From Steve Jobs to vegan vloggers, Instagram wellness gurus to bodybuilders, lots of health-inclined people on the internet have been under the impression that eating only raw fruits will change your life. This diet is called "fruitarianism," and it involves solely eating raw fruits, and sometimes nuts and seeds. Proponents of the diet claim that it'll help with digestion, keep you hydrated, improve cognition, simplify meal-prepping, give you more energy, and of course, "detoxify" your body.
Fruitarianism sounds extreme because it is — yet tons of people still commit to it, because it seems kooky enough to work. To date, there are more than 600,000 photos tagged #fruitarian on Instagram. However, like many viral health trends on the internet, there's more to fruitarianism than just colourful smoothies and heaping bowls of produce.
Here are a few reasons why a fruitarian diet plan is probably not the best option for most humans. The TL;DR? Too much of one thing is typically not a good idea.
You need other nutrients.
In terms of nutrients, fruit is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which is awesome. Thanks to the naturally-occurring sugar and carbohydrates in fruit, it gives you energy and tastes amazing. For these reasons, it's recommended that adults ages 19-30 eat two cups of fruit per day. But fruit can't provide all of the vital nutrients your body needs to function. For example, you need foods with protein to transport, build, and repair tissue, and fat to protect your organs and help your brain do its job. By limiting yourself to only eating fruit, you're missing out on these other delicious and important nutrients that you literally need to survive.
When it comes to dietary changes of any kind, it's important to think about what's going to be sustainable for you long-term. Transitioning from eating a variety of foods to just one type of food would be jarring for most people. "Any sort of lifestyle change that takes place overnight and makes a big sweeping change is typically not something that a person is going to stick with in the long term," Jen Bruning, MS, RDN, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Chicago told Refinery29. Fruitarianism is very restrictive by nature of the fact that you can only eat fruit. And any "healthy eating plan" that labels certain foods as "off-limits" (Whole30 is a big one, for example) could hurt your overall relationship to food.
It could be pretty bad for you.
Back in 2013, when Ashton Kutcher was filming the biopic about Steve Jobs, he attempted to eat Jobs' infamous all-fruit diet to get into character, and ended up in the hospital due to low pancreas levels. The pancreas is responsible for breaking down food, producing insulin, and controlling blood sugar levels, so without it, your body can't process sugar. And if you're eating mostly sugary fruits, you can see why this is a problem. Additionally, for people with diabetes who can't create or utilize insulin, an all-fruit diet could be harmful, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
So, if you're still intrigued by what an all-fruit diet entails, ask your doctor — chances are they'll tell you to stick to "an apple a day," and a variety of other foods as well.