One of the most common reasons I hear against adopting a raw vegan diet that is low in fat and high in fruit is that the sugar from the fruit leads to elevated blood sugar levels.
If this is true, it is very serious. Sustained elevated blood sugar levels, meaning blood sugar levels that remain elevated long after finishing a meal, is the defining element of Diabetes Type II.
But is it true? Does a low fat raw vegan diet that’s high in fruit (at least 80% of total calories coming from carbohydrates) and low in fat (no more than 10% of total calories from fat) really lead to elevated blood sugar levels and possibly Diabetes?
Rather than pontificate about the possibilities, I decided to test it for myself.
First, some background information:
A normal fasting blood glucose level ranges between 70-99 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).
A normal 2-hour postprandial (2 hours after eating) blood glucose level ranges between 70-145 mg/dL.
Someone with a fasting blood glucose sample above 126 mg/dL is considered hyperglycemic (high blood sugar).
Someone with a fasting blood glucose reading below 70 mg/dL is considered hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).
Actually, some values are more lenient than this. The American Diabetes Association recommends a fasting glucose reading range of 90-130 mg/dL and a postprandial reading of 180 mg/dL or less.
Each day for seven days, I took three blood samples using the FreeStyle Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System. Each test was performed on my left forearm.
First, I took my fasting blood glucose sample before breakfast. This was taken roughly twelve hours after my last meal.
Second, I took a sample right after I finished breakfast. Each sample was taken less than two minutes after my last swig of smoothie.
Third, I took a sample two hours after eating.
The test meal, which was my breakfast, I kept the same each day. I ate 8 medium bananas blended with water.
Lunch was also a fruit meal, either more bananas, grapes, gala apples, or oranges.
Dinner started out with more fruit, followed by a large salad of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and 1 ounce of raw nuts.
My average macronutrient ratio over the seven days was 86% carbohydrates, 6% protein, and 8% fat.
Here are my results.
I took a total of twenty-one blood samples (7 fasting, 7 right after breakfast, and 7 two hours after breakfast) over a seven day period:
Wednesday, January 12
Fasting: 94 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 132 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 113 mg/dL
Thursday, January 13
Fasting: 90 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 113 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 108 mg/dL
Friday, January 14
Fasting: 84 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 92 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 125 mg/dL
Saturday, January 15
Fasting: 93 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 119 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 109 mg/dL
Sunday, January 16
Fasting: 89 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 95 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 111 mg/dL
Monday, January 17
Fasting: 87 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 105 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 115 mg/dL
Tuesday, January 18
Fasting: 90 mg/dL
Right After Breakfast: 94 mg/dL
2 Hours After Breakfast: 112 mg/dL
Average “Fasting” Reading: 90 mg/dL
Average “30 Minutes After Breakfast” Reading: 107 mg/dL
Average “Right After Breakfast” Reading: 99 mg/dL
All 21 blood glucose samples that were taken were within the normal range. These results present no evidence that a low fat, high fruit raw vegan diet leads to hyperglycemia.
The results are clear as day. A healthy raw food diet that is high in fruit and low in fat does NOT lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Even less than 2 minutes after finishing an 800+ calorie meal of bananas, my blood glucose level was well within the normal range.
And I’ve been eating this way since 2007. If a raw fruit diet really caused high blood sugar, I would be hyperglycemic by now!
So what does raise blood sugar levels? Stay tuned for my next post to find out!
Go raw and be fit,
P.S. Looking for tasty AND healthy raw vegan recipes to help you adopt a healthy – but totally “dangerous” – low fat raw vegan diet?
Check out my 100% raw vegan recipe e-book:
“Low Fat, Fruit Filled, High Fun Raw Recipes”
Delicious and Healthy Raw Vegan Favorites for Every Meal