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Importance of Vegetables...? Diet Critique Please...!

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  • Importance of Vegetables...? Diet Critique Please...!

    I am curious about the importance of vegetables. I know most PBers strive to down as much as they can (excluding the starchy ones), but I am not much of a veggie person. I am struggling to get the 6-11 servings each day. Below is a sample of my diet each day. I eat nearly the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. Any thoughts on my current diet and lack of veggies (or other observations)? I am currently 30 yr old male weighing 175 (6' 0"). I have lost about 50 pounds and am not in maintenance mode and not looking to lose more weight (maybe even pack on a few muscle pounds)...

    3 eggs fried on coconut oil
    2-4 pieces of nitrate free bacon
    whole milk

    Yogurt parfait that includes full fat greek yogurt, whey protein (1 scoop), unsweetened coconut flakes, walnuts, and berries (1 cup)...
    I also try to eat 4oz of some type of meat (chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc)

    6-8 oz Meat (chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc)
    Full fat cottage cheese
    Broccoli or Asparagus
    Occasionally a small side salad (iceberg or romaine - no dressing)

    As you can see, I love dairy.... Which I assume is fine since I digest it well and am not looking to loose weight. I certainly do not get more than 2-3 servings a day of veggies and was curious if I am lacking any nutrients on this meal plan. I feel great and have plenty of energy. I always get 50-60% fat, 20-30% protein, and 10% carbs or less. I am eating between 2100-2400 calories each day... Any thoughts or advice in general or about the veggies...?
    Thanks in advance for your advice!
    Last edited by kansascitysteve; 05-20-2010, 07:35 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    I don't eat much in the way of veg either, so I'm not sure it's a big deal. I don't like the idea of forcing food down that you don't really want to eat.
    My website:


    • #3
      vegetables are natures why of fighting cancer. if you want to have optimal gene expression, eating green veg releases enzymes that turn on genes that disarm free radicals, as well as fights the oxidation of small, dense LDL particles (aka what really causes heart disease) I'd say veg is pretty darn important in that respect. Its more of a big-picture health outlook, rather than just focusing on carb intake or fat loss.

      Heres a link basically talking about how veg fights cancer. Supplements also attempt to harness these ideas, but eating the real thing is a better, and more primal way of doing things:

      And a blurb about cruciferious veg (broc, cabbage, spinach, leafy greens, etc)

      "Sulforaphane, which is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as collards are chopped or chewed, not only triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals, inhibits chemically-induced breast cancers in animal studies, and induces colon cancer cells to commit suicide, but has been shown in laboratory studies to help stop the proliferation of breast cancer cells, even in the later stages of their growth"

      hope that helps!


      • #4
        also, the dark leafy veggies, like spinach and collard greens, provide these benefits without adding a lot of carbs to your diet.

        also, refer to the section "How to sneeze at Heart Disease" in the Primal Blueprint. It talks about what we can do to lower our dense LDL count, and a major way is eating green veg.

        Dont sell yourself short! have a big spinach salad today!


        • #5
          I'm with Kurt Harris -- plants and plant compounds are not essential or magic. People like to tout soy as having anti-cancer properties, but according to Enig and Fallon it's more a tradeoff of "which cancer would you like?" ( That said, I've been doing a lot of research over the last year, and this is my current list of plants with the most theoretical benefits and the least bad stuff (insoluble fiber, excess fructose/omega-6, and more toxic stuff like phytates, lectins, etc):

          - Garlic, ginger, galangal (blue ginger), onion, leeks, chives, parsley, seaweed (agar, spirulina)
          - Squash, yam, jicama, yacon
          - Lemon, lime, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
          - Turmeric, cloves, cinnamon (real or cassia), cayenne pepper, coriander

          Occasional (more limited quantities):
          - Avocado, cauliflower, cucumber, kale


          - Crucifers: Limit and cook thoroughly; be sure to get enough iodine; avoid if you have thyroid issues

          - Fruit, starchy veg: Limit or avoid if insulin resistant/trying to lose fat

          - Nightshades: Limit or avoid to reduce inflammation

          - Cook plants to reduce toxins

          - Don't eat the skins, which have more toxins

          - Eat them with fat
          o Blunts insulin response
          o Increases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins

          - Fruit and protists (seaweed, algae, plankton etc) are okay raw

          - Minimize insoluble fiber

          - Eat soluble fiber in small, naturally occurring quantities
          o Prebiotic (works in combination with probiotics)
          o Improves gut flora, mineral absorption
          o Reduces fasting glucose, HbA1c, LDL, oxidated LDL, apoB
          o Increases production of short chain fatty acids in the colon, esp, butyric acid (see: BUTTER)

          If I had to choose only one plant at this point, it'd probably be agar seaweed, based solely on the apparent small amount of cons and many potential pros -- great source of the harder to find trace nutrients like manganese and magnesium.


          • #6
            There are various nutrients in vegetables like vitamin c, potassium, beta carotene, various phytonutrients so I think they're good for those. If you can get enough vitamin c, potassium, vitamin a and antioxidants from other sources you don't really need the vegetables do you?

            Also 6-11 servings a day is an arbitrary number proposed by farmers who are concerned with selling food.
            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


            • #7
              Originally posted by jo View Post
              I don't eat much in the way of veg either, so I'm not sure it's a big deal. I don't like the idea of forcing food down that you don't really want to eat.
              That sounds about right. I'm not a proponent of any fiber theory, anti-cancer theory or super-food theory. If I'm at a social event and served plants, I'll eat them but I don't go out of my way to include them in my daily diet.

              (not definitive answers, just some information/studies: )


              Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)


              • #8
                i enjoy the taste and texture of vegetables so i incorporate them into most meals.
                "The first wealth is health."
                - Ralph Waldo Emerson


                • #9
                  Personal feelings aside, the Primal Blueprint is a produce dominated diet.

                  The link in my signature has exerpts from the book that discuss produce intake and further information regarding potassium and sodium ratios in a primal diet as compared to now. If we plan on living a long time, we need veggies. There's no way around it.

                  This is the same info that's in the link in my sig;
                  Primal Blueprint and Produce
                  Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:

                  p40 TPB
                  "The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."

                  p.112 TPB
                  "'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"

                  "Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."

                  p110 TPB
                  see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
                  diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
                  regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
                  eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
                  protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.

                  In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:

                  "I mentioned Dr. Art Ayer’s Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and I’m
                  to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
                  recommendations are essentially identical to mine – high SFA, moderate animal
                  protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."

                  ❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
                  ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
                  standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
                  'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
                  in environment closer to those in which we adapted.

                  ❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
                  based on potassium to sodium ratio
                  5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na

                  based on potassium to calorie ratio
                  2-4mg K per calorie ingested

                  ❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
                  optimal or nearly optimal levels

                  ❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
                  at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
                  calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
                  is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.

                  Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
                  the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.


                  iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                  • #10
                    On a daily basis, I don't eat any vegetables at all and I feel just fine.
                    .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rphlslv View Post
                      On a daily basis, I don't eat any vegetables at all and I feel just fine.
                      But lots of people eating SAD feel just fine and many people feeding their infants formula have seemingly healthy babies. It's not only about the here and now, it's about the long term. It's about evolution. The whole point of primal is embracing our 10,000 yo cave selves


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                        It's about evolution. The whole point of primal is embracing our 10,000 yo cave selves

                        Exactly and I don't think modern vegetables were eating in abundance.
                        .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
                        ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rphlslv View Post
                          Exactly and I don't think modern vegetables were eating in abundance.
                          Someone just posted some great stuff on this. While modern veggies weren't around, they're not far off from their truly primal counterparts

                          and re: the mustard reference below.....
                          Last edited by cillakat; 05-20-2010, 07:46 PM. Reason: all of the mustard is getting to me.

                          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                          • #14
                            Me personally, I enjoy most vegetables so I grow, cook and eat them regularly....especially the green, leafy types.

                            I was just perusing my copy of the PB Cookbook (got it today, yay!) and it is loaded with vegetables. I'd like to believe that the antioxidants, polyphenols and minerals from a variety of vegetables are beneficial to my health. Besides that, vegetables provide additional variety and interest to my diet which I prefer.


                            • #15
                              Great post killacat!