Although variations abound, the core definition of a fruitarian is one who eats raw fruits and seeds. Most nuts are generally included, as many are considered dried fruit (almonds, pecans and walnuts, for example) and others (like Brazil nuts) are actually seeds (see nuts). Foods like cucumbers, olives and tomatoes that are fruits, but often not thought of as such, are definitely included. Some fruitarians also consume other foods, such as raw vegetables, though such individuals might be considered more of a raw-food vegan (see vegetarian). Fruitarians live a lifestyle sans cooked foods not only because they believe raw foods are healthier, but because they feel the act of cooking foods contributes negatively to environmental changes. Critics of the fruitarian lifestyle point to the difficulty of sustaining it over the long term because of nutritional deficiencies that could eventually cause bodily harm.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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