We all love to go the detox way once in a while when we want to achieve fat loss. But have you ever wondered if limited-duration fasts with just fruits can help without giving you unnecessary bloating and fatigue? Take, for instance, a 72-hour fast by eating only fruits.
Embarking on a 3-day fruit diet, also known as a fruitarian diet, may seem like a promising way to infuse your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. According to a post that we came across on the meditationbynature handle on Instagram, here’s what happens.
*After 12 hours, you will experience improved digestion
Your body will start to digest and absorb the nutrients present in the fruits, the dietary fibres reduce bloating and alleviate stomach aches.
*After 24 hours, you will start burning bad fats
Your body will enter a state of nutritional ketosis meaning it will start using stored fats as a source of energy
Does this analysis hold?
Dr Pankaj Verma, senior consultant, internal medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital Gurugram said that consuming only fruits for 72 hours can have both positive and negative effects on your body. “On the positive side, fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre, which can contribute to improved digestion, increased energy levels, and a boost to your immune system. The high water content in fruits also helps in hydration,” said Dr Verma.
However, it’s essential to tread carefully, as solely relying on fruits for sustenance can lead to various health challenges, said By Shivani Bajwa, founder, YogaSutra Holistic Living.
A diet exclusively composed of fruits may lack essential nutrients such as protein, fat, and certain vitamins and minerals. Dr Verma explained that protein is crucial for muscle repair and maintenance, while fats are essential for various bodily functions, including hormone production. Extended periods without these nutrients can lead to muscle loss, fatigue, and potential nutrient deficiencies, he said.
Additionally, a solely fruit-based diet might cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels due to the high natural sugar content in fruits. “This can result in energy spikes followed by crashes, potentially leading to irritability and difficulty concentrating,” said Dr Verma.
While some may experience weight loss initially, the natural sugars in fruits can contribute to weight gain, particularly when consumed in large quantities.
Individuals with diabetes or prediabetes should exercise caution with a fruitarian diet due to its high natural sugar content, which can adversely impact blood sugar levels. It can also pose risks for those with pancreatic and kidney disorders.
The high sugar content in fruits, combined with their acidity, elevates the risk of tooth decay. Certain fruits, like oranges, can erode tooth enamel, emphasizing the importance of dental health considerations.
Fruitarian diets may lead to deficiencies in vital nutrients such as vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. These deficiencies can result in anaemia, fatigue, immune system dysfunction, and, in the case of low calcium, osteoporosis.
Relying predominantly on fruits may trigger a starvation response, as the body lacks essential vitamins, fats, and proteins. This can lead to a slowed metabolism in an attempt to conserve energy for vital functions, said Bajwa.
Fruits, rich in fructose, can cause bloating, especially in individuals with fructose malabsorption. The fermentation of undigested fructose by gut bacteria can result in uncomfortable gas and bloating.
Ineffective for weight loss
Despite being a healthier alternative to many snacks, an excess of fruit, particularly in every meal, can contribute to an overload of carbohydrates, hindering weight loss efforts.
Consuming fruit by itself may lead to temporary satisfaction, but the lack of sustained protein and fat can result in blood sugar crashes, triggering hunger and cravings shortly after consumption.
Moderation and diversity in dietary choices are essential for harnessing the goodness of fruits while avoiding potential pitfalls associated with extreme fruit-based diets.
While fruits are undeniably rich in essential nutrients, a balanced and diverse diet is crucial for overall health. According to Bajwa, a prolonged fruitarian diet may not provide the necessary range of nutrients, and potential risks should not be underestimated. “Consulting with a healthcare professional before considering such a diet is strongly advised. Incorporating fruit as part of a well-rounded, nutritious diet is key to enjoying its benefits without compromising health,” said Bajwa.
While short-term fruit-focused diets may offer some benefits, a balanced and varied diet is generally considered more sustainable and provides the necessary nutrients for overall health, added Dr Verma.