3

votes

Who has experience with using fruit as main source of carbs?

Answered on April 13, 2016
Created September 02, 2011 at 7:44 AM

My first introduction to paleo was through the work of Loren Cordain, who from what I remember advocated eating as much fruit as one liked as part of a plaeo diet, instead of grains or tubers. I'm guessing that wasn't the most popular idea, because the paleo resources I read online (like paleohacks) never seem to mention that approach. I'm going to go ahead and just try it myself, because I want to see if removing grains helps my digestive system work better. I don't really like the taste of potatoes and sweet potatoes, and my body doesn't seem to react very well to lc and vlc diets, so eating plenty of fruit seems like a reasonable choice.

My question is whether anyone out there has had experience with this fruit heavy variant of paleo, and if so how did it work out? What problems did it solve for you? What problems did it create? I'm looking for personal experiences from people who have actually tried it. My own health goals are to have more consistent energy, more balanced mood, and a better working digestive system. At the end of the day my decision to stick with this diet or not will be based on how it affects me personally, but if there is anyone out there who has tried using fruit as their main source of carbs and who has any advice, encouragements, or warnings for me then I'd really appreciate it.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:23 AM

No grains. Those are the death of me. And one caveat is that I do much better if I eat fruit along with fat (like with coconut milk/cream).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:53 AM

Fruitarian might work for you guys, it made me totally sick. And it took my life away : try having fun with your friends at the university if you have to eat bananas, grapes, ... all day long. Besides, I looked totally emaciated. People are always attracted to a sweet, fruity life, but I honestly thought those fruitarians at the woodstock fruit festival looked like a bunch of monkeys. I don't wanna look like that. Couldn't find muscle mass in any of those guys.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 03, 2011
at 06:06 AM

I don't know, I was eating about the same amount of grains (very little) throughout both my fruit+veg phase and afterwards. A handful of oats would be a rare treat. That said, I was actually better when, in a later phase at uni, I was getting most of my calories from wheatgerm and soy milk. I was at my leanest, fittest and least hungry then (prior to going LC). I had a bit of digestive upset, but otherwise it was far better than eating fruit.

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:55 AM

So ultimately it didn't work for you. Was eating lots of fruits and veggies an improvment over eating grains, or was it about the same?

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:52 AM

I live in central ohio where we have pears, apples, peaches, and melons in season right now. Do you eat grains at all? Rice? It's encouraging to know that at least one person has good digestion while still eating fruit.

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:42 AM

So you actually lost weight when you increased your carb intake. I wonder if other folks have had that same experience. Interesting how one person to the next can respond to carbs so differently.

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Luckily I have lots of access to ripe, local fruit right now: here in central ohio there are pears, apples, peaches, and melons, all in season. But why do you say it should be ripe? Do ripe fruits have less acid or something?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:07 PM

I seem to do better with fruit carbs as well. Maybe it's my mediterranean roots. I think they go back pretty far.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I doubt it in my case, since I was on a lower protein diet previously, since I was living with my family, also the protein was added specifically because I was weight-lifting constantly. I'm sure limited protein would have reduced muscle, but not sure why getting it would increase fat mass, rather than make it easier to eat less. I've always gained weight very easily, until going low carb. I did lose a bit of weight with the above 'very healthty' diet and calorie restriction, but I lost tonnes of muscle as well.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:19 AM

ul answer!!!*! I also like fruits. If i saw Michal Anrstein THEFRUITARIAN who also organized the WOODSTOCKfruitfestival. Have you been at the WOODSSTOCK FRUITFESTIVAL? its so wonderful to see this vibrant smiling fruitarians...Does this will be for there whole live and for decades. Or are we in a new forming human diet? Which is just in aexperimenting mode?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:18 AM

you eat fruits + raw fish, right? I am hypoglycemic and can eat tons of fruits without satiety. Did you experience this and figured it out or are fruits just naturally satiating for you?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:17 AM

"...I think fruit tolerance varies tremendously from person to person, but it's been my favorite approach out of anything I've tried so far. Fantastic energy, easy to stay lean, no morning breath, clear thinking, feeling well-rested with less sleep,.. "that is so wonderful denise. When i see you post this i m relief. this is wonderful. maybe you can also understand that inuit people crave for fruit like simple sugars and nutrients?! Why people in traditional cultures crave for junk foods? And what to do to stop this selfdestruction or to make it healthier? Thank you for your beautifgul wonderf

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:16 AM

Its weird you could gain weight easily, i did a raw vegan version of what you described and I lost tons of weight(that I didn't necessarily want to lose) all while eat at least 4k+ calories a day. Maybe the lean protien has something to do with it? because I was getting barebones protien on my version.

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12 Answers

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12
20a303dc36ea98aa5d1e4989efa3fcd1

on September 02, 2011
at 10:50 AM

I've been using fruit as my main carb source (and at least half my calories) for about 8 out of the past 9 years. I think fruit tolerance varies tremendously from person to person, but it's been my favorite approach out of anything I've tried so far. Fantastic energy, easy to stay lean, no morning breath, clear thinking, feeling well-rested with less sleep, major desire to exercise instead of feeling like movement is a chore, and general at-peace-ness with the world (I guess that qualifies as "improved mental state"). I've experimented with cutting out fruit and going low carb/high fat, swapping fruit for cooked starches, and doing only berries instead of the sweeter stuff -- but the only changes those brought were things I didn't like (fatigue, skin issues, brain fog when I did VLC, and arthritis in the elbow I broke a few years ago).

I find that eating lots of fruit only works if certain other elements are in place, though. My lifestyle is very active, and if I have a sedentary streak for any reason, fruit starts making me feel antsy and sugared out (not sure how else to describe it). Season and location seems to play a role, too -- eating this way is a breeze in the summer and in tropical climates, but is considerably less pleasant when it's snowing and I'm huddled next to a space heater with three pairs of socks on. Access to ripe, hopefully-local fruit is also way better than relying on waxed year-old apples from the store.

I also had major dental issues the first year I was eating lots of fruit, but I think it had more to do with being a vegan at the time than the fruit itself -- adding back animal products cleared everything up. That said, if you're going to eat fruit in any appreciable quantity, make sure that it's really ripe. Especially citrus. Sugar + acid in juice form = havoc for the teeth!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:17 AM

"...I think fruit tolerance varies tremendously from person to person, but it's been my favorite approach out of anything I've tried so far. Fantastic energy, easy to stay lean, no morning breath, clear thinking, feeling well-rested with less sleep,.. "that is so wonderful denise. When i see you post this i m relief. this is wonderful. maybe you can also understand that inuit people crave for fruit like simple sugars and nutrients?! Why people in traditional cultures crave for junk foods? And what to do to stop this selfdestruction or to make it healthier? Thank you for your beautifgul wonderf

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:18 AM

you eat fruits + raw fish, right? I am hypoglycemic and can eat tons of fruits without satiety. Did you experience this and figured it out or are fruits just naturally satiating for you?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:19 AM

ul answer!!!*! I also like fruits. If i saw Michal Anrstein THEFRUITARIAN who also organized the WOODSTOCKfruitfestival. Have you been at the WOODSSTOCK FRUITFESTIVAL? its so wonderful to see this vibrant smiling fruitarians...Does this will be for there whole live and for decades. Or are we in a new forming human diet? Which is just in aexperimenting mode?

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Luckily I have lots of access to ripe, local fruit right now: here in central ohio there are pears, apples, peaches, and melons, all in season. But why do you say it should be ripe? Do ripe fruits have less acid or something?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:07 PM

I seem to do better with fruit carbs as well. Maybe it's my mediterranean roots. I think they go back pretty far.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:53 AM

Fruitarian might work for you guys, it made me totally sick. And it took my life away : try having fun with your friends at the university if you have to eat bananas, grapes, ... all day long. Besides, I looked totally emaciated. People are always attracted to a sweet, fruity life, but I honestly thought those fruitarians at the woodstock fruit festival looked like a bunch of monkeys. I don't wanna look like that. Couldn't find muscle mass in any of those guys.

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:07 AM

I used to eat a diet based mostly on fruit and vegetables (most of which are pretty closely equivalent fructose-wise), with lots of lean protein, which is pretty Cordainish. I was eating seeds too, but most of the calories came from carbs inevitably. I was relatively lean (being in my late teens-early twenties) doing tonnes of cardio, but would gain weight very easily and so had to constantly count calories and was constantly thinking of food. I was also constantly uncomfortably full of food, due to all the fibre and water in all the plants I was eating. Eating lots of fruit you'll get lots of micronutrients, but I'd be sceptical of the long term health effects of getting lots of calories from fructose.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:16 AM

Its weird you could gain weight easily, i did a raw vegan version of what you described and I lost tons of weight(that I didn't necessarily want to lose) all while eat at least 4k+ calories a day. Maybe the lean protien has something to do with it? because I was getting barebones protien on my version.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:01 PM

I doubt it in my case, since I was on a lower protein diet previously, since I was living with my family, also the protein was added specifically because I was weight-lifting constantly. I'm sure limited protein would have reduced muscle, but not sure why getting it would increase fat mass, rather than make it easier to eat less. I've always gained weight very easily, until going low carb. I did lose a bit of weight with the above 'very healthty' diet and calorie restriction, but I lost tonnes of muscle as well.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on September 03, 2011
at 06:06 AM

I don't know, I was eating about the same amount of grains (very little) throughout both my fruit+veg phase and afterwards. A handful of oats would be a rare treat. That said, I was actually better when, in a later phase at uni, I was getting most of my calories from wheatgerm and soy milk. I was at my leanest, fittest and least hungry then (prior to going LC). I had a bit of digestive upset, but otherwise it was far better than eating fruit.

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:55 AM

So ultimately it didn't work for you. Was eating lots of fruits and veggies an improvment over eating grains, or was it about the same?

2
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on September 02, 2011
at 09:34 AM

Fruit is fine, even great, on Paleo. The reason you hear it discounted is that it doesn't help if you need to lose weight. Me, I don't need to lose weight (I'm a runner and just ran a marathon Sunday). I eat 2-5 pieces of fruit a day. Fruit is a perfect post-workout food, even if you are trying to lose weight (post-workout is when your body needs to refresh your glycogen stores).

A lot of folks only or mostly eat berries, but that's an oddly northern perspective. If you live near the equator, as I do, the common fruits are bananas, mangoes, oranges, papayas, etc.

I love fruit. It's not processed. It's completely portable. Even my two main "vegetables" are actually fruit (tomatoes and avocados, which I eat pretty much every day, oh, so that means I eat 4-7 pieces of fruit a day).

I have great energy and my gut seems to be healed (after decades).

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:52 AM

I live in central ohio where we have pears, apples, peaches, and melons in season right now. Do you eat grains at all? Rice? It's encouraging to know that at least one person has good digestion while still eating fruit.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 05, 2011
at 08:23 AM

No grains. Those are the death of me. And one caveat is that I do much better if I eat fruit along with fat (like with coconut milk/cream).

2
1679c68c1ae0eed2b75cb1c36e1defe9

on September 02, 2011
at 09:19 AM

I tried lc paleo for a while... Felt gross, wasn't losing weight and eventually started gaining. I upped my carbs with fruit over the past few days, keeping all other things constant, and the extra weight plus some came off immediately. I also feel much better... So I think I'll stick with it for now.

C44bb43563e520dff542e7a39a7eb31e

(105)

on September 03, 2011
at 02:42 AM

So you actually lost weight when you increased your carb intake. I wonder if other folks have had that same experience. Interesting how one person to the next can respond to carbs so differently.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 02, 2011
at 09:18 AM

I eat often a lot fruits. espacially bannanas. And also others like mongos and dates and apples. It gives nice energy. i like this...I also blended up some durian with salad. yesterday had some coconut(fruit? nut? seed?) Fruits as main source can give nice energy. Animal products has a nice calming effect. also sometimes i get pain eating animal products.

Its all energy so yit has to be rolling. Just sitting and let your body be victim of the enerrgy we feed ourself id dangerous. ithink if there is energy it has to be used. THis i find hard.Bannans are very cheap and filling and give power.

1
163b6e3c1334299928befaa1a7181d13

on April 11, 2016
at 12:15 PM

I only eat meat, fruit and salt and drink water and fruit juice and it works great for me. I usually eat 12 bananas, 3 peaches and 3 125gm pieces of raw salmon (thawed frozen (convenient as I can buy a weeks worth at a time this way)) per day. I have lost more than 37kg and currently weigh 74kg (37yo male, 194cm (just over 6'4") tall). I do however generally avoid grain-fed meat (with the exception of raw bacon which I eat now and then for the fat) as I associate it with weight gain. I also buy grass-fed beef steak and lamb chops.

I recommend this diet for everyone.

1
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on September 02, 2011
at 01:19 PM

I would say that fruit is one of my main carb sources. Just posted this question so will see what other peoples answers say -

http://paleohacks.com/questions/62280/how-much-fruit-do-people-eat

1
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on September 02, 2011
at 10:24 AM

When I'm on a fat loss, muscle sparing diet I do. Not as much fruit as mentioned before but one large tomato each day to help me choke my tuna (which I hate) down. Tuna, lettuce, tomato, home made olive oil mayo twice a day in addition to my eggs, chicken, pork, and beef.

How's that for a balanced diet? 4 kinds of meats, green veggies with 4 out of 5 meals, and fruit with two of them.

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on September 02, 2011
at 09:03 AM

Well, me, for one.

I was 'paleo' - and VLC - for maybe eight months and lost quite a bit of weight. But I also started getting odd symptoms that were entirely new to me - legs cramps, for instance. And I was also diagnosed with a goiter. In a low-carb diet the body will consume fat and protein to maintain blood sugar levels, as we all know. But that chemistry isn't entirely benign - to the body zero carb is an emergency and in order to maintain blood sugar levels, stress hormones are triggered to cannibalize muscle protein and also fats (which normally are converted into multiple hormones and bile) Those stress hormones can wreck havoc with the body, and hypothyroidism is a known result.

So now I'm consuming some simple sugars in the form of fruits and some honey, and it's been mostly positive. My leg cramps have disappeared and I've continued to lose weight in spite of (or is it because of) increased carbs. I still have a goiter but it's clear now it's a bigger problem than simple "swelling". I suspect it was a latent issue that the low carb diet triggered into manifesting.

I think a fruit-based diet is entirely consistent with 'ancestral' eating too: it's very likely our species evolved from a fruit-eating paradigm to one able to chase down meat as a welcome alternative, and it's also likely we wouldn't have dropped that fruit-eating biology very quickly - and it's still with us. Of course we enjoyed the occasional tuber or green thing when something sweet or meaty wasn't handy, but those would have been condiments - not staples - to a normally fruit and meat diet.

0
Aa47a0d7c6cc3403092ccc4733f0b3c2

on April 13, 2016
at 09:54 PM

I used to be eat a lot of fruit but not anyone. My body is very sensitive to sugar so I have to watch what I eat. People that have the proper metabolism to handle high-carb diets should include fruit but it is not for everyone. 

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 11, 2016
at 03:33 PM

Cordain had the best ideas since he was the only one to attempt a modern recreation of an actual Paleolithic diet. The addition of lots of fat to the diet is completely contrary to this, and Cordain says as much in his book. He's very much opposed to making Paleo into a high fat diet like Atkins, or Atkins wannabees like Taubes, Eades, Sisson and Wolfe.

 

Personally, the problem with eating fruit ad libitum, or other raw vegetables, is that they contain a lot of fiber and are hard to digest. They're as bad or worse than legumes for gas and cramps. But if you want to come as close to the ancestral diet as possible, you're not going to be eating foods that are necessarily easy to chew and digest. Long cooking - stews and soups - required cooking vessels which were not available until Neolithic times. By today's standards the Paleolithic diet would be on the raw side, especially for vegetables.

-1
362321ef65e4165b2ade1e41d13158e3

on April 12, 2016
at 03:46 AM

I read on paleoleap . com 10 reasons why fructose is toxic over 50G of fructose a day is too much according to that site, keeping in mind that most fruit is half fructose half glucose so basically 100g per day limit, ( im new to this ) but what is wrong with you people none of you have your story straight, some of you are eating super high sugar, some of you are starving yourselves ( ketosis ) 

 

{comment - read the original Paleo Diet by Cordain. Fruit/lean meat/veg ad libitum, no starches/added sugars/added fats/dairy. And get lots of daily exercise instead of reading wannabee Paleo blogs and cussing at posters here}.

 

So now youre telling me no sweet potatos , potatos ?

 

{comment: Read Cordain's book. He doesn't allow starchy carbs. Not from grains, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. He also forbids added sugar. But he's not restrictive on naturally-occurring sugars, such as fructose in fruit. The original Paleo Diet plan is very simple: ad libitum eating of the three categories I listed. It isn't about how many grams of this or that you eat a day. Cordain created a modern eating plan based on what and how Paleolithic peoples most likely ate 30,000 years ago. He's a professor of exercise physiology at Colorado State, so getting a Paleo level of exercise is a big part of it too.}

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