fruit, fructose, sugar, autoimmune, autoimmune illness, nutrition, functional nutrition, functional nutritionist, functional medicine, natural health, wellness, women's health, metabolism, metabolic health

Is Too Much Fruit Bad?


For years the authorities have told us that we should be consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables.  While eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is better than one consisting of processed, refined and fast foods, as fruits are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, there are a number of potential health hazards associated with too much fruit consumption. Instead, we should be eating a lot of vegetables and a moderate fruit intake.

What Is Fructose?

Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruit, and is metabolized into fat by the liver.  Diets high in fruits have been linked to metabolic and endocrine issues. Fructose has shown to increase the risks of high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and kidney disease, as well as feed cancer cells.

Fructose is absorbed differently by the body than other sugars like glucose.  Glucose increases insulin production, allowing the sugar in the blood to be transported into cells, providing them with energy.  Glucose also regulates appetite and fat storage by increasing leptin production, and decreases production of ghrelin, which helps regulate food intake.  Fructose, however, does not stimulate insulin or leptin production the same way and does not suppress ghrelin.

Because sugars and refined foods elevate blood sugar levels, they are linked to insulin resistance.  Even though fructose doesn’t affect blood sugar levels in the same manner and increase insulin production like glucose or sucrose, diets high in fructose are also linked to insulin resistance.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which, as mentioned earlier, acts as a transport mechanism allowing glucose and nutrients to be pumped into the cells.

As cells become resistant to insulin, they in a matter of speaking close the door of the cells, not allowing insulin to do its job and transport blood glucose and other nutrients into the cells.  As those cell doors close, glucose continues to flow through the blood, and because it has nowhere else to go, it’s stored as fat, leading to diabetes and obesity.  In addition, because the nutrients are blocked from entering the cells, nutritional deficiencies occur on a cellular level.

Fructose has been also linked to metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome, which has become a worldwide epidemic health problem, is characterized by obesity (especially abdominal fat), hypertension, insulin resistance and abnormal lipid profiles.  As the consumption of fructose has increased in the past 35 years, by about 500%, rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes have also increased.

Fructose also gets converted into triglycerides very easily, and we all know that elevated triglyceride levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Sugar’s Effects On Cancer Cells

In 2010, the journal Cancer Research published a study showing the way different sugars are metabolized and the effect they have on cancer cells.

While glucose feeds cancer cells, fructose is easily metabolized by cancer cells to increase proliferation.  Cancer cells use fructose for cell division, which in turn speeds up the growth and spread of cancer.

Studies also show that fructose elevates uric acid levels in the kidneys.  High uric acid levels increase risk of gout, a form of arthritis, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney stones.  It’s important to note that normal uric acid levels are about 3.5-4mg/dl.  Uric acid levels higher than 4 are a key indicator that one might suffer from fructose toxicity.

Now, it’s important to mention that fructose in liquid form, like juices, sodas, etc. will have a much greater impact on uric acid levels, as it is a much more concentrated form than when eaten in fruit, as the fiber and other nutrients in the fruit will slow the absorption somewhat.  However, eating an abundance of fruit is still linked to elevated uric acid levels.

Also, the adult liver can only metabolize about 2-3 Tbsp. of fructose daily.  The rest is stored as fat around the liver, leading to fatty liver disease, similar to that present in alcoholics.  Fructose also gets converted into triglycerides more efficiently than glucose, which we all know, elevated triglyceride levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Your Bodies Bacteria

Magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals are depleted from the body by fructose.  This may actually accelerate bone loss and increase symptoms of muscle cramps, chronic pain and poor sleep.  Fructose also creates internal inflammation in the body, which can partly be responsible for joint pain, as well as impede one’s recovery from exercise and decreased immune function.

The stomach is full of bacteria, both good and bad.  The good bacteria are one of the main parties responsible for immune health.  Fructose, however, feeds the bad bacteria, causing it to grow and multiply.  When stomach flora balance is off, it causes Candida to grow.  Candida is a systemic yeast infection that when not managed, can cause a myriad of health issues to occur.

Some of the symptoms of Candida are yeast infections, constant fatigue, brain fog, bad breath, abdominal pain, increased food allergies, constant sweet cravings, joint pain, fungus, rashes like eczema, and depression.

Different Types Of Fruit Consumption

Again, there is a difference between eating fresh fruit in its whole form versus fruit drinks and other sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Fresh fruit, as mentioned earlier, is full of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, all of which have a plethora of health benefits.  Many flavonoids are shown to have an impact on antioxidative activity, free-radical reduction, and coronary heart disease prevention as well as contain anti-cancer properties.

While moderate fruit consumption will bring a number of those health benefits to otherwise healthy individuals and athletes, there are many that should avoid fruit consumption all together.  Those who need to be careful about their fruit intake are people with high insulin levels, or those who suffer from any of the following:

  • Overweight
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Yeast Infections

Fruit juice, fructose sweetened foods and beverages and HFCS, however, should be avoided by all.  They will bring a high concentration of fructose to the blood, potentially leading to all the health hazards previously discussed.  It’s worth mentioning that juicing, though we’ve been told is incredibly healthy, is not recommended, unless the pulp and other cellular material from the fruit are contained in the juice.

Athletes who otherwise eat a very clean diet, but consume a lot of fruit may not have the immediate negative impact that the average person eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) might have, but over time, as activity decreases, that high fruit consumption may lead to those same physiological imbalances.  On the other hand, if that athlete’s main goal is body fat reduction, then limiting, or even avoiding fruit is highly encouraged.

In regards to timing one’s fruit intake, eating fruit earlier in the day or post workout would be preferential over eating it right before bed.  It would not be advisable to consume fruit alone, be sure to add, at the very least, a lean protein source with that piece of fruit, and even some healthy fats like raw nuts or nut butters, healthy oils or omega 3s, in order to help slow the absorption of fructose.

Healthier Fruits To Consume

Below is a list of the healthier fruits one should consume:

  • Coconut – antiviral, antibacterial, normalize body lipids, healthy fat
  • Berries – antioxidant protection, excellent source of vitamin C, carotenes, zinc, calcium, magnesium, high in fiber, low in sugar
  • Papaya – rich in antioxidants like carotenes and flavonoids, high in vitamins B and E, folate and fiber, great source of potassium and magnesium, rich in papain (enzyme that helps with digestion), immune system support, anti-inflammatory properties
  • Avocado – excellent source of raw monounsaturated fat which is easily burned for energy, high in potassium (twice that found in a banana), great source of folate, vitamins C and E, riboflavin and B6
  • Mango – rich in carotenoids and vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, folate and zinc
  • Pineapple – contains bromelain (enzyme which aids in digestion, reduces inflammation and anti-cancer), rich in antioxidants, provides immune support, great source of manganese, thiamin and riboflavin (all of which are important for energy production)

Damian Dubé

Functional Medicine & Functional Nutrition Practitioner at e3 Energy Evolved
Damian Dubé, BS, FMP, CNC, FDN-P, CES, CPT is a Functional Medicine Practitioner, Certified Nutritional Consultant, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, NPC Bodybuilding Athlete & Expert Magazine Writer with 30 years of experience.
Damian Dubé
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Comments 2

  1. I eat here for years a own made smoothie with one apple, only the shell, one kiwi and 60gr. of berry’s. Then I add +-10gr. of whey, 3 gr. of vitamin C and 30grams of hemp seed and chia seed and I eat that with 55grams of soaked nuts and there are no problems with it because of the protein and fats and fibers with it, with makes that the fructose will be slowly digested. Fruit is healthy because not all the fructose in fruit will be used at the first place. This is because of the fibers in it and I would be cautious to say that there are people out there that not can consume fruit. That’s is, sorry for the language, total BS. Nature knows better what it’s doing then we with all of our theories and I have seen enough evidence that there are natural doctors and they say: more fruit en veggie’s and a lot of people benefits from that. Look for John Bergman on the net and he explains with evidence that all of his patients are far better with fruit and veggies. He has hundreds of proof and also people with problems with the thyroid and adrenals because they need the nutrients from it but it must be organic. And for cancer is Iodine very important. Iodine and Vitamin D are the best protection against cancer and if you have these two correct then a little bit fruit can do you no harm at all.

    1. Hi there, thanks for reading. We apologize for the delay, our team has been out of the office at a JJ Virgin mastermind event with some of the top functional medicine doctors, oncologists, nutritionists, etc. from around the world, and we are just catching up.

      To clarify, we never said fruit is bad for everyone, but for doctors to recommend a lot of fruit to their unhealthy patients, they’re doing a disservice, as many have limited nutrition education & experience.

      What we’re sharing is that fruit, when someone is in a healing crisis, may be questionable.

      Here some additional science on fruit most consumers & practitioners are unaware of:

      1. Fructose is a Calcium antagonist. Most people already have an issue utilizing calcium, which is one reason rates of heart disease are so high, and adding fruit exacerbates the issue. It also throws off the calcium/phosphorus ratio. Dr. Melvin Page, DDS explains this very well in Degenration, Regeneration.
      2. Fructose is very stressful to the adrenal glands, and can upset other hormone balance.
      3. When someone has thyroid problems, their calcium utilization is often disrupted. Adding fruit can make that worse, further impacting thyroid health.
      4. The phosphoric acid in fruit sugar binds with calcium, forming insoluble compounds that are difficult to absorb, leading to calcium deficiencies.
      5. Fructose feeds yeast & parasites. Most people in today’s world have an imbalance in gut flora, so adding fruit makes that imbalance worse, not better.
      6. Fruit is very Yin, in TCM terms. Most people’s bodies are already yin, which causes weakness and illness.
      7. Fruit upsets blood sugar levels, causing excessive insulin release, regardless of the fiber. This adds additional stress to the body, causing imbalances deep inside the cells.

      Our team has personally healed significant thyroid and autoimmune illness in the human body drug-free through nutrition, mindset & lifestyle changes in ways most doctors say is impossible and/or have no personal experience with prior to becoming a professional in the world. We also transformed my body from extreme chronic illness, to optimal competitive athletic and metabolic results, in record time – 2 years.

      Our client case studies of restoration also back our nutrition teachings with advanced thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic restoration examples our company has produced.

      We’d encourage you to review them & compare them to other nutrition resources.

      Education is important, however, our nutrition resources we learn from need to have results / case studies in addition to education. And, if you add personal experience into that equation as your mentor, even better.

      We need to review someone’s education alongside the actual measurable mind-body transformation they’re producing in the human body for themselves & others.

      It’s easy to say something is “BS”, and the end of the day what matters is the results we create in our area of expertise, because the results of our teachings are the “proof in the pudding”, and people come to work with us privately from all over the world for our transformational results they’re not receiving from their current resources such as functional practitioners, doctors, nutritionists, coaches, due to our nutrition expertise, our personal experience & our strategic approach to functional & metabolic restoration.

      Hope that helps! Thanks again for visiting with us & we hope you enjoy the articles & resources available our site.

      In restoration,

      – Team e3ee :)

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