Choose your preferred view mode
It is only when sugar from fruit intake is excessive for active energy needs that a problem develops. Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. In my own experience, after a series of fasts, I used weightlifting and a low-calorie raw vegan diet containing 4 ounces of nuts and an average of about only 34 grams of protein a day to recover 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks, increasing my bodyweight from pounds to pounds with a 30" waist at 5'9. This is a major issue with indoor cats as it has been shown to lead to obesity. Such terms currently have no legal definitions. Weight control simply means ensuring an energy balance:
What is Astaxanthin?
However, a pound person would have to burn off the sugar in enormous amounts of other types of fruit e. This explains why the strongest vocal advocates of low-fat fruitarian diets tend to be distance athletes who require and eat enormous amounts of calories. But this is probably not what Shelton meant when quoting how fruitarians maintained a "normal life.
Instead of eating voluminous amounts of fruit, it would be more practical for distance athletes and others to add smaller amounts of concentrated plant fat to their diets to help meet resting and low-activity energy requirements. This spares carbohydrates for more active energy use, and spares protein from being broken down for energy, thus allowing better tissue growth and maintenance. For these reasons, Shelton suggested, "it is, at least, a great saving [in energy] to the body if some fat is supplied.
Our pound male dieting on calories from eating mono-meals of bananas totaling 14 bananas a day would receive only 18 grams of protein.
This is less than the amount needed to cover obligatory nitrogen loss. Mono-meals, where only one food is eaten at a time, are double-edged swords. They allow the eater to feel satisfied on less food and calories, but they can eventually lead to imbalances and deficiencies.
For example, a mono diet of bananas is severely deficient in calcium which requires a large amount of dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards to balance properly. A person who is not a distance athlete would also consume an unhealthy high amount of sugar on a mono diet of bananas. The original concept of mono meals and eliminating diets which were popularized by early health reformers was never intended to provide a maintenance amount of calories to sustain weight.
For example, an apple diet would provide no more than the normal amount of carbohydrates on a maintenance diet while eliminating concentrated sources of fat, starch, and protein.
By the way, blood tests showing normal calcium levels on a fruitarian diet can be very misleading because the body breaks down calcium stored in bone to release into the blood to restore higher calcium levels. The net result over time is osteoporosis, a silent disease that goes undetected until fractures appear. Serum levels of parathyroid hormone, a substance that triggers the release of calcium from bone, is a better indicator of bone loss.
Fry claimed some people of the Caribbean were "thriving" on as little as 15 to 20 grams of protein a day, but that depends on how you define thriving. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the daily protein intake in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between was Remember, the obligatory degradation of proteins in the body is grams of protein a day, so not everyone in the population would be receiving an adequate amount.
It's no wonder that people experimenting with low-calorie fruitarian diets often have dental issues. The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets , consuming sufficient protein is essential to maintain the collagen matrix, a type of connective tissue that provides the scaffolding to retain minerals in bone and teeth.
As this collagen matrix breaks down from lack of protein, bones and teeth begin to lose minerals and deteriorate. Small amounts of additional protein obtained from green vegetables is helpful, but a better alternative for those who aren't distance athletes and who aren't capable of burning off large amounts of fruit is to supply adequate amounts of protein and calories simply by eating a few more nuts and seeds.
Vetrano described a case of a young woman with a history of restricting her food intake to stay thin who was able to rapidly recover from edema, hair loss, and collagen tissue atrophy by including more concentrated sources of protein in her fruitarian diet from eating nuts, but much of the woman's improvement is also likely due to the additional calories supplied in nuts.
Both protein and energy must be fed in sufficient amounts to prevent PEM, protein-energy malnutrition. Feeding excess protein without supplying enough calories to meet energy needs is likely to result in the body burning the excess protein for energy instead of using it for tissue growth, repair, and maintenance.
In The Great Protein Fiasco , McLaren described how the overemphasis on protein needs in malnutrition was based on a misinterpretation of early studies of kwashiorkor in African children.
It has since been found that protein deficiencies in these children occurs as a result of feeding inadequate calories from a mixed diet of whole foods, not from the low-protein content of the food itself.
For example, human milk is a low-protein food, but it is obviously adequate for growth and development in children. Nevertheless, commercial marketing of high-protein foods for profit keeps the high-protein myth alive.
Why else would people think they need to eat animal-based foods? Copenhagen's historic nutrition researcher, Mikkel Hindhede, noted that adequate protein intake was often not a concern "provided sufficient calories were furnished. According to Davis and Melina, the average sedentary to moderately active woman requires 1,, calories a day, and moderately active males require calories, based on size and energy expenditures. However, the average person lives on cooked food.
A person living on a properly balanced raw fruitarian diet is much more efficient at metabolizing energy from calories in raw fruit, vegetables, and nuts compared to cooked starch and protein. If you are maintaining a healthy lean weight, and you observe that your nails are growing quicker and stronger on a fruitarian diet, then you are likely getting sufficient calories along with adequate protein to synthesize collagen tissue.
My experience regaining 30 pounds of muscle on 0. If you are eating sufficient calories from natural foods to meet your energy needs, it is impossible to consume fewer than 0. In Superior Nutrition , Shelton verified, "I have watched hundreds of men, women, and children make steady often rapid gains in weight and strength following lengthy fasts, while consuming less than half the protein daily that is required.
Note that the protein fed in these cases is mostly uncooked, which has a much higher bioavailability than heated protein. Thermally treated protein coagulates so that its amino acid strands fuse together and do not unfold or denature properly during gastric digestion, thereby wasting much of the protein.
In addition to collagen breakdown from lack of calories and protein, too much fruit acid is claimed to breakdown tooth enamel. Shelton warned against eating citrus fruit in excess, although he acknowledged that citrus fruits are wholesome foods. The acidic nature of these foods is entirely different from the acid-forming nature of some foods when they have been metabolized.
Citrus fruits are alkaline when metabolized, but their acidic effect before metabolism means they should be eaten in limited amounts. To reduce the potential harm on defective tooth enamel from eating acidic fruits, it may be best to consume small amounts of acid and sub-acid fruits that have a low pH Shelton pointed out that nature designed sweet fruit like dates and bananas for the tropics, where humans developed, and this implies that non-acidic fruit may be more naturally suited for human consumption.
Citrus fruit is more commonly grown in semitropical regions, and apples were only recently cultivated in temperate climates where other acidic and sub-acidic fruits like berries, peaches, and grapes are grown. Acid in unripe fruit also decreases as fruit ripens and its sugar content increases.
Chimpanzees eat mostly ripe figs. Mothers are instructed to feed their toddlers diluted fruit juice to protect their toddlers' teeth from baby-bottle tooth decay due to prolonged exposure to fruit acid, sugar, and also to lactic acid from milk. If you soak a chicken bone in vinegar overnight it turns rubbery as the acid removes the bone's calcium phosphate. Obviously, we don't soak our bones in acid, and bones lack protective dental enamel found on teeth.
A sound tooth is able to restore and maintain enamel due to a small amount of acid erosion on a daily basis. Shelton wrote that experimenters found no injury to sound teeth that were submerged in fruit acid for several months, and that lactic acid also does not harm sound teeth.
Since then, research has shown that enamel hypoplasia is caused by a high-phosphorus diet, and this could be an important determinant in weakening a sound tooth's resistance to acid erosion. Breastfed infants have a much lower prevalence of dental caries than bottle-fed infants, which could be explained by bottled cow milk containing six times more phosphorus.
This implies that raw fruit has excellent potential as a bodybuilding food if fed as part of a well-balanced diet. Protein per Calorie in Fruit. Note the important distinction between measuring protein by grams per calorie rather than by percentage of calories. It is easy to fool yourself into believing that you are getting sufficient protein from a low-calorie diet when you measure protein by percentage of calories instead of by grams per calorie.
Confusing these two measurements seems to have misled many fruitarians into believing that human protein needs are lower than they actually are. A pound person dieting on calories would need to increase their minimum required protein intake to Attempting to lose weight for long periods with a low-calorie diet that consists exclusively of fresh raw fruit and vegetables is not adequate in protein without adding concentrated sources from nuts, seeds, coconuts, avocados, etc.
Vetrano pointed out that the human body is equipped with organs to digest concentrated protein foods like nuts and seeds, so sufficient quantities of these foods belong in the natural diet of humans. Contrary to fruitarian Michael Arnsteins's opinion, most nuts and seeds including pecans, pistachios, almonds, filberts, cashews, coconut, etc.
In a recent interview, Arnstein admitted that more dietary fat is probably needed. Fruit also has variable amounts of phosphorus and calcium. Excessive intake of some types of fruit high in phosphorus per calorie, similar to other carbohydrates like grains and legumes, can provide too much phosphorus to the body, which disturbs calcium metabolism and causes bone disorders and soft tissue calcification.
In chemistry, phosphorus is more than twice as electronegative as calcium, which means phosphorus attracts and controls chemical reactions with calcium, forming a serum calcium phosphate product, Ca HPO 4 2.
Shelton wrote, "phosphorus is as essential as calcium to the bones and the latter is usable in proportion to the amount of the former. As serum levels of free calcium fall, parathyroid hormone reacts within seconds to restore calcium levels by releasing calcium from bone. Because dietary phosphorus is absorbed into the blood quicker than calcium, any extra dietary calcium that was consumed is eliminated once normal calcium levels have been restored from bone loss or resorption.
A healthy diet supplies a calcium: In Superior Nutrition , Shelton wrote, "Most fruits are deficient in calcium, most green leaves contain an abundance of calcium. Nobody lives on fruit alone, so the calcium deficiency of fruits is supplemented by the calcium richness of green leaves.
Fruits will not take their places. The best solution is to keep phosphorus intake under control with a balanced diet.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance RDA for phosphorus set by the Institute of Medicine is mg a day for adults, which is the amount needed to maintain normal serum phosphorus levels in the fasting state.
The RDA for calcium is 1,, mg, which provides a calcium: For more information on phosphorus and bone health, see: Cows Don't Drink Milk: Unraveling the Calicum Paradox. If careful attention is not given to select fruits low in phosphorus per calorie on a low-fat fruitarian diet, problems can quickly develop as phosphorus levels rise.
A calorie diet of tomatoes provides an astounding mg phosphorus! On the other hand a calorie diet of low-phosphorus fruit like apples provides only mg of phosphorus, although it is low in calcium at only mg. These foods should not be eaten in excessive amounts and need to be properly balanced with raw leafy green vegetables. But isn't fruit an alkaline-forming food? Nutritional concepts such as Potential Renal Acid Load PRAL are used to sum and compare the amount of alkaline-forming minerals and acid-forming minerals in a food to determine which type of element predominates.
The body has a great need for alkaline minerals, which the conventional diet does not provide. Unfortunately, even though fruit is predominately composed of alkaline-forming elements, the formula for PRAL ignores the independent relationship between calcium and phosphorus.
For this reason, Shelton warned of classifying almonds as an alkaline food. He pointed out that almonds contain very high amounts of phosphorus, an acid-forming element. The alkaline elements like potassium, sodium, and magnesium do not balance out disturbances in calcium and bone metabolism caused by high phosphorus levels with a relatively low ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
On the other hand, dairy products have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, but because they contain so much acid-forming sulfur, nitrogen from protein, as well as phosphorus, they have an overall acidic effect in the body, producing excessive amounts of sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and phosphoric acid.
Fed daily in large amounts, dairy products may be suitable for rapidly growing calves, but not for humans, young or old. Shelton quoted Harvard dental researcher Percy R. Howe, "the body calls on the bones for calcium when it is needed in the blood. To prevent bone loss, it is important to limit the total amount of acid-forming minerals ingested. Howe further said "the blood gives calcium back when there is an abundance of this element.
The typical vegan diet contains more than twice the RDI for phosphorus, and it may be possible that dietary phosphate toxicity from consuming excessive amounts of legumes, grains, nuts, and other high-phosphorus foods contributed to Steve Jobs' cancer. For information on phosphorus and cancer, and for a list of natural foods lowest in phosphorus per calorie, see Prevent Chronic Disease with A Phosphorus-Restricted Raw Vegan Diet.
Fry claimed there was no need to be concerned about replacing the calcium lost from bone each day because the body recycled the lost calcium and returned it to bone. Although some calcium is normally reabsorbed in the kidney, excess plasma calcium levels are excreted in the urine. Fry's advice is ridiculous and dangerous, and he appeared to have a spinal kyphosis indicating that he suffered from severe osteoporosis.
The claim that "you can't help but get enough calcium" from eating natural plant-based foods is equally false and dangerous. Although it is true that countries with high calcium intake have more osteoporosis, this is because more phosphorus and protein is also consumed.
But among nations with lower rates of osteoporosis from eating more plant-based foods, higher calcium consumption is associated with lower fracture rates!
In Doug Graham's book that recommends a low-fat fruit diet, calculating nutrients in Autumn Menu Plan: This plan could be improved by reducing calories from fruit and adding calories from low-phosphorus high-fat plant-based foods. Weston Price hypothesized that there was a mysterious X factor in butter and other high-fat animal-based foods in the diet of healthy people.
Although this has been identified as vitamin K found abundantly in green vegetables , it also seems likely that health improvements resulted from a better balance of nutrients, including balanced levels of phosphorus, glucose, fat, and calcium. For more information on the nutritional value of high-fat coconuts, see: Bananas, Coconuts, and Green Smoothies: Is fear of dietary saturated fat causing you to eat an unhealthy, unbalanced diet?
See Is the Lipid Theory Dead? One factor that may have misled T. Fry into disregarding his protein requirements was his unsuccessful attempt to regularly consume a protein meal of 4 ounces of nuts with a large green salad daily, as was recommended by Shelton and the American Natural Hygiene Society.
This recommendation was based on the food-combining rule to separate protein and starch meals, but the rule doesn't apply on a starch-free raw diet.
By contrast, a 4-ounce serving of beef contains only mg of phosphorus, which is equivalent to only about one ounce of high-phosphorus nuts like cashews. The drawback of meat, however, is that it provides a high density of phosphorus per calorie, which makes it more difficult to limit overall daily phosphorus intake while consuming sufficient calories to meet energy needs.
Although many types of nuts match the protein content of meat ounce per ounce while providing more calories to meet energy needs, it is a serious mistake to ignore the exceedingly high absolute amount of phosphorus in these nuts.
Feeding so many nuts in a misguided attempt to match the unhealthy high-protein standard of animal-based foods floods the body with too much phosphorus and has done more harm than good. This does not mean that there aren't times when more nuts are required, as when recovering from a fast and when calorie intake is low, as previously mentioned. Nevertheless, limiting nut intake to just an ounce or two at a meal reduces the phosphorus load in the blood and is less likely to elevate serum phosphorus levels.
One or two ounces is just the right amount of nuts to blend into a salad dressing or add to a smoothie. In addition, it is important to control your dietary phosphorus intake throughout the day to avoid overly increasing the phosphorus load in your blood. For example, if phosphorus intake is low during most of the day, especially if one is fasting or eating extremely lightly as T.
Fry often did, the body maintains normal serum phosphorus levels by reabsorbing more of it in the kidneys. Eating meals too close together could also overload your blood with too much phosphorus.
Virginia Vetrano noted how T. Fry eventually made the error of avoiding nuts altogether, saying to him, "Sure you can stay off nuts, but look what it makes you do: Now in her eighties, Vetrano has had two hip replacements which could be related to her high-phosphorus "Hygienic diet.
Although he appeared to have signs of Parkinson's disease, perhaps related to his dairy intake which may cause an autoimmune response in the brain and having been kicked in the head by a stallion, Shelton's illness was never diagnosed. Nevertheless, most of Shelton's debilitating conditions are similar to those seen in very severe and often fatal cases of osteoporosis.
An analysis of a menu plan provided by Shelton shows a very low calcium to phosphorus ratio of 0. A young beauty contest winner representing Natural Hygiene died from severe osteoporosis.
Vetrano now recommends feeding smaller quantities of nuts, starting at half an ounce and increasing by half-ounce increments until a proper amount of nuts is reached to maintain weight and health.
Joy Gross, another popular Natural Hygiene author who is now in her eighties, disclosed that she developed cervical cancer, which may also be related to a high phosphorus intake. Vetrano suggests soaking nuts to improve their digestion. Phytates, a water soluble form of phosphate stored in plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, and grain, disturb mineral bioavailability, but phytates may be reduced by soaking and discarding the liquid, according to Bioavailability of iron, zinc, phytate and phytase activity during soaking and germination of white sorghum varieties , by Afify et al.
In Superior Nutrition , Shelton says, "The skin covering the kernels of some of our best nuts are poisonous to man, and must be removed before the nut is eaten. So far as is known, these nut skins are not fatal to man, but they are best removed. The brown skin on coconut can be peeled away with a vegetable peeler, or grated off with a cheese grater.
Doug Graham claims mature coconut meat is "almost impossible to digest," but the medium chain triglycerides in coconut are easily digested. In addition, the mature coconut seed, which we refer to as the common coconut, sprouts when soaked with water, changing the enzyme content of the meat and forming a spongy sweet coconut apple.
As in the germination of other soaked nuts and seeds, soaking and rinsing mature coconut meat may reduce any anti-nutrients that may be present to protect the seed, thus making the meat more digestible. Research that found little mineral-binding effect of phytate in coconut had studied heat treated coconut flour instead of raw coconut meat.
Heat treating and roasting nuts is sufficient to break down phytate, but heat treating also destroys enzymes and produces harmful oxidation in the fat. Also, even though the coconut seed contains water inside, this is not sufficient to rinse away any phytates that may form. In a study by Macfarlane et al. Although author Bruce Fife claims phytates in coconut are harmless, I have experienced a heavy feeling in my stomach when eating raw mature coconut meat, but I experienced no unpleasant symptoms when the coconut meat was soaked and rinsed.
Until more research is conducted in this area, it may be prudent to soak and rinse raw mature coconut meat like other germinating nuts. By contrast, young coconut jelly and water from an immature seed may not have developed the same protective anti-nutrients as in the mature seed.
Blending dry mature nuts with water and discarding the watery bottom as the fat rises to the top is another way to quickly remove the water soluble phytic acid.
There are additional concerns associated with phytates other than their mineral-binding or chelating effects. Like bisphosphate drugs used to treat osteoporosis, phytates inhibit the genesis of osteoclasts in bone which are cells that normally break down old bone tissue.
Thus, phytates temporarily increase bone mineral density as old bone tissue is retained, but the failure to remodel bone with new tissue eventually undermines bone architecture and results in more serious problems like fractures.
Other "medicinal" effects of phytates should be considered with suspicion as all medicines are poisons that cause adverse effects. Graham says truly raw nuts are naturally high in water content, but this is so only when the nuts germinate. Fruitarian author Johnny Lovewisdom described how prior fruitarians had experienced adverse effects eating nuts "due to the lack of the life-giving living water in nuts.
In this state, the nuts contained more water and fewer anti-nutrients. However, modern commercial agricultural methods harvest nuts like macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, and almonds directly from the tree and dry them, thus retaining and concentrating their anti-nutrients.
Fry mentions soaking grains, dried fruit, legumes, and sunflower seeds, but he never mentions the need to soak and germinate tree nuts. Neither did the Natural Hygiene Society ever mention soaking nuts. This may account for the heavy uncomfortable feeling in T. Fry's stomach that he and many others have complained about when consuming unsoaked nuts which contain phytates. Vetrano attributes the improved digestion of soaked nuts to "making them crispy and less dry," but she dismisses the effect of "protease inhibitors.
Fry a better solution to nut consumption which might have saved his life. In my own experience recovering after a fast, the nuts I consumed were mainly blanched almonds and unsoaked "raw" cashews, both nuts which were heat treated, and I experienced none of the digestive problems associated with phytates.
A study in The New England Journal of Medicine titled Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality found that as little as a daily one-ounce serving of nuts independently reduced overall death as well as death specifically from respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer. The cardioprotective ability of nuts and seeds to reduce the risk of heart disease in a dose-dependent manner is so well established by scientific research that a Harvard meta-analysis estimated almost 2.
This must come as a shock to practitioners who prescribe very low-fat diets with low intake of nuts and seeds. Thus, along with other very low-fat diet advocates like Doctors Esselstyn, Barnard, Fuhrman, McDougall, and Ornish, Graham advocates a diet for heart disease patients that actually increases heart disease risk.
In his summer menus, Graham allows a total of only two ounces of nuts a week! Avocados are another of Graham's fat scapegoats, and he recommends consuming the equivalent of just one medium avocado every three days! What Have We Learned? The American Heart Association released new guidelines in for the primary prevention of stroke in which they recommend a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts to lower stroke risk.
Fry wrote about living for months at a time without eating high-fat natural foods, implying that he purposely derived most of his calories from an unbalanced low-fat diet of sugary fruit which likely contributed to his death. Graham was obviously very influenced by T. Fry's approach, and the low-fat craze of the s along with the problems associated with phytates and excess phosphorus from overconsuming commercially dried and ungerminated nuts and seeds only seemed to reinforce Graham's beliefs.
Fry also discouraged the need to eat vegetables; a belief and practice that was probably a leading factor that contributed to his anemic complications leading to his death. Few vegetables appeal to the palate as such anyway. I feel very comfortable after fruit meals whereas sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable after vegetable meals. Had Fry eaten complete nutrient-balanced meals combining fruit and dark green leafy vegetables blended into green smoothies or dressings with small amounts of germinated nuts, seeds, or avocados, he probably would have experienced much more satisfying results.
A molecule of chlorophyll is almost identical to a molecule of hemoglobin, except chlorophyll contains magnesium instead of iron.
In my opinion, the blood albumin deficiencies that Vetrano claimed caused Fry's death were signs of the deterioration of Fry's blood formation ability, which no amount of stuffing with protein from nuts could remedy.
The gastritis that prevented Fry from producing intrinsic factor needed to prevent his anemia was also probably made worse by attempting to digest large portions of unbalanced "vegetable and nut or avocado meals. Fry's laboratory values, specifically his albumin levels. Low albumin levels do not reflect a patient's protein status! In fact, a patient undergoing starvation will have normal albumin levels.
According to Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process , serum levels of albumin, which are known as negative-acute-phase proteins, are lowered in response to acute illness. Protein-energy malnutrition was probably a result of, not the cause of, Fry's acute illness. In addition to a lack of essential fatty acids, his severe anemia was caused by lack of blood-building nutrients from avoiding dark green leafy vegetables, especially with no other secondary dietary sources of these nutrients from animal-based foods.
This does not mean that humans must rely on animal-based foods for essential nutrients. Essential amino acids, organic mineral compounds, and vitamins are synthesized by plants, not animals. Just as animals obtain all the blood, bone, nerve, and muscle building nutrients they require from plants, so too can humans. But you have to actually eat the green leaves of plants! Low-fat and very-low-fat diets continue to be popular in treating chronic diseases and obesity. Research of Weston Price, although biased towards animal-based foods, demonstrated that populations that include a balanced distribution of calories from unprocessed dietary fat and unrefined carbohydrates have fewer dental caries.
Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center demonstrated that bone breaks down to regulate high blood sugar levels. A article in e! Science News titled Breakdown of bone keeps blood sugar in check, new study finds explained how osteocalcin is released from bone, which stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin and lower serum glucose.
By contrast, a study titled Regulation of osteoclastic bone resorption by glucose published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications found that fatty acids do not cause bone breakdown. These findings confirm David Wolfe's advice in The Sunfood Diet Success System that, "Too much sugar in the blood triggers the release of alkaline minerals, such as calcium, from the bones and tissues to buffer sugar's acidifying effects," and, "This condition is completely reversible through regular exercise, considerably decreasing the intake of sugary fruits, and by adding a large portion of dark green-leafy vegetables and a variety of raw plant fats to the diet.
He further notes that a diet high in acid-forming minerals like phosphorus and low in alkaline minerals like calcium damages teeth. Menus in the raw vegan diet book by dietitians Melina and Davis are also excessively high in phosphorus. Graham claims that the generally low glycemic index GI of fresh whole fruit is proof that large amounts of carbohydrates from fruit have little effect on one's overall blood glucose response.
However, in their webpage titled Glycemic Index and Diabetes , the American Diabetes Association refers to research showing that "the total amount of carbohydrate in food, in general, is a stronger predictor of blood glucose response that the GI.
Although Graham points out that the glycemic load in one serving of fruit is lower than in one serving of foods high in starch, he fails to consider the glycemic effect of the number of servings consumed in large portion sizes.
Excessively large portions of fruit quickly add up to a very high overall glycemic load which stresses the body and stimulates the skeletal system to control blood sugar levels. Supporting the findings from Columbia University Medical Center researchers, Karsenty and Ferron, in a article in Nature titled The contribution of bone to whole-organism physiology , described how osteoclast cells in bone are signaled by osteoblast cells when insulin is lacking to absorb glucose.
They can provide a quick source of energy before a workout and also vital post-workout nutrients that are needed to repair muscle and balance water retention. Additionally, bananas contain filling fiber too.
All of these benefits within one calorie piece of fruit sounds like a good deal, but bananas can also be tricky for certain people and may not be the best fruit choice for everyone. Because bananas contain a relatively high amount of sugar and carbohydrates, but practically no protein or healthy fats, they can quickly spike blood sugar levels. This is a problem for anyone who has a form of insulin resistance, including those who are pre-diabetic or who have diabetes. Therefore bananas make a great fruit choice for most people, but not all.
If you are someone who is otherwise healthy and relatively active, bananas are a smart and beneficial food choice to add to your diet. However if you have sensitives to insulin, trouble managing blood sugar, and substantial weight to lose, you may want to go with other fruit and food options over bananas. Bananas are a great pick-me-up snack because they provide carbohydrate in the form of quick-releasing sugars which your body can use for energy.
After a workout, your body uses carbohydrates to refuel and repair muscle fibers that have been broken down. After exercising, banana nutrition contains sugar molecules that are able to reach muscle tissues fast right when they are needed most.
This helps restore glucose reserves quickly, which is vital for giving your body the energy it needs to build muscle and strength. Bananas are useful either before exercise or immediately after, providing your body with the sufficient carbs and nutrients that it needs. At just calories, bananas make a great pre or post workout snack choice, especially considering they are a whole food and contain no processed or artificial ingredients like many packaged snacks do.
Bananas are one of the richest sources of potassium in the world, with about mg of potassium per banana. Potassium is another nutrient that is crucial for those who are physically active, but also for everyone else too. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes circulatory health, helps to manage blow flow and hydration levels within the body, and helps oxygen to reach your cells 1.
Potassium is useful in preventing high blood pressure and decreases the risks for heart disease and strokes because it regulates circulation, sodium, and water retention within the body 2. Potassium helps to lower high blood pressure because it counteracts the effect of sodium within the blood. Fortunately, studies have shown that the best way to benefit from potassium is to consume more of it naturally though whole food sources, especially fruits and vegetables 3. Potassium also assists in the prevention of muscle cramping following exercise and helps you to heal and build muscle.
This makes it an important nutrient for anyone who is especially physically active or who is recovering from an injury. The fiber in bananas helps to prevent constipation , bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms. Fiber helps to regulate restoration and maintenance of regular bowel functions because it binds to waste and toxins within the digestive tract, helping to pull them out of the body. Dietary fiber also importantly helps you to feel full for longer.
Studies have found that a diet high in dietary fiber is protective against heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke. Fiber helps to reduce inflammation as it removes waste and toxins from the body, keeping arteries clear from dangerous plague build-up 4 5.
Additionally, bananas are easy to digest and can help prevent cases of diarrhea. This is because of their starches and fiber which can help to bind waste within your digestive tract, while their potassium facilitates in balancing water retention in the gut and keeping you from becoming dehydrated.
Healthy levels of serotonin work to lift your mood and prevent mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Banana nutrition also includes antioxidants that help with the release of dopamine within the brain, another mood enhancing hormone 7. Regularly consuming bananas can help to increase your energy, prevent fatigue from over-exerting yourself, and to keep a positive mindset.
Manganese is important for many functions within the body, including maintaining healthy skin, keeping the skeletal structure strong, maintaining proper brain function, and reducing free radical damage.
Some animal studies have shown that low levels of manganese contribute to poor bone health and possibly evn conditions like osteoporosis.
Bananas are low in calories with only about calories for one medium size banana. This makes bananas a good choice for anyone who is watching their calorie intake in order to lose weight. Because bananas contain high amounts of fiber and have a high water content, they can help to fill you up and keep you from snacking on other processed foods between meals.
This makes bananas a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth with something completely unprocessed, without derailing your weight loss efforts too much.
Another benefit of bananas? They are one of the least expensive varieties of fruit you can buy; even organic bananas are usually very affordable.
I do however caution people to consume bananas in moderation if weight loss is your first health priority, since the sugar content of bananas can impact your blood glucose levels and potentially lead to food cravings or energy spikes and dips.
If you are going to have a banana as a snack, try combing with it a source of healthy fat or protein to slow down the release of its sugars into your blood stream. Adding some almond butter, coconut, or protein powder to your banana snack can make it even more filling and impact your glucose levels less abruptly.
As previously mentioned, even though they are packed with certain beneficial nutrients, bananas may not make the best food choice for everyone. Those who have trouble keeping blood sugar levels at a healthy state or who are trying to lose weight may be better off leaving bananas behind or at least only consuming them in moderation in order to keep blood sugar at its safest levels Compared to other fruits- like berries, citrus, and kiwis- bananas are somewhat high in sugar and lower in fiber.
Fiber is crucial for helping to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. These lower sugar fruits are considered to be lower on the glycemic index than bananas so they have a less dramatic impact on blood glucose. So if you struggle to keep your blood sugar stable and you have the option to consume either a very ripe or under ripe banana, go for the less ripe. This is because under ripe bananas contain more resistant starches which break down more slowly in the body That being said, if you are between consuming any food that is packaged, processed, and full of artificial ingredients, a banana is always going to be the better choice even if you do have blood sugar issues or weight to lose.