Updated: Oct 2, 2018
The most frequently asked question and biggest concern I get from other is 'doesn't fruit have too much sugar?' So many are afraid of switching over to a raw vegan lifestyle because they are afraid of the sugar in fruit - they are afraid it will cause diabetes, weight gain and a host of other health issues. But this is most definitely not true, let me tell you why.
Our body (cells) run off of glucose (sugar.)
First and foremost every single cell in our body runs off of glucose (sugar.) Even the brain runs off of glucose and is made up of stored glycogen. Because the brain is so rich in nerve cells, or neurons, it is the most energy-demanging organic, using up a half of all the sugar energy in the body.
Everything that we consume the body must then convert into glucose since sugar (glucose) is exactly what every cell needs to create energy (ATP: adenosine triphosphate.) Fruit does not require any conversion into glucose because it is already exactly the carbon that our bodies need to thrive - which means it quickly turns into energy without our bodies having to go into overdrive or dip into stored energy.
But what about diabetes and insulin resistance? First lets understand that Insulin works by binding to insulin receptors located on the surface of these cells and triggering a series of enzymes that activate a set of glucose transporter proteins (GLUT4) which convey glucose from the bloodstream into muscle, liver, and fat cells. Once glucose is transported into the cells, plasma concentrations of glucose return to normal within hours. What if the insulin signaling process is disrupted and cells can no longer respond to insulin? Disruption of the insulin signaling process will result in a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition where the pancreas secretes insulin, but fat and muscle cells do not respond to it by taking in the glucose. Since the glucose obtained from Insulin Resistance creating diets cannot get into the cells, and they have no where else to go, glucose will remain in the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. This is what happens in type 2 diabetes. So what disrupts the insulin signaling process and induces insulin resistance? It is dietary fat as well as animal protein. Yes, even if the fat is vegan.
Fatty foods increase the amounts of free fatty acids floating in the bloodstream and inside the muscle cells. Metabolism of fats in muscle cells produce toxic metabolites and free radicals that interrupt the insulin signaling process, induce insulin resistance, and inhibit the uptake of glucose. Fats can stimulate insulin resistance really quickly. In fact, insulin resistance can occur within 3 hours after the consumption of a high-fat meal.
Insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Fat—not sugar—induces insulin resistance, so fat is the real enemy in type 2 diabetes.
In one study seventeen people were made to eat 20 servings a day of fruit. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content of this diet, presumably about 200 g/d—eight cans of soda worth, the investigators reported no adverse effects (and possible benefit actually) for body weight, blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels after three to six months. More recently, Jenkins and colleagues put people on about a 20 servings of fruit a day diet for a few weeks and found no adverse effects on weight or blood pressure or triglycerides, and an astounding 38 point drop in LDL cholesterol.
Too little fruit can cause health issues.
The global burden of disease study published in 2012, is the most comprehensive and systematic analysis of causes of death undertaken to date, involving nearly 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in 50 countries, and starting with almost 100,000 data sources. What did the researchers find? Here in the U.S., they determined that our biggest killer was our diet. Number 1 on their list of the most important dietary risks was not eating enough fruit, responsible for an estimated 4.9 million deaths a year around the world.
Fruit is not just sugar. It is fiber, water, nutrients, antioxidants and so much more. It is the easiest to digest food there is and perfectly made for our bodies.
Some side effects of not eating enough fruit (and in turn eating a diet high in other foods) are: Brain fog, fatigue, depression, weight gain, diabetes, skin issues, and more.
Many people believe they are not allowed to eat fruit because they are allergic to sugars and intolerant to fructose, according to a test they took at the doctor’s office. However, in this case, it is also the fat to blame, and not the fruit. When old fat is putrefying as it sits in the linings of the intestinal tract, or new fats are constantly filling the bloodstream every day, any sugar in the fruit you eat will be very difficult to assimilate because the sugar cannot absorb past that thick layer of fat. Thus, a breath test will indicate you have sugar in your breath because the sugar was unable to go anywhere. It was blocked by all the fat.
We are frugivores - not carnivores or starchivores or herbivores.
We are not meant to eat a diet consisting mostly of grass/leaves, or meat, or starch. We are frugivores and meant to eat a diet consisting of mostly fruit. Every single animal has a species specific diet - and humans are no different. Dr. Alan Walker and his associates state that "preliminary studies of fossil teeth have led to the startling suggestion that our early human ancestors were not predominiantly meat eaters or even eaters of seeds, shoots, leaves or grasses, nor were they omnivorous. Instead they appear to have subsisted chiefly on a diet of fruit. Every tooth examined from the hominids of the 12 million year period leading up the homo Erectus appeared to be that of a fruit eater. " - NY times, may 1979. We still remain biologically a species of fruits and vegetable eaters. The human digestive system has adapted to a diet of fruits and greens for more than 60 million years of development and a few thousand years of aberrant eating will not change our dietary requirements for optimal health.
Herbert M Shelton states "every anotomical, physiological and embryo-logical feature of man definitely places him in the class of frugivores. The number and structure of his teeth, the length and structure of his digestive tract, the position of his eyes, the character of his nails, the function of his skin, the character of his saliva, the relative size of his liver, the number and position of the milk glands, the position and structure of the sexual organs, the character of the human placenta and many other factors all bear witness to the fact that man is constitutionally a frugivore."
Now that you know fruit does not in fact have too much sugar and is actually GOOD for you, are you ready to make the changes necessary to start living your healthiest life?
Here are more recourses for you dispelling the 'fruit has too much sugar' myth.
Don't Eat Sugar, Including Fruit? Dr Michael Greger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L990kUcG94k&feature=youtu.be
Fruit For Diabetes — Is It Actually Safe to Eat?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4UhVInyfoY&feature=youtu.be
Insulin Resistance Diet — What To Eat & Why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KWAgKR9JBE&feature=youtu.be
Diabetes as a disease of fat toxicity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-f9Q_-tT68&feature=youtu.be