Can 20 Servings of Fruit a Day Fix What Ails You?

Q. I?ve been hearing a lot lately about a fruit diet. Is that a healthy way to eat?

A. Fruit is, of course, healthful, and most dietary recommendations encourage people to eat more of it?about four servings a day. But that’s a far cry from a diet in which fruit makes up most, if not all, of the foods you eat.
   You may remember The Beverly Hills Diet by Judy Mazel, a former secretary and aspiring actress. The book featured an all-fruit diet that was panned by health experts, but made it to the best-seller list in 1981. The newest reincarnation of the fruit diet is something called The Fruit Flush by Jay Robb, a glorified booklet that’s downloadable online for $5, sold alongside his own protein supplements and bars. It promises to help you ?flush away toxins? and ?lose 9 lbs in 3 days.? If only?

If Some Is Good, Is More Better? The Fruit Flush philosophy is that eating 20 or more servings a day of fruit can turn back the hands of time, firm your muscles, improve your eyesight and rid you of backaches. Robb even claims the Fruit Flush plan leaves you smelling sweet and eliminates the need for deodorant.
   The one effect he actually understates is his claim that the diet can improve bowel function, eliminating constipation. In reality, too much fructose from any source, even fruit, can lead to chronic diarrhea, which gives a whole new meaning to the title of the book?Fruit Flush.
   While the two-week rapid weight-loss diet plan includes a bit of protein and a salad at night, the strategy is to eat fruit every two hours during the day; we?re skeptical it meets nutritional needs.

EN‘s Bottom Line. Despite the fact that Robb calls himself a ?clinical nutritionist,? EN doesn’t endorse his nutrition advice. There’s no proof that eating a diet of mostly fruit will help you feel better or lose fat, though you may lose quite a bit of water weight in the beginning.
   Only about two-thirds of Americans eat more than two servings of fruit a day, so EN certainly recommends eating more fruit, though nowhere near 20 servings a day. Instead, strive for what the dietary guidelines recommend? four servings a day of fruit, along with five a day of vegetables.

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