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Thread: Vegetables - Do We Really Need Them? page

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    Adrianag's Avatar
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    Vegetables - Do We Really Need Them?

    Primal Fuel
    What do you think? Do we really need to eat vegetables? Based on GCBC it appears we really don't need them but I suspect most primal/paleo folks are hanging on to them as the last vestiges of CW and for variety and for "insurance".

    Then again, there is no way to know for sure that Sisson et al have it 100% correct so keeping veggies in the mix gives us a bit of insurance I guess. That and some carefully selected supplements.

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    Need to eat them for survival, or for optimum health?

    I'm going to go with no, and probably yes, given the lack of goat brains and elk guts in my current diet. But then again, we can survive on just bananas, so the first part is kind of moot.

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    I do believe we need some for a diverse gut flora. They both provide us with the diversity as well as feed it. And paleo-man would have eaten quite a bit of plant matter in the form of berries, herbs, assorted leafy greens, roots and so on.

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    i don't think we absolutely need them to survive. look at the cultures living in a more frozen climate who get by just fine eating animals...not a lot of veggies grow on ice. but, i agree with needing them for better overall health...particularly in the gut.

    plus, they taste good.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Perfect timing, I was kind of going to start a thread about this.

    First, an important and worthy read: Stefansson 1 - Eskimos Prove An All Meat Diet Provides Excellent Health.

    It’s rather long, I suggest printing it out. To heavily summarize, V. Stefansson ate nothing but meat for MANY years. At one point he had a study conducted where himself and another subject ate nothing but meat for an entire year and were under close watch (to ensure they didn’t eat anything but meat) and had tests done on them to determine their health throughout and both of them were more than okay. The diet breakdown is reported to have been 80% fat and 20% protein. They ate a lot of brains fried in bacon… yum, good old 1920s.

    Obviously, some things are important to note:

    - Given the time (early 1900s) the quality of the meat was (I’m assuming) considerably better and properly raised.
    - Although they didn’t eat a ton of offal (no mention of kidneys, liver, etc) the fact that they were eating brains lets you know they weren’t against it either. They did not mention which animal the brains came from. (In fact, he says a lot of those went to the dogs and the men mostly ate fat and muscle meat, I think some say he was of the opinion that too much offal wasn’t good but I haven’t read that myself)
    - Stefansson opens up with telling of his life with the Eskimos, who mostly ate boiled fish (so fish + broth) and water. Other animals he reports eating through the years is whale, caribou, seal, it’s very clear he considered fat to be of utmost importance.
    - He “cured” scurvy on a few of his ship-mates by taking them out of the ship and putting them on a strict diet of caribou and seal, after a month they were cured.

    Then you have more modern characters like The Bear who ate only meat for over 40 years and unfortunately just died in a car accident but was reportedly in good health. Also the Zeroing in on Health blog + forum were most members are pure meat eaters.

    I tried to dabble, but not eating veggies is hard! I love the irony: one year ago not eating grains was like “how do you LIVE like that?” and now the flipside is “how do you not eat veggies, they’re healthy!” so I gave it a go eating mostly meat and eggs, which wasn’t a big diversion from how I always eat. I was just trying to not eat any vegetation. I felt okay, but I ran into opposition from my gf and since we’re in the habit of cooking for each other she sabotaged my efforts by making me vegs and I just can’t NOT eat them especially since she’s going primal herself … I did tell her about what I’ve been reading and all, but she’s not ready to entertain the idea that veggies aren’t all they’re made up to be. Can’t blame her, right now I’d rather her get off grains and sugar so whatever.

    I also read this Free the Animal entry which cracked me up, warning, foul language: I Told You To Go Ahead and Fuck Those Vegetables | Free The Animal

    And in that article there’s this interesting link: 5-a-day fruit and vegetables is a myth claims nutrition expert | Mail Online

    But surely, people ask, even if there is no evidence that increasing our intake of fruit and vegetables will help prevent disease, they remain good things to eat?
    I don’t think so. If people try to add five portions of fruit and veg — let alone eight — a day to their diet, it can be counterproductive. Fruit contains high levels of fructose, or fruit sugar.
    Among dieticians, fructose is known as ‘the fattening carbohydrate’. It is not metabolised by the body in the same way as glucose, which enters the bloodstream and has a chance to be used for energy before it heads to the liver.
    Fructose goes straight to the liver and is stored as fat. Very few ¬people understand or want to believe this biochemical fact.
    Another argument that is often put forward by dieticians on behalf of fruit and vegetables is that they are ‘a source of antioxidants’.
    They believe we need to have more ¬antioxidants in our diet to counteract the oxidants that damage the body’s cells, either as a result of normal metabolic processes or as a reaction to environmental chemicals and pollutants.
    But I would rather concentrate on not putting oxidants such as sugar, processed food, cigarette smoke or chemicals into my body.
    The last paragraph is of importance to me as I don’t buy into the overt need for antioxidants.
    Continuing, the only thing that I’m weary of going almost no carb is performance when working out. However, I’d be fine with a diet of meat, eggs and some starchy source every now and then. However, there are veggies I actually do LIKE so I don’t want to quit them “just because” but I think this discussion is important for folks that really just don’t love vegetables and are eating them only because they think they have to.
    Reportedly you stand to lose weight when dropping so many carbs but I don’t think it will happen so radically.
    Last edited by iniQuity; 04-12-2011 at 06:44 AM.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianag View Post
    What do you think? Do we really need to eat vegetables? Based on GCBC it appears we really don't need them but I suspect most primal/paleo folks are hanging on to them as the last vestiges of CW and for variety and for "insurance".
    Can you tell me what GCBC says about that? I'm reading WWGF and haven't gotten to that point yet ... don't know if he will mention it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    Then you have more modern characters like The Bear who ate only meat for over 40 years and unfortunately just died in a car accident but was reportedly in good health.
    He did? I can't find any news item about that. When did it happen?
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    Great info iniQ!

    Also, I read GCBC and I don't recall him downplaying the roll of veggies. He was more focused on studies debunking Key's hypothesis and providing ample studies in support of fat and cholesterol and the role fruits and grains (carbs) play on our insulin release.

    I'm with you though iniQ, could probably live without but I enjoy veggies.
    Self-realization. I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    The Inuit didn't necessarily eat a 'just meat' diet. If they caught a caribou, for instance, they would eat the stomach which would contain lichen and moss and, in summer, they would eat some plants and berries. Maybe they got bored of just eating meat all the time. Same old. Same old

    A little variety is a good thing.

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    And sea vegetables, no?

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