Lose the Fruit to Lose Weight

Lose the Fruit to Lose Weight

Snacking on fresh fruit may not be your best option when trying to lose weight.

The saying used to be “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The truth may more likely be “An apple a day keeps the weight loss away.” The argument for fruit in our diets used to be for their nutrient and fiber content, but lower nutrient values have shot holes in that theory. Thanks to poor soil quality, studies show steady declines in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century, with the magnesium content of an apple about 82% lower than it was just 100 years ago. Fruits today are mainly sugar, water, and fiber, and this change in composition has changed their value in our diets.

Why Fruit Might Stop Your Weight Loss Progress

The main sugar found in fruit is fructose, which is a simple sugar that is only processed by your liver. If your liver already has enough energy, fructose is rapidly stored as fat in your body. For this reason, fructose is considered the most harmful sugar for your metabolism. Compare this to glucose, the most common simple sugar, which is sent to your muscles, brain and other organs to be used immediately for fuel and energy. Fruit does have both fructose and glucose in it, so the glucose slows down the time it takes your liver to break down the fructose, but the ratio these sugars are in is about the same as the ratio in table sugar, and that’s not what we’re going for when we’re trying to lose weight.

The other reason fruit can halt weight loss progress is sugar cravings. Some people find the sweetness of even one piece of fruit causes them to crave sugar and indulge in sugary treats or more carbohydrate-rich foods. High carb foods cause weight gain in a similar way to fructose; they break down into sugars that are stored as fat if they aren’t burned for energy. Eliminating fruit entirely from the diet helps kills the sugar cravings more quickly in this case, and makes it easier and more enjoyable to stick with a healthy weight loss plan. The best all-around triple whammy to control fruit cravings, help fat absorption and support the liver’s ability to metabolize sugars is our Weight Loss Formula.

“Fruit Belly”

One of the hallmarks of eating too much fruit is what I call “fruit belly.” As the founder of UNI KEY Health, I’ve had a fair amount of customers contact me over the years, concerned the nutritional supplements they started at the same time they began their new weight loss diet are causing them digestive issues. “James, my belly is bloated all the time, I’ve got a lot of gas and am having bouts of diarrhea. What am I taking that’s causing this?” At this point, I usually ask about which diet they’re on and how much fruit they are eating or juicing. Most of the time, they’ve increased their fruit or even started juicing quite a bit of it, and that’s the real source of their issues.

Everyone thinks juicing fruits is one of the healthiest things you can do, but it’s really not. When you eat a whole piece of fruit, the fiber in it slows your digestion so the sugars in it are absorbed more slowly. When you juice that same piece of fruit, the fiber is removed and it’s like taking a shot glass full of sugar; all that sugar creates the perfect conditions for Candida yeast overgrowth in the intestines.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), fruit is considered yin and full of dampness, which means it’s more contracting, less energetic, and contributes to a sluggish metabolism. Shifting the balance of a person to being more yin sets you up for Candida yeast overgrowth, with bloating, skin rashes, acne, hair loss, excessive gas, and diarrhea. Candida yeast upsets your microbiome and creates an unfavorable imbalance that leads to weight gain, not weight loss. You can stop the yeast overgrowth by cutting out the fruit and all sources of sugars, and repopulating the microbiome with healthy bacteria using a good probiotic. If symptoms have been ongoing or are more severe, a cleanse may be needed to get your digestive system balanced again.

Fructose Malabsorption

Occasionally, symptoms are more severe, and in this case it’s likely to be Fructose Malabsorption, formerly known as Fructose Intolerance. In some people, the small intestine cannot completely absorb fructose, so it passes through undigested into the colon. Once in the colon, the bacteria that are part of the microbiome rapidly digest it and produce gases, which cause the colon to swell. This swelling leads to bloating, distention, gas, cramping, and occasional diarrhea when a larger amount of fructose is ingested. Fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and constipation can also be present.

Fructose Malabsorption can be hard to distinguish from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and Candida overgrowth. Testing from a doctor’s office may show nutrient deficiencies and elevated pancreatic enzymes. They may do a Hydrogen Breath Test or prescribe a fructose elimination diet.

While these tests are important, once they are done I believe a comprehensive gastrointestinal analysis is important. This is a more detailed test we offer through UNI KEY Health, which will tell you if there is Candida, harmful bacteria, or other pathogens present in your digestive system. It also measures markers of inflammation, pancreatic enzymes, and tests for common food reactions.

Getting to the root causes of your weight gain and eliminating them will lead you far down the road to health and success. Impaired digestion from intestinal overgrowth and lack of nutrients in our food may lead to nutrient deficiencies. This is why good supplements are a must to maintain a healthy body and achieve your goal weight.

The bottom line is even if you’re eating what you think are healthy foods, they may not be the health superstars they used to be. I encourage you to replace the high fructose fruits in your diet with leafy green vegetables and just a few berries in your protein-rich smoothies. Unsweetened cran-water is a good choice to replace high fructose drinks.


Comments (12)

  • Kathie January 29, 2018 - 5:17 pm Reply

    This article could not be more timely! A month ago, my husband started a weight loss program through our local hospital and they are having him drink two powdered “shakes” with 20 grams fructose per shake daily. He adds additional fructose by including strawberries into the shake. In addition, they recommend as a snack “protein” bars with 10 grams sugar each which resemble candy bars more than anything healthy. Finally, he has been eating about 3-4 tangerines/day as snacks. The only healthy meal he gets is a dinner I prepare which must be under 500 calories. I am appalled at the lack of quality in this diet plan through mainstream medicine and am concerned my husband is eating his way into Type 2 diabetes or fructose malabsorption. He won’t listen to me, so I’m not sure what to do. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • UNI KEY Health January 29, 2018 - 7:27 pm Reply

      Hi Kathie! We completely agree with your concerns and can’t imagine that the diet program you outlined is really helping to create sustainable weight loss, energy and balanced blood sugar. When eating a calorie-restricted diet we find it especially important to keep blood sugar balanced by avoiding lots of sugar/fruit/fructose that will spike blood sugar and create cravings. Smoothies can be a great meal replacement when done right. We would recommend a protein powder like our Fat Flush Whey or Body Protein that contains ZERO sugar or sweeteners and provides 20 grams of protein per serving – you can add a serving of berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mixed berries, strawberries, etc.) to the smoothie and avoid the unnecessary fructose. Also, for snacks it’s always better to go for veggies vs. fruit and also aim for protein and healthy fats whenever possible. Hard-boiled eggs or avocado can be great snacks along with crunchy veggies. For the dinner meal, he should be having 6 to 8 ounces of lean protein and lots of veggies. It is a difficult challenge when our loved ones don’t always “see the light” when it comes to diet and nutrition – from our experience we have found that the only thing you can really do is just be sure to live the lifestyle yourself to serve as an example, cook healthy meals and have good snacks on hand and hope that it rubs off! 🙂

  • Liza January 29, 2018 - 9:40 pm Reply

    Thanks for the confirmation about eating too much fruit. I suspected this! Interesting article.

  • Teresa January 30, 2018 - 3:56 am Reply

    Thank you for this enlightening article, James. Just today, a friend was asking me why I don’t eat much fruit – why I only use 1/2 cup or less of berries in my smoothies – and HOW could Eating Fruit be a bad thing?!? Your article explains my concerns logically and succintly, and gives such practical advise that I feel I can forward it to her for an explanation that will satisfy and educate. I appreciate your input very much!

  • Eden January 31, 2018 - 12:48 am Reply

    Fat Flush plan endorses Anthony William and he is 24/7 fruit.

    • UNI KEY Health January 31, 2018 - 11:53 pm Reply

      Hi Eden! Ann Louise Gittleman, the author of The Fat Flush Plan, has written an endorsement that acknowledges Mr. William’s gift of healing, not necessarily every facet of his recommendations.

  • Virginia February 1, 2018 - 5:28 pm Reply

    If you do eat fruits, make sure it’s in the morning so your body can use the sugar throughout the day to stay powered.

  • Kim February 2, 2018 - 7:45 pm Reply

    I just read the article lose fruit to lose weight. Are you allowed grapefruit? I bought organic red ones which is 100 calories for one. Is this acceptable? If so should I eat it only in the AM?
    Thank you and have a great day.

    • UNI KEY Health February 7, 2018 - 8:30 pm Reply

      Hi Kim – Following Fat Flush principles, 1/2 grapefruit is fine as a serving of fruit daily.

  • Sheeja Paulos April 13, 2018 - 7:56 am Reply

    Hi, Thanks a lot for such a useful article for weight loss. I have added some fruits intake in my weight loss plan. But I m confused about which is better for me to eat a raw fruit or to drink a fruit juice. Can you please guide me?

    • UNI KEY Health April 18, 2018 - 4:14 pm Reply

      Hello Sheeja – Thank you for your question! Whole raw fruit is better! Because when you eat a whole piece of fruit, the fiber in it slows your digestion so the sugars in it are absorbed more slowly. When you juice that same piece of fruit, the fiber is removed and it’s like taking a shot glass full of sugar; all that sugar creates the perfect conditions for Candida yeast overgrowth in the intestines and possible weight gain. So replace those fruit juices with leafy green vegetables and whole fruit, berries will be your best friend! 😉 Also, unsweetened cran-water is a good choice to replace those high fructose juice drinks!

      -UNI KEY staff

  • Vipul Sharma July 6, 2018 - 10:28 am Reply

    Hey dear, I feel so glad that I have came across your blog, and I really like your all the useful stuff you have shared. This is really a great help for us to achieve our weight loss. Especially your last answered question has given a useful knowledge. Thanks a lot for such a great guide.

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