What Ashton Kutcher Found Out About The Fruitarian Diet
When Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs in a biopic that recently premiered in Sundance was hospitalized, all eyes were on his experimentation with Jobs’s fruit only diet or the Fruitarian Diet.
The 34 year old actor described his pain as:
“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to like severe issues. I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain…. My pancreas levels were completely out of whack. It was really terrifying.”
So what is a fruit only diet or fruitarianism? According to Wikipedia,
But the label ‘fruitarian’ can have many branches and definitions :
Some fruitarians will eat only what falls (or would fall) naturally from a plant; that is: foods that can be harvested without killing or harming the plant. These foods consist primarily of culinary fruits, nuts, and seeds. According to author Adam Gollner, some fruitarians eat only fallen fruit. Some do not eat grains, believing it is unnatural to do so, and some fruitarians feel that it is improper for humans to eat seeds as they contain future plants, or nuts and seeds, or any foods besides juicy fruits. Others believe they should eat only plants that spread seeds when the plant is eaten. Others eat seeds and some cooked foods. Some fruitarians use the botanical definitions of fruits and consume pulses, such as beans, peas, or other legumes. Other fruitarians’ diets include raw fruits, dried fruits, nuts, honey and olive oil, or fruits, nuts, beans and chocolate.
Whew! that was a handful of definitions..
Being a Fruitarian
What we love and remember was this scene in Notting Hill when William (Hugh Grant) has been set up with a string of girls after his heart break over movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts); one of which was Keziah who was a fruitarian – here is the exchange:
Notting Hill (1999)
Keziah: No thanks, I’m a fruitarian.
Max: I didn’t realize that.
William: And, ahm: what exactly is a fruitarian?
Keziah: We believe that fruits and vegetables have feeling so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen off a tree or bush – that are, in fact, dead already.
William: Right. Right. Interesting stuff. So, these carrots…
Keziah: Have been murdered, yes.
William: Murdered? Poor carrots. How beastly!
So we had a little dig around to see what other information we could find, and we found three main things about the fruit diet controversy:
Is Fruitarianism Healthy?
The 3 Things You Need to Know About the Fruitarian Diet:
1) It didn’t kill Steve Jobs but there is research now that links the two together. Although Ashton Kutcher said it made his pancreatic levels go all ‘whacky’, eating a fruit and vegetable rich diet will in fact help keep cancer away. The fact that Jobs died of pancreatic cancer does not mean he got it from eating fruits only.
2) A fruit only diet long term will make you deficient in certain vitamins and minerals namely : protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin Bs (especially B12) and essentially fatty acids.
- Protein : Needed to build new cells, produce the powerful antioxidant glutathione and maintain tissue health.
- Calcium : Needed for bone, teeth and gum health. Also important for the maintenance of a regular heartbeat.
- Iron : Needed for production of hemoglobin and oxygenation of red blood cells. Required for a healthy immune system and for energy production.
- Zinc : Essential for prostate gland function and for healthy reproductive organs. It also helps heal wounds.
- Vitamin B : Maintains health of nerves, hair, skin, eyes, mouth, liver and brain function.
- Vitamin B12 : Needed to prevent anemia, regulates red blood cells, maintains proper digestion, absorption of food and cell formation. Prevents nerve damage and maintains fertility.
- Essential Fatty Acids : Aids in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and is responsible for healthy skin and hair and normal functioning of the brain.
“It’s virtually impossible to get all the nutrients you need,” says Gaynor Bussell, a spokesman for the British Dietetic Association. “You would miss out on essential fatty acids. One of the big ones is B12, and you can get anaemia if you don’t get enough. And deficiencies in calcium, protein and iron would lead to tiredness and lethargy. You would be prone to osteoporosis. The immune function would probably be quite low. We have to have things from all the different food groups for a reason.”
3) It is not for everybody and just because it works for some individuals, it does not mean it will work for you. Be aware of your nutritional type; Dr Mercola makes a compelling case for individuals to understand their body type so that they can eat accordingly.
For those who are curious, here is a one day meal plan courtesy of the Fruitarian Foundation :
One-day meal plan from a fruitarian diet menu :
The following is a typical one-day meal plan from the Fruitarian Foundation for a fruitarian diet:
- Early morning (6-9 a.m.): The juice of three to five lemons immediately upon waking, raisins, and an unlimited amount of melon or melon juice
- Midmorning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.): An unlimited amount of apples, pineapple, figs, pears, grapes, yellow plums, lima beans, kiwi, and cucumber
- Noon (12-3 p.m.): Oranges or tangerines, peaches, apricots, and papayas in any amount desired
- Midafternoon (3-6 p.m.): Mango, cherries, strawberries, red plums, persimmons, pomegranates, watermelon, and tomatoes
- Evening 6-9 p.m.): Grapes, blackberries, and raspberries
- Late evening (9 p.m. to 12 a.m.): Mango, cherries, strawberries, red plums, persimmons, pomegranates, watermelon, and tomatoes
So if you do not want to go the whole hog but would like to try it out, what is the best solution?
Don’t go ‘nutso’ as Steve Jobs would describe his approach to this extreme diet, but do incorporate more fruit into your diet. If you really want to try the fruit diet out, do it for a few days only and under medical supervision and monitoring; or try a 50% fruit only diet where you do eat other sources of food for your vitamins and minerals.
Video by Chris Barrett
Source: Huffington Post, Guardian UK, Time, Dr. Mercola