Eating too much fruit will cause symptoms of blood sugar problems.
It’s no secret that a proper, healthy raw food diet contains a lot of fruit. In fact, the quantity of fruit that I consume in one single day probably exceeds the quantity consumed by an average family on a weekly, if not monthly basis.
When people look at all that fruit, they’re suddenly afraid that eating so much of it will cause them health problems, the most common being cited is blood sugar issues.
I’ve known many people who are absolutely convinced that whenever they eat a lot of sweet fruit, their blood sugar “goes out of wack.” Their interpretation of what is happening to them is often “getting sudden energy, followed by a blood sugar crash.”
In other words, they compare their body’s response to eating fruit to a common response to stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine: a sudden stimulation followed by a depressed, “recovery” state.
In reality, in a fairly healthy individual, blood sugar will remain stable no matter how much fruit is eaten. I have tested this myself by testing my blood sugar throughout the day, and I found that it didn’t matter how many bananas I ate: my blood sugar remained normal throughout the day.
In fact, even when I eat more than 20 bananas in a day (which I do regularly), my blood sugar stays absolutely normal.
Steve Pavlina, who’s a professional author and speaker and whose website is one of the most visited on the web, did a 30-day trial of a 100%, low-fat, fruit-based raw food diet. During these 30 days, he recorded every single meal he ate. He also monitored closely his blood sugar, weight, blood pressure and other key stats. Here’s what he has to say about the effects of eating fruit on his blood sugar: I monitored my blood sugar using a blood sugar testing device, the same kind diabetics may use. It showed no discernible spikes in blood sugar throughout the trial whatsoever — absolutely none. In fact, my blood sugar remained incredibly steady throughout the trial. My highest blood sugar reading of the trial was 94, which is still medium-low. All that sweet fruit in my diet simply did not have any adverse effect on my blood sugar. Eating this way gave my blood sugar more consistency than ever. I couldn’t spike my blood sugar on this diet if I tried. Even eating 19 bananas in one day made no difference.
Dr. Graham, author of the book “The 80-10-10 Diet”, also told me that whenever people came to him thinking that their “blood sugar was out of balance” due to sweet fruit consumption, they were found to have perfectly normal blood sugar after being tested.
That being said, I think that it’s still possible for some people to experience a negative reaction from eating sweet fruit. However, it’s not the fruit that’s to blame in this case, but their overall diet which is too high in fat. This situation is best explained in the book “Breaking the Food Seduction”, by Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D.
“It may surprise you to know that you can actually change your body’s response to any food so that you are better able to handle whatever sugars it might contain. (…) Marjorie was one of our research volunteers. In a laboratory test, we asked her to drink a syrup containing 75 grams of pure sugar. Taking blood samples over the next two hours, we saw what happened to her blood sugar. (…) It peaked at about thirty minutes, then quickly cascaded downwward. That’s a pretty typical pattern. If your bolod sugar falls too precipitously you may be set up for another binge, which is your body’s way of bringing your blood sugar back up again. Here’s the problem: insulin is the hormone that escorts sugar from your blood stream into the cells of the body. It is like a doorman who turns the knob on the door to each cell, helps sugar go inside, and then closes the door. (…) But everything changes when you eat fatty foods, or when you gain a significant amount of weight. Insulin can’t work in an oil slick. When there is too much fat in the bloodstream, insulin’s hand slips on the knob. Unable to open the door to the cells, insulin lets sugar build up in the blood. Your body responds by making more and more insulin and eventually it will get the sugar into the cells. (…) Cutting fat from your meals improves what is called insulin sensitivity, meaning that insulin efficiently escorts sugar into the cells of the body. (…) With our guidance, Marjorie adjusted her diet to scrupulously cut fat and boost fiber. A few weeks later we repeated the test. She again drank exactly the same sugar solution, but the changes in her blood sugar were very different. Because the low-fat diet had tuned up her insulin, the blood-sugar was more muted, the peak was lower, and the fall was gentler than before. (…) In our clinical studies, we have found that simple diet changes alone boost insulin sensitivity by an average of 24 percent, and it can increase even more if you also exercise.”
So again, fruit has been blamed for a problem it did not cause. In most cases, people who think they have blood sugar spikes have in fact perfectly normal blood sugar. And in the few cases when they truly are not handling the sweet fruit they eat properly, their high-fat diet is to blame, not the fruit.