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The Superbeing System
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Is the Glycemic Load from a Fruit Meal Too High?

Is the Glycemic Load from a Fruit Meal Too High?

Here’s another reply to an email question. Please keep in mind that many people send me questions by email. I no longer have time to answer all of them, as I am getting swamped with questions. However, by joining http://www.HowToGoRaw.com you can have all of your questions answered.


Thank you Roger for your very informative letters. I particularly found useful your suggestion to eat fruit before meals. Your letters help.

There is one question that I have wondered about. I understand that in a high fruit raw diet that the sugar is more easily assimilated by the body. When I add up the glycemic load of a large fruit meal, it tends to get substantial. I am wondering if such a diet would raise the blood sugar level, and then trigger an insulin reaction that would force the blood sugar down below normal, and result in hypoglycemia. I at times experience numb, tingling fingers and lips which i am guessing is from insulin pushing the blood sugar down below normal. Anyways, I have not seen an address on the glycemic load of high raw fruit based diet and the effect on blood sugar levels. Is there something in the diet that prevents the insulin reaction from happening?

[Roger H.]

Hi Bill,

You ask a very good question. Some people seem to think the Glycemic Index is the be all, end all of health measurement tools.

Yes I do think that eating a high Glycemic load fruit meal can TEMPORARILY raise your blood sugar levels up. That is what is supposed to happen. But the fact of the matter is that most sweet fruit is in the low to middle part of the Glycemic index anyway. Processed grains tend to be much worse. Plus any meal that is high in carbohydrates will have a relatively high Glycemic Load, regardless of the Glycemic Index.

My blood sugar tends to go up quickly after a fruit meal, but it also comes back down to normal very quickly. People with diabetes for instance, are worrying about blood sugar that is still high, two hours after the meal or upon waking up. My blood sugar goes back down to normal in less than an hour and it never goes too low.

If your blood sugar levels go too low after a fruit meal, I’d suspect that you may have some damage to your blood sugar absorption system. This isn’t something that was caused by eating fruit, but by what you have done in the past.

Some people do have damaged blood sugar metabolism, but it isn't caused by eating fruit. One of the causes is eating starchy complex carbohydrates like grains, legumes and tubers that people eat for most of their lives. Dr. Douglas Graham has detailed that extensively in one of his talks that I attended (Upcoming book, as well I believe). So yes, you may need some time for your body to heal from a damaged blood sugar absorption system.

If it's really bad, fasting may help you overcome your initial problems. I suggest doing a supervised water fast if necessary. Try eating an Optimal 100% Raw Food Diet for a couple of months first. Things might heal naturally because a 100% raw diet is like a fast, compared to eating the SAD. Your body has much more energy available to heal itself. Stay away from dried fruit also as some people have problems with it.

Certainly most grains have higher Glycemic loads than do fruit. What would you eat instead? In the whole food raw world, your choices are sweet fruit, high fat foods or a mixture of fruit and fat consumption. It's hard to get your protein levels past 10% of your total calories and that is a good thing. So you can’t make up the bulk of your calories from protein foods on a whole food, raw vegan diet. That leaves you to get the bulk of your calories from either carbohydrates (fruit) or fatty foods.

Therefore, the basic choice is Fruit or Fat as discussed at http://www.HowToGoRaw.com in my audio interview with Dr. Graham.

If you decided to eat a high fat raw diet, that could be disastrous to your health. A high fat diet is what keeps your blood sugar levels abnormally high for hours on end. High fat destroys the sugar metabolism of your body and requires an increased level of insulin to transport sugar to the cells of your body.

One thing you can do is to eat lots of celery or cucumber with your fruit meals. I believe we were designed to eat a diet heavy in fruit (wild fruit would be the ideal, but the second best choice is the fruit we can get in our markets). You don't see the local chimpanzee not eating fruit because the Glycemic load is too high. Our digestive systems are the closest to the chimpanzees and the bonobos. They both eat a high fruit and low fat diet. That should be telling us something. The longest lived people eat a high carbohydrate diet.

Another point is the fruit has fibers to help slow the absorption of sugar and it has the nutrients that are needed to properly assimilate sugar. You can’t say this for a candy bar. These days they are feeding diabetics fibers like guar gum and pectin because they help to help control their blood sugar levels. These fibers happen to be in bananas and other fruit. Why not just give people the whole fruit, rather than a fragmented nutrient?

Over the course of 20 years, Dr. Douglas Graham has had tremendous results with Type 2 Diabetics. In every case, he was able to get them completely off using insulin. It usually takes less than a month to do so. This is while using a customized approach to a high fruit and low fat raw food diet.

Of course, each person is an individual and if they do have blood sugar problems, then those issues need to be addressed. But the diet in itself is not flawed. I realize we aren’t eating exactly what we would if we were out in nature, but this diet is the closest approximation of what we would be eating and is our best choice in civilization.

Remember to eat lots of leafy greens as well. Small quantities of nuts and seeds are ok so long as total fat consumption averages 15% or less of total calories consumed. It should be 10% or less if you are still having problems at 15%.

Go to www.fitday.com, create a free account and you’ll see exactly how much protein, carbohydrate, fat and other nutrients you are consuming. After you do that for a few days, you’ll know how much fatty foods you can eat and stay within the stated totals. It’s really not that difficult and you won’t have to be constantly measuring your foods.

P.S. Are you having trouble staying 100% raw? Are you afraid of eating fruit? Are you sick of the time consuming effort of having to juice, sprout, dehydrate and ferment your foods? Discover the simple secrets to raw food success from the Raw Motivator and Radiant Health Coach, Roger Haeske. http://www.HowToGoRaw.com for more info.

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