15

votes

Will this article change your fruit-consumption practices

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I know we've had numerous threads about fruit-consumption, fructose in our modern fruits, old fruits and their tastes versus our modern day fruits, etc.

This morning I came across this very interesting post from Minger: http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/05/31/wild-and-ancient-fruit/

I'm sure it'll make its way across the paleosphere and we'll hear some interesting tidbits.

I thought I'd post it here as we seem to have our own semi-fruit-phobia on these boards. I include myself - I eat no fruit. Zero. I simply would rather get my carbohydrate from starch because I enjoy the flavor of tubers and squashes more.

Will this article change your fruit-eating or fruit-avoiding habits?

23f79c5241be763ac583fc68d58ee02c

(250)

on February 01, 2012
at 08:15 PM

@Uggla - Your family eats fruit and is slender. You don't and are chubby. How is this a suggestion that avoiding fruit is a good idea? Given that you have at least some genetic code and epigenetic factors in common with your family wouldn't it makes sense to give the fruit a chance?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 23, 2011
at 11:48 AM

for sure. I've only in the last 2-3 months started meticulously tracking my caloric content. I was stalling with the iron and just felt i needed to know really how much i was fueling myself with. you hear "eat big" all the time but i feel with no measuring stick how the hell can you really know. So since i started i realized of course i was always under-fueling. So i've been upping the cals as much as possible without becoming a soft bastard;) Seems like 2800-3000 keeps me progressing with the iron and doesn't get me too soft. Prolly up it soon though.

8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on June 22, 2011
at 07:44 PM

thanks bro. its funny tho, i feel like both of us are sneaking our daily calories up every time we post a new comment / question :D at least that's what it looks like to me, i may have read some of your earlier comments. gotta <3 food.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 22, 2011
at 05:35 PM

Firstly I don't differ on lifting and non-liftin days. I eat 40/40/20 protein carb fat at 2700-2900 cals per day every day. Immediately PWO I have 16 oz coconut water and one serving ON whey. While getting changed. Then one hour after that I eat 12 ounces sweet potato and 12 ounces lean chicken breast. I'm on iPhone right now and don't know the actualy carb count but you an plug those numbers in livestrong etc and get the carb count. yeah a PM thing would be great. Patrik?;)

8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:23 AM

...them before working out. And I'm already eating two pounds of sweet potato PWO (total daily carbs around 270-300 on WO days).

8d1ce78fe7071f2f60fd59365bf21cfc

(580)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:22 AM

@ben61820: i wish there was a PM function on paleohacks, but here goes; how much of your daily carbs you eat after working out? I'm not consuming fruit massively, but on workout days i've been eating 10-12 ounces of strawberries and a banana (w/ some protein) about 2-3 hours before working out. this "meal" is my 2nd meal of the day, on the 1st meal I usually just have some veggies and a little starch, but PWO i eat about 160-180 grams carbs from sweet potato and veggies. I think this I might give this no-fruit-thing a try, and replace it with more starches, but I feel like I shouldn't add ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Whoops, Stefan, didn't mean to call you "Alex" in my last comment.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Oh yeah, it looks like she edited it. Someone made a similar comment to mine on her blog maybe?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Also: not sure if Denise edited her post or something, but her blog currently reads: *If you avoid modern fruit on the basis that only “small, bitter, fibrous” fruit was available in the past though, it might be time for a paradigm shift.* -- not really objectionable compared to the quote you have above.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 01, 2011
at 07:18 PM

I'm with you on meat and fat being more satisfying, at least for me. I love eating fruit, but I can eat a lot and feel full -- and then feel hungry very soon afterward. Not so for a large meal of protein and fat. Of course, as Grok not so nicely pointed out, we also have examples of HG groups eating plenty of fruit, but I think your line of reasoning is plausible for *some* HG groups.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 06:04 AM

I suspect that fruit is less satisfying than meat and fat for *most*, actually, but what the heck do I know.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 06:01 AM

Well I really meant to stress that this is just a possibility, a logical possibility even, that often goes unnoticed. Think of it this way maybe: if I, living in plenty, feel little need to eat fruit because I find it unsatisfying, then why could it not be the case that an H-G, living in plenty, would feel no need to eat fruit because he finds it unsatisfying? Looking back on my language now it does seem that I implied in one place that fruit is inherently unsatisfying, but it is enough to make my point just to see that this could be the case for *some*.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 05:50 AM

Well Alex also said "life was miserable," and I obviously didn't mean literally *everyone*, but I apologize if I slipped into an adversarial tone, and I should have chosen my words more carefully. Anyhow I liked this answer -- that's why I voted it up.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:32 AM

WCC Paul, there are lots of vegans who don't eat B12 and don't have B12 deficiencies. "scurvy probably became more" doesn't sound like everyone had scurvy to me? Good answer Stefan.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Ikco, Here you go: http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/42095/1/33061.pdf

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:07 AM

"just not a very satisfying food" LMFAO! - Kitavans eat 10% calories from fruit and lots more from starch (an easier to store food). Seems like meat and fat are less important to them. Aborigines are huge fans of fruit too. Hell even the inuit are fans of fruit when they can get it. You mean to tell us if they had access to more of it they'd avoid it? LMFAO again. Thank you. I can skip a core workout today.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Sounds fair; I was just reacting to your third paragraph which makes it seem like we all had scurvy until 100 years ago.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:31 PM

Good answer. As for only eating fruit once healthy, I recall seeing evidence that fruit can actually improve glucose tolerance/insulin sensitivity in the obese or otherwise metabolically damaged. I'll try to pull it up once I'm at a computer.

2ba707059b87c00b522551c52515a3f0

(130)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Additionally, while raw liver/kidney, and vegetables such as broccoli can be sources of Vitamin C, clearly the regional geographic realities of the world necessitate that for a certain number of people, citrus fruit would be the only viable medium for Vitamin C consumption, and ultimately health and survival.

2ba707059b87c00b522551c52515a3f0

(130)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:04 PM

As I said, "Fruit is clearly not the only source of Vitamin C." In animals which synthesize Vitamin C, it is produced in the liver and/or kidneys. Which makes uncooked consumption of these animal parts ideal for Vitamin C consumption, like among Inuits without access to a variety of fruits or vegetables. However, the premise of the "Paleo" lifestyle is eating those things from an ancient past which are beneficial for humans. Citrus fruits were the source of Vitamin C which allowed human ancestors to survive and thrive, despite the mutation. It would be inconsistent to count them out.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:40 PM

There are lots of people who don't eat fruit and don't have scurvy: they are black swans for your theory. Anyhow I think it's more a question of degree for most of us. Should fruit be a staple, or a garnish?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:01 PM

agreed. depending on your goals, i think moderate fruit intake for a person in good health is fine.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 31, 2011
at 09:46 PM

@semirade - I don't understand your comment.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 08:22 PM

I'm with you. "Normal" levels of sweetness are disgusting to me. I eat fruit with a meal for the variety of flavor and some indefinable quality of "freshness" that I seem to want. But it's seriously about five shot-glass sized pieces of pineapple, or twenty blueberries.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I'm not saying they would eat the inedible. Neither do we when we eat an orange but there is a lot more fiber in whole fruits than in just the juice. And, yes, you would have to work harder and it would take longer to eat, so by the time they ate the sweet edible bits and some of the fiber they would likely be satisfied without eating too much sugar.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Well, I'm sure there's a safe amount of strychnine, but for me to ingest it, it'd have to be packaged in something really amazing. Sweet fruit isn't that amazing package for me. When I cut fructose down to less than 5g a day for a while, I lost all taste for sweet things. When I eat a sweet potato, it tastes like pixie sticks used to taste to me. If I have a taste of something that is viewed as sweet to the average person, it disgusts me, sweet fruit included.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Right, Travis's point of logic applies as well. We have many logical means at our disposal to tell us eating fruit could still be a bad thing. Of course "could still be bad" is perfectly compatible with "good." I personally put a lot of stock in the relative weakness of GLUT2/GLUT5 (hope I have that right) compared to amylase. Crap I hope I don't get called out on this and have to spend the whole day looking for sources. Anyhow I like to have a little fruit, but only in the context of a meal. Goes down better.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:37 PM

.....Yay logic!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:36 PM

That being said, everything you said still applies. Just because we can eat fruit doesn't mean it's good for us. But a moderate amount of fruit, outside of eating pears/watermelon all the time, just doesn't seem to a provide a big fructose dose.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Do we really know that paleo H-Gs were not in general living in a state of abundance and skimming off the very best calories from their ecosystem? I know that that was, at least not so long ago, Stephan's general impression about the paleolithic. Do we know enough to generalize though? Would it even matter if we did? Etc.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Random internet comment on Lustig and fructose: "Well, that’s just what we need in this day and age – obsessive alarmism over a single macronutrient subtype rather than an aerial view of the bigger picture. So, is fructose really the poison it’s painted to be? The answer is not an absolute yes or no; the evilness of fructose depends completely on dosage and context. A recurrent error in Lustig’s lecture is his omission of specifying the dosage and context of his claims."

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:33 PM

I get the impression that it wasn't just that he didn't see them pick it off the tree -- he *never* saw them eating it. But you're right, maybe they were eating it at times when he wasn't around them. Like late at night as dessert or something. We'd have to know more. But of course since I'm just making a logical point and not an empirical one I'm impervious to any and all disagreement. Ha ha.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Or they simply discarded the fibrous, inedible bits and focused purely on the edible, sweet flesh. Why would they have eaten the inedible? If wild fruit was bountiful enough, you'd have access to plenty of sweet flesh. You'd just have to work a bit harder and produce a lot of peels, rinds, and cores.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:27 PM

+1 for "assuming that because ancestral humans did a particular thing, it must then be optimal for humans under any circumstances."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Also...nice answer.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Here's another thing to consider. Hunter gatherers had never eaten ice cream or chocolate before. So if and when they encountered a nice juicy piece of fruit, I have a hard time imagining that they didn't become mindless fruit zombies. In fact, isn't colorful juicy fruit in existence for the purpose of attracting mindless hungry zombies? I wonder if there is more than meets the eye to Professor Gumby's observation. Like maybe they harvested fruit instead of sporadic eating, or something else that would be difficult to tell from observation.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:19 PM

I had durian as an experiment. I could only stomach it half-frozen and it tasted like a mix of red onion and mango. It looked like raw chicken breast. If you let it warm up it started to smell rotten and I would gag if I tried to eat it.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 31, 2011
at 03:22 PM

Nice link, thank you!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:57 PM

PS - I'm allergic to apples!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:57 PM

no way!! I'll satisfy my sweet tooth and disregard the bitter - I don't like fruit that much, if it's my dessert, then I'll stick with my "today fruit" and pretend my life isn't contaminated with a disappointing article like this one!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:10 PM

@ikco- acidity does not equal bitter. @oak0y- its not a blog. just a paleo friend of mine posted the article in his news feed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:05 PM

do you have the link to the facebook blog?

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I used to see them in Atlanta when I shopped at the huge international framers market, they were always tightly double bagged because of the smell which sort of scared me at the time.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:01 PM

Hmm like stinky cheese? I would like to taste one, never seen one here in stores.

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:55 PM

It wont change my fruit eating because fruit is still expensive! In the rare chance I go wild-berry picking, I'll definitely eat the stuff, otherwise, unless there's a sale, I don't buy it.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Actually, "The high vitamin-C content of the wild fruits must undoubtedly contribute to their characteristic acidity".

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:39 PM

wild vs. WalMart fruit *thats the way.!!!!

8b982d4beccca9fcb85affe8d4bd4ff2

(1585)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:17 PM

Great read, in my yard alone I have over 18 fruit trees that provide my family with a large amout of organic fruit, from apples to peaches and plums. Not to mention all wild strawberries, smultron, lingon, blue berries that surround my yard and the vast forest I live in. Fruit is hard to avoid here, I do not eat it (other than dried figs when I have a sweet tooth - very rarely) but my family eats it daily. All of my family is healthy and at a normal weight. Yet I am the "slightly chubby" one ;) when the funny thing is that they eat fruit and I don't.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:04 PM

wise approach. Leave all the historical theorizing and just look at what we know: how the fruit of today affects you. I like it.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on May 31, 2011
at 12:52 PM

Just got done reading that too, very interesting. My problems are all related to weight so I still think no more than 1 serving of fruit for me each day. I figure the least amount of insulin in play for me is best.

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22 Answers

15
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 31, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I think fruit has gotten a bad rap in the Paleosphere and much of it is unwarranted based on the idea that excess fructose causes a myriad of health issues. Well, it has already been displayed correctly in multiple studies that excess fructose does indeed cause a host of issues. But in the same way that CMast pointed out in his post about the differences between eating purified fructose and fructose from honey, I truly believe there's a big difference between consuming fructose from taking a bite of a strawberry or a handful of blueberries or even a juicy melon versus getting the identical amount of actual fructose from guzzling a dr pepper. I'm not saying that the fructose itself is different, but I do believe that the package it comes in makes a difference in what your body will chose to do with it.

As I said in a different thread from earlier today, I eat fruit daily. I like to get a wide variety. I think I primarily do this because I enjoy it, not exactly because I feel the need for more calories per se. But when I want some kind of a sweet treat, I'll slice a banana in half, grab a spoonful of raw honey, and maybe a spoonful of almond macadamia nut butter. I have used fruit and natural whole foods as a direct replacement for the manmade garbage that I used to allow myself to ingest. If you have a broken or damaged metabolic condition, you'll obviously have to adjust for that in your fruit consumption, but for those who are fit and eat a nutrient dense diet, eating fruit can be a wonderful part of the equation. It is for me.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:31 PM

Good answer. As for only eating fruit once healthy, I recall seeing evidence that fruit can actually improve glucose tolerance/insulin sensitivity in the obese or otherwise metabolically damaged. I'll try to pull it up once I'm at a computer.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:01 PM

agreed. depending on your goals, i think moderate fruit intake for a person in good health is fine.

15
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:33 PM

If it does nothing else, this article should serve to kill the idea that humans evolved to seasonally fatten on fruits. GG Minger.

It seems that the paleo community is still catching up to itself in some ways. Most of the visible paleo gurus have settled on an exclusionary approach (don't eat modern stuff) or a very broad inclusionary approach (eat real food). A lot of the speculative memes and heuristics spawned during the early days of paleo's popularity surge are still dying out.

I think the more people look into paleo, the more it becomes obvious that optimum seeking via tinkering with what you do eat is far less supportable with the available evidence than the opposite behavior - avoiding the worst of the food supply/not hurting yourself. They're very different approaches in practice, though the end result might sometimes look the same.

About all you can say is avoid excess fructose, excess seed oils and gluten grains. We've managed to generate a lot of blogs and forums and whatnot around something which is, in the end, remarkably simple.

7
Medium avatar

on May 31, 2011
at 06:21 PM

The tricky thing about fruit is that our loss of the fourth phase of endogenous vitamin C production occurred at a time concurrent with heavy fruit intake. This clearly offset the unfortunate effects of this loss. I've seen a lot of paleo types claim that you get plenty of vitamin C from liver and meat (I guess they eat both raw) and that vitamin C from fruits etc. is unnecessary. Incidentally, I've also seen a lot of paleo types say that they've gotten bleeding gums. Clearly, vitamin C is needed as an antiscorbutic as well as it's many other functions.

Now, even if we accept that fruit contains compounds that are beneficial for human health, we should also accept that they contain a poison in the form of fructose. A mistake that is often made is assuming that because ancestral humans did a particular thing, it must then be optimal for humans under any circumstances. Our environment, and specifically our constant abundance of food, has given us an "out" as it were with regard to fructose. If an individual has a marginal caloric status, then that fructose could make the difference between thriving and wasting away. I dunno about you guys, but I never have a problem getting enough calories to the point where fruit needs to make up the difference. The same could be said about the consumption of honey. For them it's a net benefit, but that's not the case for us.

The author's reference to the sugar ratio of berries is odd, since it's not the ratio but the dose that we are interested in. Raspberries have very little fructose, but quite a lot of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. I enjoy eating them and don't feel as though doing so is an act of asceticism.

I'm principally concerned with optimal health and longevity, not eating enough to stay alive for the near future as my ancestors likely were. Contemporary HGs or anatomically modern humans of the past didn't need to worry about something like glycation because the odds of that being the deciding factor between living and dying would have been highly unlikely. Who knows, for me it may come down to that. If I don't feel like I'm missing out by not eating super-sweet fruit, and I'm getting the nutrition elsewhere, then I don't see the problem. I know that fructose from fruit can be metabolically damaging because I've experienced it in the past. I've seen my TGs drop dramatically as my fructose intake has decreased and as much of a cliche as this is, I've never felt better. I've found starch to be far superior for peri-workout nutrition compared to fruit.

I suppose I'd have to see a more compelling argument either that fructose is somehow healthy, or at least completely not harmful, or that there is a substantial amount of nutrition that I'm missing out on by only eating berries. If I were really addicted to sweet tastes and this came down to a quality of life issue, then I suppose it would be worth it, but I'm really not sitting here fidgeting thinking about eating pears.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Do we really know that paleo H-Gs were not in general living in a state of abundance and skimming off the very best calories from their ecosystem? I know that that was, at least not so long ago, Stephan's general impression about the paleolithic. Do we know enough to generalize though? Would it even matter if we did? Etc.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 08:22 PM

I'm with you. "Normal" levels of sweetness are disgusting to me. I eat fruit with a meal for the variety of flavor and some indefinable quality of "freshness" that I seem to want. But it's seriously about five shot-glass sized pieces of pineapple, or twenty blueberries.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:27 PM

+1 for "assuming that because ancestral humans did a particular thing, it must then be optimal for humans under any circumstances."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:36 PM

That being said, everything you said still applies. Just because we can eat fruit doesn't mean it's good for us. But a moderate amount of fruit, outside of eating pears/watermelon all the time, just doesn't seem to a provide a big fructose dose.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Random internet comment on Lustig and fructose: "Well, that’s just what we need in this day and age – obsessive alarmism over a single macronutrient subtype rather than an aerial view of the bigger picture. So, is fructose really the poison it’s painted to be? The answer is not an absolute yes or no; the evilness of fructose depends completely on dosage and context. A recurrent error in Lustig’s lecture is his omission of specifying the dosage and context of his claims."

Medium avatar

(39831)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Well, I'm sure there's a safe amount of strychnine, but for me to ingest it, it'd have to be packaged in something really amazing. Sweet fruit isn't that amazing package for me. When I cut fructose down to less than 5g a day for a while, I lost all taste for sweet things. When I eat a sweet potato, it tastes like pixie sticks used to taste to me. If I have a taste of something that is viewed as sweet to the average person, it disgusts me, sweet fruit included.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Right, Travis's point of logic applies as well. We have many logical means at our disposal to tell us eating fruit could still be a bad thing. Of course "could still be bad" is perfectly compatible with "good." I personally put a lot of stock in the relative weakness of GLUT2/GLUT5 (hope I have that right) compared to amylase. Crap I hope I don't get called out on this and have to spend the whole day looking for sources. Anyhow I like to have a little fruit, but only in the context of a meal. Goes down better.

7
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I'm not sure she's licensed to make her final claim:

If evolutionary history is your only basis for avoiding it, though, it might be time for a paradigm shift.

I'll never forget that observation from the guest post on KGH's blog that came out right around the time of his January "comeback." It's from Professor Gumby, who spent some time with the San, and apparently long enough for them to stop trying to impress him:

iii) Except in the context of ???This is good to eat, try it!??? I do not recall ever seeing my guides eat fruit. This was bizarre to me at the time as some were quite delicious and I would partake of them whenever encountered.

Now I'm not making a claim that this one guy's observation trumps everyone else's research on this topic. It's just that this story opens up a possibility that we perhaps do not consider as much as we should. And that possibility is: Maybe the presence of huge, juicy fruits in our evolutionary past tells us nothing about what we are best adapted to eat because we didn't like eating them. Why is that so strange? Maybe an H-G avoided eating fruit because it's just not a very satisfying food. If you want to eat a meal and get full, fruit may not be your best option.

I'm certainly open to the possibility that I avoid carbohydrate unmixed with fat because of some metabolic damage or other that I've sustained, and that I would otherwise be very happy spending a day eating mostly fruit -- other people do this, I know. But I think we should also recognize that logically speaking we can't immediately move from "there was lots of fruit around" to "H-Gs would have eaten that fruit" -- with the implication that they didn't have our wild and crazy scruples about eating it. Maybe they shared our entirely reasonable scruples: fruit is a fun thing to eat on the side, but that doesn't mean it's food in the same way that meat and fat are. Even though paleo H-Gs were not counting calories, that doesn't mean we should think of them as mindless eating machines. They had tastes and moods and ideals about food just like we do.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:37 PM

.....Yay logic!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Also...nice answer.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 06:01 AM

Well I really meant to stress that this is just a possibility, a logical possibility even, that often goes unnoticed. Think of it this way maybe: if I, living in plenty, feel little need to eat fruit because I find it unsatisfying, then why could it not be the case that an H-G, living in plenty, would feel no need to eat fruit because he finds it unsatisfying? Looking back on my language now it does seem that I implied in one place that fruit is inherently unsatisfying, but it is enough to make my point just to see that this could be the case for *some*.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Here's another thing to consider. Hunter gatherers had never eaten ice cream or chocolate before. So if and when they encountered a nice juicy piece of fruit, I have a hard time imagining that they didn't become mindless fruit zombies. In fact, isn't colorful juicy fruit in existence for the purpose of attracting mindless hungry zombies? I wonder if there is more than meets the eye to Professor Gumby's observation. Like maybe they harvested fruit instead of sporadic eating, or something else that would be difficult to tell from observation.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:33 PM

I get the impression that it wasn't just that he didn't see them pick it off the tree -- he *never* saw them eating it. But you're right, maybe they were eating it at times when he wasn't around them. Like late at night as dessert or something. We'd have to know more. But of course since I'm just making a logical point and not an empirical one I'm impervious to any and all disagreement. Ha ha.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 06:04 AM

I suspect that fruit is less satisfying than meat and fat for *most*, actually, but what the heck do I know.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Oh yeah, it looks like she edited it. Someone made a similar comment to mine on her blog maybe?

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:07 AM

"just not a very satisfying food" LMFAO! - Kitavans eat 10% calories from fruit and lots more from starch (an easier to store food). Seems like meat and fat are less important to them. Aborigines are huge fans of fruit too. Hell even the inuit are fans of fruit when they can get it. You mean to tell us if they had access to more of it they'd avoid it? LMFAO again. Thank you. I can skip a core workout today.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 01, 2011
at 07:18 PM

I'm with you on meat and fat being more satisfying, at least for me. I love eating fruit, but I can eat a lot and feel full -- and then feel hungry very soon afterward. Not so for a large meal of protein and fat. Of course, as Grok not so nicely pointed out, we also have examples of HG groups eating plenty of fruit, but I think your line of reasoning is plausible for *some* HG groups.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Also: not sure if Denise edited her post or something, but her blog currently reads: *If you avoid modern fruit on the basis that only “small, bitter, fibrous” fruit was available in the past though, it might be time for a paradigm shift.* -- not really objectionable compared to the quote you have above.

4
2ba707059b87c00b522551c52515a3f0

on May 31, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Please research scurvy, people.

In contradistinction to the vast majority of animals (excluding higher primates, some fish, some birds, and guinea pigs), the human body cannot produce its own Vitamin C. This occurred due to a genetic mutation in primates more than 50 million years ago. Usually such a detrimental mutation would have resulted in death...from scurvy. However, primates chugged along because their diet, in tropical Africa, was rich in Vitamin C-containing citrus fruits.

Human ancestors eventually left the jungles, and were weaned off their fruit diets, not aware that they have to consciously consume Vitamin C to survive. Hence, scurvy probably became more widespread. And life was miserable until we found all this out within the last century or two.

While fruit is clearly not the only source of Vitamin C, it is the source that kept our "ancestors" alive and thriving. Not sure what narrative is more "paleo" than that.

See here for more: http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/197x/stone-i-orthomol_psych-1972-v1-n2-3-p82.htm

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Sounds fair; I was just reacting to your third paragraph which makes it seem like we all had scurvy until 100 years ago.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:32 AM

WCC Paul, there are lots of vegans who don't eat B12 and don't have B12 deficiencies. "scurvy probably became more" doesn't sound like everyone had scurvy to me? Good answer Stefan.

2ba707059b87c00b522551c52515a3f0

(130)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:04 PM

As I said, "Fruit is clearly not the only source of Vitamin C." In animals which synthesize Vitamin C, it is produced in the liver and/or kidneys. Which makes uncooked consumption of these animal parts ideal for Vitamin C consumption, like among Inuits without access to a variety of fruits or vegetables. However, the premise of the "Paleo" lifestyle is eating those things from an ancient past which are beneficial for humans. Citrus fruits were the source of Vitamin C which allowed human ancestors to survive and thrive, despite the mutation. It would be inconsistent to count them out.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:40 PM

There are lots of people who don't eat fruit and don't have scurvy: they are black swans for your theory. Anyhow I think it's more a question of degree for most of us. Should fruit be a staple, or a garnish?

2ba707059b87c00b522551c52515a3f0

(130)

on May 31, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Additionally, while raw liver/kidney, and vegetables such as broccoli can be sources of Vitamin C, clearly the regional geographic realities of the world necessitate that for a certain number of people, citrus fruit would be the only viable medium for Vitamin C consumption, and ultimately health and survival.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 05:50 AM

Well Alex also said "life was miserable," and I obviously didn't mean literally *everyone*, but I apologize if I slipped into an adversarial tone, and I should have chosen my words more carefully. Anyhow I liked this answer -- that's why I voted it up.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 01, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Whoops, Stefan, didn't mean to call you "Alex" in my last comment.

4
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Just like the "paleo fruits were small and bitter" argument demonstrates absolutely nothing and is one big ol' assumption backed by nothing, so is the assumption that it is a good idea to eat fruits with large amounts of sugar since it WAS there in the paleolithic. I eat fruit, I will not be changing my intake and I don't think that paleo speculation is good for anything except a hypothesis. It doesn't follow that because there was not something in the paleolithic period, or that there was, that we are particularly well-adapted to either scenario, that is a completely invalid assumption because it assumes that whatever happened in the paleolithic period was indeed the best for health and that there in fact was health-oriented adaptation, which we have no way of knowing due to confounding factors in the health of hunter-gatherers. Indeed I did once believe that paleo fruits were small and bitter and fibrous and had little fructose, but I still ate fruit anyway because it is a huge and unfounded assumption that we would not be adapted to any particular quantities of a nutrient based upon evolutionary history, there is no way to know that. We may hypothesize that certain types of foods are generally needed because we may have lost the ability to produce certain compounds in our own bodies, and we may hypothesize that some foods we are poorly adapted to genetically (although we need to acknowledge memetic adaptation) but to say that the prevalence of a particular nutrient in the bulk of our evolution tells us anything about the degree to which we are adapted to it with regards to a health focus? Absurd, a non sequitur if there ever was one.

I like Denise's writing but half of her articles aren't worth reading because they use epidemiology and speculation and are dealing entirely within the realm of the hypothesis and not the reality of things. Perhaps she is just giving those who treat these things as actual avenues of evidence something to think about, good on her then?

Fruits>Grains, demonstrably so, do we have some people who need to eat more carbs? Yes. Good then! Berries are always a good idea.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:56 PM

Another one bites the dust!

4
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:27 PM

i just commented on the article on facebook, so ill just cut and paste what i wrote there.

"GREAT article! ive always been pretty skeptical of that argument that paleolithic fruits were tiny and not-sweet. ive foraged for wild fruit my whole life, and NEVER found that to be the case! labor-intensive absolutely but bitter? never (unless its toxic!). i avoid eating fruit in high quantities since i would like to lose weight, but at this time of year i eat wild fruit at least once a day and spend hours preserving wild berries for winter. i even risked grizzly attack high up in glacier national park in montana at sunset to gorge on wild huckleberries! DELICIOUS. and wild maine blueberries? its what august tastes like. they dont compare to the grocery store blueberries that are about 3X the size and mealy and taste only vaguely reminiscent of blueberry. a good friend in hawaii has a jaboticaba tree in her yard and i actually have her make jelly form them and send me a few jars every time the tree fruits! it tastes like rich dark berry flavor, almost chocolaty. you can feel the micronutrients coursing through your veins! there is certainly a tendency in the paleo movement towards zealotry. i very highly recommend hank shaws new book, "hunt gather, cook: finding the forgotten feast""

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Actually, "The high vitamin-C content of the wild fruits must undoubtedly contribute to their characteristic acidity".

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:05 PM

do you have the link to the facebook blog?

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:10 PM

@ikco- acidity does not equal bitter. @oak0y- its not a blog. just a paleo friend of mine posted the article in his news feed.

3
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on May 31, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Won't change my consumption one bit! I already eat a fair amount of berries because I love them and they don't have tons of fructose, and avoid any but small portions of most other fruits because they give me indigestion.

3
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on May 31, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Maybe if my metabolism weren't demented by 26 years of SAD and I were instead a crossfitting hardbody I'd consider adding some sweet fruit back in my life but until then, I'll save the reenactment for someone else and go with what's working.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:11 PM

No. I will continue to avoid fruit.

I care little as to how wild, sweet monkey oranges compare to apples selectively bred for sweetness (see Botany of Desire, if common sense is insufficient). Fruit foragers competed with most of the animal kingdom, and even then it was likely a garnish to the wild game caught that day. The issue is the overabundance of fruit and their juices.

Some sugar is tolerable and always has been, but the small amount I choose to take in I prefer to spend elsewhere.

2
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Only a fool paleo would avoid wild berries. Especially in northern europe, where they are about the next best thing. After wild fish and mushrooms! :)

1
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on May 31, 2011
at 09:15 PM

The article changes nothing for me, because I never stopped eating fruit other than limiting or avoiding fruits that give me blood sugar issues (grapes, dates, bananas.) I eat fruit every day, mostly apples, citrus, and berries.

1
87a0de844fdd76e9ca42a01f128e61a7

(93)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:36 PM

It's an interesting article, however I don't find it very relevant to the question of what is reasonable HUMAN fruit consumption.

Humans developed in the Savannah, where those assertions about wild fruit being scarce, small, bitter and seasonal still hold. Hunter gatherers inhabit the rainforests full time very scarcely if at all, as appears (perhaps a bit exaggerated) here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_rainforest#Habitation.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:59 PM

This article is very interesting. I don't eat a lot of fruit mainly because what I can buy is either tasteless and toxic from inputs and the good seasonal organic stuff is too expensive and sometimes available too briefly for me to get my hands on. I try to grow my own fruit, Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries, but there isn't much yield so far.

Points that fascinated me were the sugar contents of berries. Those graphs make the "eat low sugar fruits like berries" admonition of Paleo seem not so sound. It looks like Bananas, grapefruits and some others have less fructose although they are all high in sugar.

For me this point was an important takeaway:

"The ratio of pulp vs. inedible stuff. Wild fruits tend to have thicker peels and bigger seeds, strings, rinds, cores, and other gnarly bits relative to the amount of edible flesh they yield."

Any nutritionist (boo hiss) will tell you to eat the whole fruit not just the juice because it contains fiber therefore you will get a lot less calories/sugar by eating the whole fruit, because you can't eat that much of it before you get full.

So it seems that despite the evidence that the Myth of Paleolithic wild fruit being less sweet than modern fruit, it actually stands that it would have been hard for our ancestors to get too much fructose in one sitting because the fiber in ancient fruit would have filled them up before they got too much sugar.

Takeaway: Eat Whole fruit with a lot of fiber if you eat it at all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I'm not saying they would eat the inedible. Neither do we when we eat an orange but there is a lot more fiber in whole fruits than in just the juice. And, yes, you would have to work harder and it would take longer to eat, so by the time they ate the sweet edible bits and some of the fiber they would likely be satisfied without eating too much sugar.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 31, 2011
at 06:32 PM

Or they simply discarded the fibrous, inedible bits and focused purely on the edible, sweet flesh. Why would they have eaten the inedible? If wild fruit was bountiful enough, you'd have access to plenty of sweet flesh. You'd just have to work a bit harder and produce a lot of peels, rinds, and cores.

1
Bb1ba0d71083ceaecd3a3b405a977454

on May 31, 2011
at 02:07 PM

I don't take a vitamin C supplement. I make sure to eat some fruit instead, but keep my intake "reasonable" (i.e., no 30 bananas a day for me!).

1
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:30 PM

Not all. We're past "cause ??tzi did so". At least I hope so.

"Although berries are often lauded as being lower in fructose compared to other fruits, from a calorie/energy standpoint, this just ain???t true!"

I don't get this. Why is she playing with numbers and "standpoint". If X has 1g of fructose and Z has 5g, there is no need to see how much percantage of all nutrients fructose represents and conclude anything based on that. It reminds me about nuts Omega 3/6 ratio debates. Walnuts win but they don't, ya know ?

I would also like to see more research on wild vs. WalMart fruit before concluding anything.

It would be great if someone could access this article and forward us the data. Sugar composition of wild fruits in Hong Kong, China - ICE W. P. KO , RICHARD T.CORLETT and RUO-JUN XU

Also some references here might be interesting: Nutritional Characteristics of Wild Primate - Katharine Milton http://www.2ndchance.info/wildprimatediets.pdf

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:39 PM

wild vs. WalMart fruit *thats the way.!!!!

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Ikco, Here you go: http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/42095/1/33061.pdf

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 16, 2012
at 01:41 AM

I eat so much fruit regardless. If you don't eat enough carbs then your sports performance goes through the floor. Fruit is a clean source of energy that digests easily and makes you feel light even when you eat a lot of it. Know any fat kids who eat lots of fruit, grains, starchy tubers, beans, and veggies? I don't. I know a lot of fat people who eat twinkies, meat lovers pizza, ice cream, bacon and eggs. Theres a difference between good and bad carbs ;)

0
2ab6415f5f20b8fe1d34a94c7be85e6a

on May 31, 2011
at 11:50 PM

I was about to ask that question

0
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on May 31, 2011
at 09:16 PM

I don't know that this influenced my consumption, but thank you for sharing it.

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I have never excluded fruit, it simply didn't feel right for me. This is an interesting article because I do live in a semi-tropical climate and I am used to having fruit around most of the year. Wild bananas are smaller then cavandish bananas, but they are also much sweeter and less mealy. That was the only fruit I had a good basis of comparison for, so it is interesting to see that this is not unusual.

The article does make the duridan intriguing, but I am not sure I can get past the reported "rotting flesh" smell. I remember Bourdain eating it on his Indonesia trip and comparing it to good stinky cheese. The nutrient profile seems to support that idea. I think I am reay to give it a try, I just don't know that I can get one in town.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I used to see them in Atlanta when I shopped at the huge international framers market, they were always tightly double bagged because of the smell which sort of scared me at the time.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:01 PM

Hmm like stinky cheese? I would like to taste one, never seen one here in stores.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:19 PM

I had durian as an experiment. I could only stomach it half-frozen and it tasted like a mix of red onion and mango. It looked like raw chicken breast. If you let it warm up it started to smell rotten and I would gag if I tried to eat it.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I think of fruit in this order.

-premium wild, origin, ripe, fresh

-.also good organic , need to be ripe, eat together with leafy greens, and drink enough water, get in motion,

-. non organic fruit...smal farmers.. good minded farmers conscious farming, ripe fruits, traditonal farming, less pesticides, no GMO, less hybrides,

-sweet mass fruits, with a lot pesticides.

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