Is Cooked Food Addictive?
There is no doubt that one of the most controversial questions in the raw food world is whether cooked food is addictive or not.
Most people who eat a 100% raw diet, or close to that, usually admit that they believe that cooked food (and even some raw foods) are addictive in the same way that other substances can be. They talk openly about their struggles with giving up cooked food. Many struggled for a long time before finally getting on a 100% raw path long term. Often, they will not eat any cooked food as they know that it will lead them back to eating a lot of cooked food again.
However, many other people laugh at the notion that cooked food is addictive. They may counter that if bread is addictive then fruit is addictive too. That we have a drive to eat and that their preference for keeping cooked food in their diet is nothing to do with addiction but instead it is a choice they are making.
Of course, it is impossible to really assess this properly by just taking stories and personal experiences into account. What does and examination of the research around this topic suggest?
Let’s take a look in this article and see what conclusions we can come to.
What is the definition of Addicted?
So that we start off on the right foot. Let’s be clear on what addiction actually means. Here are some definitions:
Dictionary.com, Oxford Dictionary
– physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance.
– having a compulsive physiological need for a habit forming substance (such as a drug)
Wikipedia (American Society of Addiction Medicine, and Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD* )
– Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences
We can also talk about addiction in an informal way. A person can be “addicted” to going to the gym, or “addicted” to running but these are more informal ways of using the word not intended to actually suggest the person has a true addiction.
So is food truly addictive like a drug or is it more likely that we simply love eating and are enthusiastic about anything we eat to the point of it looking like an addiction?
Can Food Be Addictive?
We commonly talk about people being addicted to food. We use words like “chocoholic”. Even in advertising we hear phrases like “once you pop, you just can’t stop”. Let’s look further into this:
Some researchers suggest that food is not addictive, the act of eating is addictive
This article, VIEW HERE, suggests that food is NOT addictive:
“Food is not addictive … but eating is: Gorging is psychological compulsion, say experts,” the Mail Online reports. The news follows an article in which scientists argue that – unlike drug addiction – there is little evidence that people become addicted to the substances in certain foods.
Researchers argue that instead of thinking of certain types of food as addictive, it would be more useful to talk of a behavioural addiction to the process of eating and the “reward” associated with it.”
It is clear that not all scientists agree with the notion that food is addictive. But when we look further into this it seems like the evidence in favour of the idea of food addiction is overwhelming.
Some Of The Largest Reference Websites In The World Support The Theory Of Food Addiction: WebMD, Healthline, Wikipedia
WebMD on Food Addictions
Full article: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder/mental-health-food-addiction#1
Researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Science & Policy have developed a questionnaire to identify people with food addictions. Here’s a sample of questions that can help determine if you have a food addiction. Do these actions apply to you? Do you:
- End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
- Keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry
- Eat to the point of feeling ill
- Worry about not eating certain types of foods or worry about cutting down on certain types of foods
- When certain foods aren’t available, go out of your way to obtain them
The questionnaire also asks about the impact of your relationship with food on your personal life. Ask yourself if these situations apply to you:
- You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
- You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
- You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.”
Full article: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-overcome-food-addiction#section1
“The truth is… the effects of certain foods on the brain can lead to downright addiction.
Food addiction is a very serious problem and one of the main reasons some people just can’t control themselves around certain foods, no matter how hard they try.
What Is Food Addiction?
Food addiction is, quite simply, being addicted to junk food in the same way as drug addicts are addicted to drugs.
It involves the same areas in the brain, the same neurotransmitters and many of the symptoms are identical (1).
Food addiction is a relatively new (and controversial) term and there are no good statistics available on how common it is.
How This Works
Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the “reward” centers in the brain, involving brain neurotransmitters like dopamine (2). The foods that seem to be the most problematic include typical “junk foods,” as well as foods that contain either sugar or wheat, or both.
Food addiction is not about a lack of willpower or anything like that, it is caused by the intense dopamine signal “hijacking” the biochemistry of the brain . There are many studies that support the fact that food addiction is a real problem.”
Addiction And Eating Disorder Sites
What do organisations involved in treating addiction have to say about food addiction?
Eating Disorder Hope.com
“However, for many individuals, food can become as addictive as drugs are to a substance abuser.”
Food addiction can be recognizable by numerous signs and symptoms. The following are possible symptoms of food addiction:
1. Gorging in more food than one can physically tolerate
2. Eating to the point of feeling ill
3. Going out of your way to obtain certain foods
4. Continuing to eat certain foods even if no longer hungry
5. Eating in secret, isolation
6. Avoiding social interactions, relationships, or functions to spend time eating certain foods.
7. Difficulty function in a career or job due to decreased efficiency
8. Spending significant amount of money on buying certain foods for bingeing purposes
9. Decreased energy, chronic fatigue
10. Difficulty concentrating
11. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or oversleeping
15. Digestive disorders
16. Suicidal ideations
UKAT – UK Addiction Treatment Centres
Binge eating disorder is a medically recognised disorder that is characterised by excessive eating over long periods of time.
A person who suffers from the disorder will typically demonstrate the following symptoms:
1. Compulsions to eat when not physically hungry
2. Routinely eating past the point of feeling full
3. Routinely eating more quickly than others
4. A tendency to try and keep eating habits a secret
5. Feelings of guilt after eating episodes
6. Persistent feelings that one is abnormal
7. Persistent feelings that food is taking over one’s life
8. Routinely attempting to compensate for overeating through dieting or purging.
There is no doubt that food addiction is a serious problem that can lead to physical and mental issues. Not treating the addiction only makes matters worse. A person who is struggling with food to any extent, whether through bingeing or compulsive eating, needs to seek out treatment right away.
How Food Addiction Is Treated
Although food addiction, as exemplified by conditions such as binge eating syndrome and compulsive eating, does share many similarities with other kinds of addictions, it has one characteristic that makes it unique: human beings cannot live without food. We can live without drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, and so many other things; stop eating and you will die of starvation. Therefore, abstinence is not a cure.
The goal of food addiction treatment is to identify what causes compulsive thoughts and behaviours so that these can be managed. Some of the more common triggers of food addiction are:
- underlying emotional stress
- poor self-image
- more and stronger cravings for food
- a need for comfort that only food can provide
- an inability to say no to food when entertaining or being entertained.
Articles In The Media
The Guardian- Food Addiction: Does It Really Exist?
Rats can’t resist junk food
About a decade ago, a group of American psychiatrists studying obesity decided to look into whether some people’s anecdotal claims of food addiction could be proven. They devised a series of studies in which rats were offered highly palatable sugary or fatty food (they had the option of their regular healthy food, too, but that didn’t get a look-in).
Nicole Avena was one of the researchers: “We found signs of tolerance, withdrawal, craving and measurable changes in neural chemicals such as dopamine and opioid release,” she says. In short, it looked very much as though the animals were addicted to a drug, even tolerating “foot shock” (running over an electric grid) to get their fix.
There have been surveys on the foods people say they find addictive. Many of the human studies into food addiction have been based around the Yale Food Addiction Scale, a questionnaire used to determine whether someone could be classified as a food addict. One of its questions is about which foods the subject finds most problematic, and Ashley Gearhardt, the co-creator of the scale, has shared the top 10 nasties.
Top 10 Most Addictive Foods
From 10 to 1 in a survey these were found to the foods people perceived as most addictive:
– White Bread, Donuts, Pasta, Cake, Cookies, Chocolate, French Fries, Candy, Ice Cream
Notice that all of these foods are cooked or processed foods. Most have either additional sugar, salt or oil making these foods highly palatable.
What constitutes addiction anyway?
“This is a subject of ongoing debate. Avena and colleagues used the diagnosis criteria in the standard American guide for psychiatrists, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This stipulates that three of the following must have applied to an individual over the past year to qualify them as addicts:
• The substance is often taken in larger amounts than intended.
• A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down substance use.
• A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance.
• Important activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
• Substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.”
The Extraordinary Science Of Addictive Eating – New York Times
This article talks more about the things that food companies are doing to make foods more addictive to consumers. This is includes creating flavours that hit the ideal “bliss point” but without being so focused on one flavour that the brain is triggered to stop eating.
Moskowitz’s path to mastering the bliss point began in earnest not at Harvard but a few months after graduation, 16 miles from Cambridge, in the town of Natick, where the U.S. Army hired him to work in its research labs. The military has long been in a peculiar bind when it comes to food: how to get soldiers to eat more rations when they are in the field. They know that over time, soldiers would gradually find their meals-ready-to-eat so boring that they would toss them away, half-eaten, and not get all the calories they needed. But what was causing this M.R.E.-fatigue was a mystery.
“So I started asking soldiers how frequently they would like to eat this or that, trying to figure out which products they would find boring,” Moskowitz said. The answers he got were inconsistent. “They liked flavorful foods like turkey tetrazzini, but only at first; they quickly grew tired of them. On the other hand, mundane foods like white bread would never get them too excited, but they could eat lots and lots of it without feeling they’d had enough.”
This contradiction is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” In lay terms, it is the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm the brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more. Sensory-specific satiety also became a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating.
Wikipedia- Article: FOOD ADDICTION
As we have seen, Wikipedia can often be innacurate with it’s information or biased. We always must use it as just one source and not the be all and end all. The sources used in this article seem to be very strong which is why we share it here:
“Food addiction” refers to compulsive overeaters who engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating (binge eating). The term binge eating means eating an unhealthy amount of food while feeling that one’s sense of control has been lost. People who engage in binge eating may feel frenzied, and consume a large number of calories before stopping. Food binges may be followed by feelings of guilt and depression; for example, some will cancel their plans for the next day because they “feel fat.” Binge eating also has implications on physical health, due to excessive intake of fats and sugars, which can cause numerous health problems.
Can Fruits And Vegetables Be Addictive?
It appears that we are pulling together evidence to show that food can be addictive. When we look closer into that we see that the foods that are found to be addictive are exclusively processed and cooked foods. But are fruits and vegetables also addictive?
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied addictive-like eating in 518 participants . They used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference. This is the most commonly used tool to assess food addiction. All participants got a list of 35 foods, both processed and unprocessed.
They rated how likely they were to experience problems with each of the 35 foods, on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive). In this study, 7–10% of participants were diagnosed with full-blown food addiction.
What’s more, 92% of participants had addictive-like eating behavior towards some foods. They repeatedly had the desire to quit eating them, but were unable to. Below, you’ll see the results about which foods were the most and least addictive.
18 most addictive foods and 17 least addictive
Pizza (4.01) , Chocolate (3.73), Chips (3.73), Cookies (3.71), Ice cream (3.68), French fries (3.60), Cheeseburgers (3.51), Soda (not diet) (3.29), Cake (3.26), Cheese (3.22), Bacon (3.03), Fried chicken (2.97), Rolls (plain) (2.73), Popcorn (buttered) (2.64), Breakfast cereal (2.59), Gummy candy (2.57), Steak (2.54), Muffins (2.50)
Once again we see a strong showing for cooked and processed foods. Animal products are among the most addictive also. However, we see no sign of fruit or vegetables in the most addictive group.
17 Least Addictive
Cucumbers (1.53), Carrots (1.60), Beans (no sauce) (1.63), Apples (1.66), Brown rice (1.74), Broccoli (1.74), Bananas (1.77)
Salmon (1.84), Corn (no butter or salt) (1.87), Strawberries (1.88), Granola bar (1.93), Water (1.94), Crackers (plain) (2.07)
Pretzels (2.13), Chicken breast (2.16), Eggs (2.18), Nuts (2.47)
We see clearly that the raw fruits and vegetables are all in the top 10 least addictive foods. The results here are a little confusing however. Water, for example, is showing as more addictive than crackers or pretzels! Some whole foods that are usually cooked are showing in the top 10 least addictive also. Salmon is showing as less addictive than Strawberries!
Broadly, the pattern we see here is that the raw fruits and vegetables are among the least addictive foods. Of the most addictive foods, cooked and processed foods make up the entire list.
The Opinions Of Vegan Doctors
Many vegans and raw vegans respect the advice of some of the well known vegan doctors. Whether these doctors can be truly said to be experts in nutrition is debatable but their opinion is influential in vegan circles. What do they have to say?
Dr Joel Kahn
Dr Joel Kahn is a cardiologist from the USA. Known as “America’s Healthy Heart Doc” he has been treating patients with a plant based diet for many years. In this article he wrote about animal products, sugar and fat as being addictive but also believe that wheat and rice have addictive properties:
6 Foods That Behave Like Addictive Drugs In Your Body
“Dairy– No food group has been studied more for opioid activity than dairy, particularly milk and cheese. The protein in dairy, casein, is digested into smaller peptides and there are a family of active agents called casomorphins. The desire for cheese can be blocked by the same medicines used to reverse drug overdoses in emergency rooms!
Meat- The blood in meat contains albumin, hemoglobin and gamma globulin and all of these chemicals activate opioid receptors. When meat eaters were treated with a drug used to block opiate receptors, ham consumption fell by 10%, salami by 25% and tuna by 50%!
Wheat and rice– Gliadin is a protein in wheat that has opiate activity and is sometimes referred to as gliadorphin. There is also a protein in rice that produces similar effects. If you can’t stop reaching for the bread bowl, it’s most likely because of this feel-good chemical trap.
Sugar and fat- Headlines worldwide last fall reported on a study in rats showing a preference for Oreo cookies, used for their high sugar and fat content, that was similar to providing the rats cocaine and morphine. Actually, prior studies in humans had already shown the opioid like effects of mixing sugar and fat (think: donut) that could be reversed with narcotic blockers.
Dr Michael Greger (NutritionFacts.org)
Many vegans look to Dr Michael Greger as the font of all wisdom when it comes to what is healthy to eat. In a number of articles he has confronted the idea of food addiction:
“Evidence from PET scans suggests brain activity changes from the overconsumption of sugar may parallel that of drug addiction. Diminished “pleasure center” dopamine pathway sensitivity in obese individuals may be analogous to that found in cocaine addicts and alcoholics.”
Circuits In Human Obesity and Addiction
“A reduction in dopamine receptors is associated with addictive behaviour irrespective of whether it is due to food or to addictive drugs. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter primarily involved in the pleasure and reward centre in our brain helping to motivate our drive for things like food, water and sex.
It was healthy and adaptive for our primate brains to drive us to eat that banana when there wasn’t much food around but now (with modern processed foods) this adaptation has become a dangerous liability.”
Can One Become A Sugar Addict?
Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
“People who regularly eat ice cream—sugar and fat—have a deadened dopamine response in their brains to drinking a milkshake. It’s like when drug abusers have to use more and more to get the same high. “Frequent [ice cream] consumption…is related to a reduction in reward-region responsivity in humans”—they’re talking about the pleasure center—”paralleling the tolerance observed in drug addiction.” Once we’ve so dulled our dopamine response, we may subsequently overeat “in an effort to achieve the degree of satisfaction experienced previously, which contributes to unhealthy weight gain.”
Consumption of a calorie-dense diet compared to the same number calories in a calorie-dilute diet leads to that numbing of the dopamine response. It’s like the difference between cocaine and crack. Same stuff chemically, but by smoking crack cocaine, we can deliver a higher dose quicker to our brain.
Rather than taking drugs, though, we can prevent the deadening of our pleasure center in the first place by sticking to foods that are naturally calorically dilute—like whole plant foods. This can help bring back our dopamine sensitivity, such that we can again derive the same pleasure from the simplest of foods.
Dr Neal Barnard
Dr Neal Barnard is known for his work with the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and also his book on reversing diabetes with a plant based diet. He has written a book on addictive foods:
Breaking The Food Seduction
In this book he claims that sugar, chocolate, meat and cheese release opiates in the brain. You can view a presenation on this below:
PCRM addictive foods
Sugar, chocolate, and meat trigger the release of opiates within the brain. Researchers have proven that foods have opiate effects by using an opiate-blocking medicine called naloxone. Cheese produces mild opiates called casomorphins, as it digests.
These drug-like effects of foods help explain why we get “hooked” on some foods and not others.
Certain good habits help us reduce the lure of “addicting” foods. Having a healthy breakfast, getting plenty of sleep, physical exercise, and other steps can really help.
From these examples, we can see that these respected vegan physicians believe that food addiction is a real issue. They suggest sticking to whole foods which are less addictive. Obviously, fruits and vegetables are a part of that. Joel Kahn goes a step forward and offers evidence to show that even cooked whole foods like wheat and rice can be addictive.
1. The science tends to suggest that Food Addiction is a real concern
2. The consumption of certain foods can trigger the brain’s reward centres in an unhealthy way leading to an addiction to that food.
3. The most addictive foods tend to be processed and cooked foods, often with the addition of salt, sugar and oil
4. Fruits and vegetables tend to be rated among the least addictive foods.
The Symptoms Of Food Addiction
Though the science on which foods are addictive is not fully settled we can look at our own behaviour to see if we have the symptoms of food addiction. If you have experienced any of the following symptoms you may have a food addiction:
1. End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
2. Keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry or eat to the point of feeling ill
3. When certain foods aren’t available, go out of your way to obtain them
4. You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
5. You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
6. You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.
7. Routinely eating more quickly than others
8. A tendency to try and keep eating habits a secret
9. Feelings of guilt after eating episodes
10. Routinely attempting to compensate for overeating through dieting or purging.
11. When you give in and start eating a food you were craving, you often find yourself eating much more than you intended to.
12. You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving
Fruit and veg could become unaffordable for many people after no-deal Brexit
Could this be bad news for fruit and veg lovers in the UK? Research suggests that a “no deal Brexit” could lead to higher costs of fruit and vegetables. THis is according to an article released on Metro.co.uk which you can view HERE.
The article states:
Currently, the UK imports around 90% of the fruits and vegetables it consumes and almost half of all meat. If these levels were to decrease, it could lead to the deaths of up to 5,600 people per year by 2027 and cost the NHS an additional £600 million per year, the study suggests.
Most of these additional deaths would be due to cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, all of which can be linked to a reduced consumption of fruits, vegetables and nuts. If we do not have a deal on trade by March 29, the day we officially leave the EU, then imports are expected to be more expensive, which could cause changes to the diet of millions of people.
The study, conducted by Dr Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin School, wrote in The Conversation: ‘Brexit is expected to increase trade costs and make food imports more expensive, something that could lead to changes in diets and dietary risk factors that influence health. ‘Foods that are critical for good health would be especially affected.’
‘Given the UK’s import dependence, in particular for fruit and vegetables, any Brexit-related increase in trade costs will make it harder to get hold of foods that are critical components of healthy diets and chronic-disease prevention.
‘Whatever form Brexit might take, our analysis suggests that it will significantly impact the British food system and negatively affect the health and welfare of British citizens.’ The figures were worked out by comparing the forecasts for changes in the food chain with how disease risk is affected by dietary change.
This is not good news for fruit and veg lovers in the UK, many of who already believe prices for fruit and veg are expensive enough as it is.
It particularly interesting to note how connected the consumption of fruits and vegetables are to disease and health care spending. Would it not make sense to try to subsidise these foods for the population?
What are you thoughts? Is this just more scaremongering or are we in for a tough time after Brexit? Feel free to share the post and leave your comments below.
Fruitarian Anne Osborne Featured In UK’s Biggest Newspaper “The Sun”
The article, titled:
Mum who has only eaten FRUIT for the last 27 years claims she never gets hungry – and even brought her children up on the same raw diet
Can be read in full here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/food/7569677/mum-only-eaten-fruit-27-years-children-same-diet/
Recently, a journalist approached us to ask to speak to a Fruitarian. We said “you want someone who ONLY eat’s fruit?”
They said “yes!”
The best person we could think of was Anne Osborne.
Anne has been a speaker at the UK Fruitfest for the last 5 years and works full time for the Woodstock Fruit Festival. She authored the book “Fruitarianism: The Path to Paradise” and has spoken at many festivals and events around the world on her Fruitarian path.
She has also brought up two children on a fruit diet who showed no signs of poor health as a result.
Here is a clip of Anne Speaking at the UK Fruitfest (you can find more clips at our youtube channel):
This video includes an interview with UK Fruitfest founder, Ronnie Smith, about the process of putting on a Fruit Festival. If you are interested in putting on such an event this video should be very helpful.
The interview with Ronnie starts at 21:10.
Already, this video has led to someone getting in touch with UK Fruitfest to get advice on starting another event. Feel free to contact us for advice on launching your own event. Email email@example.com.
Is It Possible To Eat Too Much Fruit?
A new article on Time.com asks the question:
You can view it here:
The article starts worryingly with a reference to Steve Jobs and Ashton Kutcher:
“Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was, briefly and famously, an ardent fruitarian—meaning he ate a diet composed primarily of fruit, which he believed would cleanse his body of harmful fluids. Just as famously, the actor Ashton Kutcher tried adopting Jobs’s fruit-centric diet, until he ended up in the hospital with an out-of-whack pancreas.”
What is so interesting about Ashton Kutcher’s problem with a fruit based diet is that his wife, Demi Moore, had previously consulted with Dr Doug Graham. She had adopted a fruit based diet during the training for one of her films. It seems unusual that he would not have got some more help or advice from someone in the fruitarian community. But anyway…
The article goes on to look into a little bit of information regarding the evolution of human beings and mention the Walker study on looking at erosion on teeth. This study indicated that our ancestors were primarily fruit eaters.
Then the article goes on to interview Dr Robert Lustig.
I came across a lecture by Lustig years ago on the perils of sugar. At that time, I had given up refined sugar and I enjoyed the lecture and would send the video to others. Now I have realised he promotes the low carb diet. A diet worse than a diet heavy in sugar.
“There are some people out there who are fruitarians, and from what we can tell they’re perfectly healthy,”
Interesting to hear him say that!
The article talks a little bit about why fruit is not bad for us despite the sugar content. It states that despite the sugar content fruit is healthy and can be consumed really without restriction.
This is good to hear and good information. Though I would rather hear it pointed out that fat, especially saturated fat, is much much worse than sugar.
Then the article goes on to mention some downsides:
“Heavy fruit consumption may come with some downsides. “An excess of whole fruit can give you diarrhoea,” says Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington. The expense of whole fruit is also not inconsiderable. “People who want affordable fresh fruit are pretty much limited to bananas, oranges, apples, bananas, melon, pineapple,” he adds. Eating lots of berries would cost you a lot more, especially if you prefer organic.”
As any fruitarian will tell you, fruit does not cause diarrhoea. In fact it leads to improved and perfect digestion. Of course when people eat fruit for the first time after years of stuffing their system with junk the combination may lead to some upset in their digestion. But is it the fault of the fruit? Of course not!
As for the expense, this is an unusual thing to bring up. Why is the expense relevant when we are talking about whether too much fruit is healthy or not?
Then Lustig points out one danger fruit:
“There’s only one fruit he says may be worth watching out for: grapes. “Grapes are outliers in terms of their sugar-to-fiber ratio,” he says. “They’re basically little bags of sugar.” While he doesn’t recommend avoiding grapes entirely, they’re not the best fruit to overeat.”
Should we really be worried about grapes? No. Grapes like all fruit can be consumed as much and as often as you like. There is no evidence to suggest people are coming to harm because of the sugar to fibre ratio of grapes.
In this video, Dr Michael Greger goes through the current science on eating large quantities of fruit. The research suggests that there is virtually no limit to how much fruit a person can eat and the positive effects it has:
Fruit: The Most Misunderstood Food
by Dr Doug Graham
From the earliest of written history, fruit has played a key role in human health. It was the main food consumed in the proverbial Garden of Eden for an untold number of years. During the Golden Age of Man some 2500 years ago, fruit was the predominant food. This period of time in ancient Greece fostered the development of a hugely disproportional number of history’s greatest thinkers, philosophers, artists, and athletes.
Fruit has always been recognized as health food, and still firmly holds that esteemed position. The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” has been replaced by “Eat fruit every day, the five-a-day way,” indicating that the benefits of eating fruit are being more fully recognized. Our government, the health industry, the AMA, nutritionists, dietitians, and every disease-control organization that offers nutritional advice suggest that we eat more fruit.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, there are people who literally shun fruit and others who are actually afraid of eating fruit. A few leaders in the raw food movement actually have suggested that we should learn to live without eating fruit at all. Obviously, someone is mistaken. Let’s see if we can discover where the error rests.
“The last thing I ate was fruit”
In the mainstream world, it is not uncommon for people to say to me that they cannot eat fruit because it upsets their stomach. When I ask how they determined this, they tell me it was easy: I tried that fruit in the morning thing, and right away I got an upset stomach.
I try explaining that it is very likely that the food they ate the night before is still in their stomach, and that pouring orange juice or other fruit on top of this food is likely to result in a fermenting mess, a “combo-abombo”. I suggest waiting until the stomach is truly empty before adding in fresh fruit for better results. Still, since fruit was the last thing consumed before the indigestion ensued, fruit very often takes the blame.
Similarly, in the raw food movement, fruit takes the blame for problems it did not cause. Based on calculations from personal and professional observations, the average raw fooder consumes 65% or more of his or her calories from fat.
The fat is mainly derived from eating meals calorically dominated by oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, coconuts, and olives. This is over half again more than the national average of 42%. On a diet that is so predominated by fat, blood levels of this nutrient tend to run extremely high. High blood fat results in high blood sugar, as sugars cannot exit the blood well when blood-fat levels are elevated. Under this scenario, the pancreas and the adrenal glands are forced to work harder to lower blood sugar levels down towards normal.
This causes the organs and glands to eventually become fatigued and eventually fail. This will lead to great swings in blood sugar levels known as hyper and hypoglycemia and, eventually, diabetes and chronic fatigue. The hypoglycemia develops as a result of excessive insulin production. The thyroid gland soon follows suit, for it is stimulated by the adrenals and will often become hypo-functional as the adrenal glands weaken. Other hormonal issues, cancer, heart disease, and most digestive disorders are also known to be caused by the over consumption of fat.
So how does fruit take the blame Many of the above-mentioned symptoms and conditions do not become apparent unless fruit is consumed. Unstable blood sugar levels are often seen immediately following the consumption of even small quantities of fruit when the consumer is on a high-fat diet.
However, almost every condition for which fruit is named the culprit is actually caused by the high-fat diet. While raw food movement leaders continue to blame fruit for a wide assortment of health problems, I must agree with them that these effects will occur as long as the consumer is on a high-fat diet.
Avoiding fruit is not the answer as it is not the guilty party. In fact, it is insufficient fruit consumption that leads raw fooders to consume higher-than-healthy levels of fat. The simple sugars in fruit, namely glucose and fructose, are essential. They are the precise fuel used by all of our body’s cells.
“I get so hungry when I eat only fruit.”
One of the most common complaints related to fruit is the idea that fruit’s satiating power is not lasting. “I tried that fruit in the morning thing and about an hour later I was starving,” is about the way the story usually goes. At first glance, this may look like a valid indictment of fruit’s inadequacy as a meal, but the situation deserves a bit more investigation. When I ask the nature of the fruit meal, I am usually told, “I had an orange, or a slice of melon, a banana, or some grapes.”
For most people, a typical breakfast usually contains close to 750 calories. A medium sized piece of fruit averages about 75 calories. When we eat a breakfast of just a piece of fruit or two, we are eating only 10-20% of the calories that we previously did, thus we feel empty and low on energy. Even if the goal is weight loss, this is too extreme a reduction to be satiating, maintainable, or nutritionally adequate.
When explaining that fruit has a lower caloric density than all other foods except for vegetables and therefore, fruit must be eaten in greater volume if one endeavors to consume sufficient calories, there is sometimes a glimmer of comprehension before the curtain of dismissal falls again. “Yeah, but how much fruit can I eat at one sitting? You’re telling me to eat more than one slice of a melon or two bananas?” “Yes,” I say.
We can train ourselves to comfortably eat satisfying fruit meals, allowing ourselves to actually eat fruit until completely satiated. This could mean that you eat an entire melon for breakfast, or six, twelve, or even a greater number of bananas for lunch. There are three main factors involved in feeling satiated, and here is how fruit figures into each:
It is very likely that as a child you heard your mom say, “Don’t eat sweets before your meal, it will spoil your appetite.” In effect, she was explaining that fruits are a satiating food, although she may have been speaking of candy or other less acceptable foods at the time.
Even a small rise in blood sugar to the above-normal range results in a satiated feeling. Fruit certainly supplies the necessary sugars for such a rise, and hence, is very satiating. This is why many people are initially satisfied to eat just a small amount of fruit.
Another reason why fruit eating results in satiation is its high content of essential nutrients. The nutritional composition of fruit comes closer to mimicking the full spectrum of human nutrient needs than that of any other food group. Also, the nutrients in fruit are the most easily accessed and absorbed, because fruit requires less digestion than do other foods.
Many of the nutrients in fruit require no digestion at all; they are readily absorbed. These include, but are not limited to: water, sugar, minerals, vitamins, and many phytonutrients. Although not digestible, the fiber in fruit is soft and soluble and thus gentle on the delicate membranes of the digestive tract while affording relatively easy access to the nutrients it encapsulates. These factors combine to make fruit the most satiating of foods.
Last but not least, our level of satiation is directly related to the volume of food we consume. As such, in order to feel satiated, we must ingest a significant volume of food. All of our essential nutrients can be concentrated into a tablet or cube and consumed in just a few bites.
While some experts may consider such a concentrated meal to be nutritionally complete, research has repeatedly shown that people are not satisfactorily satiated because of the meager volume. Exactly because of its low caloric density, fruit perfectly supplies satiating volumes of food per meal.
In fact, for many people who have become accustomed to the commonly consumed low-volume, fat-rich meals, deriving satisfaction from a meal of all fruit at first typically poses a seemingly insurmountable volume challenge. “My stomach can’t hold all of that!” people believe.
Yet, if they take the challenge and stick with it for a few days, they will learn they can eat sufficient quantities, and they will feel satisfied and reap the benefits of improved health.
Fruit makes the ideal meal
It takes a bit of practice to learn how much fruit is sufficient for a meal which will satiate for several hours until the next meal. It is equally true that a mental adjustment is required in order to expand one’s understanding of how much fruit is actually appropriate at a meal. With sufficient experience, one’s ability to consume extremely satisfying fruit meals will grow to become one of life’s great pleasures. After all, fruit is health food. Anyone interested in attaining, maintaining, and gaining increased health should consider consuming fruit as their predominant food.
If you would like to learn more from Dr Doug Graham you can visit foodnsport.com
He will also be appearing at the UK Fruitfest from the 25th to the 29th of July at Croft Farm Waterpark, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Register now to take advantage of early bird pricing.
An article has just been released with the title:
5 Myths About Fruit Consumption You Should Stop Believing
It appears HERE on Medical Daily
So, let’s go through it and see what we think.
“1. Frozen fruits are less nutritious than fresh ones
This myth has perpetuated the idea that nutrients are lost when fruits are frozen. “Frozen fruits and vegetables are flash-frozen within hours of being picked, locking in a majority of the nutrients,” explained Dr. Joy Bauer, a nutrition and health expert from the Today Show on NBC.
If that wasn’t enough, your wallet can reap some benefits too. Buying fruits in frozen form has been recommended as an effective way to eat healthy even when on a budget. “
My response: Technically, they have just proved themselves wrong here. The quote they use to back up the idea of this being a myth says “locking in a MAJORITY of nutrients” so they are admitting nutrients are lost. But, I would agree, it’s probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. If someone chooses only to eat frozen fruit they will still see a benefit to their health.
“2. Fruits are best consumed on an empty stomach
According to this myth, fruits can cause digestion problems and are less nutritious when consumed along with meals. No studies have been able to confirm such a link. The only effect fruits can have is to slow down the release of food from the stomach. According to Healthline, this is actually beneficial as it can create a feeling of fullness and moderate the intake of calories.
Nutritional value is also unaffected as the digestive system is capable of extracting nutrients from fruits whether they are consumed with a meal or on an empty stomach.”
My response: Interesting. There are many anecdotal accounts of people eating fruit and having some digestive issue. Our response is usually that it is the mixture of the fruit with other foods still in the stomach that causes this. I would still advise people who rarely eat fruit to do so before meals and on an empty stomach if possible.
“3. People who have diabetes can’t eat fruits
Compared to carbohydrates, fruits in moderation do not cause a sharp spike in blood glucose levels. “Whole fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants,” said Katie Barbera of Northwell Health Systems in New York. “They have a lot of fibre, so they make you feel fuller and satisfy your hunger. They also add a lot of flavour to a diabetes diet.”
One study found that whole fruit consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes while fruit juice consumption was linked to a higher risk. This brings us to the next well-known myth.”
My response: True, and it is good to hear! However, they could have expanded on this to show that Type 2 Diabetes is caused by the saturated fat in the standard diet and is not connected with sugar, fruit or fruit juice.
4. Drinking fruit juice is just as healthy as eating fruit
While drinking fruit juice can still have some nutritional benefits, experts have stated that eating whole fruits is preferable. Store-bought juice may contain added sugar, which can explain why it has been linked to childhood obesity.
According to WebMD, previously-contained sugars are released when the fruit is crushed, making the juice more likely to cause tooth decay when compared to eating fruits. The juicing process also removes the natural fiber content from fruits, lowering the glycemic index. As a result, people are likely to consume more calories for lesser nutrition.
My response: For a variety of reasons fruit juice is less healthy than whole fruits. However, fruit juice is still WAY healthier than almost any other food group.
“5. Vitamin C is a natural remedy to prevent the common cold
While many studies have been conducted, researchers have found little to no benefit in consuming vitamin C-rich fruits (such as oranges) for the prevention or cure of colds. However, the vitamin did seem to help those who were marathon runners, skiers and soldiers in sub-arctic environments.
“Vitamin C in doses as high as one gram daily for several winter months had no consistent beneficial effect on incidence of the common cold,” concluded one review of both randomized and non-randomized trials.”
My response: If a myth helps a person to eat more fruit I am all for it! I have not had a cold for a number of years now but I don’t put it down to vitamin C. Rather, I put it down to a multitude of healthful habits that I practise including eating lots of fruit every day. I wouldn’t be surprised if fruit eaters get fewer colds, but I don’t think I can prove that right now.
It’s good to see an article sharing more truth about eating more fruit. It’s mostly positive!
Thanks for reading today. Leave your comments below and share with others!
Yes, that’s correct! We are excited to announce…..
Kristina Carillo-Bucaram, “FullyRawKristina”, has just announced that she will be attending the 2018 UK Fruitfest.
In her own words, she says this:
“Hey you guys, happy Wednesday. I wanted to make the announcement that I’m gonna be going to the UK Fruitfest this summer. For those of you who are interested in seeing me in the UK I will be keynote speaking, leading women’s circle, talking and doing so much more.
It’s gonna be a close and intimate space with me. It’s gonna be in the UK so for those of you who are in that area use the code “FULLYRAW” to get 10% off your ticket.
Because this is a fruit festival there is gonna be A LOT of raw vegan food there, it’s gonna be amazing, I’m gonna have more updates and announcements throughout the week on this, there will be contests and giveaways”
Follow Kristina on instagram @fullyrawkristina to find out more!
Who Is Kristina Carillo-Bucaram?
Most likely, you know her already! But here is her background:
The founder of the largest raw, organic produce co-operative in the U.S., she has been 100% raw for over nine years. An exemplification of all that she wishes to create, she is a leading visionary in the raw movement, especially in Houston, TX.
She attended both Vanderbilt University and Rice University, and she graduated from Rice University on the top 5% of her class in 2009 with a triple major. One of her degrees is in Kinesiology, specializing in Health Science. She wrote her thesis paper on Raw Foods and Fasting. Since then, she has been involved highly in the movement of Organic Horticulture, Permaculture, and Co-operative Communities.
Kristina’s inspiration for being FullyRaw came after she was able to rid herself of Hyperglycemia at the age of 18 eating nothing but a low fat raw vegan diet consisting solely of fresh fruits and vegetables with few nuts and seeds. After being a direct understudy of 20+ year raw fooder John Rose, she interned and worked under Dr. Graham at his health events in Seattle and in Costa Rica. She has lived in the Dominican Republic and in Costa Rica, and she has become an avidly enthusiastic runner who runs at least 6-8 miles a day!
At the age of 20 before she graduated college, she started the non-profit organization called Rawfully Organic. This organic produce co-operative in Houston, Texas grew from 12 people in her living room to thousands of families in the greater Houston city limits. Rawfully Organic feeds hundreds of families each week and focuses on the benefits of eating diets high in raw fruits and vegetables while making organic affordable for all. The co-operative stays true to its mission to support families in the Texas community to supply an abundance of organic produce to help them achieve their raw, vegetarian, or vegan lifestyle.
Besides being the chief goddess co-operator of Rawfully Organic, Kristina has made a living coaching and inspiring thousands of others to be FullyRaw for the past few years. She is the author of The FullyRaw Diet and also the creator of her latest company called FullyRaw Juice, LLC.
She also enjoys frequently speaking and lecturing to the Texas community. She even offers raw classes where she prepares food for her audiences! Kristina’s mission is to simply REACH PEOPLE with the message of RAW. She wants to inspire people to find their rawness within so that they can find their own health freedom and zest! You CAN be FullyRaw, and Kristina wants to help you get there!
One Of The Biggest Names In The Raw Vegan World!
Kristina’s message has touched the lives of millions of people.
She has over 1 million followers on Instagram and Youtube who watch her recipe videos and follow her life story.
She has done more for the raw vegan movement than anyone over the last 10 years! She has a unique ability to connect with and inspire many people.
We have no doubt she will do an incredible job speaking, teaching and leading women’s circles at this years Fruitfest.
A Brand New Prize Draw: WIN 2 Free Tickets Plus A Contribution Towards Travel Expenses
It turns out, in our previous contest, the winner is unable to attend the festival.
Therefore, we have made the decision to create a brand new prize draw. The first prize will be a pair of tickets to this year’s UK Fruitfest plus up to £500 towards travel expenses.
To enter the contest you can CLICK HERE NOW
If you have already registered for the festival you will be automatically added to this prize draw. But to DOUBLE your chance of winning why not get your friend, partner or spouse to enter too.
Can’t Wait To Get Your Ticket?
It is likely that Kristina’s attendance will lead to unprecedented demand for attendance at the festival. Tickets are limited and are given on a first come first served basis. If you would like to attend Fruitfest and meet Kristina, please register today by clicking the first image below. Use the discount code “FULLYRAW” to take 10% off of your ticket price.