In her ongoing youtube series, Australia’s Freelee the Banana girl explains how she advocates an extreme low processed, low-fat, high-carb raw vegan diet, one which recently came under fire when fellow Aussie, Loni Jane Anthony announced she had kept up the diet throughout her pregnancy, insisting that both her and her baby suffered no ill-effects.
Eating between 2000 and 5000 calories a day, Freelee remains ‘raw until four,’ meaning she eats no cooked or heated food whatsoever until 4pm, usually eating meals consisting of a huge amount of a single fruit, such as two entire pineapples, five mangoes, two litres of orange juice, 1.4kg of apricots, or 20 bananas.
It’s after 4pm Freelee will often eat a cooked meal, again, usually a single ingredient (what she terms ‘mono meals’) in large qualities such as 3.5kgs of potato baked in the oven, or another meal of fruit.
Having suffered from both anorexia and bulimia in the past, Freelee claims that adopting her low fat, high carbohydrate, raw, vegan diet saw her shed 40lb or 2st 12lb as well as clearing up her acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, low thyroid function and terrible digestion.
Whilst some have cast aspersion as to her dieting methods, Freele the banana girl these days can boast a staggering 166 thousand subscribers on her YouTube channel where she preaches the benefits of her lifestyle.
Then again one wonders when they take a good long look at Freelee’s long limber limbs if most of her fans are males taking in the good views.
Yet it doesn’t stop there. Tapping into her youtube success the diet guru has now authored an Ebook on (of course) how to follow her diet.
Despite her wide social media following, nutritionists and dietitians have pointed out the dangers of cutting entire food groups out of one’s diet, and one aspect of Freelee’s lifestyle in particular- her excessive consumption of bananas, raises real concern.
Eating 30 bananas a day on a regular basis, Freelee has posted a video to prove to those who doubted her that she can eat up to 50 bananas in a single day, insisting that one doesn’t have to rein in the calories to be lean and mean.
Tells Freelee: ‘You don’t have to eat this many bananas- I’m just trying to show you that you have to eat big to be lean.
‘There are so many people out there saying restrict your calories or to lose weight, it’s not true.
‘You need to smash in the carb calories. And that’s why I do videos like this; to show people.
‘I’m a lean bean; skinny arms and stomach, everything is lean on me and I never restrict my calories.’
A single medium banana contains an average of 422mg of potassium, and while it would be nearly impossible to cause a cardiac arrest through consuming food, eating excessive levels can put a strain on the kidneys, which have to filter out the excess.
British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Aisling Pigott via the UK’s dailymail offers the following advice: ‘This interesting and alternative diet advocated by the Banana Girl appears to have helped the lady that promotes the diet, however conflicts with traditional healthy eating advice which recommends variety, portion control and moderation.
‘There are some benefits to the diet. For example well balanced vegan diet can be extremely healthy if managed correctly, however all vegans should pay particular attention to their iron and calcium intake in addition to a Vitamin B12 supplement.
However, the negative points of this diet are disconcerting. The diet contains no food sources of Vitamin B12, limited Calcium and little Iron.
Continues Pigott: ‘Poor intake of Vitamin B12 and Iron over an extended time can lead to Vitamin B12 and Iron deficiency anaemia characterised by tiredness, upset stomach, poor skin colour and easy bruising
‘Poor intake of Calcium over a long time leads to low bone mineral density and brittle bones.
‘There is no element of portion control incorporated into these recommendations and based on scientific evidence and research, this is unlikely to lead to any weight loss if foods are consumed in the quantities recommended.
‘A small amount of fat is required for optimal health due to fat soluble, this diet recommends < 10 per cent of calories coming from fat (<38g/fat/day) which may not be sufficient to meet the needs of all individuals.
‘The sugar and carbohydrate content of this diet is extremely high. A high sugar and carbohydrate diet is linked with poor dental health and poor blood sugar control in those with diabetes or at risk of diabetes
‘Eating large amounts of one food e.g. banana’s can displace essential nutrients available from other foods
‘In summary, I would always encourage my clients to include more raw fruit and vegetables in their diet, aiming for a variety of raw and cooked fruit and vegetables alongside a healthy balanced diet of portion controlled (about the size of your fist at each meal) starchy carbohydrates (i.e. bread, rice, potato, pasta) and protein (meat, eggs, beans or pulses) with 2-3 portions of Calcium enriched foods/day (dairy or dairy alternatives) and limited fat, sugar and processed foods.’
And then there was this comment on the web that had me wondering too:
no where on this article does it say how much time she spends in the gym burning off the banana’s! what a boring way too live
And Freelee’s recent response to the onslaught of online criticism after her latest media exposure.