1

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Question about fruit and sugar

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2012 at 2:32 PM

So, I was reading on Rob Wolf's website, that (for weight loss) fruit should limited to 1 serving/day. I have a few questions about that idea:

Does that seem to be true?

What constitutes 1 serving (clearly, I assume 1 small apple, plum, etc. for that, but what about berries and melons?

If I add lemon/lime to my water, should that be included in the 1 serving/day?

Should bananas be avoided? If so, what's a good substitute for them in smoothies that already have nut butter?

Similarly, WHY is sugar considered bad for Paleo? I understand refined sugar, since it's so processed. But, how are brown sugar, molasses, cane syrup, rapadura, etc?

I also put stevia in my coffee everyday. I use 2 Truvia packets (I know, not the best option, but I had a box of 300, and I want to use it up). I don't see myself not drinking coffee, or not sweetining it. Would there be a better option? Liquid stevia, or some other sweetener?

Sorry for long post!
-Elle

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:35 PM

Can no one recognise trolling? :D I've eaten close to 200g of fructose today. Nom nom.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Right, I thought it was the contrary, too. They were scrawny, skinny. Steve Jobs was apparently a fruitarian frequently before he got pancreatic cancer.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:12 PM

awesome answer, Beth.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:24 PM

JayJay, thanks for your kind post. I appreciate it. Hope you are doing very well. :)

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:17 PM

After that insightful taste, I would hoping you'd be blogging about cancer research.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Don't mind the knuckleheads Ben, I just checked out your site. Congrats on the progress!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Not necessarily. There are plenty of lean, even scrawny, fruitarians. Like everything else, it depends on your total energy intake and absorption of food.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Get a grip guys. Ben said he ELIMINATED SUGAR, SWEETNERS, AND GRAINS. Fruit and veggie is still in (more fruit than veggie). Just jump down his freakin throat at the very assumption he could be low carbing!!!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Its the newest thing to down vote anyone who recognizes limiting carbohydrate has ANY health benefit :). Don't worry about it. The low carb hating bandwagon is full now, but it too will pass in time.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I wasn't commenting on the fact that fruit may contain things that help mitigate to fructose in them. I was commenting that if you're looking at sweeteners it doesn't matter where it comes from. It's all the same to your body.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 11, 2012
at 06:24 PM

And yet the Japanese have the lowest overall cancer rates of any any industrialized society in the world? Lots of glucose in that white rice ya know. I'm aware that certain cancers seem to respond well to keto-diets. But there are also folks who have stopped cancer in it's tracks with the Gerson protocol with LOTS of carbs.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 11, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Yes sugar is sugar...BUT even two of the most fructose-phobic health writers out there, Dr. Lustig and Dr. Richard Johnson, both say that fruit contains factors which help to mitigate it's toxicity potential. Fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C apparently sort of "puts the breaks" on fructose's ability to raise uric acid levels, which is one of the main mechanisms by which EXCESS fructose causes health problems. But excess purines from certain MEATS and SEAFOODS also raise uric acid levels, which may explain why they found have found gout in T-Rex remains, as well as crocodiles.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Beth, thanks for your comment. I, too, have wondered how the commercial factories extract things. I agree, the small, holistic folks would be a better choice. Here are the search results at Mountain Rose Herbs for their stevia leaves, seeds, and powder: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/search/search.php?refine=y&keywords=stevia&x=0&y=0 Mountain Rose Herbs gets their seeds from Horizon Herbs. Horizon herbs have heirloom, organic, grow their own plants, etc. I've had excellent results from all the seeds I've bought from them. Hope you are doing really well. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:09 PM

An anonymous down vote? They don't count do they? lol

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:03 PM

I do not know why someone downvoted this answer. Dr. Richard Bernstein can hardly be gainsaid.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Mike, I agree, sugar is sugar. Someone here downvoted your answer. If I could give you multiple votes, I would. The book, Sugar Blues, by William Dufty, got me off sugar.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Yeah, but how did they produce it? The new thing is to extract the reb a to avoid the bitterness in stevia. To get that, "stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process. This crude extract contains about 50% rebaudioside A; its various glycoside molecules are separated via crystallization techniques, typically using ethanol or methanol as solvent." Yum! Like I said, I still use it, but unless you grow your own like you do, or get it from a smaller more holistic manufacturer, it's essentially an industrial food.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Beth, do you mean the stevia that is sold in stores with maltodextrin, erythritol, etc.? I grow stevia, and use the leaves. And there are stevia extracts at the health food stores with nothing in them but stevia.

9af2c2c49634ea6caea14af9e1431b82

on March 11, 2012
at 04:19 PM

because of confirmation bias.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Are you kidding me? The liver likes sugar too... If sugar stalls the immune system, why do I get more sinus issues when I go zero carb?

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:33 PM

Dr. Kurt Harris has interesting comments to make on 'bags of sugar'

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8 Answers

10
0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 11, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Assuming Wolf actually says this...The utterly absurd notion that more than one piece of fruit a day will "stall weight loss" is a classic example of why some folks refer to paleo-gurus as paleotards.

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a

(919)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:33 PM

Dr. Kurt Harris has interesting comments to make on 'bags of sugar'

3
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on March 11, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Elle, I don't know what Robb Wolf said, but I'll see if I can fill in some answers for you. :)

One of the mainstays of the Paleo approach to eating is to avoid excess fructose. There are lists showing of the amount of fructose in fruit, relative to glucose. Some try to eat only fruit that has an equal amount of fructose and glucose.

Fruit is also what is called a fast-acting carbohydrate. That means it raises the blood sugar more quickly, or to a higher level, than slow-acting carbohydrate. If a person has normal blood sugars, a healthy pancreas, etc., this is not a problem. If a person has diabetes, or some other kind of abnormal blood sugar regulation, then limiting or avoiding fruit helps normalize blood sugar, and to maintain normal blood sugar. Dr. Richard Bernstein explains the science of this in a way that is very easy to understand. Here is a page at his site on what foods to avoid, due to their raising blood sugars too much.

There is a great deal of interesting information on nutrition at his site. :)

ETA: To add to what Jasmine posted about it not being good for weight loss, if one eats too much of it. Eating carbohydrate raises the blood sugar, which tells the body to produce more insulin to keep the blood sugar at a constant level. More insulin means that more fat gets stored. For someone who is at a healthy weight, with normal blood sugar regulation, this is not problematic. For someone who needs the fat to come out of storage, having lower insulin levels helps. Less carbohydrate means less insulin. Dr. Bernstein explains the science of carbohydrate, blood sugar, insulin, fat storage, etc., at his site, and in his books.

As to how much fruit you can eat and not have it cause you any trouble:

No one on the internet can tell you this. It depends on how your body uses what you eat.

If you are tracking the amounts of carbohydrates you eat, here is the USDA food list site, and here is another source at a Low Carb tool site, for checking amounts.

As Jasmine posted, we are all different. It takes experimenting, for some of us, measuring, and for some, testing blood sugars with a glucose meter, to determine how much of what one can safely eat.

Hope this helps some. :)

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:03 PM

I do not know why someone downvoted this answer. Dr. Richard Bernstein can hardly be gainsaid.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:05 PM

Its the newest thing to down vote anyone who recognizes limiting carbohydrate has ANY health benefit :). Don't worry about it. The low carb hating bandwagon is full now, but it too will pass in time.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:24 PM

JayJay, thanks for your kind post. I appreciate it. Hope you are doing very well. :)

3
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Many folks suggest limiting fruit if weight loss is your goal. Some of that is the carbs, but in Robb's case, he's also concerned about the fructose. Whether this is necessary is VERY dependent on your individual situation (much like the larger question of carbs in general). You should do what works for you. I don't care for fruit (much) so don't miss it.

But if you like it and you're making progress, I'd keep it in your diet. I like what Yoni Freedhoff says about "living the healthiest life that you can enjoy, not the healthiest life that you can tolerate." If you really enjoy fruit, then include it in your diet.

Re a serving, I'd work with what works as a standard meal portion. So 1/2 to 1 cup of berries or melon. I wouldn't count lemon or lime.

Re bananas, they are higher in sugar and carbs, so I wouldn't avoid them as part of a typical paleo diet, but again, you should see how they work for you and adjust as necessary. But I'd be careful. Lots of smoothies with bananas and nut butters sounds like a calorie fest to me!

Re sugar, brown sugar, molasses, cane syrup, rapadura are all refined sugars. They're just not as refined as white table sugar. Some paleo folk use these in making paleo versions of their favorite SAD treats. That may be okay occasionally -- especially if you're weight is where you want it to be -- but for others, it may affect your progress wrt weight ... those paleo desserts aren't magically free of calories, but they do tend to be less nutrient-dense than paleo staples.

Re stevia, the biggest issue with it is that it's still artificial and it may reinforce cravings for sweets since it delivers a sweet taste with nothing to back it up. But I use it in my iced tea. You have to pick your battles ;).

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Beth, thanks for your comment. I, too, have wondered how the commercial factories extract things. I agree, the small, holistic folks would be a better choice. Here are the search results at Mountain Rose Herbs for their stevia leaves, seeds, and powder: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/search/search.php?refine=y&keywords=stevia&x=0&y=0 Mountain Rose Herbs gets their seeds from Horizon Herbs. Horizon herbs have heirloom, organic, grow their own plants, etc. I've had excellent results from all the seeds I've bought from them. Hope you are doing really well. :)

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Yeah, but how did they produce it? The new thing is to extract the reb a to avoid the bitterness in stevia. To get that, "stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process. This crude extract contains about 50% rebaudioside A; its various glycoside molecules are separated via crystallization techniques, typically using ethanol or methanol as solvent." Yum! Like I said, I still use it, but unless you grow your own like you do, or get it from a smaller more holistic manufacturer, it's essentially an industrial food.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Beth, do you mean the stevia that is sold in stores with maltodextrin, erythritol, etc.? I grow stevia, and use the leaves. And there are stevia extracts at the health food stores with nothing in them but stevia.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:12 PM

awesome answer, Beth.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I just want to address one part of your question: the difference between "refined" sugar and "natural" sugar. To your body it's all the same. Sugar is sugar is sugar. There is a metabolic difference between glucose and fructose (I believe fructose is much worse for you but that always starts a firestorm here), but it doesn't matter where that glucose or fructose comes from. It's treated the same in the body. Also artificial sweeteners (even non-caloric ones) aren't good for you. Robb Wolf calls this the food porn effect. My broadly stated rule is "if it's sweet it will kill you". People often accuse me of being a sugar nazi but thats not what I intend. I just want people to think about how much sweet stuff they eat and to not make excuses; just cut it out of your diet.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:01 PM

Mike, I agree, sugar is sugar. Someone here downvoted your answer. If I could give you multiple votes, I would. The book, Sugar Blues, by William Dufty, got me off sugar.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:09 PM

An anonymous down vote? They don't count do they? lol

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:03 PM

I wasn't commenting on the fact that fruit may contain things that help mitigate to fructose in them. I was commenting that if you're looking at sweeteners it doesn't matter where it comes from. It's all the same to your body.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 11, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Yes sugar is sugar...BUT even two of the most fructose-phobic health writers out there, Dr. Lustig and Dr. Richard Johnson, both say that fruit contains factors which help to mitigate it's toxicity potential. Fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C apparently sort of "puts the breaks" on fructose's ability to raise uric acid levels, which is one of the main mechanisms by which EXCESS fructose causes health problems. But excess purines from certain MEATS and SEAFOODS also raise uric acid levels, which may explain why they found have found gout in T-Rex remains, as well as crocodiles.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Eating fruit--too much fruit, by PH standards--hasn't stopped me from losing the first 40+ lbs. The pleasure I get from fruit has made it possible for me to stay on plan, in fact. On a typical day, I eat a whole banana in my extra-fat yogurt and a whole grapefruit as the first item in my main meal. At least once per week, I add blueberries or some other, sweeter fruit to the mix.

I am also one of those whose thyroid is working perfectly, etc., and who never gets constipated or has problems with diarrhea so either I'm healthy enough that fruit doesn't affect me or including fruit has been a good thing for my health. I also eat very large leafy salads and plenty of raw/cooked vegetables along with generous portions of fatty meat. What I don't eat, or limit to miniscule portion sizes, is nuts.

I'll soon begin work on the final 25 lbs or so and we'll see what happens. I may or may not change my tune as the spring and summer unfold.

If you saw the handful of photos that are "before" images, and then you saw me now, you'd head directly to the fruit section and load your cart. :-)) But, as Jasmine said, it's different for individuals and you have to test both ways for a week or two at a time to see how your system responds.

1
B23318c968ac589b87131d5b489d6e16

(1294)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:11 PM

I think different people tollerate different amounts of fruit. I myself am totally addicted to anything sweet, so if I cut way back on the fruit I feel better and my blood sugars are normal. If you have a blood sugar issue then a few servings a day COULD (but wont always) keep your blood sugar up and that will slow weight loss. Really the only way to know is to try it, see how you feel, see if you drop weight. Don't listen to what anyone else says works for them.

0
D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Fruitatarians are well known for being porkers.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 11, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Right, I thought it was the contrary, too. They were scrawny, skinny. Steve Jobs was apparently a fruitarian frequently before he got pancreatic cancer.

D12142c8cafb16d9af10b3362cb8fb62

(1590)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:35 PM

Can no one recognise trolling? :D I've eaten close to 200g of fructose today. Nom nom.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Not necessarily. There are plenty of lean, even scrawny, fruitarians. Like everything else, it depends on your total energy intake and absorption of food.

0
8767a1533a7b3ed96dd3edb70df9bc90

on March 11, 2012
at 03:52 PM

There is only one thing in your body (aside from your taste buds) that like and thrive on sugar: cancer. Sugar stalls the immune system. If you can get off sugar and sweeteners for a couple weeks (I've been off them for 65 days, now) you'll be amazed at how sweet everything actually is.

I've successfully lost 25 lbs in the last 69 days surging on mostly fruit and veggies (and more fruit than veggies). The key is to eliminate grain.

I've also been off caffeine, too - not sure if that's a factor in my weight loss or not...

I've been blotting my experiences if you're interested.

http://benrogersjourney.blogspot.com

(No commercialism on my blog.)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Are you kidding me? The liver likes sugar too... If sugar stalls the immune system, why do I get more sinus issues when I go zero carb?

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:17 PM

After that insightful taste, I would hoping you'd be blogging about cancer research.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 11, 2012
at 06:24 PM

And yet the Japanese have the lowest overall cancer rates of any any industrialized society in the world? Lots of glucose in that white rice ya know. I'm aware that certain cancers seem to respond well to keto-diets. But there are also folks who have stopped cancer in it's tracks with the Gerson protocol with LOTS of carbs.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:10 PM

Don't mind the knuckleheads Ben, I just checked out your site. Congrats on the progress!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:09 PM

Get a grip guys. Ben said he ELIMINATED SUGAR, SWEETNERS, AND GRAINS. Fruit and veggie is still in (more fruit than veggie). Just jump down his freakin throat at the very assumption he could be low carbing!!!

9af2c2c49634ea6caea14af9e1431b82

on March 11, 2012
at 04:19 PM

because of confirmation bias.

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