T Nation

Are Vegetables Really Necessary?


#1

Hi, guys!

I need your opinion on something that has been driving me nuts.

We have all heard expressions like “eat your veggies”, but my question is, are they absolutely 100% necessary?

People say that vegetables contain a lot of good stuff, and I agree. But they aren’t the only source of that good stuff.

Fiber: Can also be found in whole-wheat bread, fruit, oatmeal, beans, brown rice etc.

Vitamins and minerals: I have yet to hear of a specific vitamin or mineral that can’t be found in other foods as well.

Water content: Water is widely available on its own.

They are alkalizing and counteract the effects of acidic foods like meat and fish: Almost all fruit are alcalizing as well.

Contain “Mysterious phytochemicals”: Someone could argue that other foods have “mysterious phytochemicals” too, like all the “superfoods” that taste great and are loaded with antioxidants (goji berries, blueberries, etc).

I’ll also leave this link here, for fun:

rogermwilcox.com/vegetable/veg1.html

If possible, I would like this to be a LOGICAL discussion, and not an emotional one. I understand that people get emotional when their sacred beliefs are questioned. I’d be interested to hear answers about “vegetables” - NOT “fruit and vegetables” or “plants” in general. Answers about whether they are necessary or not - not if there are tasty recipes available, or if someone ate vegetables and lived to be 120 years old.

Thanks!

:slight_smile:


#2

Necessary for what??


#3

Building muscle and strength - and losing fat.


#4

No. Very little is necessary for that. You could manage all of that with a diet of McDonalds and Copenhagen.


#5

Depends really, if your mum won’t let you leave the table until you have eaten your veg and you really would like to leave the table and go out and play, I guess it’s necessary.


#6

I managed to build up a bad habit of not eating veggies and I haven’t done so for 25 years. I’ve never had any deficiencies of any kind and I get everything you listed above from other sources.


#7

how do you know this? Do you get your levels checked?


#8

are they necessary? No.

Are they beneficial? Fucking obviously.

Eat your damn vegetables. Jeez.


#9

Yes. When I was growing up, I was tested a couple of times years apart and everything was fine. From when I turned 18 to this day, I have been tested around once a year for different reasons and that time period has 3 years of the worst possible nutrition from 18 to 21 years of age after which I started lifting and eating better.

My mom always insisted that if I’m not eating greens, I would at least take a multivitamin and she used to ensure I always had a bottle in my house. That became a habit and apparently it worked.

But as you said, veggies are obviously beneficial. I always eat them if I’m offered a dish that has them but I don’t use them in my day to day diet.

PS. I thought I’d also mention that my blood pressure, blood sugar and other stuff has also always been well withing healthy limits.


#10

It’s been a while since I read the book but Gary Taubes makes a pretty compelling argument in Good Calores, Bad Calories that veggies are not essential. It wasn’t the main point of his book, however the example he mentioned, IIRC, was of a study done by a few medical types who spent like a year or so not eating any veggies and only eating meat. After the study was over they were perfectly fine although probably not swole as I doubt they were pounding massive quantities of protein or even lifting for that matter. It wasn’t a long term study and I don’t think it included very many people so not rigorous by any stretch of the imagination but it’s something.

Liver would be a great way to replace a lot of the nutrients you get from veggies however most people have as strong an aversion to liver as they do to veggies.


#11

No , not a necessity i dont eat a lot of vegetables, but i started drinking a green super food smothie about 4 time’s a week, and my bowel movements are better.


#12

Liver trumps most if not all veggies when it comes to nutrient content. By far one of the best overall nutrient dense foods we can eat, as are most of the organ meats.


#13

No. They’ve never been an important part of the Human diet. They taste horrible and no one really ever craves them. There’s a reason for that!!!

We can’t digest cellulose. Many of the nutrients in vegetables go straight out the pooper because we can’t digest the cell wall, so nothing gets out to be absorbed.

I eat them for taste with many of my foods, but I don’t go out of my may to get in my daily 8 cups or whatever they recommend of fucking vegetables!


#14

Also, I consider wheat, rice, corn, beans, potatoes, and other starchy grains to be vegetables.


#15

I’m the same, except I also count butter, red meat, eggs, cheese and milk.

Really helps when the doctors ask if I’m getting enough vegetables in my diet.


#16

Wife: Our daughter needs to eat more vegetables

Me: She drinks milk, eats cheese and butter

Wife: Well, she needs more vegetables

Me: So you buy them, prepare them, cook them, and serve them to her in a way she’ll eat them

Wife: Well, she needs to eat more vegetables

Me: milk cheese eggs…


#17

Grape is my favorite vegetable.


#18

‘‘They’ve never been an important part of the Human diet’’

‘‘Many of the nutrients in vegetables go straight out the pooper because we can’t digest the cell wall, so nothing gets out to be absorbed’’

Right


#19

I know, but what’s the point in challenging it, eh?


#20

They definitely make me feel great, have positive effects on my mood.

I’m the opposite of OP in that I rarely consume fruit but eat a variety of vegetables daily. Am I missing out because I almost never eat fruit?