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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 12, 2014

Do You Really Need to Eat Vegetables to Be Healthy?

By Mark Sisson
250 Comments

SteakThe idea that vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet has been hammered into our collective consciousness by every authority out there. Parents, teachers, scientists, government health “experts” all stress the importance of eating your veggies. Problem is, they also told us that butter would kill us, margarine would save us, animal protein would give us cancer, and animal fat would give us heart disease. They said we should jog for an hour a day three days a week, that deadlifts would hurt our backs, and that we need to wear shoes with “good arch support.” Basically, conventional wisdom gets it wrong an awful lot of the time, so what should we think about the CW regarding vegetables? It’s a fairly common query I receive from readers:

Do you really need to eat vegetables – or plant matter in general – to be healthy?

Yes. Yes, you do. Maybe not a huge amount, necessarily. But you do need some.

With that out of the way, allow me to address some of the pertinent questions I receive from readers. See, MDA readers are an astute bunch. They don’t just send me one line emails with questions in all caps; they send questions and then proceed to lay out very persuasive arguments. Let’s look at some of them.

“What about the traditional cultures that ate little to no plants or vegetables and were healthy? Like…”

The Inuit – While they ate a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet consisting of the fat and meat from seal, walrus, whale, caribou, fish, and other wild game, the Inuit actually utilized a wide variety of plant foods including berries, sea vegetables, lichens, and rhizomes. They made tea from pine needles, which are high in vitamin C and polyphenols.

The Maasai – Milk, meat, and blood were the high-fat, low-carb staples of the Maasai diet, particularly that of the male warriors. But it’s not all they ate. The Maasai often traded for plant foods like bananas, yams, and taro, too, and they cooked their meat with anti-parasitic spices, drank bitter (read: tannin- and polyphenol-rich) herb tea on a regular basis, and used dozens of plants as medicines (PDF).

Or the Sami – The reindeer herders of the Scandinavian north, the Sami people eat a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet of meat, fish, and reindeer milk. They also gather wild plant foods, particularly berries and mushrooms (Finland’s forests produce 500 million kg of berries and over 2 billion kg of mushrooms each year!), sometimes even feeding their reindeer hallucinogenic mushrooms to produce psychoactive urine.

Plants played small but important roles in their diets. Not as a source of calories, necessarily, but as a source of micronutrients, plant polyphenols, and medicinal compounds. We can’t know that they would have gotten the results they did without the plants.

“Animal foods provide all the micronutrients a person needs.”

Animal products include some of the most nutrient-dense foods available. They’re our best (and often only) source of vitamin A (retinol), DHA/EPA, and vitamin B12, as well as lesser-known nutrients like choline, creatine, and carnosine. But a diet devoid of vegetables and other plants will likely be a little low in certain nutrients that we need. Like:

Betaine – A vital liver-supporting nutrient, the best source is spinach.

Potassium – Important electrolyte and regulator of blood pressure, the best sources are avocados, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and bananas. Meat contains potassium, but you have to capture the juices to get it.

Magnesium – Involved in hundreds of crucial physiological functions, the best sources are leafy greens like spinach and chard.

Fermentable fiber – The best sources are plants.

Whoa, whoa. Fiber? What is this, the AHA? No. I’ve questioned the merits of insoluble fiber-driven fecal hypertrophy in the past, and I remain puzzled at the relentless pursuit of toilet bowl blockages, but I strongly support the consumption of fermentable fiber. If you’re convinced of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome populated with happy, vibrant gut flora – and you should be, by now – you can’t ignore their food requirements. They need fermentable fiber to survive and tend to your immune system, and the best way to provide that is to eat plants.

It’s also easy to miss out on nutrients like folate (if you don’t eat offal) and calcium (if you don’t eat dairy or small bony fish).

Plus, and this is an important point, we evolved eating wild animals. Wild animal meat and fat comes loaded with antioxidant compounds from all the wild plant matter they eat. Grass-fed beef (the more easily attainable alternative to wild meat) is also higher in B-vitamins, beta-carotene (look for yellow fat), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Unless you’re hunting game or eating “salad bar” beef (what Joel Salatin calls grass-fed beef), eating vegetables, herbs, and spices with your meal will help emulate the ancestral steak dinner.

“What about people who just hate vegetables? Or who don’t like them all the time? Shouldn’t we listen to our instincts?”

I have a sneaking suspicion that the ability to sense nutrients noted in many animal species is also present in people. Like how salt-deficient cattle will gravitate toward the salt lick, maybe some people just don’t need that extra hormetic stimulus provided by the plant, and their bodies are letting them know by making vegetables taste bad. Maybe they’re so darn optimal that they only require the basic vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients to maintain their health.

But remember: the body is kind of a dumb instrument. It evolved in an environment when little mistakes could be very costly. A sprained ankle could mean death, destitution, or a limp that never leaves; these days, a sprained ankle means some ice, some elevation, and parking a little closer to the office/grocery store. Eating the wrong plant, or the wrong part of the wrong plant, might destroy your liver; these days, you just Google “[plant] toxicity.” So we’re subconsciously hypersensitive to things that may (have once) pose(d) a threat that we may miss out on some good stuff. Plant toxins, also known as phytonutrients, are one of those things.

Carrie already explained how some folks’ distaste for bitter plant toxins might be an adaptation from the days when a portion of the available plant food was too dense in toxins/phytonutrients for regular consumption – an adaptive holdover that prevents us from enjoying the extremely healthy, hormetic, moderate levels of plant toxins in cultivated plants.

I actually get where these people are coming from. I’ll go days where I don’t really want any green things on my plate, where a salad (even a Big Ass one) just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll also have days where I don’t really feel like eating a steak, where a few bites of it is plenty. I tend to listen my body in these cases.

People known as “supertasters” are particularly sensitive to the bitter compounds in plant foods and generally eat fewer of them as a result; some research indicates that they may be at a greater risk for certain cancers, while other research indicates that supertasters weigh less, with a lower risk of heart disease, than “normals.” However, that’s because they’re more picky about food and eat less of it in general, not because bitter vegetables are fattening. It’s not conclusive either way.

The Bottom Line

Plants complement meat. They make meat taste better, make it healthier by preventing the formation of carcinogens during cooking when you incorporate them into marinades, and reduce the impact of those harmful compounds when you consume them alongside. Cruciferous vegetables are a classic example; that broccoli you’re eating with your steak contains phytonutrients that reduce the potential mutagenicity (cancer-causing properties) of heterocyclic amines in well-done meat.

Vegetables also compliment meat. They notice when meat has had its hair and nails done, or when it’s lost weight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard kale say the words, “Have you been working out?” to a lamb shank. Even if they’re not always totally sincere, they obviously care about making meat feel good about itself. That’s awesome. Harmony on your plate is always good.

If you hate veggies and refuse to eat them, fine. You can get most minerals and vitamins elsewhere (though it’s tough, and some spinach would take care of most of them), and using supplements is an option. But if I were you, I would at least strongly consider drinking tea, eating phytonutrient-rich fruits like berries, eating phytonutrient-rich legume extracts like dark chocolate, and using lots of different spices and herbs in your cooking. These won’t have a large caloric (or carb) load, but they will offer nutrients you simply can’t obtain from animals and they provide the largest plant bang for your buck.

Before you throw in the towel, be sure to try lots of different plants. There are thousands of edible and medicinal ones out there, with tens of thousands of recipes and preparation instructions available right this instant just a few keystrokes away. You’ll find something you like if you keep looking.

What does everyone else think? Can you be truly healthy without including plants, particularly veggies, in your diet?

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250 Comments on "Do You Really Need to Eat Vegetables to Be Healthy?"

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Heather
2 years 7 months ago

As a veggie lover I think this post is so important and informative!

Harry Mossman
Harry Mossman
2 years 7 months ago

+1 People who hate all veggies bewilder me.

basil cronus
basil cronus
2 years 7 months ago

Everyone is different. Everyone has a different palate. Everyone has different likes and dislikes. No need to be bewildered. Just understand that not everyone likes what you like, as I’m sure you don’t like everything I like.

Harry Mossman
Harry Mossman
2 years 7 months ago

OK. Doesn’t make me any less bewildered. Maybe bewildered is too strong. But I don’t understand how someone could dislike all veggies with the huge number of ways they can be prepared, e.g. swimming in butter.

I don’t particularly care for sweets but I don’t dislike them. I still don’t much like liver but I eat it because I know it is great for me. I haven’t tried other kinds of offal but I would be willing to try something that was good for me.

Pretty much all standard healthy foods of many cultures taste good to me.

basil cronus
basil cronus
2 years 7 months ago

So what do you really like? Butter or veggies? I’m sure most things bathed in butter are yummy. Unless you hate butter, now those people bewilder me!

Roy
Roy
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, we’re all unique snowflakes…. I’m kinda with Harry here; I suspect a lot of people don’t like veggies because it takes away stomach room that could be occupied by bread and cakes and donuts.

Kathleen
Kathleen
2 years 7 months ago

Not a huge fan of them, although prepared right I will eat them. It’s kind of a thing, “what do you want to eat tonight?” I usually say meat. It’s not an aversion so much that I won’t eat them if they’re put in front of me, but when left to my own devices I don’t usually proactively cook them. I have to push myself to eat veggies, and that’s usually either in the form of a salad (carrots, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, whatever) with a can of tuna slapped onto it, or fried/roasted in bacon fat 🙂

Mikey UK
Mikey UK
2 years 7 months ago

Just add butter….loads of butter!

Charmaine
Charmaine
2 years 7 months ago

Nothing I like better than a bowl of buttered kale! My friend told me she saw kale chips with cheese on this website but I’m not sure if it’s good. Has anyone tried replacing veggie requirements with veggie snacks? I’m thinking of trying that especially if its certified organic and nutritional! http://omgr.in/brainsW14

Steve
Steve
2 years 6 months ago

To me its the texture of most vegetables rather than the taste. I can put away some raw carrots, celery, and from time to time will enjoy a salad made of various mixed greens…but I eat vegetables more because I have a concept that they provide nutrients rather than something I actually WANT to eat.

castlerobber
castlerobber
2 years 7 months ago
I’ve disliked most vegetables and fruits for most of my life, despite trying repeatedly to learn to eat the things. The texture of iceberg lettuce, or cabbage, or onions, or even apples, makes me gag. Green beans taste like flowers to me. Even ranch dip can’t hide the woodenness of broccoli. Watermelon has never tasted sweet to me, just earthy and slightly bitter. Funny thing, though–the few veggies I can tolerate, are the ones Mark mentions in the article. I love spinach salad, blueberries, and blackberries, and will eat cherries. Dark chocolate is a wonderful thing. Once I discovered that… Read more »
Nicole
Nicole
2 years 7 months ago
Iceberg lettuce has so little nutritional value, that I think it is a waste of chewing effort (celery, too)! Raw broccoli can harm your thyroid, onions can be toxic if not eaten immediately after chopping (so I read), and apples have a higher carb count than high-quality fruits like the berries you love. It sounds like your body knows what it’s doing! I dislike watermelon and bananas, too. I never liked them and have no interest because I find better health value in berries. I have my own dietary shame: I am the worst Italian in the world because I… Read more »
Kathleen
Kathleen
2 years 7 months ago

I have found a can of tuna will mask the taste and texture of many a vegetable. Not sure what to tell you on fruit, though.

Some textures make me gag, too. Celery, for one. I can only eat it if it’s chopped into tiny pieces. I hate the stringy crap. I also have a similar aversion to mangoes for the same reason. Fibery yuckyness. Also have to thoroughly peel my oranges/bananas.

mightywindmill
mightywindmill
2 years 7 months ago

Kathleen – canned tuna makes me gag!

Dawn
Dawn
8 months 4 days ago
Wow. This is me. I dislike most vegetables and fruits. I recently expanded the vegetables I eat from 4 to 9. Although the additional 5 have to be hidden in certain foods, but at least I eat them sometimes now. I also dislike most fruits, I can handle apples and bananas.. and berries in a smoothie. I can’t eat meat either.. unless it’s fake meat or hidden like in a lasagne. I also found I can handle spinach now (cut finely in pasta dishes or a handful in a smoothie) and I quite like sweet potato. I’m on this site… Read more »
tess
tess
2 years 7 months ago
I like vegetables — they just don’t like me. A big-ass salad would mess up my intestines for days. I have a nightshade sensitivity as well as problems with FODMAPs, cruciferous vegetables, thiol-containing and histamine/tyramine/salicylate-containing and -provoking foods (fermented vegetables are to be indulged with tremendous caution). I am simply much better off minimizing the amount of plant matter I consume! I take a little bit of various vegetables and even less fruit. I know what I can handle and try not to overdo that. Before someone tells me, “you need to improve your gut biome” — I haven’t had… Read more »
Sofie
Sofie
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, my stomach doesn’t like it if I eat too much veggies either. I don’t think you should eat more than you can handle – look for better ways to eat them or different ones, maybe, but it obviously isn’t good when it makes you miserable.

One thing I’ve found great is making soup with veggies (ie: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/06/05/soup-for-breakfast-it-does-a-body-good/), where you cook them for hours to get most of the minerals out, then throw them away.

Krissy
Krissy
2 years 7 months ago
Wow Tess that’s really interesting… I’ve had IBS for over a decade and obviously back then there was nothing they could tell me to do. Since then FODMAPs has come out and my gastro keeps insisting I get on it… for years I was vego so the though of removing all FODMAPs meant I would have such little food choice. Now I’m more primal with meat again I’ve considered it. But I am such a HUGE veggie lover. I eat nearly a kilo of cooked veggies daily. But I still have on and off gut issues (a lot less since… Read more »
2Rae
2Rae
2 years 7 months ago
I totally understand the issues you have. I like fresh vegetables but some of them do not like me all that much, burp. However, one of the things that I’ve noticed as I have aged a bit is that my body likes to change it up a bit as we go. I now like some that would make me gag when I was younger. I’m done with laying awake whilst my digestive system that works well on beef but not so well with veggies, grumbles and shoots pains at whatever it can until it’s all done in there. The absolute… Read more »
Christine
Christine
2 years 7 months ago
Same here. I absolutely love vegetables & fruit, & hate the fact that I can’t have many of them, due to FODMAPS, salicylate & histamine sensitivity. I also cannot eat cruciferous vegetables, due to having gallbladder & liver problems, as they make the symptoms worse. The only fruit I can eat is 1/2 pomegranate a day (in 2 x 1/4 servings at separate meals). I make my own yogurts from certain probiotics, but cannot tolerate very much of it at a time, due to histamine problems (some strains of bacteria encourage histamine & some help, so it’s a case of… Read more »
Laura
Laura
2 years 7 months ago
I am sooooo with you on the FODMAP’s! When I first went Paleo, my gut got better at first but then it got worse again – all those Paleo-friendly veggies, and don’t even get me started on the coconut! It is definitely the most important to listen to your body. I find that lettuce is my friend – I usually eat two giant salads every day – my lettuce bill is ridiculous. I can also eat spinach, zucchini, and bell peppers, and I often use carrots, parsnips, and celery in long-cooked soups. That’s about it for me. I occasionally have… Read more »
William Wolf
William Wolf
2 years 7 months ago
Don’t let anyone tell you that you need lots of veggies to be healthy. I personally enjoy all of the veggies that my family makes because I grew up with them and I’m sure having a family that cooks like our culture has for centuries kinda helps. I’m Japanese, Scottish and Cherokee; my family eats most of the veg-matter that you would find in those areas and we stick mostly to it. You may have a body that is just not from an area that was veg-dense and so by not eating a lot of veg is just fine because… Read more »
Harry Mossman
Harry Mossman
2 years 7 months ago

@ basil. I love both veggies and butter. I personally eat lots of veggies without butter or anything else. I was just pointing out that if you don’t care for them as much as I do, there are yummy things like butter that may make them more palatable to you.

MargieK
MargieK
2 years 7 months ago

Like BACON! I used to saute shredded carrots in bacon fat. Delicious!

Warmbear
Warmbear
2 years 7 months ago

Frankly they are all gross. I hate veggies no matter how they are cooked and I am a good cook to boot. I dont like the taste, texture or smell of them. I choke them down anyways but it is a misery every day. I feel best on a diet of meat/offal and fats and some starchy foods like rice or taters.

Angel
Angel
2 years 7 months ago

I am a meat and starch eater myself. Never much cared for veggies.

shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 7 months ago
I understand completely about “choking them down”, especially the sour/bitter ones. The last time I did both Swiss chard and kale they were so bitter I couldn’t eat them, so the work was for nothing. This from somebody who REALLY likes broccoli! So, I eat the milder ones like zucchini and its relatives, green beans, spinach, nappa etc. Fruit is a big issue d/t sourness–I am extremely sensitive to sour; except for some milder salad dressings when I eat anything w/ a lemon or vinegar condiment on it that’s all I can taste. Most fruit except bananas and pears are… Read more »
Keen
Keen
2 years 7 months ago

I’ve realised that most people hate veggies because they have never had them properly cooked. A well cooked veggie must be tasty as well as healthy.

Angel
Angel
2 years 7 months ago

Properly cooked helps, but not as much as you think. Some people just don’t like veggies, for the reasons stated in the article.

Heather
Heather
2 years 7 months ago

While I don’t hate veggies, they aren’t something I reach for. I have to make a conscious decision to add them into my meal plan so that I eat them, and even then, I am still lacking in the amount I eat. I have forced myself to try a veggie multiple ways before throwing in the towel on it. I have found that I like roasted veggies more so then steamed. Oh, and butter is always good!

BLake
BLake
1 year 3 months ago

I mean the concept isn’t hard to understand. Aren’t there something you don’t like?

sarah
sarah
2 years 7 months ago

I love veggies!! I can’t imagine going without them. I feel better if I include more of them in my diet. Too much meat and I am out of balance.

paleocrushmom
2 years 7 months ago

It’s a widely known truth that veggies with ghee and perfectly cooked marinated meat rock.

Kerstin
Kerstin
2 years 7 months ago

Cool – might have to present this to my teen who believes in a limited veggie palate…great supplement to his curriculum, as well.

Ali Rountree
Ali Rountree
2 years 7 months ago

I can’t tell you how timely your posts seem to be. Whether or not my family is getting enough veggies is constantly on my mind (I’ve got 3 kiddos under 5). Now I can take a breather. Thanks!

N.Lockard
N.Lockard
2 years 7 months ago

I am glad you remind us of this – because all i really want is a good steak some cheese and some walnuts – but i guess i will have a spinach salad for lunch today

Nicole
Nicole
2 years 7 months ago

I eat a spinach salad for lunch and a nice chunk of grass fed beef for dinner on a daily basis. You can have the best of both worlds!

MR PALEO
2 years 7 months ago

I would suggest mixing it up a bit, and not eating spinach on a daily basis…

Aria
Aria
2 years 7 months ago

You can always put the steak on the salad. 🙂 I do it all the time.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 7 months ago
Carnivorous Diet v. 1: http://www.mostlymeatiswhatieat.blogspot.co.uk/p/nutritionally-perfect-carnivore-diet.html Carnivorous Diet v. 2: http://mostlymeatiswhatieat.blogspot.com/2014/01/carnivore-rda-version-2.html As for us, we don’t eat much vegetation around here, because more than 2 types of veggies in the soup/salad/stir-fry causes our blood sugar to climb. We do eat sprouts, though, and make liberal use of herbs & spices. Limiting the perishables helps keep our “vulnerable food” bill down and keeps waste in check. We just don’t eat as much as we used to–we used to go through a head each of romaine, chard, and kale a week torn and mixed in salads. Wait until you guys get older, ad… Read more »
Gordon
Gordon
2 years 7 months ago

Actually, that’s not necessarily true.
While that may be your individual results, I’m 57 and my blood sugar is fine.

I went Paleo about 2 years ago, and in the process, cut 52# off my weight, removed a lot of aches and pains from my daily life as a result of the weight loss and dietary change, and overall feel better.

Making it a factual statement that eating veggies will foul up blood sugar levels at a given point/age is simply incorrect, sorry.

OD

mightywindmill
mightywindmill
2 years 7 months ago

I get really edgy if have a meal without veggies. If someone else cooks for me (friends, family or restaurants or whatever), I can’t help this overwhelming feeling that it can’t possibly be healthy if there’s little or no plant matter in sight. Its not quite OCD, but it just feels wrong to not include veggies, or at least some fruit, with every meal. Its probably years of CW and habit, but in this case, I reckon it’s a good thing.

Andrew Yanik
Andrew Yanik
2 years 7 months ago
I feel the exact same way, I am constantly seeking out large amounts of vegetables in all of my meals so when other people happen to be cooking for me, or hosting something, I tend to worry if vegetables will be a large part of the meal and often times they do make veggies, but to me it’s not enough. It is kind of a little thing I need to get over, because we can’t get hung up on that small stuff. In the scheme of things its only a meal and as long as we can eat a hefty… Read more »
paleocrushmom
2 years 7 months ago

+1

Chika
2 years 7 months ago

I hear what you are saying, it’s as if you feel something is missing when all you have on your plate is a thing of meat. For me, pairing vegetables with meat adds the volume necessary to prevent me from eating a pound of meat at a time. Vegetables are filling and delicious and naturally helps me to stretch a pound of grass-fed ground beef to at least 3 servings. #TheCashSavingsIsReal

James H.
James H.
2 years 7 months ago
I do not like vegetables; never have. Out of some vague sense of duty I will occasionally get a bag of mixed greens and eat them over the course of a day but I am simply incapable of eating a meal of leaves and twigs. I seem to do well. My blood glucose now stays below 100 mg/dL, my blood pressure is WAY down, and I’ve lost weight on this primal menu, all on a minimum of vegetables. I do however use a scoop or two of “green” powder in my milk kefir most days. It’s processed–desiccated vegetables, dehydrated grass… Read more »
N.Lockard
N.Lockard
2 years 7 months ago

sounds interesting – will look it up –
i like the preemptive strike with telling where u get it, then disclaimer of not working for amazon, haha i like it.

I'm here
2 years 7 months ago

That’s a great way to take in veggies, I don’t like vegetables at all either. I actually despise them. My wife just recently helped me by getting a juicer and we juiced some Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Lemons, Apples and Celery…. I was actually afraid what it was going to taste like, but I ended up actually liking it!
I did feel a bit of a headache afterwards, I think because veggies are detoxing my system, I never eat veggies and downed a juice that had kale, celery, and lettuce… I think my body’s fast food reservoir was getting attacked.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
2 years 7 months ago

Your headache is probably the apples without the fiber. Juicing is meant to be vegetables only. Forget the taste. It’s not fun to drink but it sure provides what you need. Do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so nothing blocks nutrient absorption

MR PALEO
2 years 7 months ago

Part of my “healing protocol” is the following juice, first thing in the morning, at least a half-hour before eating…

Carrot/Celery/Beet/Ginger/Parsley/Cilantro/GREEN apple

Go easy in the beginning, if you have not juiced before. Cilantro detoxes “heavy metals”, so if you have amalgams, and haven’t had them removed yet, skip the cilantro until after you do…

Mire
Mire
2 years 7 months ago

Juicing is the wrong way! Stop it and EAT vegetables and fruits instead!

Groktimus Primal
2 years 7 months ago

I think diversify is a better guarantee of good nutrition and more interesting although it would take me a hell of a long time to get sick of meat, meat and more meat!

D. M. Mitchell
2 years 7 months ago

It would seem that a large source of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins, for the traditional Inuit people was raw organ meats and blubber of various marine animals.

“Sue Munro of the geography department of North Toronto Collegiate points out that the muktuk of the narwhal, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, contains more vitamin C than lemons do.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/forget-veggies—get-vitamins-from-blubber/article4263080/

Muktuk is whale skin and the blubber attached to it.

The important thing is the we are talking about raw versus cooked meat, organ meat, skin, and blubber. Yum! Yum! 🙁

MR PALEO
2 years 7 months ago

Actually, most of their vitamin C intake came from the stomach contents…

mightywindmill
mightywindmill
2 years 7 months ago
I also really love rooting (pun intended) through the big boxes of produce at my local greengrocers. I’m lucky enough to have three dedicated greengrocers within walking distance of my house, amongst all the other mini-supermarkets that also sell fruit and veg – gotta love living in England! I’m like a kid in a sweet shop when I’m in the greengrocers, picking out all the best bits of all the brightly coloured veggies and fruit, trying the new exciting stuff they have on a regular basis. I tried ‘flower sprouts’ for the first time last week. They’re a bit like… Read more »
annabelle bone
annabelle bone
2 years 7 months ago

i LOVE veggies. esp raw. but since an hpylori infection, and subsequent leaky gut, i cant eat them without pain (even with enzyme supplements). i wonder how long i can keep up the meat diet? i do eat some nuts, olives, and juice spinach, carrot and celery. hope that will do it until i can repair this damage.

Brian Root
2 years 7 months ago

Here’s some counter-intuitive info on gut issues, Annabelle.

http://www.fibermenace.com/gutsense/about_gs.html

Lupa
Lupa
2 years 7 months ago

Hmmm, having had a look at the site you mentioned I have two major reservations about what he is saying:

1.) It is all his opinion, lots of argument from authority, not much evidence.
2.) It all builds up to the selling of his Colon Recovery Program “patent cure” – I couldn’t find a list of what is actually in the pills.

This makes me extremely dubious, as it looks like an infomercial site to sell supplements.

dave
dave
2 years 7 months ago

Lupa nailed it. When someone ends their nutritional findings with, “but if you use my wonder pill” I bail. The bummer is, sometimes the info may be reasonable. I drink carrot juice ,(home made) for after workout breakfast, then eat meat and steamed veggies for dinner. When I stick to this, I feel best. Skipping lunch feels good. Reminds me of being hungry as a kid, everyday, all the time. You know, when most of us were lean and fit………….

Fyre
Fyre
2 years 7 months ago

If you haven’t tried consuming some fermented vegetables for that gut of yours, you might consider it. It’s helped mine a lot.

annabelle bone
annabelle bone
2 years 7 months ago

YEP. misery. i can tolerate probiotic supplements now, maybe i should try again?

Fyre
Fyre
2 years 7 months ago

If that’s the case, I’d actually start with just the *juices* of the cultured veggies. They’d have more good species than the pills do.

Kit
Kit
2 years 7 months ago

Eat no carbs for two days and most vegetables will taste ok. Best to eat them immediately when collected from where they are growing; eat them there and then. To do this one really/probably needs to grow them at home. This is also a good thing to do for mental health.

shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 7 months ago

After all, wasn’t this how Grok and Grokka ate their veggies??

gge
gge
2 years 7 months ago

I wonder why this article doesn’t mention this study from 1930:

McClellan, Walter S.; Du Bois, Eugene F. (February 13, 1930). “The Effects on Human Beings of a Twelve Months’ Exclusive Meat Diet”. Journal of the American Medical Association.

http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf

Two arctic explorers ate a 100% meat diet in a closely observed laboratory for one year and they were perfectly healthy.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

“Two arctic explorers ate a 100% meat diet in a closely observed laboratory for one year and they were perfectly healthy.”

Why do these one-year meat diets keep cropping up? One year is NOT a long time!

Michael
Michael
2 years 7 months ago

This study was done on Stefansson (he was a Canadian arctic explorer.) The study was only a year long, but Stefansson ate that way for many years of his life while living with the Primitive Inuit. I did a 14 page essay on him in one of my college classes. Read, his book: The Fat of the Land.

Michael
Michael
2 years 7 months ago

Also, I have only eaten meat for over 4 years. I dont know if I am deficient in anything or not, but I don’t have any signs of a Deficiency. I havn’t even eaten liver in over 3 years. Only steak. Me and my girlfriend do this and eat the same way. My nails and hair grow just as fast as they ever have. I dont have asthma anymore and havn’t even had a cold in years. I dont even get a runny nose anymore. I dont take any supplements.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

During that yearlong study, Stefansson was “compensated” by the American Meat Institute.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 7 months ago

Because like all other meat-eaters, they got their plants from what the ANIMALS themselves ate. The more grasses and plants they eat, the higher their Omega-3 content is…and the less vegetation WE have to eat.

John Myers
John Myers
2 years 7 months ago

I got serious about food, health and cooking when I went on a beef and broccoli bender in 2001 and noticed how amazing I felt eating mostly that for a week. I lost a lot of weight. I have to say though that I didn’t really get down to my desired weight until I cut all carbs out and supplemented with fat. I added veggies in (green beans, broccoli and cauliflower almost exclusively) and the weight crept up. I’m still looking for the happy medium with veggies.

charles grashow
charles grashow
2 years 7 months ago
On the one hand you say Do you really need to eat vegetables – or plant matter in general – to be healthy? Yes. Yes, you do. Maybe not a huge amount, necessarily. But you do need some. On the other hand you say If you hate veggies and refuse to eat them, fine. You can get most minerals and vitamins elsewhere (though it’s tough, and some spinach would take care of most of them), and using supplements is an option. But if I were you, I would at least strongly consider drinking tea, eating phytonutrient-rich fruits like berries, eating… Read more »
Russell
Russell
2 years 7 months ago

Gary Taubes described 2 physicians that experimented with an all-meat diet for a year. Both did very well.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

A year is not a long time….

Russell
Russell
2 years 7 months ago

True, a year is not a long time. Certainly not long enough to decide whether or not a diet will shorten or prolong life. But it’s long enough to induce deficiency diseases, and none were apparent in the 2 men who ate only meat for an entire year.

Mantonat
Mantonat
2 years 7 months ago

It’s not a contradiction, it’s a clarification. He’s just saying that the best and easiest way to cover your non-meat nutrient needs is by eating vegetables. A secondary option for the pickiest eaters is suggested, but with reservations.

Nicole
Nicole
2 years 7 months ago

Listen to your body! And erring on the side of “eat veggies” can’t hurt in any way. Veggies will never make your meal less healthy.

Pastor dave Deppisch
2 years 7 months ago

As per one of your suggestions Mark- I had a bowl of cooked spinach with a heap of butter last night–mmmmm gooood.

BTW– for some people, tobacco is a vegetable (Kentucky)

Kim
Kim
2 years 7 months ago
I guess it depends on where you’re starting from. If you’ve lived on burgers & fries and 7/11 burritos, chips with cheese sauce (ew-hhh, I’m gagging just writing this), then switching over to a mainly meat/fat based diet probably isn’t your best option. When my husband was a kid, he knew a girl who went to the eye doctor for a check-up. The doc said her eyes, during examination, looked like the eyes of an 80-year-old, not a teen-aged girl. The girl never ate vegetables while growing up. Don’t know how much quality meat she ate either. I’m a veggie… Read more »
Kay
Kay
2 years 7 months ago
Excellent and thoughtful information, as usual. For myself, I find that if I eat veggies every day, my digestion works well and nothing else I eat or don’t eat seems to bother me very much. To make this easy, most of the meals I cook for myself are a piece meat grilled in the George Foreman, and a double portion of steamed something. When I eat this for breakfast, and am seldom hungry before noon, or later. If I’m having the occasional beer and a fish taco after work, it really messes me up unless I’ve had enough veg during… Read more »
Mantonat
Mantonat
2 years 7 months ago

Steamed vegetables are the reason people hate vegetables. 😉

Kay
Kay
2 years 7 months ago
Thanks for giving me a chuckle! Yes, it’s true that not everyone loves steamed veg like I do. For them, I warm some olive oil in my trusty sauté pan, put in the veg and turn them until they are brightly colored and lightly coated (or use butter and get them brown if that’s the mood you’re in). Then I add just a bit of water, cover and let them get cooked just to the level that works for the people they are for. Takes a very short time. Sauteeing first keeps them bright colored, covering gets them tender but… Read more »
Lunasma
Lunasma
2 years 7 months ago

Thanks! I am not fond of cooking so another quick and easy method helps a lot

Lunasma
Lunasma
2 years 7 months ago

My grandmother used to boil vegetables until they were mushy. Also fried the heck out of all meats then used the juices mixed with milk and flour for gravy which was poured over everything.

Rosie
Rosie
2 years 7 months ago

“Vegetables also compliment meat. They notice when meat has had its hair and nails done, or when it’s lost weight.” I loved this paragraph! Thank you.

Stacie
2 years 7 months ago

Right? I was chuckling through that entire paragraph.

Alyssa
2 years 7 months ago

Me too! Totally made my day. I’m such a grammar nut.

maria
maria
2 years 7 months ago

Hint hint wink wink to compliment ladies

glorth2
glorth2
2 years 7 months ago

I’ve always hated veggies and still prefer meat but one of the best things this diet did for me is help me to enjoy vegetables more. I love my big ass salmon salad!

Allison
Allison
2 years 7 months ago

I wish I were like this! I love veggies and fruit, and don’t particularly like meat. I’m a good cook, but I’d be happily vegetarian if I thought it would be good for me. Sadly, I’m not just primal now but fully keto for health reasons. Wish I could trade with you.

rawmeat
rawmeat
2 years 7 months ago
Eating veggies as part of a ‘diet’ runs against the spirit of primal in my book. So for veggie haters what to do? Here at home we found it to be based on the quality of the vegetable. Store bought broccoli is barely suitable for the compost heap compared to home grown or, second best, fresh from the farmer’s market. My wife claims to have spent years hating broccoli. Now when I walk in from the garden with a fresh crown she can’t wait to see it on the dinner plate. The same is true across the spectrum of veggies… Read more »
Coco
Coco
2 years 7 months ago

Nothing can be more true. The taste changes so much that, for me, it ranges from a “I love it and I can eat only that for a meal” to a “I hate it and would rather eat pills than that”. It’s really crazy. I think I’m more sensible than others though because I bewilder many people with it. Maybe I am a supertaster?

Dan
Dan
2 years 7 months ago

+1, grow your own

Gordon Guano
Gordon Guano
2 years 7 months ago

Hear, hear. Growing your own vegetables is also good exercise (sunlight, lots of slow movement, meditative). I’m looking forward to “cultivating” a few dandelion plants this year-the greens are supposed to be off the charts in micronutrients, though I suspect a little bit of them goes a long, long way.

Stacie
2 years 7 months ago

This has me dreaming of summer…..sigh.

kldimond
kldimond
2 years 7 months ago
YES! There’s NOTHING like fresh veggies, and fruits, ” right off the vine”! One has to be a bit careful about this, but asparagus freshly clipped and raw is (gushy word alert!) DIVINE. Broccoli too. Ever had Brussels sprouts raw and straight off the plant? OMG! Wandering off into a little different zone, peaches, cherries and apricots just don’t have it if they aren’t right off the tree. But right off the tree on a sunny day… ohh hohoho WOW. I’ve delved somewhat into survival plant eating, and again, right off the plant, beautiful. (know what you’re doing) If you… Read more »
Nomad
Nomad
2 years 7 months ago
This is very true!!! I lived in Okinawa Japan for 4 years. Veggies are fresh from the farms on the island. I don’t know what they do to thier gardens there, but the vegetables were amazing! More brightly colored and the taste was great. I am constantly disappointed in store veggies here in america – even organic and farmer’s market (that could be because a lot of the supposedly fresh veggies are trucked in from over the border here, so no telling how old they are – plus, it matters how fertile the soil is). They are bland and just… Read more »
Lunasma
Lunasma
2 years 7 months ago

You are so right!

Caryn Lipson
2 years 7 months ago

Very interesting information about how primarily meat-eating societies got their veggies.

Don’t forget that a very important part of getting optimal nutrition from vegetables is making sure that you eat them with a good fat such as butter, other animal fats, or olive oil in order to be able to utilize their fat soluble vitamins A, D, & K. Magnesium and Zinc are also synergistic here.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

“Very interesting information about how primarily meat-eating societies got their veggies.”

Why are the Inuit, Maasai, and Sami being referred to in the past tense? They still exist!

Mantonat
Mantonat
2 years 7 months ago

Because they all stop at Starbuck’s for a scone and a soy latte on their way to work these days.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

Unlikely, as Starbucks has managed to gain “only a toe-hold in Norway and Sweden”, and, as of 2012, two outlets at the Helsinki airport.

pjnoir
pjnoir
2 years 7 months ago
I am a carnivore, I like my meat rare with a hint of a pulse, saying that, I eat MORE vegetables than most vegetarians. I enjoy cooking and learning to cook vegetables is where a skill comes into play. Learn to braise, and sauté rather than steam or boil. Add spices, some while cooking, others after cooking is complete but done bury veggie either. Toss in a good animal fat, too. Give your palete a chance to catch up to you. If you do boil anything, save the water and use it for soup or in place of any cooking… Read more »
Luke
2 years 7 months ago
A big part about liking vegetables is making sure there fresh. I had tomatoes not long ago from the farmers market that tasted incredible (not a huge fan to begin with). The tomatoes at the store don’t compare, they’re bland and flavorless. Using vegetables as a vessel also helps. Cucumber or zucchini as “chips” for guacamole and salsa is an option. Asparagus, or cooked zucchini slices topped with spaghetti meat sauce is great too. It’s easy to put steaks, chicken and meat on top of dark greens and eat a bite of both together. The flavor of the meat usually… Read more »
Kay
Kay
2 years 7 months ago
Hi, I’m not Mark or any other kind of authority, but here’s my two cents’ worth. Spices lose a lot of their flavor in storage, but if you can still smell them and taste them, you can keep using them. Turmeric, for example, keeps indefinitely, it just gets less potent. So use more! I can’t afford to toss expensive spices every few months, so I buy small quantities from a good source like Penzey’s and use them liberally. Herbs, being vegetative, lose their quality faster in most cases. But you can go through a lot of your favorites in soups,… Read more »
Sharon
Sharon
2 years 7 months ago
I got curious about the above mentioned psychoactive reindeer urine of the Sami people. This is what I found on askmen.com It is a little long but worth a read. Coca-Cola’s advertising campaign in the 1930s may have solidified Santa’s image as the jolly rotund guy we know today, but Santa’s true origins stem from the traditions of the pee-drinking reindeer herders of Northern Europe. Reindeers are fond of eating fly agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria), the red-and-white toadstools often associated with Christmas, because they contain compounds that are hallucinogenic and euphoric. Reindeer digestive systems are able to metabolize the more… Read more »
Patty
Patty
2 years 7 months ago

“Santa does exist, and he’s a pusher.” LMAO!!!

Jeff
Jeff
2 years 7 months ago

Sharon, that was great. Ha, Santa’s a “pusher”. Love it. But now he mostly pushes plastic crap on the unwary. Reindeer piss could do us some good.

ValerieH
ValerieH
2 years 7 months ago

Santa pushes sugar most of all

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 7 months ago

As well as consumerism.

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago
Since we’re citing dubious sources, how about this one from Wikipedia: “The ethnobotanist Jonathan Ott has suggested that the idea of Santa Claus and tradition of hanging stockings over the fireplace is based centrally upon the fly agaric mushroom. He argues that Santa Claus’ suit, with its red and white colour scheme, is related to the mushroom. However, Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast first changed the color of Santa Claus’ coat from tan to red, and it was popularized by early Coca-Cola Christmas ads. Jonathan Ott also draws parallels with flying reindeer: reindeer had been reported to consume the mushroom… Read more »
kldimond
kldimond
2 years 7 months ago

I once saw a cartoon. Native shows his son how to mess with the visitors: “Hide a nut in your hand. When you go to eat, Palm the beetle, eat the nut.”

Heh. Who knows?

SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

This probably went on (and still goes on) more than we like to think. The “natives” would see the “visitors” coming from miles away and have to do rock-paper-scissors to see who had the first go at them! The Irish are still experts at this.

allison
allison
2 years 7 months ago

love it!

Mike
Mike
2 years 7 months ago

I have always insisted that high-quality chocolate is a vegetable, and I am glad to see you agree!

Greg
Greg
2 years 7 months ago

Be creative with veggies I made Brussel sprouts my way the other night and my friend who said he has always hated b-sprouts ate 3 helpings.

; )

Jade
Jade
2 years 7 months ago

I need to eat beef or fish every day. Veggies just don’t give me that full, satisfied feeling. I only eat veggies for their health benefits and not because I ever crave them.

Tom
Tom
2 years 7 months ago
What I see missing from all of this is the very real possibility of toxicity from over consumption of vegetables. I experienced some rather severe health effects from daily consumption of spinach. Oxalates contained in spinach caused me to have prostate stones. What became clear to me was that fruits and vegetables should properly only be eaten in season. I do believe that fruits and vegetables are indeed necessary for good health, but 5 servings every day? This was never even possible until modern canning, refrigeration and transportation methods. And the Paleo idea that fruits and vegetables were available to… Read more »
Colleen
Colleen
2 years 7 months ago

Completely agree up until the last sentence. I am sure for our ancestors in Africa, certain vegetation was available year round, other plant foods were likely seasonal (think fruits especially).

Kay
Kay
2 years 7 months ago
Although I don’t worry much about toxic effects of veggies, I do like your point about eating seasonally. I grew up when that was pretty much the only choice. Not having them all the time taught me to look forward to the seasons for lettuce, peas, broccoli, raspberries and so forth. Lamb, even. Now we are only limited by seasonal variations in prices, right? But it feels really good to eat a lot of dark greens in the winter and a lot of herby greens in spring, and to be excited about the strawberry and asparagus seasons. The way I… Read more »
kldimond
kldimond
2 years 7 months ago
I’m convinced that fermenting veggies was a way to keep some for winter. Having looked pretty far into fermented foods, … from meat to dairy to veggies and fruits and shredded and not shredded… LOT of choices. …and when you look at what fermentation does in terms of making nutrients bioavailable to your system, it makes a lot of sense. Again on the survival thing, and since virtually anything can be preserved by fermentation if you have an understanding of how to do it safely, the options in preservation by fermentation for times when shipments may be large, spoilable and… Read more »
Edmund Brown
Edmund Brown
2 years 7 months ago
Another reason people dislike vegetables is the nutrient (fertilizer) regime under which they grow. I am not a huge fan of many vegetables from grocery stores. Sometimes organic veggies are better, but not always. From my own garden or root cellar, nutrient dense (because I know I fertilized appropriately), they are delicious. My 3 year-old can attest to this as well. From the store he’ll eat the really sweet stuff like yams, but pass on many other types of veggie. From the garden the only thing he refuses is alium (garlic, onions, leeks). I’m a big believer in the honesty… Read more »
Duane
Duane
2 years 7 months ago
You started down a complimentary article when you said, “They’re our best (and often only) source of vitamin A (retinol), DHA/EPA, and vitamin B12, as well as lesser-known nutrients like choline, creatine, and carnosine.” with emphasis on “only.” Do you really need to eat meat? Over the past 20 years I have found myself eating less-and-less meat. I no longer consume red meat or pork. Occasionally I will consume a small portion of chicken in soups. My diet mainly consists of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I do consume fish, seafood, cheese, and yogurt, and my berry-banana smoothies include whey… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
2 years 7 months ago

Sharon, I think I love you!

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years 7 months ago

I have never liked vegetables, and the drum of “vegetables are HEALTHY!” that you hear constantly simply gets my goat. It’s just so irritating to see meats and good fats continually slapped in the face while vegetables are touted as wonder food. It’s ridiculous. Give me a salad on the side in the summer, and some spinach scrambled into eggs is OK any time, but the main thing you should eat? No.

Pauli
Pauli
2 years 7 months ago
All I see here is a lot of anecdotes. Veggies are good-I hate veggies, etc., etc. How about some real information? LIke how mich of the so called nutrients are actualy bioavailable and truly absorbed. What do the palnts do to survive – like containing anti-nutrients that cause IBS or worse. What actual nutrients are in veggies given all the (anecdotal) evidence that our veggies are deficient in minerals. Why is raw better? Why is cooking better? Everyone has their own experience and that is fun to hear about. But, lets not mistake personal experience for biology and science.
Colleen
Colleen
2 years 7 months ago

You may be interested in the recent posts of Art Ayers at Cooling Inflammation, he asserts that we do not need any of this and many of the so called nutrients are not helping anything.

Mantonat
Mantonat
2 years 7 months ago

Seems like the links in the article provide the science/research. If not, that information is Google-able. I’m guessing most of the commenters are not scientists and are not conducting research into the efficacy of eating vegetables as bioavailable sources of micronutrients. The anecdotes are what make the comments section enjoyable to read.

But if you have any scientific information or good links, please share! 🙂

ADI
ADI
2 years 7 months ago

Ever since I was little, my preferred food of choice has always been meat, and I’ve also always loved most fruit. Other than that, I hated cooked vegetables, it felt like all the good stuff was gone immediately after getting them cooked, never liked the taste of it.
Eating tomatoes (fruit, I know) raw, standing on the balcony in the summer, or eating a cucumber with some salt, or stuffing a pepper with some lovely salamura-cheese… 🙂 I love my food wisdom when I was a child!!!!

Justin De Quim
Justin De Quim
2 years 7 months ago

….relatively speaking (as of course you must know) there’s no such thing as a “high protein” diet per se..isn’t it at max 33% cals can be taken in from protein ?

Brad
Brad
2 years 7 months ago

My compliments on an article that nicely complements this fantastic website!

Laurie
Laurie
2 years 7 months ago
Could it be that people seem to think that the act of purchasing, cleaning and preparing vegetables is too much trouble? I love them now. I challenged myself to add more variety this past six months and it’s been amazing. The bonus is my husband loves them too and at least one of the boys tries them. My boys may not be huge veggie fans but at least they eat the ones they like and certainly know the importance of eating even minimal amounts. My friend is a “vegetarian” but would rather eat carbs. Even before I went primal/paleo I… Read more »
Mantonat
Mantonat
2 years 7 months ago

Yep, seems like most vegetarians are really pastafarians or something of that nature.

Orannhawk
Orannhawk
2 years 7 months ago
It used to puzzle me when people I know would talk about how they hated vegetables …. until I began to ask more specific questions. The majority of the people I spoke to all grew up eating canned vegetables or vegetables coated in fake cheese sauces or in some noxious casserole. Most of them simply did not know what vegetables were supposed to taste like, and trying something that wasn’t coated in processed cheese, or drowning in margarine and sugar, they rejected them because it was so unfamiliar to their palate. Children who are brought up on processed foods and… Read more »
Duane
Duane
2 years 7 months ago

You just made me laugh… thank you for that… classic.

Colleen
Colleen
2 years 7 months ago

+1

Tanya
Tanya
2 years 7 months ago

I nearly spit out my tea laughing at that! Thanks for sharing this!

Tribe of Nature
2 years 7 months ago

Haha, funny 😀
But also a little sad 😉

allison
allison
2 years 7 months ago
i have to disagree. i think we all have genetics that evolved to eat what was available to use depending on what part of the world our people came from. i think we tolerate certain foods the way we tolerate the sun; differently than people from other places. i am of purely celtic descent. i do not like most fruits and vegetables. i never have. here is what i do like: leafy greens, onions, mushrooms, tubers and berries. i have always loved shellfish, red meat, egg yolks and butter. i ate red meat and butter raw as a very small… Read more »
Nomad
Nomad
2 years 7 months ago
+1 all of the people I know who hate veggies had very poor diets as children or were not exposed to veggies. Children learn a lot in the first years of life and exposure to different things helps them to be more well-rounded and open to new things. I understand not liking certain veggies or fish or what have you. But I don’t understand how someone can “hate all vegetables”. Ever single vegetable tastes completely different. How can you not like the taste of ANY? It sounds psychological. Sort of like there are people who say they are allergic to… Read more »
antoniya
antoniya
2 years 7 months ago

How about touching on the topic of alkalinity? Plants help have more balanced PH levels and fight off inflammation.

ValerieH
ValerieH
2 years 7 months ago

Chris Kresser wrote an excellent article addressing the PH balance theory.

antoniya
antoniya
2 years 7 months ago

Thanks, found the articles. They look pretty extensive and informative.

George
2 years 7 months ago

Coffee is a vegetable. So is chocolate. So what’s the problem here?

Michael
Michael
2 years 7 months ago

Coffee is NOT a vegetable. Thats where your WRONG.

George Mounce
George Mounce
2 years 7 months ago

This article is misleading when talking about animal foods and Vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes have the higest content of Vit A: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2667/2

Compare that to your salmon: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4108/2 or brisket: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3504/2

There is no comparing meats and dairy to vegetables when it comes to Vit A. Eat your sweet potatoes and enjoy them!

Susan
Susan
2 years 7 months ago

Beta-carotene is found in plants and requires conversion into Vitamin A. Some people can’t convert at all while most only convert small amount of Beta-carotene into Vitamin A.

Gypsykim
Gypsykim
2 years 7 months ago
Here’s a good veggie story for you. I was in South Dakota for my niece’s wedding, stayed a week with my brother. After 3 days, I was dying for some veggies, my parents and I went to the only Chinese restaurant in town, it was great. On my last night there after the wedding, my brother cooked up some wonderful corn fed beef steaks. My niece went to the store for red wine and asked what I would like, I asked her to bring some veggies to go with the steak. They came back with “corn on the cob.” When… Read more »
Erok
Erok
2 years 7 months ago

I’m from SD, and I can corroborate your story. Growing up, I was lucky enough to eat from our garden, and as a result, I love all vegetables. Years later, however, when I brought home my future wife (who was vegetarian at the time), hilarity ensued on several occasions, including my sister’s wedding.

shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 7 months ago

Repeat after me: “Corn is not a vegetable; corn is a grain”. Amazed at how often I’ve had to tell people this little fact.

Ryan
Ryan
2 years 1 month ago

Haha thts funny

Tracy Ellis
Tracy Ellis
2 years 7 months ago

doesn’t this throw Terry Wahl’s view out of the window, ie HUGE plates of veg every day? Would also be interested to know shelf life of spices, although I buy fresh turmeric roots from a Chinese grocer and freeze them and just grate them up like ginger as and when needed.

ValerieH
ValerieH
2 years 7 months ago

Over the years since I’ve adopted a real food approach, the desire to eat according to the seasons gets stronger. I just don’t want a salad in winter. I like vegetable gardening but I can’t imagine how much time and space it would take to grow all the vegetables my family eats for a ear. I also join a CSA in summer. Nothing compares to local organic food picked at ripeness. I live in the Chicago area, so nothing is growing right now. I haven’t looked into cold frames or root cellars.

Duane
Duane
2 years 7 months ago

Seasonal food is largely dependent upon your latitude. I grew-up in Michigan, and my wife is from the Philippines. My growing season was curtailed by wintery weather, hers was perpetual. My diet depended upon commerce, hers remained the same year round.

What latitude or region of the world is the paleo diet based upon.

Paul in Australia
Paul in Australia
2 years 7 months ago

There was and is no such thing as a “standard” Paleo diet. It depended on where you were.
Closer to the equator far more plant foods would have been consumed, (with the possible exception of the Masai) whereas in the higher latitudes closer to the Arctic circle meat predominated. In the mid latitudes between the tropics and the halfway mark between the equator and the poles (45 degrees North or South) at least in the higher rainfall areas, it would have been about 50/50.

Katy
Katy
2 years 7 months ago

What about juicing? I can’t handle the texture of veggies and fruit, but I can drink anything blended or juiced? Am I receiving the same nutritional benefits?

Dr. Anthony Gustin
2 years 7 months ago

I’ll side with Dr. Kurt Harris on this that most of the beneficial properties don’t exist in the antioxidants in vegetables themselves but the hormesis they trigger in response to oxidizing them. 0 salads a week is probably bad and 300 salads a week is probably bad. Find what works for you!

Jack
Jack
2 years 7 months ago

All vegetable lovers should check out Dr. Art Ayers website Cooling Inflammation. The go to site for all things related to diet, gut flora and health.

James
James
2 years 7 months ago

Reasons for eating more cooked vegetables:

http://drlwilson.com/ARTICLES/VEG%20DIET.htm

Ruth
Ruth
2 years 7 months ago
As someone recovering from a long-term restrictive eating disorder ( arolling combination of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and not to miss out, anorexia athletica), I have been refeeding under the direction of a therapist for 8 months. Where this time last year my food was ‘clean’ vegetable based, with lean protein and ‘good’ fats (as I perceived them then), I have spent the last few months eating barely any vegies or fruit. I eat what I want, when I want, and my minimum calorie intake is 2500 a day, (from 800 per day when I started) I have gone from being… Read more »
Heather
Heather
2 years 7 months ago
Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived for a year on an all meat diet with no ill effects- a lot of fat is necessary though and organ meats. Reading Weston A Prices work, it doesn’t appear as though the Inuits actually ate all that much vegetation from his viewpoint. In the book ‘The art and science of low carbohydrate living’ the authors researched the use of oolichan grease and pemmican in traditional cultures, which were the main dietary sources for these peoples. Check out Petro Dobromylskyj’s blog aka hyperlipid at http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.co.uk/ He has some interesting posts on the toxicity of some plants and… Read more »
SumoFit
2 years 7 months ago

“Vilhjalmur Stefansson lived for a year on an all meat diet with no ill effects…”

Someone else has mentioned a year-long diet of some sort, but a year is not a long time!

Heather
Heather
2 years 7 months ago
Long enough to prove a point. Owsley ‘The bear’ lived on an all meat diet for 47 years! I personally wouldn’t live on an all meat diet- it would be too impractical plus I like some veggies and fruit as my junk food. Vilhjalmur Stefansson also lived with the Inuit people for years using their traditional diet, the one year study of an all meat diet was based upon his travels in the polar regions and his stay with these people. There are other European explorers around in the early 20th century who traveled thousands of miles in polar regions… Read more »
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