2

votes

New to Paleo, using for Autoimmune for RA - still a bit confused about fruit

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 15, 2012 at 3:41 AM

Hi Everyone, Well yesterday was one week anniversary of being strict paleo (including the first 30 days of no tomatoes, no peppers, no dairy, no chilli etc). Yeeeehha.. I can't say it's been easy cos I'm not the most adventurous at cooking. Breakfast and lunch I find the hardest cos there is only so much bacon a girl can eat day after day, and eating last nights left overs or casserole for brekkie I just can't do... So I find myself eating lots and I mean lots of fruit.. Everything from bananas, cherries, strawberries, melon, apples, pears, pineapple (a couple of big bowls of mixed fruit salad everyday) and I'm not sure if this is undoing all the good I've been doing... I don't need to lose weight infact like most people doing this for autoimmune I'm fighting to maintain 50 kilos. It's taken 3 years to get a dagnosis and the jury I think is stilll out... Despite this, if this doesn't work then my next step is the methotrexate or Enbrel. Which I must say scares the living day lights out of me, but then deformed joints also throws me into a nauseous panic. I'm not really sure what to expect? Am I looking for all the pain to go... How much pain is acceptable? I've been trying to read everything I can about Paleo for Autoimmune but it does seem limited.... I guess it's trial and error and my arthritis specialist should be able to help although I did get the "you can try what ever diet you like". So as you can imagine I am getting my confidence and strength from you lot. thanks & running out of space. Look forward to any replies :-)

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on August 17, 2012
at 10:38 AM

Also +1, mostly for actually asking people for evidence that sugar in the form of fruit is inherently inflammatory. I'd love to see such evidence as well, but I doubt there's much behind that claim.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on August 17, 2012
at 10:31 AM

Maybe Dan W. experiences worsened rheumatoid arthritis symptoms after eating fruit because he has bad bacteria in his gut that feeds on sugar and cause cytokines like TNF-a to be released, which are known factors in the inflammation of RA. I think man is meant to be able to eat lots of fruit, but sometimes neolithic circumstances, temporary and otherwise, get in the way.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:53 AM

Actually it might be my second -1.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:52 AM

Yay, my first negative score! :P

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:29 AM

"The IF Rating integrates more than twenty different pro- and anti-inflammatory factors. The amounts of individual nutrients are considered, as well as the ratios between various nutrients. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index, which describes the impact a food has on blood sugar: whether it causes blood sugar to rise sharply or slowly." -"The Inflammation Free Diet Plan" by Monica Reinagel

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Way to go. So by primal, do you mean you're gluten, dairy and nightshade free? What other stuff are you avoiding? I believe Robb Wolf's AI protocold tells u to lay off eggs and nuts as well?

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:48 PM

Jamie, fruit consumption was primarily seasonal. Also, what we call fruit now is the sweeter versions of crab apples, sour oranges, bitter dates. Plus the seeds in watermelon and the process of peeling made it difficult to eat as much as we do now. That said, endogenous sugar in fruit is probably not harmful as long as the rest of your diet is 100% wholefood. But how many people can say that? Only hard-core fruitarians. Plus if you already have insulin resistance, you can become diabetic. That said, it's correct that no indigenous tribe ever became diabetic eating even tropical fruits.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:03 PM

How do they determine how inflammatory a food is?

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on August 15, 2012
at 02:22 PM

Since Paleo for RA is something we paleo people think works but is not generally regarded as making any sense whatsoever :-), it might be quite nice if you could follow up to this post in a few months letting us know how it's going, good or bad ...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 01:25 PM

^ Do you think thats some individual phenomena though, or have you heard it about other people with inflammatory conditions? I just wonder because food tolerance is so extremely individual and I am trying to understand if its that, or something that might effect anyone with inflammation issues...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I was wondering if was a particular kind of sugar for you, ie sucrose, maltose, galactose, glucose etc? or if it was the phytonutrients. But I guess if its all sugar, perhaps its some kind of frutose intolerance. So I guess you have to take vitamin c tablets or something....sorry man, for your trouble...

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:41 PM

The research of my own very painful experience.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:40 PM

I didn't say our bodies aren't equipped to handle fruit. I'm just saying that today's fruit (and our consumption of it) involves a lot more sugar intake than what we evolved for. I react to all types of fruit, and like I said, the more sugar there is, the worse the flare up.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:27 AM

What kind of fruit do you react to, and what kind do you not react to btw (eg types of fruit)?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I am kinda curious. I mean to me its obvious man as always eaten fruit, and we must be well adapted to it. I mean we did come from primates. But..you might know of some research though that shows something about what youve suggested here?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:23 AM

I did a quick google on "fruit inflammatory" and found lots and lots of stuff saying its anti-inflammatory. Like this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20955647 Then I googled "sugar inflammatory" and got lots of stuff saying its pro-inflammatory. But nothing really substantial scientifically, just alot of wacky new age nutritionists. Do you know any studies that show fruit is inflammatory overall, or at least a study showing fructose is pro-inflammatory (not in excess table sucrose like doses but in whole foods type doses, mixed with glucose, fructose, maltose etc ie in fruit)?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Pineapples are genetically altered and bananas and apples arent? I thought pineapples and mangos still grew wild in there original form in the tropics...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:11 AM

Perhaps you used to eat alot of sugar, and your liver is overloaded? IDK, I am no expert on RA, but i would be keen to see any evidence that fruit, in its natural form, is pro-inflammatory.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:09 AM

^ What do you mean our bodies arent equipped to handle fruit, lol? The baobab tree fruit, very common food of the hazda (who live in our anscestral home, NE africa), and it is positively loaded with sugars. Fruit is a hunter gatherer staple. Perhaps if youve overloaded your body with table sugar, or your specifically sick etc, then fruit might be a no go, but if our bodies are not equipped to deal with fruit, then they have been resisting evolution for tens of thousands of years.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:23 AM

What? You can't overdo fruit??? Sugar, whether it is refined, or just fruit sugar, is inflammatory. Figs, bananas and dried fruit are packed with tons of sugar that our bodies aren't adequately equipped to handle. You CAN overdo it with fruit, absolutely. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have seen over and over that fruit triggers flare ups in proportion to how sugary the fruit is.

3d986b3488961225e8913388ce4f99d4

(10)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:03 AM

Just wanted to add.. I have been going through all the RA questions that I have just found (sorry still finding my way around here) and I see that everyone seems to say nuts are no good for RA? Does that include almonds / pecan and walnuts as I thought they were OK and I have also been consuming almonds by the bucket full whilst my daughter and hubby are tucking into chocolate watching tellie at night... thanks

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9 Answers

4
6473dcb4b0e9b839615d650c168d2747

(638)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:18 AM

I don't have RA but my thoughts on fruits are: I think people are generally confused by fruit. They get lumped in with vegetables a lot, but they aren't as nutrient dense and they also contain a lot of sugar. (They're "nature's candy" after all)

You can definitely overeat them, because A) fruit as it is in the world today is grown for sweetness and ain't anything like the fruit paleo man would have consumed, and B) he wouldn't have consumed it all year round like we can, in the quantities we can. As for KINDS of fruit, berries are the best kinds of fruit you can eat by far (excluding issues you may have with RA or other auto-immunity)

However, just because something is NATURAL doesn't mean it's good for you. Calories, sugar ??? that still matters. Paleo is not a magic diet and you can over-consume on it.

Best advice I've had about nuts is: treat it like a condiment. It's not a good snack, unless you're looking for a calorie-dense food.

2
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Hi Summadays,

The surest way to find out if something is good to have or not is to try it and see how you feel (or try living without it for a week and seeing how you feel).

I have rheumatoid arthritis as well, and I find that fruit, especially the sugary ones (bananas, dried fruit, berries, etc.) worsen the inflammation.

In fact, when I cut out all sugar 6 months ago (of course with some slip-ups), my arthritis improved greatly. Fruit sugar is still sugar, and it's inflammatory.

Why are you restricted to bacon? Eat more fish, like salmon! As a matter of fact, people with RA have a hard time tolerating pork and red meat. See how you feel without it.

As for nuts and seeds, try living without those too. Or try sprouting them like Jamie suggested, and see how you feel.

I feel where you are. I took methotrexate and it was horrible. It didn't help and it made me feel depressed and fatigued. Enbrel, on the other hand works really well for me with little side effects. YMMV. I wish you all the best. Remember, you CAN absolutely overdo it with fruit. Try eliminating as much sugar as possible from your diet and see how you feel.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:41 PM

The research of my own very painful experience.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I am kinda curious. I mean to me its obvious man as always eaten fruit, and we must be well adapted to it. I mean we did come from primates. But..you might know of some research though that shows something about what youve suggested here?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 01:25 PM

^ Do you think thats some individual phenomena though, or have you heard it about other people with inflammatory conditions? I just wonder because food tolerance is so extremely individual and I am trying to understand if its that, or something that might effect anyone with inflammation issues...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:23 AM

I did a quick google on "fruit inflammatory" and found lots and lots of stuff saying its anti-inflammatory. Like this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20955647 Then I googled "sugar inflammatory" and got lots of stuff saying its pro-inflammatory. But nothing really substantial scientifically, just alot of wacky new age nutritionists. Do you know any studies that show fruit is inflammatory overall, or at least a study showing fructose is pro-inflammatory (not in excess table sucrose like doses but in whole foods type doses, mixed with glucose, fructose, maltose etc ie in fruit)?

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:48 PM

Jamie, fruit consumption was primarily seasonal. Also, what we call fruit now is the sweeter versions of crab apples, sour oranges, bitter dates. Plus the seeds in watermelon and the process of peeling made it difficult to eat as much as we do now. That said, endogenous sugar in fruit is probably not harmful as long as the rest of your diet is 100% wholefood. But how many people can say that? Only hard-core fruitarians. Plus if you already have insulin resistance, you can become diabetic. That said, it's correct that no indigenous tribe ever became diabetic eating even tropical fruits.

1
E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

on August 15, 2012
at 09:53 AM

Here's a resource you might find useful:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

It gives very complete nutritional data on any food that you search for. The section that will be particularly useful to you will be the inflamation factor. Take for instance raw bananas. It has an estimated glycemic load of 18, which shows how much it effects blood sugar levels. This will not be as important to you since you are not trying to lose weight. What is important is the inflammation factor, which is -115. This value shows that raw bananas are moderately inflammatory in comparison to, say, raw raspberries with an inflammation factor of 1 (mildly anti-inflammatory). I think you will be fine eating plenty of fruit, however, it might be beneficial for you to find fruits with the smallest inflammation factor.

E3474e4efbcc6c1deab28e268ad6eb01

(341)

on August 16, 2012
at 05:29 AM

"The IF Rating integrates more than twenty different pro- and anti-inflammatory factors. The amounts of individual nutrients are considered, as well as the ratios between various nutrients. The formula also incorporates the glycemic index, which describes the impact a food has on blood sugar: whether it causes blood sugar to rise sharply or slowly." -"The Inflammation Free Diet Plan" by Monica Reinagel

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:03 PM

How do they determine how inflammatory a food is?

0
Ac52e7e2dfbb6fb8e89f67400a76bb58

on September 10, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Practical Paleo does a great job at addressing this.

0
40c1878c4f652cd51d3e03f1ca8d152b

on August 15, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Greetings. I have psoriatic Arthritis, autoimmune of course and similar to ra if not a form of ra in and of itself. I would like to throw my two cents in as someone who has walked this path a litte farther than your self. Methotrexate was not a fun experince and did not have much of an effect on the psoriasis or the arthritis. Enbrel seemed to work in the short term ( year/year and a half) but I found the side effects in the long term to be scarier. The postive effects wore off around year two. Tooth and gums problems, nose polyps, wierd rashes. I am of the opinion that our bodies should work on their own with out a dependency on drugs. Enbrel is not a long term solution. I went primal a year ago and at that time I went cold turkey on all my meds, it took about six months for the arthritis to show any improvment at all. I am running the tough mudder in June, have lost 95 pounds and cut my body fat percent in half. My joints no longer ache or hurt and I am able to lift in the gym, that was never an option even when on enbrel. The skin issues have actually gotten worse over this time, but I am starting autoimmune proticol this week and hoping for the answer. My overall health has never been better, though nothing has been a miracle cure.

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Way to go. So by primal, do you mean you're gluten, dairy and nightshade free? What other stuff are you avoiding? I believe Robb Wolf's AI protocold tells u to lay off eggs and nuts as well?

0
2cf1d61bce7124e2363e5f79faa23158

on August 15, 2012
at 03:07 PM

I have Fibromyalgia and find fruit really does mess with my pain levels. The best thing you can do for yourself is keep a food journal and log how each one makes you feel. I have cut out most night shade veggies, and usually stick to berries for my fruit intake, I especially stay away from the sweeter varieties of fruit because it really does mess with me. But I agree, although they are good for you, they really shouldn't be consumed in excessive amounts, because your body still will treat it the way it does with all sugar, and with the RA you could be making those issues worse. Keep a food journal and track one fruit at a time, the body is the best way to track how things make you feel. Keep us posted!

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on August 15, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Paleo takes practice. At first, it seems very restrictive. Over time, you broaden your repertoire. You might feel like you're stuck with fruit for breakfast. Me, when I started, I couldn't think of a choice beyond four eggs every day for breakfast, and I did that for quite a while (with no harm to my blood lipid levels, by the way). By now my palate is completely accustomed to anything paleo for breakfast, from last night's leftovers to a salmon salad to a microwaved sweet potato to, well, fruit. But mostly these days I'm not hungry in the mornings so I skip. A cup of coffee with cream tides me over just fine. Since you're on the autoimmune protocol, you probably have to replace the cream with coconut milk, though, or just have it black.

To answer your question, I side with the camp that says you ought to be moderate on the fruit since modern fruit has been bred to be far sweeter than is "natural" and fructose is a problem. Luckily you are thin so you have some leeway, but RA-wise you might have to be careful of excess fructose anyway. That being said, fruit is probably way better than whatever you were eating before. You might think of fruit as an excellent stepping stone. Over time, you'll find alternatives that work even better for you. But if you get stuck at alternating fruit breakfasts with egg breakfasts, that sounds good to me.

0
695d450f25e1e5f4eba82c615206cc5a

(189)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:32 AM

Its the type of fruit... Berries and stone fruit are acceptable while others are discouraged. Bananas and apples are good post workout, depending on your activity level. Pineapples, sugar added dried fruit, and other genetically altered fruit should be avoided for their high glycemic index (affect on your blood sugar and insulin response). Personally I cant eat pre-workout, so I have 1/2 a banana before and 1/2 a banana after without issue. I also eat apples regularly. Go for organic or locally grown fruit so you get a natural serving size (not the enormous over-sized apples and other fruits sold in grocery stores) Just remember those are higher sugar items and to consider that when choosing the rest of your food.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Pineapples are genetically altered and bananas and apples arent? I thought pineapples and mangos still grew wild in there original form in the tropics...

0
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:28 AM

You cant really overdo fruit IMO. Unless your fructose intolerant, or have digestive issues, I say go for it.

Now, if youve eaten alot of table sugar in foods in the past, you may have excess stored fructose. That can be an issue for fatty liver, and weight loss. But I would suggest especially because your struggling to gain weight, and you want as many nutrients as possible:

Just go for it. And autoimmune protocol is very limited I agree.

As for nuts, i think they are offically out because of phytates and lectins etc. But you could try soaking them, and drying them to reduce those chemicals if you like (or sproating or fermenting) if your worried about those. Theres a bit about that on marks daily apple.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:11 AM

Perhaps you used to eat alot of sugar, and your liver is overloaded? IDK, I am no expert on RA, but i would be keen to see any evidence that fruit, in its natural form, is pro-inflammatory.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 05:23 AM

What? You can't overdo fruit??? Sugar, whether it is refined, or just fruit sugar, is inflammatory. Figs, bananas and dried fruit are packed with tons of sugar that our bodies aren't adequately equipped to handle. You CAN overdo it with fruit, absolutely. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have seen over and over that fruit triggers flare ups in proportion to how sugary the fruit is.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 12:40 PM

I didn't say our bodies aren't equipped to handle fruit. I'm just saying that today's fruit (and our consumption of it) involves a lot more sugar intake than what we evolved for. I react to all types of fruit, and like I said, the more sugar there is, the worse the flare up.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:09 AM

^ What do you mean our bodies arent equipped to handle fruit, lol? The baobab tree fruit, very common food of the hazda (who live in our anscestral home, NE africa), and it is positively loaded with sugars. Fruit is a hunter gatherer staple. Perhaps if youve overloaded your body with table sugar, or your specifically sick etc, then fruit might be a no go, but if our bodies are not equipped to deal with fruit, then they have been resisting evolution for tens of thousands of years.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:27 AM

What kind of fruit do you react to, and what kind do you not react to btw (eg types of fruit)?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on August 17, 2012
at 10:38 AM

Also +1, mostly for actually asking people for evidence that sugar in the form of fruit is inherently inflammatory. I'd love to see such evidence as well, but I doubt there's much behind that claim.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 15, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I was wondering if was a particular kind of sugar for you, ie sucrose, maltose, galactose, glucose etc? or if it was the phytonutrients. But I guess if its all sugar, perhaps its some kind of frutose intolerance. So I guess you have to take vitamin c tablets or something....sorry man, for your trouble...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:53 AM

Actually it might be my second -1.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 17, 2012
at 03:52 AM

Yay, my first negative score! :P

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on August 17, 2012
at 10:31 AM

Maybe Dan W. experiences worsened rheumatoid arthritis symptoms after eating fruit because he has bad bacteria in his gut that feeds on sugar and cause cytokines like TNF-a to be released, which are known factors in the inflammation of RA. I think man is meant to be able to eat lots of fruit, but sometimes neolithic circumstances, temporary and otherwise, get in the way.

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