I don't think eliminating (or limiting significantly) fruit from one's diet is such a terrible idea, IF fruits are replaced by vegetables.
When comparing nutritional data for 100g of broccoli to 100g of apple, for example, broccoli clearly wins out.
Broccoli has a bit less calories(18 cals less per 100g), less sugar (8g less) and significantly more of every vitamin and mineral than an apple.
Analyzing 100g of sweet red pepper yields similar advantages over the apple.
Sure, there are other fruits out there, but this brief comparison shows that by replacing fruits with veggies, one would not miss out on vitamins/minerals, would cut down on calories a bit, and would most likely feel fuller per gram consumed.
As far as phytochemicals are concerned, veggies have plenty to offer. When I make a salad, I usually make sure it's as colorful as possible - greens (lettuce, spinach), tomatoes (red), bell peppers (red/yellow/orange/green), garlic, etc., so as to include a variety of phytonutrients.
I wouldn't swear off fruit for the rest of my life, but I can see how a dieter would feel she's getting more bang for her calories out of veggies vs. fruits, especially on a 1200 calorie diet.
Just my two cents.
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The problem with the comparison like the one you make above (between apples and broccoli) is that it has very little, if any, significance.
Okay, so roughly three ounces of apples contain 18 less calories than roughly three ounces of broccoli. What is someone supposed to do with that information? Pack broccoli in their bag instead of an apple for an afternoon snack?
The sugar you mention is insignificant, since the apple contains fiber which helps stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels.
Besides, other comparisons would "show" that fruits are "better" than vegetables.
An ounce of raspberries, for instance, contains 15 calories and 1.8 grams of fiber. An ounce of sweet potato, meanwhile, provides 26 calories and 0.9 grams of fiber.
And if you compare 100 grams of bananas with 100 grams of raw cucumber, you'll find that the bananas offer more vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, manganese, potassium, and magnesium and only 70 more calories.
That doesn't make raspberries "better" than sweet potatoes, or bananas worth eating and cucumbers "useless."
All fruits and vegetables (yes, that includes potatoes!) are healthy. Shunning particular ones under the guise of "more nutrition" is very silly. There is definitely room for fruit in all diets.
By the way, Britney Spears mentions shunning fruit, but in the same statement says she eats avocados. Back to Nutrition 101 for her!