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Recently, this article came out which stated that Zookeepers in Melbourne had started weaning off their animals away from fruits as they now contain so much sugar that the animals have started becoming fat and their teeth have started to rot away. They are now changing their diet to contain more vegetables while the red pandas are given pellets fortified with minerals and nutrients. They started noticing that the animals were selectively eating fruits due to their higher sugar content. Yup, pellets have now replaced "Real Food."
The amount of sugar currently in fruits may not pose a huge threat to humans but it's important to note here that fruits of our times are nothing like the fruits of the past. They have been constantly selectively bred for taste, sweetness and size probably to cater to the consumer demands for the aforementioned traits. The diagram above shows how fruits(and vegetables) have changed over time.
A catalyzed effect of this human "selective breeding" can be seen in our food industry where we've created foods that have extreme flavor profiles(eg. super sweet cakes, cheesy and gooey pizzas, saucy steaks, salty crunchy fries etc. etc.) Some of these foods can be obesogenic. What's interesting is how obesity can further raise inflammation which can reduce our taste buds(1) and consequently making certain flavorful foods unappealing or bland. This could potentially lead to the consumer back to square one and pursue high calorie and intensely flavored foods to compenstate for lowered sense of taste(2).
Nowadays, you can see most of the health food products, such as protein bars, are loaded with sweeteners as well, all the way from prebiotic fibers(usually a sweetener) to straight up sugars or non-nutritive sweeteners. It's become a competition on who gets "out-flavor-stimulate" the other food product or recipe. Even though low calorie foods loaded with sweeteners are on the rise, the problem may be that people end up consuming the same amount of calories later to compensate for the lower calorie food they ate earlier(3) and hence making them fruitless... no puns intended!
At Ketogeek, we decided to drastically reduce the sweeteners in our products while enhancing richness and texture of the product. Anecdotally, we also started noticing that many people in our community, especially those on Keto for a few months, had a drastically reduced sweet tooth. Our message has been pretty simple: Keep the diet easy and simple while focusing on life, adventure and experiences!
Side Note: When flying back on an airplane, I had some pineapple on after about a year just to compare to how it tasted next to our Energy Pods and boy, fruits are ridiculously sweet nowadays!
Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.
“It never ceases to amaze me how prosaic, pedestrian, unimaginative people can persistently pontificate about classical grammatical structure as though it's fucking rocket science. These must be the same people who hate Picasso, because he couldn't keep the paint inside the lines and the colors never matched the numbers.”
― Abbe Diaz