View Full Version : Diabetes, eating fruit by itself?
03-19-2008, 10:07 PM
I'm sorry I started a new thread, but I'm freaking out about this...
I've been raw for about 25 days. I have been urinating about 10 times a day and I drink only about 2 cups of water a day. I do however have two large smoothies (6 cups each) a day.
I'm really concerned about getting diabetes because my Grandmother has it. I am thin, but I rarely get exercise. I could start exercising easily.
What about eating fruit by itself? I hear fruit digests much better by itself and so I'll commonly snack on about 4 apples or oranges at once, a few times a day.
My blood glucose is sometimes 5.9 mmol/L or about 105 mg/dl. Weekly is 5.1. Weekly seems normal, which is good, but I'm scared that eating raw fruit by itself could eventually lead to diabetes. Could it? My doctor says that fruit won't cause it, and I want to trust that, but my heath is involved here.
I'm so sorry to post yet another diabetes post, but it's on my mind and I've been thinking about it.
03-19-2008, 10:13 PM
Eating fruit won't cause diabetes. Heck I have diabetes and I rarely ever ate/eat fruit.
Nobody knows for sure what causes it. There is a genetic link some feel. I have spoken to people with type 1 children and they think their child got it from an innoculation. Some think they got it from some sort of virus or illness. And just today I saw something about a link between type 1 and lack of vitamin D. It's just really hard to say.
03-19-2008, 10:29 PM
First, hitting the restroom frequently on raw is normal. So much of what we eat as raw has a lot of water in it. It may not seem like we are "drinking" fluids, but we are.
I have a family history of diabetes as well (My Mom, Grandmother and Aunt) and have hypoglycemia, the precursor to diabetes. I was concerned as well. After reading Alissa's book and reading/hearing the testimonials of other diabetics gone raw, I was reassured. SO many diabetics have been helped if not cured eating raw. There is something different in the sugars in fruits and the way our bodies utilize them. Not to mention everything else we are giving our bodies to keep all the other functions/organs running optimally.
As far as my blood sugar... I don't have the hypo symptoms when raw, even with a high fruit intake.
No need to freak out :)
03-20-2008, 05:59 AM
From what I have read, diabetes is caused by over consumption of processed sugars and fats, not fruit. Even though fruit has sugar, fructose, it runs through your system quickly.
The culprit is usually bad fats!!
Relax, just because someone in your family had it doesn't mean you will get it. My mother had it but my sister and I don't.
I just try and eat right which it sounds like you are doing.
03-20-2008, 06:19 AM
My opinion is that if you avoid processed sugars, refined carbs, and heavy fats of any kind - you'll progress through diabetes and avoid it. Focus on the fresh, raw, unprocessed plant foods that you love. I'd wager that if you were eating a simple plant-based diet...you would find any blood sugar problems clearing up in a short time....and fruit would not be a problem. This has been my experience.
-David Z. Mason
The raw food diet (fruit included) helps get rid of diabetes, not cause it! If you were to ever get diabetes (which you almost definitely won't if you keep up this diet), it would NOT be because you were eating raw fruits.
03-20-2008, 09:45 AM
I know everyone will shun me here, but I have to put my two cents in. First off I WILL clarify that I do not htin kthat you have to worry about the raw diet causing diabetes!!!!!! If anything, it will help to cure it, as aforementioned by others. However, if you PERSONALLY (irrespective of your genetics) have had a history of sugar sensitivity and difficulties with your insulin levels, I would highly suggest that you ease your way into fruit consumption. I would suggest beginning your raw diet primarily eating greens, vegetables, seaweeds, radishes, fermented vegetables, sprouts, some healthy fats like oils and avos and SOME low-gly fruits like grapefruit, pears and apples... And then slowly work in those fruits. This is what I am currently trying to do, as I personally have found that high fruit consumption does not work well for me... It makes me crave, binge, foggy headed, "hungry" (when I'm actually not).... I just don't think my body is ready for it yet, and it's sent my transition into 100% raw off to a bit of a rocky start... Green smoothies and bananas seem to be the worst of it for me, unfortunately:/
ANYWAY, don't fret about DIABETES as a result of fruit, though, for heaven's sake! DIABETES is one of those modern "diseases" caused by MODERN problems/concoctions... such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods and sugars etc. etc..... ;)
03-20-2008, 08:04 PM
Thank you for all the replies. I appreciate it. My mind is more at ease now. Though the thought is still there.
I'll still continue to eats lots and lots of fruit as usual. :)
03-20-2008, 08:32 PM
Dear Andre, I know that from a digestive point of view it is best to eat fruit alone, but an optimum diet is about figuring out what makes you feel good.
You could try eating fruit with a few nuts or greens. You could eat less sweet fruits and see what happens. Experiment and see what feels best for you.
I think raw foods work for everyone, but each person needs to figure out what and when to eat for him/herself. If you are very nervous, that will affect your health. Is your doctor concerned about your blood sugar? Do you have any other symptoms like fatigue? I know how you feel. My father, his sister, and three of their relatives had sudden kidney failure at around the age that I am now. I often worry about it happening to me and I sometimes am sure I have the symptoms. I hope i'll be healthier on raw and avoid that myself.
No need to apologise for starting a new thread because of a genuine concern, Andre - what good is a support forum if you feel unable to air your concerns & ask for advice and support? :)
You raise an interesting & very valid question, & one I have experienced myself, firsthand. Whilst I would not say that high fruit consumption necessarily puts one at high risk of diabetes, I know that when I was following this philosophy, I experienced excessive urination & I believe this contributed very significantly to the stripping of minerals from my body, which I am still trying to rectify at the present time (& before anyone asks, yes, I was, & still am, ensuring I consume very substantial amounts of mineral-rich greens, along with small amounts of sea vegetables, daily. Inadequate amounts of certain fat-soluble vitamins were contributory factors, too, but these definitely do not negate my concerns over the diuretic effect I experienced on a high-fruit diet, so I won't discuss them here).
My discussion here refers to the consumption of whole fruit, not fruit juice, incidentally. As far as fruit juice goes, I think anyone who consumes this in quantity is insane - it is not healthy as it sends a huge rush of fructose to the blood stream, which the insulin system has to cope with. In contrast, consuming whole fruit, one benefits from a slower release of the fructose, due to the fruit fibre (e.g. pectin, guar gum etc.) slowing transfer across the gut wall. Nonetheless, even whole fruits do present the body with a rather rapidly-released quantity of fructose, & consuming large amounts daily does, I believe (from firsthand experience), stress the body unnecessarily, in a variety of ways, not least that the frequent urination increases the loss of minerals such as calcium from the body. Anything which, by one physiological route or another, has the net effect of diuresis, is going to, if allowed to continue long-term, put mineral levels under strain. I know this is not a popular belief, since many people are so enthused by the philosophical merits of high fruit consumption. However, if the raw community is to be healthy, both physically and psychologically, I feel it is of critical importance to be open, honest, & candid about the possible pitfalls of placing the importance of dietary philosophy (often with associated flawed logic) above the importance of the real-life reality of what the body needs, can cope with, or (ideally) can thrive upon. Where fruitarianism is concerned, for example, it is no good eating copius quantities of fruit, due to its ease of digestion, if digestion is so easy and rapid (despite the pectins etc.) that my pancreas & kidneys take a hammering from the virtual 'main-lining' of fructose into my bodily systems!
Fruit is a healthy thing to consume but shouldn't be relied upon too heavily in the daily dietary intake or problems will inevitably arise. Andre, you have nothing to panic about, but, on a calm & sensible basis, you would be wise to reduce your levels of fruit consumption if you are experiencing excessive urination because there are possible long-term issues associated with this. Clearly, you are no fool, as you have realised that excessive urination is not an ideal situation to find yourself in. No amount of fruitarian and/or Natural Hygiene philosophy will contradict or alter the fact that I've been there myself, & I wish I'd listened more to my body than to dietary philosophy. Please note that the potential pitfalls of fruitarianism are not necessarily a reason to question raw-foodism as a whole, it's just one philosophical path within raw-foodism - a path many fruitarians claim to be a healthy one, though I am not now at all convinced by those claims. Alissa herself takes a broader (and, I believe, much healthier) view on raw food - one of great variety, consuming a wide spectrum of foods, with no particular emphasis on fruit.
You must find your own path but you are absolutely right to listen to your body & allow what it tells you to generate valid questions about the suitability of whatever dietary path you find yourself upon at each of those moments in time. I wish I'd been firmer with myself in listening to my body first, and someone else's dietary philosophies second.
Let me reiterate, there's no need to 'freak-out' here, just trust your intuition & calmly examine other possibilities in your diet which do not lead you to excessive urination. Clearly, as you have stated, your current dietary path is leading to excessive urination, a situation I can very much empathise with. You have identified this as a personal symptom & more power to you. Your body's own symptoms (messages) are worth a thousand times more than another person's insistence that their dietary dogma, philosophy, 'logic' etc. is a more accurate indicator for your health. You might also consider doing some research into anthropological findings, which largely take the perspective of observing the diets of healthy cultures, rather than taking the perspective of engaging in philosophical and logical possibilities of diet (no matter how elegant or compelling these might seem).
Shashibala gave you some good advice, above.
I discussed some facets of fat and fruit consumption (they are linked, in terms of relative proportions of each in one's daily caloric intake) in another recent post (though please don't get side-tracked by the title of that thread because the topic itself of that thread is not actually the reason you may find my post there relevant):
I wish you all the best, and in the short-term, while you calmly take stock, do bear in mind that you can at least slow down the release of fructose into your bloodstream by consuming a healthy portion of greens with each and every piece of fruit you eat, the fibre from the greens being the key factor here, with the mineral payload of the greens also serving to assist insulin function & to counterbalance any mineral losses you might encounter from excessive urination up until this point. Also note that you should consume celery regularly to balance all the potassium from the fruit. This is important. One further (and massively-helpful) consideration is that those new to raw foods can unwittingly find themselves ensnared not only by potentially-flawed philosophies of various long-standing individuals within the raw food community, but also by the calorie paradox of raw foods. When a person leaves behind cooked foods (and, perhaps, meat and dairy, if they jump all the way over to eating a raw vegan diet, as is often the case, given that the prospect of eating meat, in particular, in the 'raw' state is intimidating to say the least), they consequently tend to find that a rather large hole has appeared in their familiar daily caloric intake. Many such new raw-foodists attempt to plug this gap either by eating fats excessively (continually munching nuts, seeds, avocados, oily salad dressings etc.), or by following fruitarian philosophy (either intentionally or inadvertently) and thus obtaining the majority of their calories from fructose. However, neither approach is necessarily conducive to longterm health. One way of tackling the calorie paradox is to be more resourceful with the available options. For example, in moving over to a raw diet, many people leave behind starchy foods, since they are accustomed to eating these only in their cooked state. In my opinion, this is a huge oversight because, philosophical idealism aside (e.g. supposed 'ease-of-digestibility' etc. etc.), starches offer a very safe carbohydrate source of energy, which is released gradually into the bloodstream & thus does not tend to put the insulin system under the same duress as copious quantities of fructose. I should point out here that some starchy foods are able to release their sugars quite rapidly, such as white potatoes, beets and carrots, but I'm not suggesting these be eaten in anything like the quantity in which one might be tempted to eat fruit.
In your position, wishing to eat a raw diet, but wishing to avoid excessive reliance upon fruit, I would encourage you to explore starch options. You can add grated root vegetables to salads (carrot, turnip, squash etc.), you can use a food processor to slice vegetables such as cauliflower into tiny pieces, which are remarkably easy & pleasant to eat (actually, Alissa does this with cauliflower, in her DVDs, to mimic a raw version of 'rice'). This is only the beginning. You can (and, I certainly do, myself) add sprouted seeds, beans and lentils to your salads, which are bursting with enzymatic energy, pure water, vitamins, minerals, & because they are so water-rich, their abundant fibre content is well-hydrated & thus keeps you nice-&-regular, if you know what I mean. Provided they are sprouted, I find these starches digest very easily, too, and give wonderful smooth energy over a good period of time. So, I suggest you explore the possibilities of reducing your proportion of calories derived from fruit, & making up for these by consuming these other healthy possibilities. If you consume some fruit, some grated root vegetables, some sprouted beans & lentils, some seeds & nuts (preferably sprouted, or, at the very least, soaked overnight, to reduce phytic acid content), some celery, a teaspoon of sea vegetables, and plenty of dark leafy greens on a daily basis, then I believe you will begin to find the diet more viable and see some light at the end of the tunnel, so-to-speak. You may also notice that the addition of sprouted foods to your diet makes you feel more balanced & energetic
Please let me know how you get on.
03-21-2008, 02:36 PM
My doctor thinks I'll be okay, but my doctor also doesn't experience my bodies symptoms. Today I decided to have four apples for breakfast. I had a quick sugar rush which turned into fatigue and chest pain. I think I'll stick to green smoothies in the morning.
Thank you for making me feel comfortable...
I do think that excessive urination would lead to mineral loss. Just the thought of pushing heavy elements such as B12 and iron through my body so quickly that they haven't had much of a chance to absorb brings this to mind.
As for fruit juice, I'd rather eat the whole fruit or blend it with veggies. I think juicing would send my insulin through the roof! Though I find blending a very satisfying and wholesome method of consuming food. I have had almost no gas, even from drinking a 6 cup smoothie. I sip taking around 30-45 minutes to drink it.
I have let my mind be free. I'm not committed to raw at all. I'm committed to giving a philosophy a chance and following my instinct from there. I do see several improvements, such as my skin, eyes, bodyweight, gas, and even satiation... and that's why I'm still raw. I also believe there may be hope for a solution.
I've read about 811rv and thought it sounded impressive, but with me I find consuming 10% fat seems to dry my skin. About 20% seems right for me, and 30%+ seems to make me feel nauseated.
I'll try consuming celery with some of my fruits. I sounds like a good idea to try. I do love fruit. Most of the time when I eat fruit I feel I could be eating no better food at the time. Last night I didn't feel like my green smoothie so I followed my instinct and ate 4 pears instead. I can feel my body building it's instinctive intutition ability.
As for root vegetables, I have been throwing a beet or two into my smoothies and it's great. A little turnip, squash, or sweet potato, might just be possible to blend. Also, I haven't eaten carrots for a while, yum. ;)
So I'm going to keep trying new things and exploring ideas like you said. I'm glad you eventually learned to follow your instincts and I'm glad I have you to tell me this so I can benefit too. I really do think everyone has their own way that works for them, otherwise we'd have found the 'one' way by now!
I'll be sure to bug people with questions as I go along my journey, and I'm so happy that people on Raw Food Talk are here for me. :)
p.s. Thanks for making me think for myself Arky!
03-21-2008, 03:25 PM
<it is not healthy as it sends a huge rush of fructose to the blood stream, which the insulin system has to cope with>
Sorry Arky, may I correct you here? It is glucose which involves the insulin system, not fructose. Fructose does not cause high levels of blood sugar, because its metabolism is totally different from that of glucose. It has to be converted in the liver first, to glygogen, and when glygogen stores are full it will be converted and stored as body fat. Fructose can not cause blood sugar spikes, because the liver would have to break down the glycogen first, and it does not involve insulin as glucose does. It is a more gradual process.
Please be aware that commercial fructose is even more harmful than white sugar, but we are talking about fruits here, about natural fructose. Fruits are not causing diabetes, but refined sugars and flours do.
Frequent urination is not necessarily linked to diabetes. Fruits are very cleansing, so it CAN be a sign of detox, while the body is eliminating a lot of toxins. Adding some fiber (smoothies, which you are doing), or fat can slow down the detox, you could try that and see how it goes.
I would be careful though. If you are not comfortable then reduce your fruits and have more variety of other (raw) foods, and see how you feel. Let your body be the guide!!!
03-21-2008, 07:36 PM
If you don't already have diabetes or elevated blood sugar, it's unlikely that fruit consumption would cause you to manifest this disease. Diabetes is fairly ubiquitious and I believe that even genetically disposed people will not develop this disease unless they embrace a lifestyle that provides the environment to support its development, i.e., processed, denatured foods.
Arky gave a lot of great info and I don't have much to add.
Fruit is best eaten alone. Moreover, you should eat your fruit before eating all other foods for the day. Once you've eaten nuts, veggies, or anything other than juice, these foods take a long time to pass through the system and eating fruit will produce fermentation.
If you're experiencing symptoms from eating large quantities of fruit, of course cut back or eat lower glycemic fruits. The fruit sugar can promote other imbalances, such as candida and parasitic activity.
Re fruit sugar, according to Dr. Cousens it does act in the same way was glucose. He said that agave raises the blood sugar of diabetics as well.
I hope you will be able to put your mind at ease and I'd also encourage an exercise program. The most important thing in a raw diet is to keep the channels of elimination open. The raw diet will not be cleansing if you don't have good elimination. Exercise and activity is important and shouldn't be neglected. You want to promote good circulation, which helps flush toxins.
03-21-2008, 09:14 PM
just keep monitoring your sugars if you're really concerned about it, that way if something does pop up you'll know right away- my sister's diabetes diagnosis came out of left field...
PLUS not everything gets passed down, just because someone in your family had something does NOT mean you'll get it
Cayenne, thankyou for correcting my over-simplified explanation (I literally ran out of characters - there is a limit of 10,000 characters per post - try it and you'll see! ;) ). Nonetheless, the net result (which was what I was trying to put across in my post) is that the sugars in fruit are absorbed very rapidly in the gut, even when they are consumed whole, with their pectins etc. The blood sugar levels do rise rather rapidly as a consequence, albeit after a sequence of physiological events within the liver etc. With respect, the point still stands. For example, if I eat half a ripe watermelon in one sitting (which I used to do but no longer do), it has not been unknown for me to get the shakes and feel weak - classic signs of low blood sugar, following the insulin system kicking-in to combat an excessive peak in blood sugar. I, too, experienced the excessive urination that Andre has noted. This symptom continued for many, many months - for as long as I maintained high fruit consumption. It was not cleansing. It was my body trying desperately to expel the unrelenting daily onslaught of excessive sugars in my system. I have been tested several times for diabetes, always with a negative result. I eventually could not escape the reality of what my body was telling me - that it does not have a faulty insulin system; it simply was not designed to handle more than half my daily calories in the form of fructose. Anyone can throw a library full of anatomy and physiology textbooks at me, with a truckload of books on Natural Hygiene philosophy on the supposed superiority of fruit as a primary calorie source, and it doesn't alter the facts I have experienced first-hand. My body acts according to the inexorable laws of nature - philosophy, logic and semantics are irrelevant to its functioning.
Because high fruit consumption is:
1) an enticing option, from a philosophical standpoint
2) an easy and appetising way to 'solve' the calorie paradox,
...I learned the hard way that too many people espouse it as being the ideal solution, and, frankly, it is not ideal at all, but too few people are prepared to be honest with themselves or others about this. I wish someone had done so for me, because it could have saved me a good deal of health issues. As any psychologist worth their salt will tell you, there are many people in this world who would literally rather die than modify their beliefs, even though symptoms or evidence may be staring them in the face, demonstrating, beyond any reasonable doubt, that their beliefs are inaccurate.
I am glad that Andre is aware enough to listen to his intuitive wisdom that is prompting him to question his body's symptoms so early in his path, and more power to him! :) Anyone who believes a high-fruit diet is healthy and suits their personal physiology may or may not be correct; either way, I wish them a truckload of luck because I believe they're going to need it, as the months and years wear on. As I mentioned in my earlier post, Alissa's approach of consuming a very broad spectrum of foods, without philosophical rail-roading (other than the boundaries of raw-veganism in itself), is, relatively-speaking, a much safer and potentially-successful route to maintaining good health on a raw diet, and she is notable for having been very creative and original in her preparation methods for embracing this wide array of foods.
When approaching a raw diet for the first time, it can be daunting, with so many potential pitfalls, which is why it is so tempting to latch onto the recommendations of certain well-known 'gurus' (Alissa not included), only finding out, as I did, many months later, that their recommendations are often based more heavily on logical manoeuvring, semantics, and philosophical idealism than on real-life, practical, empirical (and, importantly, long-term) health results. At the end of the day, we all must make our own choices and I respect everyone's right to decide how they fuel their own body, it's simply that in Andre's case, he is raising the very same concerns I experienced on my path, and I would never forgive myself for failing to share my similar esperiences with him, lest he make the same mistakes I did, and suffer similar health consequences. I, for one, am open about the pitfalls I have experienced first-hand. If I should draw flak for being open, then so be it, but I will not join the ranks of the silent or vocal hypocrites who either sit by and watch others unwittingly head towards pitfalls, or who irresponsibly propogate misinformation simply because it concurs with their philosophical idealism. The raw food movement needs honesty and openness, and a massive reality-check. Anyone who's been around it long enough quietly realises this fact, though, sadly, it seems very few are willing to acknowledge it publicly.
P.S. just to be absolutely clear, other than the first few sentences, none of the above is aimed specifically at Cayenne, personally, I'm just broadly discussing the issues themselves, that's all!
03-22-2008, 06:33 AM
I don't think anyone who has really walked the walk is going to try to 'overlay' some 'ideal' diet on a person....that works for everyone right out of the box. In my mind, eating raw is a toolbox....with fats and nuts on one end.....greens & veggies in the middle....and fruits on the other. Knowing which to use will speed up your detox...or slow it down - a very valuable skill to have.
-Until some one reaches THEIR raw lifetime goals, I recommend that they eat a very WIDE variety of fresh, unprocessed raw plants foods....focusing on on sprouts and greens in the beginning, and supplementing with fruit and fruit snacks as comfortable.
-Of course I don't get upset. There is no ONE raw food diet, and no ONE guru has any sort of lock on health. This applies cross-occupationally. No religion has a 'lock' on God (although the reverse may be true!) ha! ha! These are just my opinions.
-David Z. Mason
03-22-2008, 06:36 AM
Well said, DavidJZaneMason!!
04-08-2008, 03:25 PM
Nonetheless, the net result (which was what I was trying to put across in my post) is that the sugars in fruit are absorbed very rapidly in the gut, even when they are consumed whole, with their pectins etc. The blood sugar levels do rise rather rapidly as a consequence, albeit after a sequence of physiological events within the liver etc.
Arky, I haven't been online for a while, so just found your post :) I agree with you that a varied diet is absolutely the best for our health.
About the fruit sugars, most common fruits have a mixture of nearly equal amounts of glucose and fructose. So if you get a lot of fruit you get a lot of glucose in your system which is what causes the blood sugar spikes. Fructose does not give those spikes. So because of the glucose your point still stands, but it is also good to understand the physiology, which can avoid confusion ;) .
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