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Are fruits and veggies really good for you?

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  • Are fruits and veggies really good for you?

    "Eat more fruits and vegetables" is probably the most widely-distributed and agreed upon health advice out there right now, but I'm growing increasingly skeptical.

    They can't serve as primary forms of energy, so at best they're supplemental to the foods you should primarily get your calories and nutrients from (animal muscle and fats). Fruit is sugar, and even some vegetables can be heavy on carbs or hard on the digestive system. Many people believe fruits and vegetables to have innate, magical powers ("you know, all the vitamins and minerals") but there's mounting evidence that they don't have the anti-cancer properties we've believed them to. [See this study released today: http://www.usnews.com/health/family-...cer-risk.html]

    I'm not going to stop eating fruits and vegetables. The right kinds in the right proportions add much joy and variety to my life, and I don't think they do me harm. But I think it's appropriate to think of them as more neutral rather than beneficial (especially fruit). I'm eager to hear others' thoughts on this.

  • #2
    I don't WANT to agree with you, but I sort of do. I keep reading more and more things about various foods that we thought were healthy, actually aren't. Nightshades are questionable, most fruit is too full of fructose, and now another article on the forum about cruciferous veggies being bad for thyroid. So, in the meantime, I'm going to continue eating them, but I guess they really aren't all that after all. So you were talking about magical powers, as far as vitamins and minerals. Do you think we don't NEED vitamins and minerals?
    Carpe Diem!

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    • #3
      lesliek,

      I guess my initial response would be, "More than what???".
      If you're already eating a BAS, or a few servings of colorful veggies a day... then my feeling is,
      you're good to go.

      But a lot of SAD eaters wouldn't know a real vegetable if it bit them on the @ss--- so perhaps there is some value in this motto ;-)

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      • #4
        For quite a while now I've considered fruits and vegetables entirely optional. They add variety to life, but I don't fret if I don't have any in the house (as I'm about to next week when I run out of $$.)

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        • #5
          i think veggies add flavor and are easy to add fat too...thats about it... fruits i dont eat
          Get on my Level
          http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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          • #6
            10,000 or more years ago? Maybe not from a nutritional perspective because of the quality of food and amount of nutrients in food back then. Although the carbs did allow us to store fat during summer to survive during the winter...

            Nowadays the latter part of the above argument is void. But the first part makes for an interesting point. Even our organic food today isn't as good as it was 10,000 years ago. We have less nutrients, and way more pollutants and chemicals. On top of that with all the food temptations around nowadays, veggies and fruit do satisfy people.

            So nowadays I think that supplementing a diet with vegetables and fruit does contribute to health. Not saying that someone won't get by without them with supplementation with exotic foods (liver, kidney) and supplements in general, but I think they do us more good then they do bad.
            sigpic
            In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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            • #7
              Do we get enough vitamin C without fruits and vegetables? Other vitamins and minerals? I think that you have to be very careful to eat organ meats etc to receive all of the nutrients you need. I think vegetables and a bit of fruit are still important to a healthy body, just not the end all and be all.
              The more I see the less I know for sure.
              -John Lennon

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              • #8
                @beckinwolf: Yeah, I don't want to agree with myself either. Partly because I like 'em, and partly because it takes my dietary beliefs even further out of the mainstream. (It's a mistake to tell people you're trying to cut back on apples and raisins: they think you're crazy!) Yes, I think we need vitamins and minerals, but I think meat, fat, eggs, etc. do the best job of providing the nutrients we need, while being minimally harmful. Clean sources of these things should be considered "health food" rather than fruits and veggies.

                @Diana Renata: Good to hear. Organic fruits and veggies can be expensive (I only buy about half organic now). I'm thinking about reducing my quantities in favor of focusing on cleaner sources.

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                • #9
                  Agreed with the consensus. They are "healthy" when used in a supplemental role and have some benefits but all of their nutrients (though some like kale are undeniably useful for that) can be obtained elsewhere, and their antioxidants and generally beneficial phytochemicals are trounced by various spices, plantextracts (cocoa anyone?) and the like. So definitely not the nutritional trump card they are made out to be. People think that as long as they drink their V8 juice and have a salad they are automatically eating healthily no matter what the other 95% of their calories look like. I disagree strongly.

                  So anyway: good but not that great, not necessary, but yummy.

                  edit: this post was about vegetables, not fruit. Fruit yielding fructose under 15g a day is generally innocuous in my opinion, especially before or after exercise unless you prefer ketosis, but by no means health food and especially not something to consume a significant amount of.
                  Last edited by Stabby; 04-06-2010, 06:58 PM.
                  Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                  Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                  • #10
                    Good point about modern day nutrient density @EGYnutrition and I wonder especially about vitamin C too, @lil_earthmomma. So...is there a hierarchy of fruits and vegetables? Is local or organic better? Raw or cooked? Some paleos think apples are good, others say too much sugar. I'm thinking organic berries (preferably in season) are probably the only "good" fruits to eat on a regular basis, but I'm pretty confused on the vegetable front.

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                    • #11
                      Just tell them you're cutting back on candy. You know and I know that most fruit (including apples and raisins) is just tree candy. They don't have to know that that's what you're talking about.
                      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                      Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                      My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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                      • #12
                        I eat the occasional (and I mean occasional, like once or twice a week tops) strawberry or three, but I don't go beyond that. And it's the only fruit I ever eat anymore - berries, that is. As for veggies, I mostly stick to BAS'es, fajita onions, and a few other veggies that don't spike my blood sugar. Other than that? Meat and fat, baby - bring it on.
                        Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                        Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                        Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                        My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

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                        • #13
                          Yes, they're good for you. You'll be fine without them, but they do help (just less than people with an anti-meat agenda have been shouting about for years). Eating a variety of fruit and veg is better for you than a constant intake of the same things. Diversify your toxin load.
                          Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

                          Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread

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                          • #14
                            I want to thing they are! I have a serious addiction to brussel sprouts and cabbage. Fruits I kind of debate. Since I test my blood sugar several times a a day I can say fruit besides a few berries cause a pretty good spike. So does enough berries.

                            I thing veggies go a long way towards making meals much more interesting. I did at one time try an all meat and 70-80 fat only diet. Everything I read said you could not get constipated with all that fat. Ummm not true 4 me and I was gagging seeing meat after a month of all meat/fat. I was lean though except my poor bloated lower belly
                            Last edited by chickprimal; 04-07-2010, 06:45 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I love my salads, and I love the occasional fruit. They add flavor, texture and make my meals more interesting. Soooo i dont care if they are really 'necessary'....its not the just necessary that makes life fun, as long as its not detrimental, i say why not!!
                              Natural Selection: http://ichoosenaturalselection.wordpress.com

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