1

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Any reason to avoid fruit on autoimmune diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 29, 2012 at 3:42 AM

I've realized that my joint pain and acne are probably due to leaky gut, exacerbated by a gluten intolerance. I stopped eating all grains a couple of weeks ago (had been 80/20 before, occasionally cheating with wheat before realizing what it was doing to me) and since then I've noticed that I seem to be sensitive to some other foods as well, including eggs and nuts (upset stomach, pain in knees and wrists, some breakouts).

I've decided to do an elimination diet to sort this out. According to what I've read, the common culprits for leaky gut are wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and nightshades -- which I will avoid. I'm planning a diet restricted to grass-fed beef and buffalo, bone broth, sauerkraut, fish, oysters, coconut oil, and vegetables (including winter squash and yams as I seem to tolerate them). But I'm wondering if I could also eat fruit regularly, like 1 or 2 pieces a day. I can't imagine why I couldn't (I haven't read that fruit is commonly implicated in leaky gut) but I have noticed that most autoimmune diets = meat + vegetables, and do not seem to include fruit. Why is this? Should I avoid fruit to heal my gut, and if so, why? I don't need to lose weight.

52af669cec3e4d2a2b414faea3de2877

(547)

on February 29, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I get all my starters from http://www.culturesforhealth.com/, I use the water kefir starter - It's lasted for 2 months so far. Their kombucha starter is great as well!

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:05 PM

And you're right -- your health is definitely worth it! And there's no benefit to feeling sorry for oneself... I was sad at first about gluten (favorite food in the world was chocolate chip cookies) but the abrupt absence of the horrific depressive spells gluten always induced made me get over that loss pretty quickly! No food is worth feeling bad for.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Did you make your own kefir with coconut milk, or buy it from the store? I was considering buying some starter grains online.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Witchyta, I find it quite a challenging puzzle. I keep reading and adjusting my food plan. I wish you success and good health. :)

52af669cec3e4d2a2b414faea3de2877

(547)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:24 PM

I avoid dairy, nuts, and eggs as well. With the exception of ghee, which I have occasionally and does me no discernable harm. I used kombucha and coconut kefir in place of whey-based probiotics. It's hard, I get what you're going through. But it's so worth it, when you're sick for so long and you finally get relief, all of the things you have to live without are pittance in comparison.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:09 PM

I have not been eating many nightshades, but have occasionally had something with a little tomato sauce. It's probably best to avoid them entirely for a while. I have also not been very careful about FODMAPs because I haven't noticed any symptoms after eating them (as I have with gluten, dairy, nuts, and eggs) but that doesn't mean I DON'T have issues with them. I'll try to avoid FODMAPs for a little while, though it seems there is very little left for me to eat! It might be a tough three or four months. Glad to hear you've found what works for you - thanks for your input!

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:00 PM

Thanks for your response. That's a good reason to treat fruit with caution. I'm really glad to hear that GAPS helped you. I've read about it but never tried it strictly. I believe the bone broth/cooked veggies/roasted and stewed meat/probiotic route would help me, and I'm going to try that, but in looking at the GAPS diet protocol, I don't think I should have eggs or dairy or nuts (all of which DEFINITELY cause problems for me) and I'm also concerned about avocado. It just seems like a lot to eliminate, which was why I wondered about fruit -- but I see why fruit might be best avoided for now.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:45 PM

Thank you for your answer --- my instinct is also that I might never be able to eat dairy regularly again. I'm hoping that several months on an autoimmune diet might restore my ability to handle nuts and eggs and nightshades, but I've pretty much resigned myself to never being able to cheat with gluten or dairy without seriously paying for it (and so cheating will never really be worth it.)

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:43 PM

That makes sense, thank you for your answers

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:17 PM

@witchyta, it was a mental thing. I wanted to "purify" my tastebuds and I worried that fruit might excite my appetite when I was trying to resist wheat cravings. When I added grapefruit after 3 weeks off wheat, it DID excite my appetite so I quickly learned to eat it at the beginning of a healthy meal I'd already prepared rather than before choosing what I'd eat.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:27 AM

Thank you, Nance - that's good to hear. Maybe I'll go a few weeks without, just to be on the safe side. Can I ask why you avoided it in the beginning?

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4 Answers

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 29, 2012
at 03:58 AM

In my early months of this lifestyle, I didn't fully realize my long list of health complaints were in fact autoimmune symptoms. I'm not sure why the diets you've checked don't include fruit but, right or wrong, I eat it. Others will know the potential problem, I'm sure, so you can make an informed decision.

I did avoid fruit for my first 3 weeks without grains. I didn't realize at the time that wheat was my problem. Once I gave up wheat I immediately began to thrive and that's still true. My favorite fruit happens to be grapefruit and since I don't take any meds I eat one nearly every day--a whole one, peeled.

After 3 weeks, I added grapefruit and all the popular fruits and many new vegetables and have had no trouble with any of them except brussels sprouts, which must be thoroughly cooked for me to tolerate them.

So, I can tell you that with my particular brand of autoimmune issues fruit is fine as long as you have an overall energy balance (for weight maintenance) or slight deficit (for gradual fat loss.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:17 PM

@witchyta, it was a mental thing. I wanted to "purify" my tastebuds and I worried that fruit might excite my appetite when I was trying to resist wheat cravings. When I added grapefruit after 3 weeks off wheat, it DID excite my appetite so I quickly learned to eat it at the beginning of a healthy meal I'd already prepared rather than before choosing what I'd eat.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:43 PM

That makes sense, thank you for your answers

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:27 AM

Thank you, Nance - that's good to hear. Maybe I'll go a few weeks without, just to be on the safe side. Can I ask why you avoided it in the beginning?

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 29, 2012
at 04:41 PM

I would guess that what one must avoid depends on what categories of foods, and which particular foods within each category, triggers symptoms, or exacerbates underlying problems.

I rarely eat fruit, and then just a section or two of grapefruit, or a bit of lemon juice, or a couple of berries. What helps me doesn't necessarily mean it would help someone else, though. I find I feel better without fruit, with those rare exceptions.

Have you considered following a low FODMAP food plan?

I posted several links to information on the low FODMAPs diet here:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/97356/help-me-with-fodmaps-elimination#axzz1nmyOe1RL

Also, do you avoid nightshades? Many have found that avoiding them helps.

I avoid FODMAPs, nightshades, oxalates, goitrogens, and high salicylates (except for tea.) With these parameters, my bones are much happier. :)

The FailSafe diet might also be helpful in pinpointing what causes trouble.

All the best to you. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:34 PM

Witchyta, I find it quite a challenging puzzle. I keep reading and adjusting my food plan. I wish you success and good health. :)

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:09 PM

I have not been eating many nightshades, but have occasionally had something with a little tomato sauce. It's probably best to avoid them entirely for a while. I have also not been very careful about FODMAPs because I haven't noticed any symptoms after eating them (as I have with gluten, dairy, nuts, and eggs) but that doesn't mean I DON'T have issues with them. I'll try to avoid FODMAPs for a little while, though it seems there is very little left for me to eat! It might be a tough three or four months. Glad to hear you've found what works for you - thanks for your input!

1
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on February 29, 2012
at 04:59 AM

From what I've read it seems that you can possibly become intolerant to anything when you have leaky gut, if your body creates antibodies against it. I think it happens more with specific proteins, though. I bet they leave off fruit because most people are in it for weight loss. I would warn against too much fruit, though, since sugar is highly correlated to breakouts in most cases.

I also recommend not reintroducing dairy at all. I didn't see signs of trouble until several months after I introduced heavy cream into my diet.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:45 PM

Thank you for your answer --- my instinct is also that I might never be able to eat dairy regularly again. I'm hoping that several months on an autoimmune diet might restore my ability to handle nuts and eggs and nightshades, but I've pretty much resigned myself to never being able to cheat with gluten or dairy without seriously paying for it (and so cheating will never really be worth it.)

0
52af669cec3e4d2a2b414faea3de2877

(547)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:58 PM

If you have leaky gut or autoimmune issues, I can't recommend GAPS enough. I have systemic lupus, and it's put it into and kept it in remission. GAPS includes fruit once you get past the introduction, they have this to say about it:

Fruit should be eaten on their own, not with meals, as they have a very different digestion pattern and can make the work harder for the stomach. Fruit should be given as a snack between meals.

I don't do well on all types of fruit. I have issues with apples, bananas, and berries. I do well on melon, pears, and grapes. That's all I've experimented with, anyway.

52af669cec3e4d2a2b414faea3de2877

(547)

on February 29, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I get all my starters from http://www.culturesforhealth.com/, I use the water kefir starter - It's lasted for 2 months so far. Their kombucha starter is great as well!

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:00 PM

Thanks for your response. That's a good reason to treat fruit with caution. I'm really glad to hear that GAPS helped you. I've read about it but never tried it strictly. I believe the bone broth/cooked veggies/roasted and stewed meat/probiotic route would help me, and I'm going to try that, but in looking at the GAPS diet protocol, I don't think I should have eggs or dairy or nuts (all of which DEFINITELY cause problems for me) and I'm also concerned about avocado. It just seems like a lot to eliminate, which was why I wondered about fruit -- but I see why fruit might be best avoided for now.

52af669cec3e4d2a2b414faea3de2877

(547)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:24 PM

I avoid dairy, nuts, and eggs as well. With the exception of ghee, which I have occasionally and does me no discernable harm. I used kombucha and coconut kefir in place of whey-based probiotics. It's hard, I get what you're going through. But it's so worth it, when you're sick for so long and you finally get relief, all of the things you have to live without are pittance in comparison.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:05 PM

And you're right -- your health is definitely worth it! And there's no benefit to feeling sorry for oneself... I was sad at first about gluten (favorite food in the world was chocolate chip cookies) but the abrupt absence of the horrific depressive spells gluten always induced made me get over that loss pretty quickly! No food is worth feeling bad for.

5cb3cbb09e6fd4cba86c077205b5c72f

(5)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Did you make your own kefir with coconut milk, or buy it from the store? I was considering buying some starter grains online.

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