Have you ever heard of the term “Snake Oil Salesmen”?
It is a term that is broadly used to describe a con man selling a scam product. But the term has a real origin.
This concept originated in the US many years ago. It is said that Chinese immigrants had a salve made using snake oil that helped with aching joints. Whether this is true or not we can’t be sure.
But the idea of selling snake oil as a cure-all sprung from this story. Con men started to put on elaborate shows at fairs and markets to sell the product, sometimes involving a demonstration of how they killed the snake and added it to boiling water to extract the oil.
These elaborate sales presentations worked remarkably well and many people were bilked out of their hard earned cash to buy a worthless product that had never been found to be effective in curing anything.
Though snake oil is no longer sold, the same process is used to sell modern products that are just as ineffective.
There is a particular sales pitch that is as old as the hills and has worked for at least 100 years, if not longer. Using this style of presentation, numerous supplements, herbs, gimmicks and other ineffective solutions have been sold...and many people have become rich off the back of the ignorance of the audience.
This fraud was well known as far back as the 1960s and was documented in a film called “The Health Fraud” which was put together by the US department of health.
I came across this video on Youtube and could not believe what I saw. it showed examples of fraud in the health industry and what I was most amazed by was that the sales pitch used was almost exactly the same as things we still hear today.
The presentation starts by instilling fear in people. They will say:
– the food no longer has enough nutrition
– the soils are depleted
– the foods are full of chemicals and deadly pesticides
The insinuation is that a person’s bad health is not their fault. No, it is the fault of the farmer…the government…the scientists!
The only solution, is to consume supplements…and it just so happens I have some right here…..
(by the way, this is my personal youtube channel if you wish to subscribe to it)
What frustrates me, is that many people have bought into these ideas. They have heard them so often that they assume that there is truth to these statements.
But what is the reality around the level of nutrition in our food?
Luckily, the government conducts ongoing surveys to make sure the nutrient content of the food we are eating is not changing significantly. Here is what a recent report has to say:
“These results are broadly similar to existing data held. There is no evidence of major changes in the nutrient content of fruit and vegetables based on this survey and any changes are unlikely to be nutritionally significant in a varied diet”
– Nutrient Analysis Of Fruit and Vegetables: Summary Report, Department of Health (UK)
So when we hear someone telling us that the food we eat no longer has enough nutrition, first check out whether they are looking to sell supplements or nutrient testing services.
The truth is there is very little need to have fear about the nutrition you are getting when eating fruits and vegetables. You are eating the best and healthiest foods it is possible to consume.
And thanks to the modern day food supply, diseases of deficiency have basically vanished.
If you do suspect you have a deficiency, it is best to seek help from a doctor who will be able to arrange the required testing for you. This is important as your deficiency may not be to do with the food you eat but could represent something else going on in your body.
A raw food guru would not be able to tell you that. But some will have some superfoods or a herbal remedy to sell you.
If you are looking for those products or testing, UK Fruitfest is unable to help you. But if you are looking for world class education provided by the most well known and respected raw food leaders, food provided by the best raw vegan chef in the world and an amazing community of people to share it with, we have the event for you.
If you want to join us, the best time to register is now. A price hike is coming very soon.
Recently, a friend sent me a message. She has been on a 100% raw vegan diet for over 5 years.
“Do you know anything about teeth?”, she said.
Unfortunately, I have had to learn a lot about teeth because I have had some issues with damage to my teeth over the last few years.
She let me know she had been to the dentist. He had told her that the enamel was thin on A LOT of her teeth. She had cried about it later that day. She was no longer sure what to think about this diet as her dentist had told her that the problem was the fruit.
“Do you eat dates?”, I asked.
“Yes, ALL THE TIME” she said.
“Give up the dates, 100%, zero tolerance policy”
I went on to explain to her in detail why this was almost certainly the main cause of the issue. I made sure to go over the point again and again as many people do not like hearing this advice.
Why am I so clear about this?
For years, I new that I was having problems with my teeth on a raw diet and couldn’t seem to find the solution. I had been to many dentists and went to talks from raw food gurus and read their books. I had become more confused rather than found clarity.
I started to make some changes that made a real impact such as using interdental brushes or floss sticks after meals to clear out the food that was stuck between the teeth. I would brush more often and I switched back to flouride toothpaste after many years using “natural” toothpastes that had no flouride.
These things made a difference but still some damage progressed.
Eventually a dentist explained to me I must be eating sugar. When I explained to him that I ate fruit but not sugar he clearly said to me:
“it’s not fruit, fruit doesn’t do that. It doesn’t stick to your teeth like sweets do”
He told me about people that had a pattern of damage similar to mine. They would suck on mints or hard boiled sweets all day long. The sugar would sit in the mouth and the saliva would become like a syrup coating the teeth for hours at a time, making tooth decay more likely.
“What about dried fruit?”, I said
“Yes dried fruit is the same as sugar” he said.
I suddenly thought of all the times I would put a date in my mouth and just sit it right beside my teeth and suck on it til it almost dissolved.
Dates had sometimes been a staple of mine on a raw vegan diet. I had never eaten dates until I became a raw vegan…I didn’t really know what they were until I heard some raw gurus online say that dates and bananas were the rice and pasta of a raw vegan diet.
Of course, they are delicious and easy to get anywhere. They can be stored easily and they are always ready to eat. They are also dense in carbohydrates which many raw foods are not.
Some people have said to me “but dates are natural”
This is correct but they are also a fruit from a desert climate. Our ancestors would never have come across fruits like that and most fruits would not have grown in direct sunlight either so they would not have dried so readily.
When I made a commitment to give up dried fruit and dates in particular it made a big change. I regret not making this change 4 or 5 years ago.
I was speaking to a raw food guru recently and I mentioned this to him. He said “yes, dried fruit will do that”. I was wondering why he had never mentioned this when I had heard people ask him about teeth issues. His answer had been “some people say their teeth is better than ever, some people have issues”…but he never seemed to offer a solution.
Another expert gave an in depth talk in which he seemed to be blaming a mineral deficiency. He seems to blame mineral deficiencies for everything so it’s not surprising that he would. As the saying goes:
“To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”
However mineral deficiencies are not the cause of this particular pattern of damage. If I had had a mineral deficiency my dentist would have seen something very unusual indeed.
Diseases related to dietary deficiency are from a bygone age when food was limited and most people struggled to get enough calories never mind get all their nutrients. This doesn’t stop their being a mass paranoia among vegans and raw vegans that their diet is deficient in something….but this is not the case here.
A third expert blamed the way we eat the raw vegan diet. We tend to snack all day long and our teeth end up exposed to an acidic environment all day with not enough time to remineralise.
Though his information was good, it still missed the core of the problem.
I suggest you take dried fruit off the menu if you are having any teeth sensitivities at all. This could save you a lot of pain, a lot of time and a lot of money in dental costs in the future.
In other news….
Are you interested in learning about UK Fruitfest? I am hosting a webinar this week that is open to all to join. It takes place on Thursday at 7pm GMT.
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?
“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
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
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?
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.
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.”
“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
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):
If you are just at the start of your journey to a raw vegan diet it is very likely you will make many of the common mistakes that beginners make.
You almost can’t avoid making these mistakes. A raw vegan diet will be such a big change for you that it will take some time to adapt.
But you can get there eventually and you will enjoy the huge benefits.
In this article you can expect to learn the 4 biggest mistakes people make on a raw vegan diet. You will also learn of the 7 steps to success on a raw vegan diet.
Let’s look at the most common mistakes:
1) Trying to live on Fat Or Vegetables
Many people coming from cooked to raw want to replicate many of the same flavours. We have been trained to believe that our main big meals of the day will be savoury meals. We have been told:
“don’t eat sweets before dinner they will ruin your appetite”
To try to replicate this you may end up trying to make big savoury meals of raw food in the hope of replacing your previous diet. There are a couple of problems here:
a) We can’t live on vegetables
Vegetables, though having lots of nutrients, can not provide us with enough calories to sustain ourselves. We would struggle to get enough on a daily basis.
If a person tries this, they will inevitably crash and burn in a few days as they will run out of fuel driving them back to cooked food immediately. Then they will tell people “i tried that raw food thing, I didn’t have enough energy”. Of course they didn’t!
b) We can ‘t live healthfully on fat
The other mistake is to eat way too much fat. To replace that “full” feeling from cooked food a person will start to eat a lot of fats such as oil and nut butters.
The raw vegan movement is famous for “raw gourmet” food which are recipes designed to try to emulate the texture and flavour of cooked food classics. These recipes then to be loaded in fat.
Nut butters, tahini, seed spreads, flax crackers and other raw vegan recipes are very high fat and low in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source of the human body. Regardless of what the low-carb diet movement says, this is what all serious medical textbooks affirm.
Humans have always thrived on carbohydrates. So where do we get them on a raw food diet?
This brings us to the 2rd mistake:
2) Not eating enough fruit
It is natural when you begin on a raw food diet that you probably won’t feel the desire to eat a lot of fruit. Of course, we have all been trained not to eat too much fruit. It might give you a stomach ache right?
In reality, human beings are biological frugivores. What does this mean?
It means that over millions of years on this planet, we have evolved and are adapted to seek out, eat and digest fruit as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
We digest fruit quicker and with more ease than any other food. We delight in the sight and smell of beautiful fruits and they symbolise health and abundance to us.
Carolus Linnaes, the father of modern taxonomy (the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms) stated:
“Man’s structure, internal and external compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables are his natural food.”
In the film “What The Health”, the case for humans being frugivores was made very strongly. You can see this clip here:
Also, Dr Michael Greger, from NutritionFacts.org has made a few videos on this. He is not a promoter of a fruitarian diet but he has made some videos in which he points out that humans are frugivores:
What is the natural human diet?
The dietary status of the human being is that of a fruit eater
Do you get the picture?
To thrive on a raw vegan diet we must choose to eat enough fruit. At first, this can be a hard habit to begin but in time it becomes a perfectly normal and enjoyable part of your diet.
3) Getting too concerned about supplements, herbs, cleanses, flushes and other gimmicks and fads
Too many people coming to a raw food diet get sidetracked. They become focused on gimmicks rather than focusing on the incredible nutrition that is abundant in fruits and vegetables.
Many veer off track wishing to believe that herbs, tonics, elixirs, supplements and other concoctions hold the key to health.
They believe that a 30 day juice fast is what they need to do.
Or the master cleanse or liver flush
Or they need to do colonics, enemas or sit in baths of cold water
Or they need to do a long-term water fast or dry fast
Or they need to take herbs, turpentine or some other toxic substance to clean out “parasites”
Or they need to drink their own urine
And so on and so forth.
None of these things lead to long-term success on a raw vegan diet. I have seen many people do long water fasts and long term juice fasts, cleanses, and all sorts of protocols and gone right back to cooked food after wards.
People want results NOW. The desire for FAST improvement in health can lead people to try these gimmicks rather than giving the diet and their body the time it needs to heal.
4) Not giving the diet enough time
Most people give up on a raw food diet very quickly. They want to see huge results almost over night otherwise it is not worth doing.
But think about this:
If it took you 30+ years to damage your health on the wrong diet, why should you expect it to take a short period of time to heal on the right diet?
Healing takes time. The longer you are on the raw vegan diet the more benefits and healing you will get.
Steps To Eating A Raw Food Diet
1) For success on your raw vegan diet make your diet “fruit-based”
Following on from the last mistake, the first thing is that our diet must be based on fruit. It is so easy to undereat on fruit that you should get familiar with how much you need to eat to sustain a raw food diet. You might be surprised by how much fruit you must eat, but you will enjoy the results and how you feel if you commit to it.
The average person needs somewhere in the region of 2000 calories per day. This can be less or more depending on physical activity and body size but let’s pretend this is where you are at.
If you were to just eat one fruit in a day, to cover 2000 calories you must eat:
10 to 15 large mangos (depending on size)
21 large apples
22 to 25 large oranges
25 to 30 peaches or nectarines
32 cups of grapes
7 cups of figs
Most people are not used to eating this quantity of fruit. Many people tell me “I feel full after one piece of fruit”. You must persevere through this as you are not actually full. The temporary rise in blood sugar gives the sensation of satisfaction but to fuel yourself for a busy and active day you must eat more. To do this regularly and successfully I would suggest the next step:
2) Pick a staple fruit
For me, hands down the best staple fruit has to be bananas. They are calories dense, consistently delicious, available all year and relatively cheap.
I never used to be a big fan of bananas, and if I am honest, they are not even in my top ten best tasting fruits. But they are by far the best staple food to eat on a raw vegan diet in my opinion.
They also make you feel fantastic. Most people are missing out on the best natural high of their life by limiting the number of bananas they eat.
3) Avoid raw gourmet dishes
At first, I believe it is best to try to keep your diet as simple as possible. I think that eating raw gourmet food and raw vegan restaurant food is an easy and quick path back to eating cooked food.
I would avoid these during your transition.
4) Always have fruit around and plenty of raw food
You must create an environment of success. This may be hard to do if you share space with others. But you must in your own personal space fill it with fruit and vegetables. Always have fruit around and you will find it easier to stick to raw
5) Eat enough early on in the day
Many people want to attempt the “no breakfast” plan or intermittent fasting. For a beginning raw fooder this can be a dangerous strategy. The less you eat early on the more your body will be demanding calories later on. You are far more likely to eat something you don’t want to eat later on in the day if you have not eaten enough early on in the day.
6) Eat as much vegetables as you care for
You literally can not eat too much fruit or raw vegetables. Focus on tender leafy greens rather than on crucifrous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. You will find them much easier to eat and digest in their raw form. You can get some great salad dressings and recipes from our recipe book.
7) Don’t overeat on nuts seeds avocados or oils
You may crave more fats on your diet. It is likely that this is a result of you eating too little carbohydrates from fruit.
Oils are a processed, refined food and are the most dense form of calories in the human diet. They are not healthy and should be avoided completely.
Nuts are often not technically raw and are generally dried to be transported and stored for long periods of time. In this state they are very easy to over eat. If overeaten, they can digest very poorly and lead to you putting on weight quickly.
Seeds are more likely to be raw but should not be used in high quantities. Once again they are very high in fat. Processed seed butter like “tahini” should be used very moderately and once again not seen as a staple part of the diet.
It is very easy to overeat on seed spreads, nut butters and oils and these will not lead to the health that you seek.
Avocados are a wonderful food but should not be your staple. If you can’t stop eating avocados you may need to consider increasing your sweet fruit consumption.
If you take these steps seriously you can learn to thrive on a raw vegan diet. To summarise:
1) Focus on FRUIT for the bulk of your calories and pick a staple you can eat every day
2) Eat as much vegetables in the form of tender leafy greens as you care for
3) Avoid oils, nut butters and seed spreads or use them sparingly
To get a real kick start you can get our FREE recipe book by clicking the link below.