Monkeys in zoos are no longer allowed to eat fruit
Modern fruits have been specifically designed to be much sweeter and lower in fiber than traditional fruits eaten by monkeys in the wild. The high sugar content in fruit has caused monkeys in captivity to develop health problems. As a consequence, several zoos have decided to stop feeding monkeys fruit.
Bristol Zoo and Paignton Zoo in the UK have decided to stop feeding fruit to monkeys because of the health problems they’ve witnessed the monkeys develop.
What kinds of health problems did the monkeys develop? Similar ones to humans who eat too much sugar. They were developing stomach problems, bad teeth, diabetes and they were even becoming more aggressive towards each other and fighting. According to keepers at Paignton zoo, “reducing the sugar in their diets has calmed them down and made their groups more settled”.
If you’ve ever had the chance to taste wild or native fruits, you would know they are usually smaller, more sour, more fibrous and contain more seeds than modern fruits.
Humans love sweet and juicy fruits; therefore modern agriculture has favored the development of high sugar fruits. Most people can get away with eating a few pieces of fruit each day, but if you have insulin resistance, diabetes or you are overweight, cutting down on fruit would help you.
People often increase their fruit intake when they decide they’d like to eat healthier. Sometimes the opposite is more appropriate.