Can Fruit Make You Fat? (The Answer Is Maybe)

Friday Sep 27 | BY |
| Comments (12)

Last week, Andrew Perlot posted a video where he showed the results of a personal experience where he tried to see if he could get overweight eating large quantities of fruit.

Andrew is a raw foodist I met a few years ago during my travels. He’s quite a smart man and has runs a really interesting website at http://www.raw-food-health.net/

Here’s had one of those raw food success stories, losing a tremendous amount of weight eating nothing but fruits and vegetables.

In the raw food world, there’s a common belief that fruit is such a perfect food that no matter how much of it you eat, it can never make you fat.

Andrew decided to see what would happen if he ate “unlimited” quantities of fruits, along with vegetables, for 90 days.

He decided to cut his experience short at 75 days, having gained a good 15 pounds and looking quite overweight by that time.

Andrew proved that it was possible for a raw foodist to actually get fat eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables.

Raw vegetables don’t contain any significant calories.

And Andrew ate very small amounts of fat.

What changed was the quantity of fruit he was eating. Instead of eating reasonable quantities, he ate “as much as he wanted,” and with plenty of the sweetest fruits like bananas and mangoes.

15 pounds in 75 days… that’s how much his body changed by this simple change alone.

Can You Get Fat on Fruit?

The answer to the question is a resounding yes!

Although, there’s a caveat. It’s clear that some people are genetically predisposed to gain more weight than others, given the right circumstances.

Age has something to do with it to. People in their 20s who go raw generally have trouble maintaining their weight unless they eat a lot.

But starting at the age of 30, metabolism slows down and it takes more effort to stay trim.

Of course, if you’re very athletic, you may find it easier to eat a lot of fruit and stay slim.

My Story

I’ve always eaten a lot of fruit. I used to eat a completely raw diet, and of course during that time fruit was my staple. Now I don’t eat a raw food diet anymore, but I still eat a lot of fruit. It’s a habit that never left me.

In my raw days and today, I was never at a very low body fat, except in my early twenties.

Some guys I know got totally ripped on a raw food diet, but it wasn’t my case.

I’m probably at a 15 or 16% body fat. It’s still pretty low compared to most people of my age, but it’s not as low as I’d like to be. I’d like to be closer to 10 or 11%.

I’m quite convinced that my fruit eating habit is one main thing that’s keeping me at my current body fat.

After all, I like all the sweetest fruits like bananas, mangoes, figs and grapes. Those are the types I tend to eat on a regular basis. And I can easily go through a lot of fruit as dessert or snack at almost any time during the day.

I’m not going to give up fruit, but as a personal experiment, I’m going to try replacing all the fruits I eat with lower-calorie versions.

Is Fruit Healthy?

Fruit is incredibly healthy. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamins, and water.

But fruit is also easy to eat. Certain fruits are rich in calories, while others are very low in calories.

High calorie fruits include: bananas, figs, mangoes, persimmons, dates, cherimoyas, and most exotic tropical fruits (jackfruit, durian, lychees, etc.). Certain types of oranges would fit in that category.

Lower calorie fruits include most “Northern” fruits like: tart apples, pears, berries, grapefruits, melons, and so on.

It’s pretty easy to know if a fruit is rich in calories: the sweeter it is, the more calories it contains. The more watery it is, the more the calories are diluted. The less water it contains, the more the calories are concentrated (like bananas or figs).

If you find yourself at a “plateau” in your weight goals, you may want to try replacing your fruit intake with vegetables for a while, or with lower-calorie fruits.

Again, fruit is very healthy, but it does contain a decent amount of calories. Being easy to eat, some people will have to control their urge to binge on fruits more than others.

If you’re at a perfect weight, then fruit is fine. Enjoy!

If you’re underweight, eat more fruit!

Watch the Video that Andrew Did Below:

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

12 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Melissa says:

    i would argue that you can’t really get fat on eating fruit – there’s a simplicity here – if you are avoiding exercise you can gain weight; when i first went fruitarian i was still eating nut butters galore and enjoying my nut sauces on everything – almond butter sauce as a dip for pineapples, anything it was great!! i lost 15 lbs, easily and joyfully; eating when you are not hungry will usually cause weight gain, paying attn. to your natural cycle will not cause weight gain …

    it really depends on your age. 15 lbs on a 20-30 year old adult is nothing to lose. on someone over 35 and especially over 45? almost par for the course, unless you’re an athlete or have given over your sole purpose to weight management!

  2. Lilly says:

    I don’t see any mentioning of the high sugar content in fruits. This concerns me more than calories in some of them, which I don’t mind because I have a hard time keeping my weight up anyway.

  3. Gini says:

    You don’t mention glycemic index of fruits which is what I have to watch, not calories. I developed type 2 diabetes from too much fruit raising my blood sugar. Ever since then I’ve had to carefully manage my blood sugar by eating low glycemic fruits and vegetables.

  4. Jill says:

    I agree with Lily. Most fruits are loaded with sugar. Yes, they are nutritious, but they need to be eaten in moderation. It is well known that sugar is what makes people put on weight, whether it’s table sugar in your coffee, candy or fruit.

  5. Violet says:

    We have a fig tree, and they all get ripe over the course of about 3 weeks. We’ve noticed over the years now, that we both most definitely gain weight binging on figs. I’ve had to stop eating them, for the most part, and have started giving a lot more away.

  6. Erin says:

    Fruit doesn’t make people fat. period. Ever hear of the first law of thermodynamics? The premise of this post is beyond misleading. It’s obvious that switching to a higher fruit intake also increased your calories substantially. So no, the fruit didn’t make you gain weight, the increase in total daily calories did. Sensationalism at it’s best.

  7. Gary Collier says:

    Frederic, you didn’t mention it, but there are two fruits that won’t put weight on you — avocados and melons. Avocados are high in fat and melons are high in water content. Other than that, your info is right on….

  8. Lucy Bowers says:

    “In the raw food world, there’s a common belief that fruit is such a perfect food that no matter how much of it you eat, it can never make you fat. ”

    This statement is not in my experience after 18 years in the raw food world. I am used to being cautioned and cautioning others in being seduced by all the sugars available to us in otherwise healthy fruit intake. Also food combining is a serious consideration when it comes to overeating or binging on fruit. Fruit needs to be taken very very seriously especially for those who are challenged with cancer since it seems to be widely accepted that sugar feeds cancer.

    I also want to dispel that the raw food diet is based on fruit and vegetables. There are nuts and seeds and the whole thing about sprouted foods etc etc. This is not so simple a life style as you make it out in the above intro to Andrew’s experiment.

    I enjoy your discussions but I often find myself disagreeing with you based on my own experience.

  9. Fruit is awesome for its phytochemicals, particularly colorful and lower fructose varieties like berries. But large amounts of fructose…even from raw fruit…can put undue stress on the pancreas, and particularly on the liver which is almost solely charged with metabolizing it. In the absence of metabolic demand, (i.e.exercise), the liver converts fructose virtually all into fat. This can contribute to a fatty liver and metabolic syndrome that is currently rampant around the globe.

  10. Idapie says:

    I love this! Very cool 😉

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