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High Fat vs High Sugar/Nuts vs Fruitarianism

(Due to a face injury I can't take anything by mouth and so get all my food/liquid through a stomach tube. I'll be getting a Vitamix 5200 in the next few weeks and gradualy transitioning off the non-raw/vegan hospital formula to a raw vegan home-blenderized diet.)

I've been researching TONS before embarking on my raw journey, and I thought I was ready to start, but now I'm running into confusion regarding two different views on the best way to go raw. The one way is lots of greens and veggies, a small amount of fruit, and the bulk of the calories coming from fatty foods like coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds, and oils. The other is low to no nuts/avocados/seeds/oils, some greens/veggies, and the bulk of the calories coming from fruit.

Each side says the other is wrong! The 'nuts' side says that a largely fruit diet is far too high in sugar and will cause all sorts of health problems, and has never been proven to be sustainable, and that modern fruits are loads sweeter than the fruits our ancestors ate. There's scientific studies showing that mice die/become cannibalistic on a fruitarian diet (I oppose these studies on ethical grounds, and of course doubt that a mouse's diet or repsonse to diet has anything to do with humans, but the study is used in raw arguments)

The 'fruitarian/fruits-based' side says that while RDA of fat is between 10-35%, most SAD eaters have 40-50% of their diets comprised from fat, and traditional 'nuts' raw foodists have a whopping 60-70% of their diets made up of fat (since they can't get enough calories from the greens and veggies alone.), which causes sluggishness, a slower digestive tract, waste buildup, and all sorts of health issues, and isn't sustainable, and that the majority of people quitting raw is because they did it wrong and cannot be healthy on a diet that is fats-based. The 'fruits-based' side says that the sugars in fruits are natural and good for you and it is only the level of fat accompanying the sugars which contributes to health issues. They say humans have been scientificaly proven to be frugivores.

AAGGH! Now I don't know which way to go raw. I'm sure it's a debate that will continue till the end of time, and I'm not expecting anyone to be able to tell me unequivicolly which way is absolutely the 'right' way, but I just want to hear people's thoughts, opinions, and experiences so I can come to my own conclusion, because right now I'm paralysed with indecision and it's preventing me from going raw at all yet.

(Note: even if I do decide to go fruits-based, I'm not going to go ahead and become a fruitarian right off the bat. I'm not sure I've heard convincing evidence for pure fruitaranism yet. Anyway I have heard that no one should jump straight into fruitarianism anyway, that the best transition is vegan-raw vegan-fruitarian. So don't worry about me half-killing myself with detox symptoms or anything like that.)

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Comments

  • you are looking at two extremes here. there are people who do a middle of the road approach and do fine. plus everyone's body is different. both extremes may claim their side is right, but really most people i know have tried some sort of variation of each that works for them.

    you don't have to jump into one way of eating right away and stick to that. your diet will evolve and you will adjust it based on your needs and how you feel.

    as far as what is best for you with a face injury, green juices and smoothies are a start.

  • Well said, Bitt. I also believe in the "middle of the road" approach.

    I eat lots of fruit & veggies, but I do strongly believe in eating *some* fat. Healthy fats like nuts are olive oil are SO great for your heart, and help me to keep my cholesterol in check without having to go in medication (yes, I have high cholesterol even w/ out eating animal fat! bummer) When I cut out fat I notice much drier hair and skin, and I don't feel as energetic. I also feel less satisfied and graze all day, which I don't like to do. Adding just a little bit of fat really does make me feel better.

    I don't really believe in the "mostly fat" diet. I use olive oil 2x a day, on my salads at lunch and dinner, and eat some nuts or avocado on most days (occasionally, both). I never count percentages, but I'd say that's far less fat than the SAD diet or the high-fat raw foodists. I find that to be enough fat, but try to see what works for you.

    Whatever you choose, best of luck to you in your healing process.

  • You have to just experiment for a week or two. Expect some drastic changes though until you find your right place. I have a moderate amount of fat maybe 30-40% of calories. But I notice I can't have much before I workout or it makes me sluggish and then when I get home high fat and protein foods satisfy me. Also with the cold weather I need a good amount of fat to keep me warm. I still eat a good amount of fruit, it compromises (50-60% of total calories).

    I just had to find my comfort zone and a little experimenting is what you need to do. Expect some fatigue possibly and some digestion changes but don't give up. When I went raw I noticed what foods really didn't agree with me because I used to eat anything and everything and just live with the gas and bowel movements. I have found out I can't have raw cashews, raw onions, nutmeg, raw sesame seeds, raw beans (like pinto, black not lentils or chickpeas), and I think some more stuff but they don't come to mind.

    Raw is a journey and it will take a while to get to your comfort zone in relation to fat, sugar, food, nutritional needs, etc. You have to understand your body and what is the best food for it, I am still figuring it out but I still feel way better than when I was a cooked food vegan. Just don't give up! In the end you'll be happy.

  • I can't wait for superfood2 and the59sound to respond

  • All I can say is I've never felt better on a low-fat fruit based diet. I've tried eating so many different ways and this way feels the best. I've experienced so many benefits and I've never been happier or healthier. Try out different ways of eating and pay attention to how you feel. Learn to ignore your mind and listen to your body and it will lead you in the right direction :)

  • I don't know many people who advocate 100% fruitarianism. Even Doug Graham, who notoriously recommends eating a huge amount of fruit, also recommends eating a huge amount of greens. Perhaps in a perfect setting we could be fruitarian, but most humans now don't live in an environment where this is feasible.

    I am on the low fat route now as well. I have nearly cut out nuts, the commercial rawness of which is questionable anyway. I am getting my fat from avocados, sprouts, oats, and whatever fats are in the fruits.

    If you go raw, I think whatever you start out with will be fine. Have fun with it and continue to learn. Once you are comfortable eating whatever percentage of raw you desire to eat, then start to experiment. Don't let questions or doubts hinder your progress, because those things will never go away not matter how much you read.

  • Fruit all the way!!!!! it is the most energy giving diet, best for my colon function, and i know I will live a really long life on it. it feels most natural for me. I tell ya, when I eat any amount of nuts or seeds, my colon is screwed up for like - weeks. this is just from my perspective and i'm just telling you what works for me. you should try a very high fruit diet for a month or so, and then a loaded seed and nut diet for a month. you will prob see a major difference.

    I guess my point is whatever diet you choose to eat I think it is crucial to have a lot of fruit in the diet.

    haha eecho lol you are so right! :)

  • I agree with the middle of the road approach- some fat (beside what small amount is already in veggies and fruits) has shown to help your body absorb more nutrients. IT is best to not make fat your main source of calories- but just like fruit, don't be afraid of fat.

    Lots of fresh fruits (and of course veggies) are great for you- but please don't consider going all fruitarian. That can be dangerous.

  • I'm still experimenting with the "right" mix (if there is one). But I have to say fruit doesn't upset my stomach. Green gives lots of gas and little stomach pains that can't be right, this week I didn't eat greens only raw-something-else, some fruit and nuts and minimal cooked junk. My body feels great on it. But to eat only fruit that's not my thing, I still think my teeth will rot away 8).

    "they" say sugar (also fructose) is a good fuel for cancer cell?

  • Here is my two cents on the whole thing. I tried 811 for a couple months and failed miserably. It jacked up my mouth (my lips and gums were swollen and bleeding and i was constipated, which is odd since it was like 80g of fiber a day) I prefer to keep my fats low, around 20-25% maybe a bit higher if i've done weight lifting, but never above 35%. But all fruit was simply too much sugar for me. I like to do green smoothies and juices for breakfast and big green salads and cut veggies with a little dip or dressing (raw hummus is my favie) and maybe a piece or two of fruit as a snack somewhere in there. I like my fats to come from avocado, coconut, olive oil or tahini. Too many nuts bug me- esp cashews which i only really use if im making a fancy dessert to share. I can do seeds pretty ok- but again cant get carried away with it too much.

    I also don't think you get enough sodium on 811 (unless you mow on the celery and seaweed if thats allowed) I was getting charlie horses in my calves when i would go running. I wasnt replacing my water lost in sweat, i was just peeing it out. Your body needs the sodium to hold it in.

    Do what feels right- your body will tell you and what makes sense to you in your life. Where you thrive is where you're meant to be.

  • Like everyone has already said, our bodies are all diffferent. Some can thrive on the sugar/natural carbs from fruit, others can't. I wanted to be on a fruit based diet so bad because I LOVE fruit, who doesn't?? It just wasn't right for my body. I found myself extremely addicted to sugar, and also gained weight from the excessive sugar. Fruit is definetly ok in moderation but even natural sugar, whatever is not used for fuel will convert to fat. Greens and veggies should be the staple of our diet. Greens are what heal!

  • Like Witchen said, I had the same experience:

    "I also don't think you get enough sodium on 811 (unless you mow on the celery and seaweed if thats allowed) I was getting charlie horses in my calves when i would go running. I wasnt replacing my water lost in sweat, i was just peeing it out. "

    I had problems with charlie horses however much water and fruit I ate. I finally gave in and started using sea salt again and it went away. Of course, this probably won't be a problem for everyone (or even most). I tend to have a low sodium level in my blood, so I actually have to use salt now that I cut out processed foods. (They do blood work every year where I work, that's how I realized it actually was a low sodium level.)

  • Thanks everyone for all your great input. I didn't really realize there was a 'middle of the road' - each side made it sound like if you weren't doing it their way, then the only other option available was the opposite extreme.

    So, from what everyone's saying, it sounds like 'middle of the road' is a food pyramid that goes like this, am I right?

    salt

    agave/stevia

    nuts/seeds/oils

    avocados/coconuts

    ////////// f r u i t s \\\\\\\\\\\

    /// greens & veggies \\\

    //////////////// water \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Now, I know that a lot of you guys use agave and/or stevia in a lot of your dishes - however, since I wont be tasting it, I don't need any flavor sweeteners. I don't want to have excessive amounts of sugar in my diet, are there any benefits to agave other than it's sweetening effect which should warrant it's inclusion in my diet?

    Finally, since none of the fruit will be going through my mouth, I won't have any sugar-caused problems with my teeth/gums. But I don't want to cause weight gain or other issues related to high amounts of fruit sugar - I guess i should just experiment and find out what level of fruit vs greens/veggies my body is comfortable with.

  • Who are superfood2 & the59sound? People seem eager for them to arrive...

  • I prefer honey, dates, or other dried fruit if I have to sweeten something.

    On agave: Renegade Health Show, Glycemic Research Institute

  • wichten - hmm, could you tell me more about 811? Do you think it's the low salt/high sugar alone that caused the problems, or do you think the fat/protein levels are too low as well? It makes sense to me that you were constipated, excessive fiber can do that to you...

    I work out everyday - but not too intensely, since I'm still gaining back lost weight/strength as well - but eventually I want to do p90x and get really ripped. Part of getting really defined involves having low bodyfat, and I've been drifiting around on forums and hearing that some bodybuilders keep their fat levels down to 10%. These guys aren't vegan or raw, but I've been wondering if that's the fat percentage I should be aiming for, which is what attracted me to reading about the 811 diet. Note I'm not looking to bodybuild per se, i.e., looking to gain massive bulk; I'm just looking to sculpt my physique and get really ripped/cut.

    I thought maybe I should cut down on the carbs of 811 and have higher protein while keeping the fat @ 10%, but I don't know that i can really up the protein without upping the fat. And then I've been reading that most people actually need far lower levels of protein than what is advocated, and then there's also the protein myth guys who say you don't even need protein at all, just amino acids. What about 60/20/20? Is that too high protein? And is 20% fat low enough to get ripped?

  • lol superfood and the59sound are the big 811 advocates on this site. :)

  • Well, I'm a non-honey vegan, and I don't think I need dates or dried fruit since I should already be getting enough sugar from the fresh fruits, and I want to stay as fresh as possible. I think the cool thing about my situation is that I can make my food choices based solely on health and balance instead of on taste/cravings - so I can mix anything I want (within food combining principles) and it doesn't really matter if it's the most noxious tasting smoothie on earth, I can have it just fine. :)

  • RawKidChef - ahh, I see. :)

  • BTW, RawKidChef - are you really 12 yrs old? If so, you're very intelligent, articulate, and well read. I checked out your profile and you've got great grammar, punctuation, spelling, and vocabulary. Are you by any chance homeschooled?

  • you guessed it. I am homeschooled. i was 12 when I last updated my profile, now I'm 13, and turning 14 in March.

    ps thanks for those comments. :)

  • for me, when i did the high fruit/low fat 811 diet I would be hungry all the time. It wasn't so much physical hunger, but i would crave things. Like when eating cheap chinese take-out, you'd be full and then 30 min later hungry again despite eating a lot. I began eating more and more fruit (its the 811 motto: eat more fruit) so I began taking in a lot more calories than normal. I fell off of the 811 wagon in a bad way- i hit the vegan bakery near me everyday for a week and got their banana brownies and the indian restaurant for some aloo gobi (mmm). I climbed back on the wagon eventually and I noticed that if I had a big salad for lunch with half of an avocado or some vinagrette dressing, I would be satiated till dinner. Whereas a fat-free salad or fruit lunch would not tide me over till even 2pm. Adding just that bit of fat kept me about 500-700 calories lower than what i got to on 811. Ive heard that you need a bit of fat with your meals in order to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins-- makes sense to me. I think thats why i couldn't get full on 811, i wasn't absorbing the nutrients from my food.

    I'm not afraid of fruit though either- i eat probably 3-7 pieces a day, depending on the season. I like to eat local fruit too- as I live in ohio I now consider tropical fruit to be a treat and i think that will differ from other people on this site who have better access to things like pineapples, bananas and mangoes.

    I also notice that I do best with a lot of greens. Salads, green smoothies, green juices, veggie dishes, etc. There just seems to be a lot of energy in them. I like sprouts too.

    I think because moderation is hard, people like the extremes. That way you can eat all you want, but its tough to stick with. I log my food intake on fitday.com and it helps me with my meal planning and also helped me to figure out what worked for me diet-wise.

  • I've seen a lot of people blaming the fruit in this thread, "it just didn't work for me." Understandable, but things can always improve, move south, get more sunshine, stay hydrated. I have never seen this diet (811rv) fail for anyone that followed the rules. I do not agree with fruitarianism - you do not meet required nutrient demands by eating fruit only. 811 with greens included can meet all of these requirements without supplementation, which is why I believe the 811 diet is universal.

  • witchen, I hope you didn't just compare fruit to cheap chinese takeout, lol...

    Also, note that you have to adjust to a low fat diet, its not automatically better. I have found that fat has a sedative quality, and people (like me) who are used to being sedated sometimes have a difficult time becoming comfortable always feeling more "present" and aware. You know what I'm talking about.

    And a last thing is that you don't have to be 100% raw to do 80/10/10. In fact, one might be better off doing some cooked foods if that helps them eat less fat. For example, I have some beans on occasion. But regardless I still feel better then when I was eating a bunch of nuts, which probably weren't raw anyway!

  • I'm one of those who strict 80/10/10 "did not work for me" people:-) Just for clarity sake, I'll explain myself. People may agree, and some certainly will disagree too. So be it...

    I don't blame fruit. I eat lots of it still. I take issue with the tendency to explain problems people have with the strict 80/10/10 raw way of eating as: they are not doing it right or following the rules, and the answer to any problem is "eat more fruit."

    Either of these could be true (maybe they are not following the rules correctly, or maybe eating more fruit will help). But, to assume that these two things are the only problem seems dangerous to me.

    It may also be that the strict following of the diet is not healthy for them. That is just as likely as well. Obviously some people do well on strict raw 80/10/10- there are several on this site (and on this thread). I don't personally see what you eat (assuming here you don't "cheat") and I have to take those people's word that they are healthy.

    The same is true for those of us who tried strick 80/10/10 and found it to not make us healthy, to actually make us less healthy. People can say- you didn't eat enough fruit, you didn't follow the rules. I have only my word to back up my claim that I tried following the rules, ate a boat load of fruit, gave it a fair trial, and found it did not make me healthier.

    The claim that no one follows the rules fails seems very dishonest to me. Whenever someone "fails" on the diet- the claim is just made they didn't follow the rules. All you have to do to meet someone who "failed" on strict raw 80/10/10 is read comments from people on this site. Many people have tried it- and ended up finding that it "didn't work for them." And by didn't work- it didn't make them healthier.

    This isn't a bashing of 80/10/10 or Dr. Graham. I know it's sounding like it at this point, but I truly feel the need to be honest about it. Many times people who "failed" on it are nice, and just say "it didn' t work for me." This seems to get taken too lightly and brushed aside with a "you didn't eat enough fruit" or you didn't follow the rules by commited 80/10/10 followers.

    I'm very glad that strict 80/10/10 works for some here. Truly. But when someone finds something that makes a difference in their life, sometimes they assume that it will have the same impact on everyone else. And when it doesn't, they blame the other person (didn't eat enough fruit). It's similar to sticking with a theory, and throwing out any evidence that doesn't support your theory.

    There is plenty antidotal evidence out there (just read threads on it here, or anywhere on raw boards) that strict 80/10/10 does not work well for many people. As I said before, I do believe it does seem to work wonders for some.

    But, back to the original poster- Jakkrabbit. Definately give 80/10/10 a good try. It may definately work for you. If it doesn't seem to be, take advice from some who thrive on it (like eating more fruit).

    But, in the end, if you are one who it doesn't work well for you- don't be afraid to take some of the lessons that can be learned from Dr. Graham's book: exercise, get outside, drink fresh water, cut back on an over reliance on grains (every meal should be in a sandwich!), don't fill up on fats, eat lots of fruits and greens.

    Obviously, I agree with the moderate way on this (as I said in a previous post). I agree with Wichten that extremes seem to be easier sometimes. If an extreme works for you, great. But, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater if it doesn't.

  • Well said.

  • 811 being extreme is laughable. In the way you are speaking about it, it is not. To our westernized minds, sure. There is nothing extreme about 811. This is the way you would eat in Nature, in our natural home, where fruit grows abundantly.

  • Everything is relative. Of course once you are doing it, it makes sense.

  • i like having an even mixture of fruits, veggies, and greens. i gained too much weight eating so much sweet fruit so i've been doing more veggie/fruits like cucumbers and tomatoes. i've also been having 1/2 an avocado a day (dinnertime) and that's just the perfect amount for me. it's filling and fattening so i feel like i've eaten something rich, but at the same time, i've been losing weight, too.

  • Another component to any diet is amount of exercise. In order to eat the quantity of fruits that some recommend, one must also carry out a lot of daily exercise. So it depends on your lifestyle. If you are more sedentary, you might have to try something else, or a balance as many people mention.

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