The number of extreme fad diets populating the internet is seemingly unending; so large that it is almost excruciating to keep track of all of them. Innumerable diets claim to lend more energy, a slimmer waistline, and an overall higher quality of life. In the chaos of it all, choosing the right lifestyle can be a daunting task. The proverbial phrase, “Your body is your temple” is a well known colloquialism, however many people do not even know its origin. In keeping with the metaphor, you may know some temples that you would never want to step into because of the “garbage” its curator has guzzled. Proper maintenance of a healthy temple requires the right materials.
To many, veganism sounds like a very extreme limitation in itself, but fruitarianism is an even more intense change. The diet is considered a subset of veganism in which 75 percent of consumed food consists of fruit. Ashton Kutcher famously gave fruitarianism a shot when he was prepping for his role as Steve Jobs in 2013’s, Jobs. Kutcher was rushed to the hospital doubled over in extreme pain. As a contrast, YouTube icon Freelee the Banana girl promotes the high-carb fruitarian diet that she has maintained for 7.5 years in her enthusiastic, high energy videos.
The internet is host to a surprising number of vocal fruitarians looking to spread the word about what some refer to as a “miracle diet.” Freelee is joined by Matt Frazier, the “No Meat Athlete,” Victoria, of the blog My Non Leather Life, and Kveta, of a popular Blogger blog on fruitarianism. However, the Australian beauty Freelee seems to have gathered the most attention, being featured in The Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Perez Hilton and even Maxim. The YouTube icon has gathered an impressive following of believers with her “banana girl” diet. Her website, 30 Bananas a Day, otherwise known as 30 BAD, has developed into a kind of social network dedicated to supporting fledgling banana girls and boys on their nutritional journey. What most of these unassuming banana-fanatics are not aware of is the connection between a high fructose diet and cancer growth. The surprising evidence makes the question of what to put into your temple to maintain a healthy system even harder to answer.
On his namesake website, physician and surgeon Dr. Joseph Mercola examines the possible health risks associated with a high fruit intake diet. Dr. Mercola cites the research connecting the growth of pancreatic cancer cells to fructose ingestion as a possible health risk, saying, “For example, research has shown that pancreatic tumor cells use fructose,
specifically, to divide and proliferate, thus speeding up the growth and spread of the cancer. As a general health rule, I recommend limiting your total fructose consumption to about 25 grams per day on average, and that includes fructose from fruit. However, if you have insulin resistance, heart disease, cancer or high blood pressure, you may want to cut it down to 15 grams or less.”
The physician goes on to add that high fructose consumption has been linked to fatty liver disease, microvascular disease, endothelial dysfunction, abdominal obesity, renal (kidney) damage, inflammation and oxidative stress, elevated triglycerides, leptin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and diabetes. When contacted for her thoughts on this phenomenon, the ever vocal, Freelee the Banana Girl was non-responsive.
Scientific research does show that the regular intake of raw fruits and vegetables does reduce the risk of cancer and
diseases of the heart, but vegetables proved to be far more helpful. The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published a study that compared individuals who consumed less than one serving of fresh fruit and vegetables per day to individuals who consumed three, five and seven servings per day. The study found that eating a total of seven or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day can reduce an individual’s risk of death by 42 percent. In more specific terms, the study concluded that the protective effect produced by the consumption of fresh fruit was not as strong as the 16 percent reduction in risk of fresh vegetables.
Culinary fungi also have incredible health benefits. Mushrooms contain beta-glucan, a phytochemical that boosts the activity of the immune system and killer cells, which have a seek-and-destroy mission against cancer. According to Dr. Joel Furhman, “the frequent consumption of [cooked] mushrooms (approximately one button mushroom per day) has been linked to a 64 percent decrease in the risk of breast cancer.”
Some raw mushrooms contain agaritine, a substance which has the potential to be carcinogenic. Cooking the mushrooms significantly reduces the present agaritine levels. Common culinary mushrooms contain ABL (Antigen Binding Lectins) which only bind to abnormal cells and prevent the cell from replicating itself. This can prevent the spread of cancer without the harmful effects of the toxic, laboratory-born treatments used throughout hospitals today. The organism that only grows from decay has the potential to prolong life.
The evidence screams that processed foods will be the downfall of a healthy society and that fresh foods are the way to regain control of your health. High consumption of fresh produce is the key, but a limited diet of only fruits may not be the materials needed to go about maintaining a healthy temple. The proof is in the pudding, and it is not just banana flavored.
By Faye Barton