Fruitarian Diet

Fruitarian Diet

As with the Raw Food diet, there is no universally agreed upon "Fruitarian Diet" for cancer. Rather, it is a diet based on fruits, nuts, seeds and berries (which are fruits). A diet based on a random selection of these items would be a weak cancer diet. However, this would be an excellent cancer diet on three conditions. First, eat only the fruits, nuts, seeds and berries which are known to treat cancer. Second, drink the juice of some of the key vegetables that treat cancer (e.g. carrots, cabbage, beatroot). Third, eat and drink nothing not just mentioned. See also the Raw Food diet.

Extreme Diets

Raw Foods

History: Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, began using raw foods to ease his contemporaries' poor digestion and other maladies--a diet that he learned from the Essenes, a Jewish sect of mystics. By the 1960s, naturopath Ann Wigmore popularized and spread her teaching of the health benefits of raw foods with the Ann Wigmore Foundation in Boston, now in New Mexico.

Focus: Raw food enthusiasts believe that enzymes, minerals, vitamins and proteins are lost when foods are cooked. By eating uncooked vegetables, fruits and nuts, supporters believe their diet cures them of degenerative diseases, increases energy, aids in weight loss and improves skin. Raw food enthusiasts also eat seeds, grains and legumes that are deemed "live" when soaked in water, a process called sprouting, which enables them to remain "living" when ingested. Meat, dairy and processed foods are forbidden.

Caveats: Critics disagree that cooking robs fruits and vegetables of health benefits. Your body better absorbs certain plant nutrients, such as the cancer-fighting lycopene found in tomatoes, when these foods are cooked. "It is true that there are many enzymes in raw foods" writes Steven Bratman, MD, author of Health Food Junkies, "but since they are [destroyed] by the acid found in the stomach anyway, it's hard to see how they could really make any difference."
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History: Fruitarians believe that humans by nature were designed to feed primarily on fruits, which are our most efficient source of nutrients.

Focus: Raw fruits, dried fruits, nuts or seeds are the staples of the diet. Fruitarianism requires that at least 75 percent of a follower's diet be fruits and nuts and that the remainder consist of a cooked vegan diet. Besides common fruits such as apples, oranges and bananas--organic whenever possible--fruitarians also eat cucumbers, peppers and olives, which they regard as "fruit vegetables" Proponents say fruits are also natural sources of water, simple healthy sugars, vitamins and minerals.

Caveats: "Fruits do not contain all the nutrients that human beings need to live, at least not on a long-term basis" says Elson M. Haas, MD, in his book Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. "Protein content is very low, and many of the B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium and other minerals are scarce in fruits" Tom Billings, a longtime raw-foods vegetarian who works with the San Francisco Living Foods Enthusiasts, says that it can be prohibitively inconvenient. "Most people find that a fruit diet is neither physically nor psychologically satisfying, hunger is frequent, and backsliding and binge eating are very common"
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Blood Type Diet

History: Peter D'Adamo, a naturopathic specialist, introduced this diet in 1996 with his book Eat Right for Your Type.
Focus: D'Adamo believes that different human blood types developed over time, and that people are genetically predisposed to be healthier if they follow diets that correspond to their blood type and, presumably, their body's nutritional needs. Hunters of prehistoric times had type O blood, he argues, so humans with type O blood today should eat carnivorous diets rich in proteins and fats. Type A blood emerged with the development of agriculture, so today's type A humans--"cultivators"--are by nature vegetarians. Type B, which evolved after O and A, is the "nomad" a combination of both earlier types, requiring a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, with an emphasis on dairy products. Carriers of type AB, "the enigma," are healthiest when they combine the diets of A and B.

Caveats: Critics, which include naturopaths, are highly skeptical of D'Adamo's conclusions and the research on which they are based. Dan Bessesen, MD, and associate director for research training at the University of Colorado Center for Human Nutrition, says it's just "wrong. The data that supports it is really bad data." If biological connections between diet and blood type exist, "we would be looking into it," says Cathy Nonas, a registered dietitian with the Vanitalli Center for Nutrition and Weight Loss Management at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York. Some people lose weight and boost their energy on the diet, says Susan Allen, a nutritionist at Northwestern University's School of Integrative Medicine. But that's probably because "they were eating too many carbohydrates from dairy and wheat products and have cut back."

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By Marriaine Hak

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