out loud and was going to look into it further. I’m still going to look into it and if I find anything that is different than your thoughts, I’ll let you know.

      Most of the doctors here in Europe told me to only eat fruit on it’s own and an empty stomach- never combined with anything. And only if you are not trying to lose weight. They think it’s strange in North America we eat fruit as a dessert.



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 23:51

      I generally agree with your doc (except the weight loss thing). All other reasons aside, it’s way better for digestion to eat it alone anyway. I live in Hawaii now. Fruit is “health food” and eat all you want here as well. Tell someone (probably a ripped person) how bad fruit is for them here and they’d probably look at you cross eyed.

      There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but in your special case (fatty liver) I imagine a keto diet is probably the mainstream approach. Best wishes on getting back your health, and pick a basket full for me 🙂



    • gallier2 on June 1, 2011 at 07:11

      Where in Europe? In France fresh fruit is almost only consumed as dessert.



    • Paul C on June 2, 2011 at 11:20

      The black bear I saw in the wild two days ago doesn’t live near a fatty fish source, so I wonder what it eats to fatten up. The deer eat apples until they are nice and plump in the fall, but I’m guessing their digestion doesn’t compare well to ours.

      I have also read that becoming pre-diabetic is a good natural anti-freeze. Sugary cells freeze at a lower temp. Seems like it could be an adaptation that would work well in an Ice Age.



    • Grok on June 2, 2011 at 23:07

      Scavengers Paul. Anything they find. Probably stuff from the garbage cans from some poor cussing (Richard?) dudes cabin a short distance away. LOL! Peal off that furry hide and they’re not as big as they look.

      I don’t study deer either, but it seems reasonable to me that the deer would easily process both the fiber (into SCFAs) and the sugars for energy. Calorie excess + overeating + ease of getting them = Fat. They’re also another animal programmed to store fat in the fall for the winter months.

      If your body temp gets low enough you need anti-freeze… you’re dead 😉 4° drop and you’re hypothermic.

      P.S. These are not intended to be smart-ass replies.



  9. Jim Arkus on May 31, 2011 at 13:30

    Excellent post. I never understood the rising tide of people being against fruit in the paleosphere. I lost forty pounds of fat and put on a shitload of muscle having an apple with almond butter almost daily. I don’t know that I’d base my diet around them, but I don’t think I feel my insulin resisting on the spot whenever I eat one.

    • Kevin Hughes on May 31, 2011 at 17:06

      Jim;

      When I first discovered the Paleo Diet, straight from Cordain’s book in 2007, I quickly lost 40 lbs. I ate meat, poultry, eggs and fruit ad libitum. I replaced the big bag of Doritos during movies with a couple pounds of grapes, and ate plenty of apples with almond butter and even peanut butter. I probably averaged around 5 servings of fruit per day. My insulin didn’t resist either!



  10. Dave from Hawaii on May 31, 2011 at 14:02

    This is a great point Richard.

    Been paleo 2.0 (paleo+dairy) for 4 years now. I think the real issue here is the emphasis on Paleo promoters on weight loss….which is certainly the primary component in proselytizing this lifestyle to the typical SAD.

    When it comes to someone who’s badly out of shape, overweight and in declining health, it’s probably a good idea to have an “induction” phase in which they cut out all sugars and starchy carbohydrates until they achieve a stable weight, metabolism and rejuvenated health.

    At that point, rigid low carb adherence will not bring anymore benefits. Some paleo puritans seem to think that because VLC was responsible for the dramatic improvements, a VLC diet is optimal.

    I think the original Atkins idea had it right – once your VLC diet helps you recover from the effects of SAD, you can start to add carbs back into your diet – fruit, potatoes, rice etc.

    Fruit does contain antioxidants and vitamin C…we just don’t need to eat a shit load of it everyday to get it’s benefits, and we really don’t need to take synthesized or purified compounds of fruits to get those benefits either. Just eat a nutrient dense diet and supplement it with fruit.

    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 14:11

      This atheist says “amen” Dave.

      “I think the original Atkins idea had it right – once your VLC diet helps you recover from the effects of SAD, you can start to add carbs back into your diet – fruit, potatoes, rice etc.”

      I think this required reading past the first few chapters. They must have had a bad run of Atkins books where the pages printed out blank 😉



    • Dana on May 31, 2011 at 14:17

      I can tell who hasn’t read past the Induction chapter. They ask questions like, “Can you do Paleo on Atkins?”

      I don’t even bother with the most recent, post-Atkins-death edition. That one panders to vegans.



    • Sue on May 31, 2011 at 16:46

      I think adding back carbs really scares them especially when they see the initial water weight gain from introducing back carbs.



  11. Dana on May 31, 2011 at 14:16

    Everyone has the same nutritional needs or we wouldn’t be the same species. Where the individual optimization thing comes in is where we have different health situations that might increase the demand for one nutrient or might require that we reduce intake of another.

    FWIW, I’ve heard of people screwing up their lipid and FBG numbers (as in labs) with too much orange juice consumption. No word on whether the same would have happened with whole oranges; anyway, orange juice tends to be sold with at least some of the pulp, unlike other juices.

    Basically, it behooves us not to go whole hog into changing habits just because this study or that study comes out in the press. If something’s working for you, stick with it. If you’re still not happy with your health or your lab numbers, try something different. Be willing to experiment to find out where your parameters are.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 14:48

      “Everyone has the same nutritional needs”

      No more than everyone has the same caloric needs. And analogously, no more than everyone needs an antibiotic when ill, a vaccine, or anything else which requires different treatments for different members of the same species.

      Does every equal gram organ or gland in the human body excrete the exact same amount of a hormone given exact equal stimulus? Does every one of billions of cells in every body react identically to that imaginary hormonal stimulus.

      I suppose it would be over the top to shout “reductionism alert!”



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 17:42

      Dana, if you’re drinking OJ (or any other juice pulp or not), you might as well be drinking soda. It’s in no way the same as whole fresh oranges.



  12. Dave from Hawaii on May 31, 2011 at 14:23

    lol

    Nah, after the good Doctor died, the owners of Atkins Diet TM reprinted the books and changed their advice to transition from the induction phase into the order official Atkins protein shakes, protein bars and Atkin’s approved supplements….

  13. KarmaPolice on May 31, 2011 at 14:23

    Speaking of sugar.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42883953/ns/health-diabetes/

    My apologies, Richard, if it is inappropriate to post this. Delete it if necessary.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 14:51

      “Elevated blood sugar contributes to cognitive decline.”

      Then everybody is fucked, I guess, because news flash: everybody has elevated blood sugar every day of their lives. Elevated insulin, too.



    • pfw on June 1, 2011 at 04:47

      The article is talking about chronically elevated blood sugar and pure carb/sugar meals, not normal postprandial spikes.

      Everybody is fucked on a long enough timeline, but there’s a difference between eating some strawberries and eating some Coco Puffs.



  14. Sarah on May 31, 2011 at 14:30

    Richard,
    I’m not sure if you are a big fan of PBS and NOVA, but recently, on Netflix, I watched a 3 part series called, “Becoming Human: NOVA”. It was really interesting. There was one segment, (on I think the 2nd episode, although I would watch all 3), that showed how scientists think that early humans were able to hunt larger prey. It made me think about Durainder riding his bike around after those kangaroos to “prove” that we wouldn’t have been able to catch a wild animal.

    NOVA showed how since we are able to sweat, we can out last larger game that has fur when in the heat. The episode showed modern day Bushmen in Africa hunting a wild deer of some sort for 3 straight hours in the heat of the midday sun. They were able to run almost constantly for those three hours after this deer until it suffered from heatstroke and was forced to stop. Then they were able to use their spears to kill it while it stood still. It was really interesting to watch.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 14:54

      Sarah: Yep, I’ve seen it. Love that kind of stuff. make sure to watch Human Planet if you’re not already.



  15. Noah on May 31, 2011 at 14:50

    Seasonality.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 14:58

      That’s part of the rub here, Noah. In the tropics of Africa where our ancient ancestors spent a whole lot of time, seasonality = year round.

      Do I think that means you eat five pounds of fruit per day, every day. No. But I’m loath to believe that eating a few whole pieces per day, and occasionally less and now and then, a whole lot more is going to do an otherwise normal healthy person any harm. It’s better than processed crap, probably mot as good as equal energy from animal products, but could also play an important role we don’t know about. It’s a safe bet that most people who have lived to 100 and beyond ate fruit regularly, as do most people.



    • Noah on May 31, 2011 at 15:33

      Rainy vs dry season was significant. I crave much more fruit in the summer. And there is definitely summer here in the southern sonoran desert where I live. So in the summer I eat a lot of fruit. Meat is consumed in large quantities t/o the year.

      T.S. Wiley has some interesting contributions on the role of light vs dark hours/melatonin/carbohydrate craving/desirable seasonable weight variation.

      My point is that the right diet for summer might be different than a winter diet. We can fine tune our insulin sensitivity annually.

      Richard, have you read “the 10,000 year explosion”?



    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:08

      Read most of 10,000 year explosion before getting distracted by something else, as often happens. I’m obsessively compulsive about my attention deficit.



  16. Jim on May 31, 2011 at 14:56

    Richard,
    You seem to have found your muse again. Perhaps you should consider posting in bursts, between languid (reflective) rest periods, as your regular posting schedule.
    –Jim

  17. Rhys Morgan on May 31, 2011 at 15:30

    Seems like everyone is forgetting the underlying physiology behind fructose and subsequent fat gain. Because fructose is stored in the liver (as opposed to starches which are predominantly stored in the muscle) and the liver has a much smaller glycogen capacity than muscle tissue, any excess fructose consumption would lead to saturation at the liver and spill over into adipose.

    That is my understanding, but that may just be bro science? It makes sense to me…

    Obviously on a calorie restricted diet, the amount of fructose consumed won’t promote any fat gain because there is no excess to be stored in the liver as glycogen. All that fructose is being utilized as fuel for the body.
    I think the real problem is when people are eating in caloric excess with lots of fructose. That excessive fructose intake will increase the amount of fat gain because liver glycogen is saturated in addition to an excess in energy intake.

    To the people saying they work on fruit farms and apple orchards and either don’t or do gain weight: that is dependent on a multitude of other factors. So you ate five apples and a box of blueberries and didn’t gain any weight. No shit, you were probably still in a negative calorie balance. Correlation and causation folks.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 16:05

      Rhys, riddle me why a normally health person would chronically eat to caloric excess.

      A normally or near normally healthy person (the vast majority, still, in spite of SAD) would, if they restricted themselves only to real, whole food, including fruit and starch, eat a varied energy diet, sometimes low, sometimes high, just as animals in the wild do.

      This is no more a post about pigging out on fruit than piggin out on fat or protein. Pigging out all the time is a problem, regardless of source.



  18. rob on May 31, 2011 at 16:00

    Fruit isn’t a problem because most of us can only eat so many fruit. Fruit in concentrated, processed form is a problem, because eating fruit in concentrated, processed form is not EATING FRUIT.

    A glass of orange juice is not the same as eating an orange.

    Regarding excess fructose consumption leading to saturation, unless you are leading a sedentary life there IS no excess fructose consumption (okay this is where the chronic cardio/too much time spent in the gym stuff comes in) … how are you living that you can’t burn off 250 calories of fructose?

    Personally I prefer starch over fruit as an energy source, but prior to my big exercise days I don’t give a second’s thought to having 2-3 pieces of fruit … that energy will probably be burned up by the time I wake but in any case will have been used by 6 in the morning …

    HOWEVER … if you are in “I need to lose some serious weight” mode, then I think fruit is best avoided. Under those circumstance you do have a problem with consuming far more than you burn.

    • Sue on May 31, 2011 at 16:42

      but if calorie restricted can eat fruit and lose weight.



    • julie on September 23, 2011 at 04:42

      I eat fruit ad libitum, as I have through my 50 pound weight loss. Yum yum!



  19. BC on May 31, 2011 at 17:57

    I call bullshit. There are good calories and there are bad calories. You sound like the “everything in moderation” crowd. Eat a whole watermelon – give me a break. Bullshit.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 18:10

      Eating a whole watermelon a couple of times per year (and nothing else) has been a nice experience. …Though I’m sure I’ll burn in hell for it.

      I’m thinking a few commenters either didn’t read or didn’t understand Denise’s post. It flat out proves that heavy consumption of very sweet fruit is perfectly Paleo. But of course, facts should never stand in the way of a a good story, or dogma.

      For myself, I’m very unlikely to ever eat 50g of fructose from fruit _on average_, simply because lots of days are little or no fruit, some days are zero carb, and some days are no calorie. But of course, “bullshit” is “bullshit.”

      Those who love their steaks and other meat and fish have precious little risk of ever overdosing on fruit.



    • Todd on June 1, 2011 at 07:55

      “It flat out proves that heavy consumption of very sweet fruit is perfectly Paleo.”

      It does no such thing. This single source “proves” that such fruit MAY have been available. It offers no evidence for consumption of said fruits by humans, or even for the existence of said fruit in the paleolithic. If we’re going to adhere to a strict empiricism, at least.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 08:45

      Oh come on.

      When the facts change, I change my mind. Given its enormous variety and abundance in the tropics worldwide, it would be highly unlikely that we didn’t eat it for a very long time, and we’ve only been out of Africa for 50ky. Add to that the fact that fruit, unlike vegetables and tubers in general, evolved to attract animals and be eaten.

      Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone has to eat it, any more than they have to eat liver or oysters, but it does suggest that it fits well as a reasonable part of a diet if you enjoy it and if it works for you.

      I also do like to emphasize the enjoy part. Seems that gets overlooked a lot in the increasingly dogmatic reenactment of paleo.



    • Matt on June 1, 2011 at 15:23

      We very well may have eaten fruit for a long time, but this doesn’t mean it was optimal or even beneficial. What if we survived in spite of having to eat fruit?

      That said, I agree with the enjoyability aspect you mentioned. If a person is considering a paleo or LC diet for the long haul, enjoyability is a huge factor in success. If fruit is what blows your hair back, have a little.



    • Matt on June 1, 2011 at 16:22

      “And that means, we might be super adapted.”

      That’s what the stupid reductionists are trying to figure out, because might isn’t good enough for them. And what got us into the sat fat and chol con was an asshole(s) with agenda who happened to use reductionism and later government-funded bullshit slinging as weapons.

      How can asking a simple question about whether or not a certain behavior is beneficial be stupid, as long as we have the means to investigate it? Without reductionist thinking, we’d still be blood letting, or worse yet, praying to cure illness and dancing to summon rain.

      I’m not worried about one paragraph killing the other. It’s the fact that I can simultaneously subscribe to both of them that makes me great at my job.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 15:37

      “We very well may have eaten fruit for a long time, but this doesn’t mean it was optimal or even beneficial. What if we survived in spite of having to eat fruit?”

      Stop It.

      This is just the sort of — sorry — modernist-reductionist stupidity that got us into the whole sat fat and chol con in the first place.

      It is the failure to see and understand our evolution as massive generalist exploiters. You know what, probably nothing is “ideal” or optimal. The point is: it was likely essential to survival and forward evolution to eventually exploit everything. That means it’s deep. And that means, we might be super adapted.

      Pay attention to your second paragraph because you’ll kill it by dwelling too much on the first.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 18:08

      Matt, the only relevant question, given the Earth, is do you think fruit is more likely to kill you when the shit hits the fan, or keep you alive?

      You are welcome to believe the former but I don’t think the science is going to support you very well, nor the experience.

      You’re on your own and so is everyone. We all get to go to hell in our ouwn go- carts.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 19:19

      The problem, really, is the beginning assumption — that we don’t know anything. Would a zoologist set out assuming skepicism as to whatever any animal in the wild eats is “optimal or even beneficial.” No, the beginning hypothesis is that whatever an animal eats in the wild is what’ s workable for them.

      And we already know the explanation for human longevity: industrial dealing with human waste in dense habitation and vaccines, primarily. Secondarily, medical mechanics and pharmaceuticals.

      Most fundamentally, the problem is in regarding humans as some unique form of animal.



    • Grok on June 1, 2011 at 12:23

      Perhaps the best comment I’ve ever read on FTA.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 13:19

      Whew, glad it was mine. 🙂



    • Todd on June 1, 2011 at 21:04

      The problem is that the facts haven’t changed. With all due respect, perhaps we have a different conception of evidence, as you seem to be inserting what I call conjecture in it’s place. Nothing in Minger’s piece proves a thing about fruit consumption in the paleolithic, no matter how “likely” you believe it might have been based on how you believe fruit evolved or any other theory. As for leveling the “reenactment” epithet at me, nothing could be more off the mark. Indeed, it’s rather curious that you should level it after giving me a speech about how “likely” it would have been that something was eaten 50,000 years ago (without evidence) in order justify eating it within a paleo framework; i.e. the entire purpose of this thread. Heck, you went one step further and justifed “heavy consumption” based on the present existence of certain fruits which you allege haven’t changed in 50,000 years, again without evidence. I’m not arguing for reenactment, but merely strict empiricism. That a few sweet fruit hang from trees in jungles today doesn’t tell us A) anything about paleolithic eating patterns or B) whether the consumption of such fruit are a good idea.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2011 at 09:14

      Todd:

      Your whole line of reasoning applies equally animal sources, seafood sources, levels of fat consumption and on and on.

      That’s why I take the approach that makes the most sense, which is, the closer you get to the equator the more likely it is that more fruit was consumed rather than less and the farther away you get, the more likely that more animals and seafood were consumed rather than less.

      There is simply no more justification in making fruit a special category — and particularly so for the hundreds of wild, non selectively-bred fruits — when it has clearly been in abundance for millions of years. I’m not advocating _for_ heavy consumption, just simply that’s it’s just as likely many in our lineage did, as it is that many consumed heavy amounts from animals.

      It’s all food and its all real food. And everybody is still in the same place of having to work out what works best for them, and also that overall food enjoyment is an important part of that whole quest.



    • Todd on June 3, 2011 at 07:40

      “Your whole line of reasoning applies equally animal sources, seafood sources, levels of fat consumption and on and on.”

      Yes. Yes it does. 🙂



    • Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2011 at 08:10

      Excellent. Then surely we would agree that everyone is still on their own and just as with levels of animal and vegetable intake, fruit is something each person needs to finds out for themselves.

      BTW, I cited this part of the thread in my latest post, if you haven’t seen it.



    • Poisonguy on June 1, 2011 at 01:04

      If you drill a small hole in the watermellon and add some vodka to it every hour or so for a day, you’ll have a tasty watermellon to eat the next day (the overall concentration of fructose might actually dip). Might not be good for your liver on a hot summer day, but in moderation…



  20. Karl on May 31, 2011 at 18:06

    Richard has been making this point for years now: “eat real food!” I’m a bit obsessive about learning more about diet and nutrition and I have to admit that even after everything I’ve read and learned, I’m almost disappointed to have come to believe that if I just followed that simple rule from the start, I would have been just fine. I guess sometimes the journey is important too, so I’m not sorry to have learned all that I have- I may not have believed it without bumbling into the ‘fruit is poison’ camp for a little while.

    There are a lot of cross currents in the diet debate. When people talk about diet, they often will jump around between arguing against the SAD (which nobody seriously believe in) to arguing about incremental improvements to an already decent diet. It makes specific dietary advice impossible and often gets these diet discussions off track. Kris Kresser did a great 9 part series on healthy living that put diet in the right context- just don’t consume poison. He then made a very strong case for how important other parts of healthy living are. He pointed to things like sleep, exercise, stress management and pleasure as crucial components as well. It’s great reading from a smart and careful guy.

    I think it’s easy to focus on diet because there’s always something to do. There are millions of different things and ways to eat, but I think that most of the people who follow a rough varient of the ‘eat real food’ method reach the point of diminishing returns pretty quickly. After you’ve ditched the processed junk, there just aren’t many more improvements to make. Most of those sorts of people would be far better off not thinking about food anymore, but rather working on the other parts of healthy living. Turning mealtime into a stress is counterproductive and I think some of what Richard points to here and the comments proves it. If eating an apple makes you feel bad because you believe it’s not healthy, you’ve gone to the point where your feelings about food cause more problems than the food you’re eating possibly could.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 18:15

      “He pointed to things like sleep, exercise, stress management and pleasure as crucial components as well. It’s great reading from a smart and careful guy.” …

      “If eating an apple makes you feel bad because you believe it’s not healthy, you’ve gone to the point where your feelings about food cause more problems than the food you’re eating possibly could.”

      Just this morning while walking the dogs and being part way through drafting this post, I was reflecting on the studies that seem to indicate that moderate alcohol intake is associated with longevity. Now, there will always be endless studies trying to figure out what it is about alcoholic drinks that benefits humans biologically.

      I think the easier explanation is that moderate drinkers strike a good balance between being fun loving, enjoy your life sorts of social animals while keeping the waste product (alcohol) at reasonable levels.



    • Karl on May 31, 2011 at 19:49

      I think that makes a lot of sense and that’s probably why so many of these studies have a tough time pinning down exactly what level of exercise, drinking, coffee or whatever we should have. Downing a bottle of wine while you yell at the TV talking heads is vastly different than drinking a bottle while you talk to your best friend.

      Unfortunately the easiest way to think about that is how many mL of wine or whatever per day or week is ok, which means that lots of us will lose sight of the real issue. I confess that I was in that camp for a very long time, thankfully I’m coming around to a much more sensible approach to life- your blog has been a big help there! I consider that to be one of your primary themes.



  21. Zoebird on May 31, 2011 at 18:28

    For me, part of the question is “what is reasonable?” What is a reasonable amount of meat? of fat? of fruit? of vegetables?

    I mean, I’ve been eating whole foods for a *long* time, and I’ve been eating paleo-styled for about 6 months, and the results for me were immediate (first two weeks), though admittedly, I didn’t have anywhere to go (ie, I went from 22% body fat to 20% body fat in two weeks just by eliminating grains and increasing meat intake; 6 months later I’m at 19% — not like I was suffering to begin with, KWIM?).

    I really believe that this style of eating is both healthy and sustainable, particularly following Sisson’s “don’t sweat the small stuff” approach. But also noticing that having a different ratio of fat/protein/carbohydrates (as asserted by Cordain et al), proves to be a good guideline.

    That being said, I eat 1-3 pieces of fruit per day, and have since going paleo, which is different than my pre-paleo 3-5 pieces a day. I kept veggie amounts the same (probably 10 or more “servings” per day), and then just added in meats (yes, including moving into offal).

    I cannot say that this or that is right. I do think that some people will eat more fruit, others more veg, others more meat, etc. People will find their own specialized equations of exactly how it works for them — not only physically, but also emotionally, socially, and otherwise.

    Perhaps this is a digression. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 19:28

      “I do think that some people will eat more fruit, others more veg, others more meat, etc.”

      And some, like me, will do all three, just on different days, times, places, circumstances and tastes.



    • Zoebird on May 31, 2011 at 22:30

      I find that my eating goes in waves, too. Some days are more veggie than others, some more fruit, some more meat.



  22. Josh on May 31, 2011 at 18:59

    I’m not a huge fan of fruit although I do enjoy it on occasion… I don’t get the religion that surrounds fruit for some people, it doesn’t have nutrients but yeah, it’s mostly a vehicle for sugar. On the other hand I don’t buy the “OMG FRUIT IS TEH DEBIL!!!” from some super low carb folks either. I personally can’t eat enough fruit for it to make a difference before I get sick of it so I’ll toss down some fruit as a snack. No biggie.

  23. Josh on May 31, 2011 at 19:05

    Oops I meant “it does have nutrients”

  24. J. Stanton - gnolls.org on May 31, 2011 at 19:42

    That study doesn’t eliminate fructose as one of Kurt Harris’ “neolithic agents of disease”. Nor does it even mean much in the real world.

    Note that both groups were on a calorie restricted diet. The negative effects of fructose consumption are due to the limited avenues available for its metabolic disposal via the liver (glycogen or triglycerides), the limited capacity of those avenues, and its availability in drinkable form (sodas, fruit juices, smoothies).

    Putting people on a calorie restricted diet – and one that also doesn’t include liquids (their most common delivery form, by far) – purposely eliminates the real-world consumption and metabolic scenario. The danger of fructose is that its sweet taste tempts us to consume giant boluses of it, which overwhelm in the short term the ability of our liver to process it (= glycation = heart disease). In the longer term they overwhelm the ability of our liver to store it (= NAFLD, T2D, etc.) None of this happens on a calorie-restricted diet…

    …or under conditions of daily intense exercise that continually depletes glycogen reserves. Thus Grok and the fruitarians.

    I don’t enjoy being the wet blanket here, butthis study still tells us nothing about the effects of fruit-sourced fructose eaten as part of a non-restricted diet – in other words, the real-world case.

    Seriously: I know it’s fun to “question authority, maaaaaan”, but please: let’s all think a bit about the metabolic pathways involved before gleefully setting fire to everything that got us where we are.

    JS

    • Richard Nikoley on May 31, 2011 at 19:53

      Point taken, JS, but I’m still wondering why an otherwise healthy person would normally have an issue of chronic excess consumption on average in the framework of a paleo diet excluding NAD.

      The essential point is that a reasonable amount of fruit should be fine, nothing to fear.



    • J. Stanton - gnolls.org on May 31, 2011 at 20:28

      The question still remains, though: what is ‘reasonable’ and what is ‘excess’?

      What are the circumstances under which fructose temporarily overwhelms the liver’s capacity and begins to undergo glycation in the bloodstream? Is that at 32 ounces of Coke or orange juice? Half a pineapple? Ten cherries? On an empty stomach, eaten with fruit pulp, or an entire meal?

      I don’t feel bad counseling caution until we have some better answers: the Czech studies on AGEs strongly suggest that glycation in vivo is the most important factor, and the recent study on glycated sdLDL also suggests that glycation is a major driver of heart disease.

      The increase in human lifespan, as far as anyone knows, postdates our split from chimpanzees and the rainforest. Therefore, what might be fine for chimps at four decades might be killing us in six…and though I’m not ready to make bold pronouncements yet, I see enough tracks and traces to keep my position conservative.

      JS



    • Grok on May 31, 2011 at 20:37

      Exactly. Even many unhealthy people. There’s vegan docs successfully treating people on this stuff every day.

      10 bananas a day would be a breakfast & lunch to satiation for many people. This is clearly not enough (1,000) calories for anyone. Even someone only using their brain during the day (desk jockeys & other inactives). This is why the 811 people thump on and on about “make sure you eat enough!”

      Minus piles of other factors that would make consuming even 30 bananas (fiber blah, blah..) irrelevant, you’ll see in the fruit community that people are actually excited about moving their bodies and depleting glycogen. Problem solved. This is something the low/VLC crowd can’t grasp. They don’t have enough energy to. One quick glance over in fruit land is enough evidence for me that fruit doesn’t cause fatty liver. It doesn’t cause fatty anything.



    • Poisonguy on June 1, 2011 at 01:15

      It doesn’t cause fatty brain either. What I think you don’t grasp is what people in the low/VLC crowd do grasp. Some just choose to abstain from fruit. It is obvious that you don’t grasp this because you’ve just been told that the concern with fructose is likely only in the glycogen replete state, but you go on to babble about a bunch of excited wankers moving their bodies and depleting their glycogen, which is exactly what a low/VLC person would tell you is good if you eat excess fructose. And I’m not anti-fruit. I just prefer mine in schnapps form and a shot glass.



    • Grok on June 1, 2011 at 01:35

      Hey Jack, I was a low-carber.



    • Poisonguy on June 1, 2011 at 02:42

      I know that, which is why I called you on it. I despise hypocrisy.



    • pfw on June 1, 2011 at 05:00

      You keep harping on this “low carbers don’t have energy!” point, which is bizarre given that one of the most common anecdotal responses to any low-carb diet, let alone a paleo one, is an increased sense of energy. Then you point at the banana cult, and ignore those who have quit the cult complaining about all sorts of things, including a lack of energy.

      Shall we start talking about how the LFRV crowd is pretending to be energetic and vital until they finally bomb out and come clean? Would you find that to be a fair representation?

      Yes, if you forcefeed yourself a huge amount of anything, you’ll have a lot energy. 30 bananas is 3k-3.5k calories of sugar. If you’re not energized by that you’re probably dead. But if you eat 3k-3.5k calories of virtually anything, you’ll have a ton of energy. People talk about taking shots of coconut oil and then feeling hyper for an hour – it’s the same thing. A non-broken metabolism is going to respond to caloric excess with increased activity. What does that prove, exactly?



  25. Paul Verizzo on May 31, 2011 at 20:20

    And only 55% carbohydrates!

    These studies mean NOTHING, even if the general premise of moderate fruit consumption being superior to mainlining fructose.

  26. Rhonda on May 31, 2011 at 20:35

    Right now, it is cherry season (in California); which lasts for four weeks (six, if I’m lucky). Cherries are one of my favourite fruits; the other is the pomegranate (which has a six to eight week season starting in October). During this time of the year, I eat lots of cherries. One never knows when ths will be one’s last cherry season on earth; so, I say, “Enjoy yourself!”

  27. Jessica K on May 31, 2011 at 20:46

    When I started my Paleo journey in January 2011, I had years of SAD and obesity to contend with, not to mention other health issues. I used fruit to mange my cravings, allowing myself one piece of fruit a day. After a few weeks of strict Paleo, I found myself naturally skipping my daily fruit more often than not as a preferance. I now find certain fruit almost too sweet instead eating mostly berries and rarely do I even feel like eating more than one serving. For me, this helped kick my sugar/carb addiction. It did NOT cause cravings or cause me to overeat on fruit.

    Oh yeah, and I’m down 55 pounds and still loosing.

  28. Paul on May 31, 2011 at 22:42

    I’ve been waiting for this post.

    For a long time I’ve been thinking that fat, carb, fructose or cholesterol content of a given food as well as the glycemic index (GI) is completely useless in assessing its healthiness. In fact they may be worse than useless causing people to avoid good food unnecessarily.

    I think that carb vs fat is a waste of time barring specific health problems or optimizing athletic performance. The key issues are nutrients and anti-nutrients. So long as you are in good shape and have decent vitamin status your body will mop up fructose just fine.

    High GI seems bad because zero nutrient processed foods have high GI.

    Fructose seems bad because zero nutrient sugar is the most common source. Eventually you become vitamin deficient and can’t process the fructose.

    Our bodies have perfectly good systems in place to handle fructose as well as starch. We don’t have systems for grains. Big difference.

  29. Roberto on May 31, 2011 at 23:14

    Ever heard of ray Peat??

  30. Paul on May 31, 2011 at 23:22

    I also love the way Mark Sisson does a post on the superiority of fat and everyone agrees, then you do post on how carbs are not evil and most people agree as well. Interesting.

    I find it interesting that people think that overloading our muscles will make them stronger, but overloading our fructose or carb systems will cause them to wear out and break down. Surely we can strengthen our ability to handle carbs/fructose in the same manner we strengthen our muscles. Just use good nutrition, occasional overloading and plenty of rest.

    • rob on June 1, 2011 at 02:34

      I was the guy who found that post by Mark to be ludicrous, because the idea that fat is a superior fuel is contrary to personal experience … during prolonged physical exertion what your body wants is glucose, not fat. Across a broad spectrum of athletes, weightlifting running swimming etc what they reach for when their energy is running low is glucose. When Mark was doing the Ironman how did he fuel himself during the event, with pork rinds or with liquid glucose? The effect of ingesting glucose is almost immediate, your mind clears up your limbs don’t feel as heavy … you aren’t going to get that from a dose of fat.

      I think when you are heavily overweight the idea that “glucose is the devil” is helpful because it helps you accomplish the necessary task, which is to shed 50 pounds. But once you have shed the weight and you are engaged in strenuous physical activity, glucose kicks ass.



    • Paul on June 1, 2011 at 04:00

      I use sucrose. I don’t even think its bad so long as you eat nutrient dense food later to make up for it.

      Fat is high capacity, high density, low performance fuel. It provides a base level of performance that gets the job done. You can do stuff like persistence hunting on fat. I very much doubt persistence hunters went a fast as todays marathon runners.

      Glucose is low capacity, low density, high performance fuel. Good for climbing a tree when you see a lion or lifting a rock off your friend’s leg.



    • Paul Verizzo on June 1, 2011 at 06:07

      Both right and wrong. The glucose used to climb that tree or lift a major load comes from glycogen, “animal starch,” located in the muscles and liver. Yes, it’s glucose, but not directly from the blood stream.

      Otherwise, a nice little summary.

      Signed, the Paul with a surname



    • Paul on June 1, 2011 at 10:50

      You are correct of course.

      I was trying to avoid technical details of storage to make the point as simply as possible.

      If you want some technical details: Fat contains 6 times the energy per gram compared to glycogen. (Each unit glycogen binds to 2 units water Therefore it is impossible to store glycogen in large amounts as it is so heavy.

      This would also imply that there must be some benefit to glucose over fat as why else would the body bother to store such a heavy fuel.

      Maybe one reason that modern endurance athletes get injured is that things like Gatorade allow them to perform at a much higher intensity for much longer than our paleo ancestors. Glycogen debt would have naturally limited extreme activity.



    • Paul on June 1, 2011 at 10:55

      That link doesn’t work due to the bracket should be:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatty_acid_oxidation



    • gallier2 on June 1, 2011 at 12:11

      That’s an easy one. Fat oxydation is rate limited, i.e. slow compared to glycolysis. So if you need for short moments a lot of ATP too flee from a predator (or to catch a prey), it’s handy to have some glucose ready in the muscle.



  31. Neill on June 1, 2011 at 01:53

    Richard you’ve spent time in Asia as well so you’ve seen the amazing fruit they have their. I love my lychees and dragon-fruit. I don’t know if these are cultivated or if that’s how they have always been… anyway I’m not sure seasonality applies to fruit in the tropics. I’m not a botanist so correct me if I’m wrong.

    Anyway, I’ve been eating fruit every day of my life, things like apples, bananas, pears, pineapple, grapes etc. Probably two pieces a day on average. The reason I got into paleo was because I was experiencing huge crashes in the afternoons and that was fixed 100% by cutting out grains and grain derived foods.

    I was starting to feel a little guilty about it but always kept in mind that in the worst case scenario I could count this as my 20% cheating allowance.

    As Hawaiian Dave mentioned we need to keep in mind that many people coming into the paleo paradigm are overweight or have a messed up metabolism. Once I realised this I was happy to add white potatoes back into my diet, I may do the same for white rice.

    While it’s interesting to keep learning about food and nutrition we need to accept we’ll never get it 100% right.

    That I was starting to feel guilty about eating an apple and banana every day shows I was losing sight of what’s important considering I don’t drink coffee, soft-drinks (cola), little alcohol etc. If fruit is to be my cheat, so be it. I could be doing worse.

  32. Jono on June 1, 2011 at 02:59

    How much fructose we’re they eating before the intervention though? If it was quite high beforehand, the participants could have actually dropped their intake in the medium fructose group, suggesting – as chris has pointed out – that grains are worse than fruit for weight loss, which doesn’t really say anything for the healthfulness of fruit.

    I personally feel there is nothing wrong with fruit in moderation, just playing devils advocate.

  33. James on June 1, 2011 at 05:22

    Fruit is a candy cigarette! Face it folks. Its a slippery slope that will consume you. hahahahha. heheheh

  34. Ekon on June 1, 2011 at 05:47

    Great stuff, I guess I´ll try to up my fruit intake a bit. It´s delicious, after all, but I have been neglecting the poor suckers a bit in favour of vegetables.

    Mmm… fruit.

  35. Paul Verizzo on June 1, 2011 at 06:22

    I suggest that the issue of “Fat does/does not supply enough quick calories for prolonged physical effort” might be resolved, or at least indicated, by looking at zero carbers. I poke my head in a few times a month to http://www.zeroingonhealth.com . I don’t recall Charles commenting that he runs as fast on his meat diet as in his old days. Or vice versa. Perhaps my memory is bad, or it’s buried in there.

    My guess is that a low glucose (whatever the source) diet is fine for brief work, or for long range but low performance, like persistence hunting. But long range high performance requires significant glycogen and/or glucose IV drip, so to speak.

    When I roughly doubled my carbs from 70’ish to 150’ish a day, my biking speeds and reserves went up significantly and obviously. But so did my weight.

    Sigh. See, “No Free Lunch.”

    • rob on June 1, 2011 at 07:25

      I think most people can figure it out for themselves with a little self-experimentation, here is how:

      On Friday June 3, eat nothing but protein and fat, then on the morning of Saturday June 4, go out and run 5 miles

      On Friday June 10, eat protein and fat, but also have 150g of starch with your dinner (try to keep the total calories the same as last week), then run 5 miles the following morning.

      Compare and contrast the two experiences.

      I have done that little experiment a number of times and when I was fueled only by fat I felt like one of those guys in the Philippines who carries a 250 pound wooden cross on his back on Easter Sunday … after a while you start wondering “Why the hell am I carrying this huge ass cross on my back?” Legs started to feel like they weighed a thousand pounds.

      When I have had some starch to eat, on the other hand, I feel light as a feather. The run not only was not an ordeal, it was rather pleasant.

      I think a lot of people have noticed the same thing which is why people in general prefer glucose as a fuel for athletic activity.



    • TR on June 1, 2011 at 11:02

      That experiment is a bit dubious, as your performance will depend substantially on what you are used to eating and what your test activity is. If you normally eat starch and take a 1 day break, yeah you will probably bonk really easily on a strenuous activity since one day is not enough time to adapt. It took me about two weeks to adapt to a ketogenic diet, but after that my performance on moderate activities improved substantially compared to my previous performance on a high-carb diet without any additional training. If I was doing something strenuous yeah I’d probably eat some carbs before/during, but that doesn’t mean daily consumption of carbs is required for performance. The body is pretty adaptable as long as you don’t shock it with abrupt dietary changes right before a big event.



    • rob on June 1, 2011 at 13:37

      I’m not concerned so much with performance as not making things harder than they have to be, if you are middle aged and you had a stretch where you pretty much let yourself go, it seems quite miraculous to be given a second chance, and I got there through a ketogenic diet, nobody has to sell me on the merits of that, and I would never go back to a non-carnivorous diet, or eating carbs out of habit, last night I had over a pound of sirloin steak for dinner with a side of pastrami.

      BUT with Friday/Saturday/Sunday being my big exercise days, tomorrow I will start with “bring on the rice and potatoes” … tailoring my consumption of carbs to the amount I will be burning … not gorging but not abstaining either … I am talking about making educated choices given your level of activity.

      When I first started getting fit again I gave “bonk training” a real try, I gave it everything I had, and finally decided “I’m too old for this crap.”



  36. […] and I’m glad to read good results, even if they go against my “feelings.”  Go read it. Richard is a great writer, and the information in that article is priceless.   No one is arguing […]

  37. Dragonmamma/Naomi on June 1, 2011 at 11:31

    I’ve made dozens of posts on Mark’s Daily Apple defending MODERATE fruit consumption. I get just as pissed-off by the “fruit is poison” crowd as I do by the 30-bananas a day bunch.
    This is my third day of eating fatty chicken and watermelon all morning, and I feel fantastic.

    My classic reading for the weekend? The Gateway series by Frederik Pohl. Strongly recommend it. I haven’t read it for over 20 years, but it’s aged very well.

  38. Karen P. on June 1, 2011 at 15:31

    Talk about panties in bunches. I don’t know why everyone gets all in a fluff. Eat real food. It ain’t that hard. (She types as she downs half an apple dipped in almond butter. Yum…)

    I’ve noticed since going Primal that I just don’t care for fruit the way I used to. I doubt I eat fruit every day, probably more like every 2-3 days. Am I going to feel guilty about it when I do? Hell no, that’s crazy. But I do think that the nutrient values of both fruit and vegetables have been oversold to us. No one knows how this stuff interacts in our bodies. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, isoflavones or whatever. It’s all Nutritionism-based speculation. Besides, many f & v have antinutrients too.

    But down the road of scientific nutrition lies madness. You know where else madness resides? Down the road of pure nutritional relativism. We need parameters, we need to understand ourselves in a deep authentic way, and we need to relax, all at the same time.

  39. Andres on June 1, 2011 at 15:32

    First time commenter here.

    If you think about it, a plant rarely yields a single piece of fruit. It’s either the plant is covered in fruit (think apples, oranges, blackberries etc) or there is none. Fruit tastes good, it’s hard to stop eating when you have a bowl of ripe cherries just waiting to be devoured. I bet our ancestors did not practice more self control and ate the every last cherry on the tree and brought back the rest. Therefore I can’t really think of instance where you would have a single fruit a day (apple’s weren’t transported on butter smooth asphalt and wrapped in styrofoam, therefore you ate the most brought back the rest, which would have to be eaten soon because or the dents and perishability) . It’s either the whole tree or none.

    So are we meant to occasionally binge on fruit? Speaking from personal experience, my past “summer diet” of mostly cherries, strawberries and grilled meat did not seem to have a negative effect on weight and wellbeing.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 16:02

      You nail it Andreas. while modern tech affords us the convenience of fruit all the time, I’m a very moderate consumer, crowded out by meat, equally easy to obtain, now. But I simply enjoy a total fruit gorge now and then, as I think it should be. Cherries are probably top in that regard.



  40. Andres on June 1, 2011 at 15:38

    Regarding bananas,

    http://www.damninteresting.com/the-unfortunate-sex-life-of-the-banana

    In short, banana hasn’t been around for long and it’s kind of a donkey of the fruit world. I haven’t studied bananas specifically, but I would rather go with other naturally growing fruit (IMO, no science to back it up 🙂 ).

  41. Jscott on June 1, 2011 at 16:41

    No fruit for you! (Save it for me to have small amounts and enjoy this great thing in life called pleasure.)

    • Richard Nikoley on June 1, 2011 at 19:23

      You can burn in hell for that, Jscott, and I’ll bet paleo hell is hotter, cause it takes more heat to grill a steak properly. But that’s just to torture you. There are no steaks.



  42. Primal Toad on June 1, 2011 at 21:32

    This post and all of the comments have “forced” me to do some real thinking. I have become way more open minded since the beginning of May for good reason. We all love to talk about food but what about all the other factors? And who the hell cares about macronutrients? I have since I went primal 14 months ago. It can be fun and it can be stressful.

    I LOVE fruit. Especially during the summer months here in Michigan. Strawberries. Blueberries. Traverse city cherries. Grapefruit. Bananas. Pineapple. Mango. Papaya. I love it all. I have limited my consumption because of the fructose content.

    I think its time I back off and enjoy a little more fruit. Its summer and that means more fruit is available locally.

    Not to mention that I am creating a Primal Smoothie Recipe eBook that is due out on June 6. I have the nutrition information but am now considering deleting this part. To be honest, I am not sure what to do. I wish I had no idea how many grams of carbs, fat or protein was in anything. I just want to be able to enjoy whole food and feel awesome afterwards.

    Study 1 proves A and study 2 proves the opposite. There are an unlimited amount of factors that effect studies. Will we ever know what is optimal? No. We are so much different. As many have stated before… one must experiment himself. What do YOU want? Go for it and see how you feel. Adjust accordingly.

    If one loves fruit then one should eat fruit. That person should pay attention to how there body feels. If one is not feeling right then maybe decreasing fruit and adding something else may be ideal. Self experimentation is huge!

    Thank you Tim Ferriss.

    Richard,

    Not sure if you read my post today on legumes but I feel that it shows how I have become open minded. A post on fruit by me needs to be written. Especially with my eBook coming out and all.

    Alright, time for bed… diet isn’t everything!

  43. Zoebird on June 2, 2011 at 00:15

    someone up there (in the comment stream) mentioned that he upped carbohydrate from 70 g to 150 ish and his performance went up.

    I didn’t go up quite that high, but increasing both protein and carbs helped me out a lot. I’m sitting around 30% protein and 20% carb. I’m getting about 100g carbs per day. It includes, btw, fruit.

    This is still “low carb” from what I understand, which is why I get *so* confused about people saying things like “the low carb crowd. . .” whatever the statement.

    I assume that anyone consuming less than 40% of calories from carbohydrates are “low carb” folks — and I would wager that most paleos are pretty much there — or even lower.

    Saying this, though, means absolutely nothing in regards to fruit. One could eat just fruit and some meat in a day, get 150-ish g of carbs that way, or do a mixture of fruits and vegetables, or just do it with fungi and nuts, or whatever for all I know.

    I get so confused by how folks are using vague language to label things.

    • Jenny on June 3, 2011 at 06:15

      I still have no idea what really qualifies as low carb. Is it lower than the carb level than what most people in the paleosphere eat — whatever that is? Is it lower than a SAD?

      I figure it all relative to what I used to eat vs. how I’m eating now, but for purposes of discussions where people understand each other, I’m left wondering.

      Seems like VLC is shorthand for “eating hardly any fruit or vegetables” but other than that I’m pretty fuzzy on all of this.



    • Richard Nikoley on June 3, 2011 at 07:47

      Jenny:

      My approach is to average it out. Some days are near zero carb, as well as zero everything when I fast. I doubt my average daily consumption over a week or two is even 100g per day, though some days may approach 200g.

      On a daily snapshot perspective, a 200g day might be high by paleo standards but low to moderate by SAD standards or high carb diet standards.



  44. Rafael on June 2, 2011 at 04:39

    ASS KICKING ARTICLE, AS USUAL. THANKS
    http://optimalhealthsource.blogspot.com

  45. Mallory on June 2, 2011 at 07:28

    another sweet post richard!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 keep them coming, i am loving the attitude towards paleo/primal here lately, very refreshing and much needed…

    strawberries were/are in season here now in the deep south and i have downed about 4 pints over the past month or so…. no 3-5strawberries here or there, when i get them, they are fresh picked, perfect, and i eat the whole bowl in a sitting 🙂

    oh, and crawfish on the side

  46. Month 8 | My low carb journey on June 2, 2011 at 08:00

    […] stage of weight loss or maintanance you are in.  I am not diabetic, so I think I will be fine.  Richard Nikoley also recently wrote about fruit, great blog […]

  47. Paul C on June 2, 2011 at 11:44

    One issue I have with primal eating in modern life is how it affects those that are 1/2 SAD and 1/2 primal. The combination of SAD metabolic derangement is a horrible setup when combined with calorie-dense primal. SAD gets the body in calorie storing mode and generates a lot of hunger, then primal provides small, dense food. Now if you make the primal side even starchier and sugarier (say with potatoes, rice, and fruit), it is amplifying the SAD issue even more.

    The easy answer is drop the SAD, but it isn’t realistically going to happen for some. This is a personal issue I am trying to overcome with a loved one, not criticism of anyone else. Needless to say, having primal make a problem worse is not easy to deal with.

  48. Walter on June 2, 2011 at 15:44

    @Zoebird, I don’t think low carb can be defined as a percent of calories. I think it would be defined as a gram carb count that puts the eater in ketosis (mild or otherwise). Dr. Mike Eades likes 60-70 grams/day as the upper range for LC. I’ve seen VLC (very low carb) defined as 20 grams or less (and also seen 30). Again, Dr. Eades thinks anything over 150 grams of carbs/day is high carb.

    Unfortunately, these terms don’t have universally accepted definitions.

  49. […] Subscribe ← Connecting Dots: Fruit is Real Food; Eat It […]

  50. Kyle on June 2, 2011 at 17:25

    I quite like fruit, especially with home made (read nothing added) high fat yogurt(18%)

  51. Effect of 2 energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet vs mod natural fructose diet on June 3, 2011 at 04:09

    […] […]

  52. […] Connecting Dots: Fruit is Real Food; Eat It <<Love this post for many reasons. It always makes me cringe when people tell me they avoid fruit because of sugar. Fructose ≠ fruit. (Free The Animal) […]

  53. JD Moyer on June 3, 2011 at 10:39

    Great post. I see the fruit/fructose debate playing out similar to the coffee/caffeine debate. In isolation, and concentrated, fructose and caffeine are both potentially harmful. But combined with phytonutrients found in the whole food/whole beverage, both tend to promote health.

  54. […] Is it Really Small, Bitter, and Low in Sugar?” Check out what others think at Paleohacks and Free the Animal (including the comments). Print […]

  55. Razwell on June 8, 2011 at 12:10

    That’s awesome. Your diet is varied, Richard, and that is a good thing. 🙂

    As I have learned from Urgelt, major variety is perhaps the top nutritional principle.

    The fruitarians and militant vegans talk with 100 % absolute certitude, which is a trademark of pseudoscience. There is too little know yet to science about nutrition for the vegans’ assuredness. Plants are not a panacea, and contain dangerous compounds and carry risk too.

    It’s awesome you are including more fruit. A good diet is feeding and building your cells. It is like building a massive skyscraper. More poeple need to view food as the building blocks of our cells, rather than just calories. I just wish the vegans would realize meat is very nutritious too. No genuine scientist would ever point to meat as the cause of coronary artery disease.

    I genuinely enjoy the articles on the blog.

    Take care,
    Raz

  56. gn on June 8, 2011 at 15:43

    “I’m typically eating it in conjunction with something else — such as with eggs and a breakfast meat, or perhaps after a meal ” – that’s your problem if you want to stabilize your digestion and lean out – i usually eat one meal a day, and it is something completely ‘simple’ – meat only, cheese only, fruit only, vegs only and so on – mixing things up, messes me up – and looks just useless (fiber slows digestion of protein and fat)

  57. Basic Fruit Syrup | That Paleo Blog on June 11, 2011 at 14:30

    […] damned to a fruit-less world where I could only eat veggies and meat, but that wasn’t for me. It wasn’t for Richard Nikoley either. For those of you who are die-hard Paleo I-hate-fruit-ivores, this post isn’t for you. Go […]

  58. hggh on September 11, 2011 at 07:43

    Have you ever seen http://tinyurl.com/drgregercomplete (11.5hrs — each year more corrective than the next on what fruits to eat?).

    I do not eat fruit except blueberries and sometimes strawberries blended witih vegetables, and I usually try and find fiber/phytonutrient vegetable analogs for the missing fruits.

  59. […] the summer I keep my fruit intake pretty moderate. Still, fresh fruit is delicious, and there’s nothing wrong with a cup or two if you’re not trying to take your nutrient density to the […]

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