How many times have you heard someone say, eat your fruits and vegetables? We have all been told how important it is to include lots of fruit in our diet. The official government food pyramid includes fruit as a cornerstone of a healthy diet. Nearly all authors on natural health advise you to eat lots of fruit. People on raw food diets can easily eat 50% fruits every day. The macrobiotic authors were the only ones to tell you that fruit should be limited to 10% of your diet at most, should only be local- not tropical-fruit, and that you really don’t need to eat any fruit at all! Now, that’s kind of shocking to hear that you don’t need to eat any fruit at all. Think of all the nutrition you’re missing!
Baloney, fruit has almost no vitamins, minerals, or any other nutrients worth mentioning. Nearly any fruit you can name is basically just sugar and water with a little fiber. You really don’t need any fruit in your diet except for variety and taste. There?s just no nutrition there.
In the 2006 revised edition of my book Zen Macrobiotics for Americans this is gone into in more detail. You can read this and all my other books for free at youngagain.org Let?s take a basket of 12 common fruits consisting of apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, and strawberries. Now let?s look at the vitamins and minerals you would find in this entire assorted basket of fruit. There are only 13 known vitamins (and vitamin D is really a hormone). Let?s look at each of them and see how many we’ll find in our basket of fruits.
- Vitamin A (or beta carotene) has an RDA of 5,000 IU. Except for a few fruits like apricots, you just aren’t going to get either of these. You would need to eat 100 pounds of apples or pears to get the 10,000 IU of beta carotene you need.
- Vitamin C has an RDA of 60 mg. Only tropical fruits contain any amount of this. You would have to eat about EIGHT POUNDS of our basket of fruits to get your RDA.
- Vitamin D has an RDA of 400 IU. You get none in any fruit on earth.
- Vitamin E has an RDA of 30 IU. Fruits are basically devoid of any vitamin E. You would have to eat about TEN POUNDS of apples or peaches (the best of all fruit sources) to get your RDA.
- Vitamin K has an RDA of 80 mcg. This is basically non-existent in fruits.
- Vitamin B-1 (thiamin) has an RDA of 1.5 mg. You would have to eat over TEN POUNDS of our mixed fruits to get this.
- Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) has an RDA of 1.7 mg. Fruits are basically devoid of riboflavin. You would have to eat over twelve pounds of our fruit basket to get what you need.
- Vitamin B-3 (niacin) has an RDA of 20 mg. There is basically no niacin found in any fruits. You would have to eat THIRTY POUNDS of our fruit basket to get your RDA.
- Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) has an RDA of 10 mg. You would have to eat 10 pounds of strawberries (the best source) or about FIFTY POUNDS of our fruit basket.
- Folic acid has an RDA of 400 mcg. Folate is found in small quantities of some fruits. You could get this in THREE POUNDS of our fruit basket, but it would take eighty pounds of apples.
- Vitamin B-12 has an RDA of only 2.4 mcg, yet you would never even get this tiny, tiny amount no matter how much fruit you ate.
- Biotin has an RDA of 300 mg. There is not enough biotin in fruit to even mention. You could eat our fruit basket all day and get nothing out of it.
What about minerals? Fruits are almost devoid of any meaningful amounts of any known element. You would have to eat TWELVE POUNDS of our fruit basket just to get 400 mg of calcium, EIGHT POUNDS to get 250 mg of magnesium, FIFTEEN POUNDS to get 15 mg of iron, TEN POUNDS to get 2 mg of copper, FOUR POUNDS to get 2 mg of manganese, and a whopping FORTY POUNDS to get 15 mg of zinc. You get the idea? fruits just don?t have any meaningful amount of minerals.
Fruits are good for variety and enjoyment in your diet, but not for nutrition. If you do include fruit in your diet, please limit this to about 10% local fruit. Don’t drink fruit juice or eat dried fruit as the sugar content is far too high. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Basically fruits contain fructose and sucrose which are simply plain old sugar.