U.S. First Lady-in-waiting Melania Trump, 46, though not a fruitarian, credits her slender figure to eating seven pieces of fruit a day while Steve Jobs, attributed his creativity to a fruitarian diet. Experts however argue that the diet’s high sugar content and absence of dairy and protein can cause serious health problems.
‘I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone,’ says dietitian Anna Daniels. ‘It can lead to malnutrition through deficiencies and the high fibre content can lead to stomach pains and Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. Replacing water with fruit juice is dangerous, as it can lead to very high blood sugar levels and could contribute to diabetes.
‘A fruitarian diet will be deficient in nutrients and vitamins essential for skin health. These include protein, calcium and fatty acids, which are required to build and repair skin and keep bones healthy.’
Nutritionist, Dr Zoe Harcombe said: ‘Fruits are effectively sugar bombs and sugar is ultimately ageing. Fruitarians benefit from what they’re not eating more than what they are eating .
‘They are not consuming white flour, alcohol or processed food. The one bad thing they are doing is living on fruit, which gives them insufficient essential fats and no complete protein.’
The effect of the extreme diet on children is not beneficial. Anna Daniels warns: ‘The risk of malnutrition in growing children on a fruitarian diet is especially high. They face stunted growth due to a lack of protein, anaemia through a lack of vitamin B and iron, and rickets due to a lack of dietary vitamin D and calcium.
‘There is also the risk of creating fussy eating habits.’