When You Eat Fruit Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Metabolism

Growing up, we were always told to include fruit in our diets. They're packed full of fiber, essential vitamins, and other helpful nutrients. But as it turns out, there is such a thing as too much fruit — and such a diet can wreak havoc on your metabolism. 

You'll be slowing down your metabolism if you consume only fruit, like on a fruitarian diet. The chemical processes that convert food into energy and sustain bodily functions (e.g., breathing, blood circulation, digestion, regulating hormones and body temperature, and repairing cells) comprise what's called your metabolism (via Cleveland Clinic). So it goes without saying that a healthy metabolism is the cornerstone of a lot of stuff: how well you absorb your food, how your waste is eliminated, maintaining a healthy weight, and warding off disease, to name a few of them. A healthy or high metabolism means you burn calories faster in order to fuel your body's needs. A slower metabolism means the opposite. 

When you rely on a diet mainly consisting of fruit (without other essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, calcium, and B vitamins), your body can go into starvation mode (per the Cleveland Clinic). This is when your body will try to conserve energy by holding on to whatever it can, which eventually leads to less calorie burning. Slowing down your metabolism is particularly problematic if your goal is to lose weight. There's another way only eating fruit every day affects your metabolism. 

The lack of protein in a fruit-only diet can mess with your metabolism

Although there are some fruits that contain a decent amount of protein (like guavas, avocados, jackfruit, and kiwi), fruits can't be considered a good source of protein in and of themselves. 

The problem with fruitarian diets is the significant lack of protein in them. Not only does protein have a higher thermic effect than carbs and fat (and is therefore beneficial for boosting metabolism), but it also contributes toward increasing muscle mass (via Healthline). When you're not getting sufficient protein, your muscle strength and mass will suffer. This can slow down your metabolism too, according to Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center (per The Healthy). "Your resting energy expenditure (REE) will go down because [it] is directly related to how much muscle mass you have," explained the expert. 

Resting energy expenditure, also known as resting metabolic rate, refers to the rate at which your body burns energy while it's resting. Functions like breathing, cell repair and growth, blood circulation, regulating body temperature, and eating all fall under everyday things your body needs energy for, even when you're not actively exerting yourself. That being said, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't be eating fruit every day. 

How should you be consuming fruit for a healthy metabolism?

Balance is the name of the game, even when it comes to fruit. The key is to make sure that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs and including fruit every day as part of a nutritious and balanced diet. They can make up between 25% and 30% of your diet. After all, fruits give you fiber, folate, vitamin C, and potassium. 

Also, there are some fruits that can actually aid your metabolism when integrated into an overall healthy diet, like those high in vitamin C, as this is important for protein synthesis, which in turn affects your metabolism, per registered dietitian Julia Zakrzewski (via Signos). Strawberries, blueberries, avocados, apricots, citrus fruits like oranges, and apples all make up the list of fruits that are good for boosting your metabolism. 

"To get the most benefit out of these fruits, eat them fresh rather than juiced. Juicing takes away the fiber and leaves all the sugars," shared Dr. Joseph Galati, whose expertise spans liver diseases, obesity, fatty liver, and related disorders. You can't discount the fructose content of fruit; too much of it is going to affect your blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain. Ultimately, it's about knowing the surprising side effects of eating too much fruit, understanding their nutritional profile, and knowing how they can be part of a healthy diet (which may involve consulting a medical professional).