Jonathan Bailor & Nell Stephenson: Fruits and Veggies Are Not the Same!


[Jonathan Bailor] Nell Stephenson: Paleoista. We were talking and you mentioned something which I so agree with.

[Nell Stephenson] Yeah.

[Jonathan Bailor] And math also agrees with you when you use nutrient calculations, and that is: we hear five a day fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables. One: five a day is not enough, but a more important point: fruits are equated with vegetables. That is not accurate, in my view. What do you think?

[Nell Stephenson] Totally agree. People think of fruits and vegetables as one group, so they just, like we were talking about before, grab an apple, grab an orange, grab a banana; it is easy, there is no prep. The problem is, first of all, people are going to be eating way too much fruit, and we eat it at the wrong time of day in regards to, you know, sitting at your desk and having a banana as a snack, so it is just too much sugar. And then they have next to no vegetables. Maybe they will have a little bit of garnish at lunch and a salad at dinner, but that is just not enough. You have to be eating vegetables at every meal.

[Jonathan Bailor] And also, I think there is a key point there that you mentioned: do not eat fruits in place of vegetables. They are not the same. And certainly, I know people hear this and some of them say, “Well, I mean, isn’t it better to eat a banana than it is to eat a Snickers bar?” And it certainly is, and whole grains are better than refined grains, and whole wheat — filtered cigarettes are better than non-filtered cigarettes. The key is, what should we be recommending, what should we be aiming for? It feels like what we should be aiming for is quite simple: it is that which offers the most nutrients, the most hormonal protection, and vegetables just really have that [??]-instinct, right? And even in fruits, there is definitely, just like there are high-quality meats and low-quality meats, and high-quality fats and low-quality fats, some fruits are better than others, right? Like, berries and citrus are better than some conventional, super high-fructose, GMO apples.

[Nell Stephenson] Oh yeah, exactly. And the other thing people really need to think about is food timing and balance. So when you are talking about glycemic, if you just got back from a run or you are going on a hike, that is when you would want to choose a higher glycemic kind of a fruit, like a really ripe banana. But if you are having a little bit of fruit as part of a meal, you want to go with a more low-glycemic fruit like berries. So, right now, this time of year, a handful of blueberries on top of your salad with chicken and avocado would be perfect.

[Jonathan Bailor] And the thing to keep in mind, also, with fruits is, you mentioned people — it is easy to over-eat them.

[Nell Stephenson] Yeah.

[Jonathan Bailor] Anything that — fruits are delicious, right? It is wonderful and they are wonderful SANE and Paleo-friendly dessert options.

[Nell Stephenson] Exactly.

[Jonathan Bailor] But to eat them, they are sweet, right? Just like sweet and — fat, next we will be talking about fat. Anything that has got that really hyper-palatable, just delicious — that is not to say that vegetables and proteins are not, they absolutely can be. But when you eat fat in isolation, or you eat fruit, aka sugar, in isolation, just either one of those by themselves can quickly take you off track.

[Nell Stephenson] Exactly, and my first example is, say you have somebody who used to go through McDonald’s drive-thru on the way to work for breakfast, and they are trying to change their ways, and now they are going to Jamba Juice, and they are getting one of these giant juices made of just, you know –

[Jonathan Bailor] Apple juice, basically.

[Nell Stephenson] That is 700 calories of sugar. And it is still — yeah, I guess it is better than a McDonald’s breakfast, but that is going to send your insulin levels through the roof, if you are trying to lose weight, you are just going to be starving if everything that you just drank is liquid sugar. So the far better option, if you wanted to do something liquid, was to do the example we talked about the other day with the Vitamix; throwing everything in there to make a blended version of the whole vegetable and some fruit. The point is, it cannot be vegetables and fruit together, which actually ends up being all vegetables, or sorry, all fruit and hardly vegetables. It is just not the way to go.

[Jonathan Bailor] I love thinking of sugar and even fat as icing on the cake. We certainly do not want to eat icing or cake, but for example, you talked about the smoothie. You do not just want to eat icing, you do not just want to eat the apple, but if you really want something that tastes like an apple, if you were to take the apple and combine it with some protein or combine it with some vegetables in the blender, use it almost as a seasoning, use it just like you would put maybe some tallow or some good butter on your vegetables to enhance them, but you would not eat that butter or tallow on its own. Try not to just eat the fruit; eat the fruit in combination with something else.

[Nell Stephenson] Right, exactly, and keeping that macronutrient balance, aside from before or after a workout, every meal has some carbohydrate, which is mostly vegetables, some natural protein, and some natural fat. So you are not going to have a meal which is all of one of those things.

[Jonathan Bailor] And what has been your experience, Nell? I have found with people I have worked with, people I hear from that there are some people that are just more satisfied on a higher fat, lower sugar lifestyle, and there are some people that are more satisfied on a higher sugar, lower fat lifestyle. Have you seen that, or do you just generally recommend more of a balanced approach?

[Nell Stephenson] I think it is definitely balanced approach, and I think the latter example that you said where it is higher sugar, lower fat is what I am actually not quite a fan of because for most people, that takes us back to that mentality of low fat or fat free eating, which got us nowhere, because when we had that explosion in the early ninety’s, along with that came the increased rates of type-2 diabetes and obesity and that is just — do not even get me started on it. We will end up talking the whole show about that. But so I am definitely more of a fan of higher fat versus what the conventional teaching would be. That might be the recommendation, I think it is still too low in fat.

[Jonathan Bailor] So you are really focused on nutrient-dense proteins, the highest fiber, low sugar fruits, the healthiest fats, and the most nutrient-dense meats.

[Nell Stephenson] Exactly, and that is they key that I drive home all the time, the Paleo lifestyle is all about balance; balance with regards to each, individual meal, balance with regards to the frequency at which we eat, and balance with regards to variety. So the more variety of each particular thing, the more variety of proteins, fats, and vegetables. Eat seasonally. Wherever you live — we are spoiled here, because you were talking about [??] we can get anything we want this time of year, but think about, you know, if it is December and it is — you know, I live in Los Angeles, so I actually can buy blueberries in December, but those come from Chile, and they are not organic. So doesn’t it make more sense that at that time of year, I should buy something that came from a local store right down the road, meaning seasonally?

[Jonathan Bailor] Yeah. Nell, I know what I want to cover in our next chapter, because you mentioned there that certainly, fear of fat is a bad thing, however, just like forty years ago, people said, “All fat is bad and you should avoid all of it.” I think some may have swung the complete other direction, which is, “All fat is good and you should not think about it at all, you should just consume it willy-nilly.”

[Nell Stephenson] Which is ridiculous, I mean –