Some vegetarians avoid eating meat because they don't want to cause any harm to animals. A fruitarian has a similar viewpoint, limiting intake to plant foods that don't cause any harm to the plant, which means a diet filled with fruits, nuts and seeds. While these foods certainly make a healthy addition to your diet, limiting your intake to only fruits, nuts and seeds may lead to nutritional deficiencies. Consult your doctor if you're considering a fruitarian diet.
What You Eat and Don't Eat
A fruitarian eats only fruit, nuts and seeds that are picked without doing any harm to the plant. For example, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries, beans, peppers, avocados, apples, oranges, grains, nuts and peas are allowed on the fruitarian diet.
If the plant is destroyed when you pick it, which may mean pulling it out at the root, then it is not allowed on the diet -- for example, potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach and any type of lettuce. This is in addition to having no animal products of any kind on this diet, with the exception of eggs if they're organic.
Some fruitarians limit their intake to only fruits, omitting nuts, seeds and grains, reported a 2013 article in "The Guardian."
Typical Day of Meals
To get the most nutrition on a fruitarian diet, include as many food choices as possible. A healthy breakfast might include a bowl of oatmeal topped with sunflower seeds, plus a banana and an orange. For lunch, you might enjoy fresh peanut butter with an apple and a salad consisting of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and chickpeas.
A fruitarian dinner might include millet tossed with peas and served with black beans and berries. Snack on nuts, seeds, raisins and figs when hungry in between meals.
Benefits of Fruitarian Diet
In the short term, a fruitarian diet has some benefits. Given the included foods, the fruitarian way of eating is rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, protein, iron, potassium and B vitamins. With so many dietary restrictions, the diet may also help promote weight loss.
Risks of Fruitarian Diet
While the fruitarian diet is filled with healthy foods, it may be too restrictive to call a healthy diet. Following the diet for the long term may increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin B-12, which is found only in animal products. Unless you're including organic eggs, which meet 9 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-12 in one large hard-boiled egg, you may need to supplement your diet.
You may also have a difficult time getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Sources of calcium in a fruitarian diet include soybeans, navy beans, almonds and figs. None of the allowable foods on a fruitarian diet is a good source of vitamin D, but adequate sun exposure -- 10 to 15 minutes of summer sun on your face or hands two to three times a week -- can help your body make its own vitamin D.
You're also at risk of not getting enough calories, protein or iron, especially if you're not careful about meal planning.