A high volume diet One of the first things people notice when they get exposed to the raw fruit diet, is the high volume of food eaten in a day. I clearly remember one day back in 2010, while I was still eating a pretty standard vegetarian diet, talking to a friend of mine who was eating a raw vegan diet. When he told me he routinely had eight or more bananas for breakfast – I was utterly shocked! Eight bananas for breakfast? That’s insane! I could not imagine eating that many bananas in one day, let alone for breakfast! Let’s delve into the three main reasons why raw fooders get to eat more!
Water Fruit is higher in water content than most other foods! This is a good thing! After oxygen, water is the most urgent nutritional need we have. By eating processed, cooked and dry foods we become dehydrated, and as a result we must drink lots of water to make up for it. Food is supposed to provide us with water as part of the package! Raw foods are rich in water. Even carnivores will lap up the blood of their prey before anything else! By removing the water from our food by various means of processing, we are making the food less nutritious.
Since fruit is so water rich, it has less calories per bite than we are used to on our highly concentrated, refined diets, and therefore we have to learn to eat more food once we start a raw vegan diet. This is great though, isn’t it? Most people only get to eat a couple dozen bites in a single meal. On a fruit diet you’ll get to eat three times as much food, for the same calories – it’s a beautiful thing!
Fiber Fruits, like most plant foods, are higher in fiber than the standard, processed fare. There’s absolutely zero fiber in animal products, it’s exclusive to the plant kingdom. Highly processed foods are also lacking in this vital nutrient. I say “nutrient”, even though strictly speaking, we don’t absorb the fiber into our bodies, but it plays a role in our digestion. Fiber comes in two types, soluble and insoluble – fruit has a perfect balance of both.
The insoluble fiber gives bulk to the food moving through your system and as they said in the old days – it “sweeps” through your colon and keeps things moving! There is a serious lack of fiber in the standard western diet, something which is evident in the fact that one out of three people in America for example, experience serious constipation. The rest of the population is probably just somewhat backed up. Healthy populations all have something in common – a high fiber diet!
The soluble fiber in fruit “keeps things together”. It holds on to some water and ensures that sugars and other nutrients are absorbed slowly and steadily while the intestinal content moves along nicely.
All that fiber fills you up too! Just like with the water content, high fiber diets are more satisfying by filling you up quicker, with less calories.
As you can see, fiber is another reason why a plant based diet is higher in volume than the average diet high in animal products and processed foods.
Carbohydrates The third main reason why a fruit based diet is so high in volume has to do with carbohydrates. Three nutrients, known as the “Macronutrients”, supply us with our fuel/energy – they are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We measure their energetic value in “calories”, a unit of measurement!
Now, carbohydrates and proteins pack 4 calories per gram, whereas fat packs a whopping 9 calories per gram! In other words, if you’re getting most of your calories from carbohydrates, you will have to eat more than twice the amount of food you would if you were relying on fat, just to be able to meet your caloric needs.
Most fruits average around 90% of their calories from carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars that are easy to digest and absorb, and the remaining 10% from fat and protein. Some fruits are higher in fat, like Avocado for example, and these are best enjoyed in moderation due to the high fat content. Personally, I’ve found that this moderates itself however, as when I’m hungry I want something that will satisfy my want for sugar (immediate fuel). Fat takes too long to digest and won’t supply me with any readily available calories until later, hence the “sweet tooth” at the end of a fatty Christmas dinner – you ate a bunch of calories, but you didn’t satisfy your need for immediate fuel – Sugar! Eat enough sweet fruits so you’ll never experience the common cravings that people report when eating a low carbohydrate diet.
Some people may argue that fat is a better fuel since you need to eat less food, but consider all the micronutrients like minerals and vitamins! By eating calorie dilute foods like fruits, we’re forced to eat more volume, and this means we are ultimately getting more of the various other nutrients that come along with those calories. Calorie for calorie, fruit comes out as the most nutritious and appropriate food for the human species.
The enjoyment of eating Eating is supposed to be enjoyable. Fruit not only satisfies your natural desire for sweetness, but it also hydrates you and fills your stomach up so that you feel satiated. Imagine a waterless, fiberless, highly processed product like olive oil or coconut oil, at 100% fat a 100 grams of it would pack 900 calories! Do you think you would be satisfied after eating 100 grams of food? No way! Eating fruit means we can eat as much as we want, without ever worrying about eating “too much”, because our body will now be able to naturally gauge how much to eat at a meal. Filling up our stomach is one of the main factors in satiation.
As you start out on the raw vegan diet, your stomach is small since it’s used to the highly concentrated foods and small portions of the standard diet. For the first few weeks it may take a little bit of “training” to get your stomach to expand to it’s natural, original size. Remember, all through our evolutionary history, we’ve subsisted on a high fiber diet, your stomach is longing for that stretch – to finally be able to fill up on good stuff without the guilt and discomfort that usually accompanies a large meal.
If you find that breakfast simply don’t hold you until lunch, or even an hour, you know that you must increase your ability to eat a larger volume, in order to eat the necessary calories. You can’t expect to be able to run off 100 calories for breakfast when your usual meal is 600 or more! When you’re full, simply push yourself 1% further. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable, just slightly beyond your present limit. Just like with exercise, if you push too hard, the benefits are lost. Push gently, and see the adaption happen over time. Give it a few weeks to a couple of months and you’ll be more than capable of eating enough fruit to succeed and thrive on a fruit based, raw vegan diet!
Some people think eating this way means you’ll have to “eat all day”, but this is certainly not the case. I’ll easily eat my 2.5 kg of mangoes for lunch in about 15-20 minutes! Most people are so caught up in their portion control, calorie restriction mindset that they unconsciously fiddle around with the food on their plate for ages – putting down the fork between bites, taking miniature mouthfuls – all in an effort to make it last longer. On a natural, raw food diet you can truly get down to business when you’re eating and fully enjoy your food just like nature intended, no restriction needed.
So there you go, the three main reasons raw fooders eat more than everybody else! It’s been 5 years for me on a mostly raw food diet and I’m never looking back! The level of satisfaction, enjoyment, health and pleasure involved in the process of eating as much fruit as I care for, knowing that the nutrition is right on point AND it tastes amazing, is just too good to give up.
Next time you’re hungry – give fruit a chance!
The information in this article reflects the views and opinions of the author and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. This is not medical advice. We are not responsible for any action you may take based on the information given in this article. For medical advice please see your medical professional.