A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
6

Are Vegetables Good or Bad? (or Neutral?)

by (20411)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created September 14, 2010 at 3:16 PM

And I'm talkin' mostly about things like broccoli/spinach and mushrooms/onions/tomatoes and such. Peter at Hyperlipid seems kinda anti-veg, at least the papers he talks about show no health benefits. Dr. Harris seems to not advocate veggies as important. Mark Sisson, OTOH, can't get enough!

My take is that antioxidants are not really beneficial and that whole acid/base thing seems goofy. Fiber is probably overrated. Which leaves vitamins/minerals/other nutrients. Art Ayers at Cooling Inflammation is a big fan of pectin (apples/tomatoes) for gut health and he also likes vitamin C. Is C important?

How important or not is it to get your "5 a Day"?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 17, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I stand corrected, it's his wife that was the long term vegetarian

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1781 · September 17, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Hmm, can't really agree there. Sprouts, cabbage artichoke has virtually no taste, beetroot is all vinegar or earthy dirt taste if raw and turnip, well you and keep that all to yourself. Yuck! I just don't see the point in gathering all these thing and preparing them in various ways to make them edible when you can just have a big juicy steak. Good thing we're all different. ;)

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c
1160 · September 17, 2010 at 12:58 AM

No, he wasn't. Marathoner? Sure. Can you point me to where he identifies as a former vegetarian?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM

I've seen that Article, I took that fiber fermentation produces very very negligible amounts in humans.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Uh, from sisson. He was a vegetarian marathoner

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c
1160 · September 16, 2010 at 10:57 PM

Not sure where you get the idea that Sisson was ever vegetarian.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I think our ancestors always ate to many different vegetable foods for a similar evolution to take place. In fact co-evolution has taken place between cereals (wheat, rice) and humans. Mutual co-dependency has now reached the point that neither current human populations nor the wheat and rice can survive without the other. Wheat now needs us to eat it or it would go extinct.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I think our ancestors always ate to many different vegetable foods for a similar evolution to take place. In fact co-evolution has taken place between cereals (wheat, rice) and humans. Mutual co-dependency has now reached the point that neither current human populations nor the wheat and rice can survive without the other. Wheat now needs us to eat it or it would go extinct, so in a way it does "want" to be eaten.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:52 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat has an equally negative effect: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. There are many similar missleading statements in that article. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise about vegetables :) – Matthew 0 secs ago

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:51 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat has an equally negative effect ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. There are many similar missleading statements in that article. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise about vegetables :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:41 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat from food (cream) has an equally negative effect http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. Starch had little negative effct on immunity compared to fat or sugar but Barry Groves wouldn't tell you that. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Try this on the first point: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html On the second: Not much sugar or starch in converted into fat when eating a normal mixed diet.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I can't find anything anywhere even suggesting this. Either I've completely failed at google or it's outta some very obscure source

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Some need to be peeled like potatoes

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM

For most it's simply, cook them. :)

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e
10294 · September 16, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Matthew, that is indeed what I was talking about. Do you know if humans and plants have a similar co-evolution?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:21 AM

To be fair, I am VERY open to counter opinion with logic and have no problem saying I was wrong, just need it explained to me with facts rather than opinion, studies that aren't correlation based. China Study being the most recent major debunk. Nothin yet showing veg as the devil, but definitely Plenty showing that they aren't magic either...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:17 AM

My understanding of sugar and immune system is primarily feeding bad bacteria and thus forcing the immune system to work in te gut instead of being available for other duties. The white blood cell is arguably a lab test, and not extensive trial... But immune systems are overly complicated to the point that narrowing down factors without extraction would be near impossibly complex.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:11 AM

Can you elaborate your opinion of the sugar immune system flaw?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:11 AM

Wait, what? I'd like to read more on this...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 12:42 AM

In a way grass does "want" to be eaten. Grasses have co-evolved with grazing animals, neither could survive as well without the other.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 15, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Stephen I think you should go back and read that second-opinions article more critically. It has some really bad interpretation and missinformation, especially the bit about sugar and immunity.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 9:25 PM

I sort of remember that we can digest some vegetables better than cows can. So I'd much rather cows eat grass and we eat cows, but that doesn't apply to cows eating (asparagus? mustard greens?).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
56616 · September 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Better cows than me :) They have a much nicer complex stomach and colon to ferment the stuff.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e
10294 · September 15, 2010 at 7:18 PM

@stephen-aegis: I certainly didn't mean to suggest that we are vegeterians, because that we are certainly not! Just meant to say that what is poison to one, is food to the other, and that evolution by natural selection is the process that takes care of this. So although vegetables do chemical and biological warfare, we could have chemical and biological detox mechanisms. And in some ways, we certainly have those.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · September 15, 2010 at 6:47 PM

I love vegetables - brussels sprouts, asparagus, turnip, beetroot, cabbage, radish, artichoke - tasteless? I don't think so!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Cows have huge guts to ferment process and excrete the bad... Have you seen how much even healthy cows poop?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I'm saying immediate effect we do know, nutrient leeching is bad, impaired thyroid is very bad, taken longer they could only get worse

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM

IIRC, bone analysis of paleolithic hominids reveals a 60-65% animal product intake. That's still 35% from plants! I can't say I get anywhere near that much plant matter, even when I hit the nuts hard. Okay, what?! Totally lost my train of thought... Not sure what I meant to say there - perhaps we ate the plants only because we couldn't get as much meat as we wanted to...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I primarily view broccoli and spinach as vehicles for butter!

Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7
668 · September 15, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Good point, I tend to include both veggies and fruits together and personally don't care for the difference. Some people do, I'm just not one of them. That thread would be a great place to start researching how to prepare them.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Oops the studies are supposed to be subquoted the the 5 servings link on second opinions. I can't fix it on my iPhone I'll have to change it later

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

The best reference is #12, which is a book from 1935 portraying nutrition according to Jesus's teachings. An editorial from a public health journal states that the book is better as a religious treatise than advice for health. I'm guessing this is not highly specific to the argument at hand in this post!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM

What is the theme tying these papers together? Your third reference is a study showing 72% lower heart disease for high veggie/fruit eaters. The 20th reference is one of the many anti vitamin E randomized trials. There are systematic reviews done of nutrients and foods, especially Cochrane Reviews, that are good summaries of the evidence.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:24 PM

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/vegetarians-have-smaller-brains.html

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Agreed Ben, I'm more inclined to believe meat/tubers. Amalayse/etc reinforces starch consumption

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Links added, more to come later

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · September 15, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Reading Nora Gedgaudus's Primal Mind Primal Body left me with the impression that veg was not a major component of what we evolved eating. Not anti-veg, just that regular veg availability was NOT a part of most of our evolution.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 2:30 PM

There's an old thread about best ways to prep veggies... Tomatoes area fruit, so are zucchini.. Not good examples of veggies that want to be eaten.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM

No, that is absurd. I'm saying that nobody knows the long term link between fruits/veggies having bad stuff and disease. Like polyphenols may be bad in some ways and good in other ways, we tend to eat the veggies that have been bred to have low detriment, nutrients interact with each other, we have a pretty high tolerance for most things, etc. When I see a case study of disease linked to long term consumption of rooibos tea, or a longitudinal study of the harm of eating blueberries, I'll start wondering what's up. Note that I don't eat much veggies, but I'll defend their right to be eaten!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 12:13 PM

As I've said, it's not clear yet, I'm definitely Not ZC, not even close, but I'm 75% meat/fat not a vegetarian with a little meat, and it's clear to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that meat makes ME feel best.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 15, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Wow, I've stirred the hornet's nest on this one! I'm certainly not advocating ZC Carnivory - frankly, I'm not as hard core paleo as I'd like to be (dairy, grain-fed beef). I'm just trying to suss out whether I should focus on veggies more or not worry whether I get enough (quantity/variety). I'm guessing that it may be a few more years before we get some real clarity on this.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Am I reading right that you think that anti nutrients that have been shown to have immediate effect such as mineral leeching may suddenly replace said minerals? long term affects like goitrogens have been shown, were not talking might happens were talking immediate chemical reactions. Now, Veg are NOT All Bad. We just have to prepare them to minimize the bad.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Even Marks site has tons of info on it...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 4:46 AM

Rumors of raw vegetables' demise have been highly exaggerated. Support your position with some sort of long term evidence of harm, enough to convince someone like Mark Sisson, and then we'll see. There's some veggies that I don't eat raw because of upset stomach, and some that take too goddamn long to chew. But most, I'd say are not so bad. And that's coming from a veggie hater.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Perhaps the "daft online community" reads more scientific studies?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Not at all. I believe they are great and bad. And variety plus cooking limits the bad while maintaining the good. Look at the compounds that makeup the vegetables.. You'll see the same. I cook my vegetables, eat in variety and thereby limit the bad and maximize the positives.there are negatives to meat too... Our body has built in detox center for a reason, but vegetables are neither required nor innocent.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 14, 2010 at 11:04 PM

But you have to ignore a great deal more science to believe vegetables are bad for you.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 10:59 PM

Ignoring the science is far more daft than being concerned about what we put in our mouths

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 10:59 PM

Care of all food we eat is why paleo exists at all

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 14, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Fear of vegetables is probably the daftest aspect of the online paleo community.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 9:38 PM

This is not true. The "Snowball Earth" hypothesis dictates a frozen earth 650 million years ago. Since then, there have been varying patterns of glaciation, but few times with little to no vegetation. During a time with "not much veg" around, the animals that we eat would also not have food, and there would be a huge bottleneck in population growth. From what I understand, the one big human population growth bottleneck was from a supervolcanic explosion a while back. Where did you get your information from?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 7:00 PM

I'd checkout beyondveg.com, hyperlipid, I'll dig up some specific articles later and edit

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I was under the assumption that cooked vs raw veggie science was not conclusive, especially between different plant species.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Do you have any links?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Good point. I can't get this full-text article, but would be interested in its discussion section: Sheu 2006, "Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria: a new therapeutic direction"

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Good point. I can't get this full-text article, but would be interested in its discussion section Sheu 2006, "Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria: a new therapeutic direction"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:20 PM

I'm willing to keep an open mind and go wherever the science leads. I do eat some veggies. I'm currently neutral on any supposed health benefits. I eat them because they are an excellent vehicle for fat *(butter); they are low carb/low calorie and filling; my wife makes me; they might be good for me and I'm hedging that they can't be that bad.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:15 PM

I think the antioxidant argument is weak. My understanding is that dietary antioxidants don't make it to the mitochondria where they are needed. Which is why the mitochondria manufacture them. Taking glutamine and other antioxidant precursors in support of the manufacture of antioxidants by the mitochondria might make more sense, but I don't know how effective or useful that is either. (Although I do take glutamine).

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3
3641 · September 14, 2010 at 5:11 PM

my answer would read like this one.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM

LOL - I'll try not to hate on them! Had some (cooked) zuchini & spinach for lunch just now.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Doctor- against Doctor - no need Former Vegetarian with no science background- heavy push, just saying

  • Total Views
    2.6K
  • Recent Activity
    4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
  • Last Activity
    73D AGO
  • Followers
    0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

12 Answers

best answer

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
8
22913 · September 14, 2010 at 4:31 PM

This is a very contentious question.

Most vegetables don't want to be eaten.

Most vegetables have antinutrients/smallpoisons(goitrogen etc)

Cooking neutralizes alot of this, but not all.

I eat only cooked veggies, mostly meat and fat. If you look at the science instead of just opinion of former vegetarians, it becomes clearer

The poisons in the dose... Eat a large variety and you'll likely be fine(plus hormesis) but overeat one vegetable and potentially suffer the consequences of lectins, goitrogens, etc.

------------additional reading--- - beyondveg.com

There's tons more to read, I'll dig up more tonight, some antinutrient specific stuff

  1. http://www.5aday.com/html/consumers/serving.php

  2. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/FAQs.aspx

  3. Panagiotakos DB, Pitsavos C, Kokkinos P, et al. Consumption of fruits and vegetables in relation to the risk of developing acute coronary syndromes; the CARDIO2000 case-control study. Nutr J 2003; 2: 2.

  4. 'Three fruit and veg are still healthy'. Daily Mail, 2 September 2003, p 8.

  5. Hung H-C, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Major Chronic Disease. J Nat Canc Inst 2004; 96: 1577-1584

  6. Paolo Boffetta, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Overall Cancer Risk in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). JNCI 2010, [advance access] doi:10.1093/jnci/djq072

  7. Flint FJ. The factor of infection in heart failure. Br Med J 1954; 2: 1018

  8. How important are respiratory infections as a cause of heart failure? Arteriosclerosis, 7 Sep 1955

  9. Kijak E, Foust G, Steinman R.R. Relationship of Blood Sugar Level and Leukocytic Phagacytosis. South Calif Dent Assn 1964; 32: 349-351

  10. Sanchez A, et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Am J Clin Nutr 1973; 26: 1180-84.

  11. Ringsdorf WM jr, Cheraskin E and Ramsey RR jr. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, and Resistance to Disease. Dent Surv 1976; 52: 46-48

  12. Given H D C. A New Angle on Health. John Bale, Sons & Danielsson Ltd. 1935

  13. DaCosta JC, Beardsley E. The resistance of diabetes to bacterial infection. Am J Med Sci 1908; 136: 361.; Richardson R. Measurement of phagocytic activity in diabetes mellitus. Am J Med Sci 1942; 204: 29.; Schauble MK, Baker RD. The inflammatory response in acute alloxan diabetes. AMA Arch Pathol 1957; 64: 563. Bybee JD, Rodgers DE. The phagocytic activity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes obtained from patients with diabetes mellitus. J Lab Clin Med 1964; 64: 1.

  14. Smith-Warner SA, et al. Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of Cohort Studies. JAMA 2001; 285: 769-776.

  15. Patel P, Mendall MA, Carrington D, et al. Association of Helicobacter pylori and Chlamydia pneumoniae infections with coronary heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors. Br Med J 1995; 311: 711-14

  16. Namuzaki K, Chiba S. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and coronary heart disease. Br Med J 1997; 315: 1538-9.

  17. Svilaas A, Sakhi AK, Andersen LF, et al. Intakes of antioxidants in coffee, wine, and vegetables are correlated with plasma carotenoids in humans. J Nutr 2004; 134: 562-7.

  18. Joshipura KJ, Hu FB, Manson JE, et al. The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk for coronary heart disease. Ann Intern Med 2001; 134: 1106 ???14.

  19. MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study of antioxidant vitamin supplementation in 20 536 high-risk individuals: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2002; 360: 23-33

  20. The HOPE and HOPE-TOO Trial Investigators. Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular Events and Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2005; 293: 1338-1347.

  21. Stefansson V. The Fat of the Land. Macmillan, New York, 1957.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

The best reference is #12, which is a book from 1935 portraying nutrition according to Jesus's teachings. An editorial from a public health journal states that the book is better as a religious treatise than advice for health. I'm guessing this is not highly specific to the argument at hand in this post!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:24 PM

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/vegetarians-have-smaller-brains.html

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:21 AM

To be fair, I am VERY open to counter opinion with logic and have no problem saying I was wrong, just need it explained to me with facts rather than opinion, studies that aren't correlation based. China Study being the most recent major debunk. Nothin yet showing veg as the devil, but definitely Plenty showing that they aren't magic either...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:35 PM

I was under the assumption that cooked vs raw veggie science was not conclusive, especially between different plant species.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM

What is the theme tying these papers together? Your third reference is a study showing 72% lower heart disease for high veggie/fruit eaters. The 20th reference is one of the many anti vitamin E randomized trials. There are systematic reviews done of nutrients and foods, especially Cochrane Reviews, that are good summaries of the evidence.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:11 AM

Can you elaborate your opinion of the sugar immune system flaw?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Oops the studies are supposed to be subquoted the the 5 servings link on second opinions. I can't fix it on my iPhone I'll have to change it later

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:17 AM

My understanding of sugar and immune system is primarily feeding bad bacteria and thus forcing the immune system to work in te gut instead of being available for other duties. The white blood cell is arguably a lab test, and not extensive trial... But immune systems are overly complicated to the point that narrowing down factors without extraction would be near impossibly complex.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:51 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat has an equally negative effect ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. There are many similar missleading statements in that article. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise about vegetables :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Do you have any links?

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3
3641 · September 14, 2010 at 5:11 PM

my answer would read like this one.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Links added, more to come later

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 15, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Stephen I think you should go back and read that second-opinions article more critically. It has some really bad interpretation and missinformation, especially the bit about sugar and immunity.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:41 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat from food (cream) has an equally negative effect http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. Starch had little negative effct on immunity compared to fat or sugar but Barry Groves wouldn't tell you that. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 1:52 PM

It is correct that a raise in blood sugar inpairs immune cell function but fails to say that fat has an equally negative effect: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1650714 Fasting overnight seems to improve blood immune cell function. There are many similar missleading statements in that article. I don't think you are wrong at all, I think we just dissagree on how worried to be about the points you raise about vegetables :) – Matthew 0 secs ago

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
6
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The science is very misleading, be wary of even paleo experts.

-Antinutrients and toxins may have lots of evidence with regards to short term biomarkers, but very little evidence for long term outcomes.

-Humans have had many years to adapt to their local vegetation, especially when meat was low or just to add some taste.

-Antioxidants may be more important now because of a couple reasons. One is that we have way different, perhaps more stressful lives than paleoliths. Two is that we live longer and accumulate oxidative damage for a longer period. Three is that some foods creep into our diets that could be combatted by eating plants.

-Many paleolithic diets involved more carb intake than many modern paleo folks consume. It's like paleolithic sometimes takes on the definition of "meat diet" for arbitrary reasons rather than "meat centered diet"

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 6:04 PM

I'm saying immediate effect we do know, nutrient leeching is bad, impaired thyroid is very bad, taken longer they could only get worse

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Am I reading right that you think that anti nutrients that have been shown to have immediate effect such as mineral leeching may suddenly replace said minerals? long term affects like goitrogens have been shown, were not talking might happens were talking immediate chemical reactions. Now, Veg are NOT All Bad. We just have to prepare them to minimize the bad.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Good point. I can't get this full-text article, but would be interested in its discussion section Sheu 2006, "Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria: a new therapeutic direction"

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Good point. I can't get this full-text article, but would be interested in its discussion section: Sheu 2006, "Targeting antioxidants to mitochondria: a new therapeutic direction"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:15 PM

I think the antioxidant argument is weak. My understanding is that dietary antioxidants don't make it to the mitochondria where they are needed. Which is why the mitochondria manufacture them. Taking glutamine and other antioxidant precursors in support of the manufacture of antioxidants by the mitochondria might make more sense, but I don't know how effective or useful that is either. (Although I do take glutamine).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM

No, that is absurd. I'm saying that nobody knows the long term link between fruits/veggies having bad stuff and disease. Like polyphenols may be bad in some ways and good in other ways, we tend to eat the veggies that have been bred to have low detriment, nutrients interact with each other, we have a pretty high tolerance for most things, etc. When I see a case study of disease linked to long term consumption of rooibos tea, or a longitudinal study of the harm of eating blueberries, I'll start wondering what's up. Note that I don't eat much veggies, but I'll defend their right to be eaten!

Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7
5
668 · September 15, 2010 at 2:18 PM

When there tends to be conflicting data on a subject, I personally use common sense and logic to determine my course of action. For the vast majority of human history, humans have lived and eaten veggies (Arctic cultures have limited exposure, I know, and they may just show that veggies aren't necessary but that's not the topic at hand). This isn't a recent phenomenon like agriculture, we're talking eons. Something tells me natural selection would have weeded that habit out (like it sadly might be doing with agriculture/grain consumption).

From a health standpoint, some veggies do not want to be eaten and contain anti-nutrients. Others offer their fruit as a tasty vehicle for spreading seeds. Deer comes by and eats a tomato, poops it out a mile away and there you've got a new tomato plant growing away from it's host. So it's hard to make a sweeping generalization about plants because different edible parts serve different purposes. A zucchini contains seeds and spinach leaves do not, they serve different purposes so they need to be taken as a case by case basis.

From a modern paleo standpoint, organic grassfed meat is friggin expensive. Veggies, especially this time of the year, are super cheap. We aren't talking about widespread negative effects like excessive carb and polyunsaturated fat intake, we're quibbling about details and individual nutrients in certain veggies. From my wallet's standpoint, I'm willing to tolerate that trade-off if I can get some otherwise nutritious and tasty food into my diet.

Doing a little research on how to best prepare each veggie takes some work but could settle some upset minds. Spinach's iron is best absorbed when it's cooked. Broccoli has its peak nutrition when its steamed. Do a little research and act accordingly. I personally eat a few salads a weeks and eat cooked veggies a few times a week as well. Mix it up, add in and swap out veggies. Eat them with meats and fats. Eating a well balanced diet is pretty sound advice, just avoid the food pyramid if you're curious which foods to include in that balance.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Some need to be peeled like potatoes

Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7
668 · September 15, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Good point, I tend to include both veggies and fruits together and personally don't care for the difference. Some people do, I'm just not one of them. That thread would be a great place to start researching how to prepare them.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM

For most it's simply, cook them. :)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 2:30 PM

There's an old thread about best ways to prep veggies... Tomatoes area fruit, so are zucchini.. Not good examples of veggies that want to be eaten.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581
3
4896 · September 14, 2010 at 11:32 PM

I must say that I am so confused sometimes from the variety of (sometimes) contradicting data, that I kind of gave up and decided to simply eat whatever I feel like ;-) I hope my body is healthy enough to give me hints if it needs something extra... Sometimes I eat more veggies (almost only cooked), sometimes hardly any - like now.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4
3
678 · September 14, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Everywhere you look there is conflicting science and opinion on the human diet. I like to keep an open mind, and thus my beliefs are dynamic and change as the information changes. As of today I think veggies, in moderation, are healthy. Some are better than others, obviously.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:20 PM

I'm willing to keep an open mind and go wherever the science leads. I do eat some veggies. I'm currently neutral on any supposed health benefits. I eat them because they are an excellent vehicle for fat *(butter); they are low carb/low calorie and filling; my wife makes me; they might be good for me and I'm hedging that they can't be that bad.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec
3
1397 · September 14, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I've noticed that I just feel a hell of a lot better when I load up on the veggies, especially raw veggies. My training doesn't burn me out as much, and I feel more energetic, and just in general more relaxed and comfortable. That's just my bid, though, don't hate on the veggies!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM

LOL - I'll try not to hate on them! Had some (cooked) zuchini & spinach for lunch just now.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
1
20787 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Yes, I agree, the jury is still out on antioxidants and vegetables. Veggies do contain certain nutrients that are lacking in meat. Some argue, if you eat ALL meat and nothing else, then your need for other nutrients is not as great. But few of us eat ALL meat. The very act of eating other things besides meat may increase need for other nutrients. Which may be totally fine as long as you get those other nutrients that you now have increased need for. Some people think there are 'islands of safety' in how to eat. LIke if you eat one thing that has an issue , you are still fine as long you eat another thing that makes up for the weaknesses of the first thing. Such that there are diets that are fine and healthy but perhaps similar but slightly different diets that would cause problems because one or more essential ingredient might be missing. That I think is one very good reason why we always need to be watching ourselves, listening to our bodies, and learning more. Also thrown into the mix for added confusion is the complexity that each individual's islands of safety may be somewhat unique due to genetics and history of their bloodline. Some day, maybe soon, with all the advancement in genetic testing, I think we will develop testing to be able to individualize our diets, but beware because I am sure big pharma will try to couple that with tons of 'preventative' pill popping recommendations as well.

E9214b7dfa3352f4e559555f87311287
1
166 · September 16, 2010 at 2:01 AM

Don't forget the butyrate. Vegetables are made into fats in ourgut. Butter + veggies = (to some extent) butter +butter. Just like starchy carbs become palmitic acid, but our poor livers are stressed in the process.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Try this on the first point: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html On the second: Not much sugar or starch in converted into fat when eating a normal mixed diet.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 17, 2010 at 12:01 AM

I've seen that Article, I took that fiber fermentation produces very very negligible amounts in humans.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I can't find anything anywhere even suggesting this. Either I've completely failed at google or it's outta some very obscure source

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 16, 2010 at 2:11 AM

Wait, what? I'd like to read more on this...

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e
1
10294 · September 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Cows eat grass (at least the grass-fed ones). Grass does not want to be eaten. But still cows eat it, and it seems important for their health, as we all know.

So how do cows stay healthy? Well, natural selection gave them the tools to digest the grass. And for that, cows (and of course, their wild ancestors) had to have enough evolutionary time and selective pressures.

So, are humans adapted to eat veggies? I don't know, but it would depend on how long we have been eating them.

Some research suggests that this could be true, since a lot of the 'good' things in veggies (the anti-occidants and other micronutrients) are actually bad things, but by the way of hormesis our bodies turn it into someting good. And I think that hormesis also suggests that it is an evolutionary adaptation.

Now this is just some speculation, but this could be supported by science. Anybody?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Cows have huge guts to ferment process and excrete the bad... Have you seen how much even healthy cows poop?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 15, 2010 at 9:25 PM

I sort of remember that we can digest some vegetables better than cows can. So I'd much rather cows eat grass and we eat cows, but that doesn't apply to cows eating (asparagus? mustard greens?).

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 12:42 AM

In a way grass does "want" to be eaten. Grasses have co-evolved with grazing animals, neither could survive as well without the other.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I think our ancestors always ate to many different vegetable foods for a similar evolution to take place. In fact co-evolution has taken place between cereals (wheat, rice) and humans. Mutual co-dependency has now reached the point that neither current human populations nor the wheat and rice can survive without the other. Wheat now needs us to eat it or it would go extinct, so in a way it does "want" to be eaten.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
19220 · September 16, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I think our ancestors always ate to many different vegetable foods for a similar evolution to take place. In fact co-evolution has taken place between cereals (wheat, rice) and humans. Mutual co-dependency has now reached the point that neither current human populations nor the wheat and rice can survive without the other. Wheat now needs us to eat it or it would go extinct.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
56616 · September 15, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Better cows than me :) They have a much nicer complex stomach and colon to ferment the stuff.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e
10294 · September 15, 2010 at 7:18 PM

@stephen-aegis: I certainly didn't mean to suggest that we are vegeterians, because that we are certainly not! Just meant to say that what is poison to one, is food to the other, and that evolution by natural selection is the process that takes care of this. So although vegetables do chemical and biological warfare, we could have chemical and biological detox mechanisms. And in some ways, we certainly have those.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e
10294 · September 16, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Matthew, that is indeed what I was talking about. Do you know if humans and plants have a similar co-evolution?

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1
1781 · September 15, 2010 at 2:05 PM

I like how Dr Harris, PaNu, refers to vegetables. "Plants and plant compounds are not essential or magic". Actually when you think about it, most veggies are quite tasteless without lots of butter and or salt to flavour them. I only very occasionally eat them when I feel like something different but it's only a bit of cabbage or some leek or mushrooms or a brussel sprout or two. So while I don't think they're essential I don't there is any harm in eating some now and again, just avoid the potatoes, corn and keep the starchy stuff to a minimum.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921
4991 · September 15, 2010 at 6:47 PM

I love vegetables - brussels sprouts, asparagus, turnip, beetroot, cabbage, radish, artichoke - tasteless? I don't think so!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I primarily view broccoli and spinach as vehicles for butter!

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546
1781 · September 17, 2010 at 2:39 AM

Hmm, can't really agree there. Sprouts, cabbage artichoke has virtually no taste, beetroot is all vinegar or earthy dirt taste if raw and turnip, well you and keep that all to yourself. Yuck! I just don't see the point in gathering all these thing and preparing them in various ways to make them edible when you can just have a big juicy steak. Good thing we're all different. ;)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
1
15976 · September 14, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Loads of great replies but I'll just add that I think of it in the most basic terms (as I see it of course): through much, indeed probably most, of our earliest time on this planet we were living through what we would call ice ages. Not much veg around. I take from this that we can do fine without them (as I've been doing for three months). I'm sure we can eat some and do fine too but I do not think they represent anything crucial to our thriving.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · September 15, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Agreed Ben, I'm more inclined to believe meat/tubers. Amalayse/etc reinforces starch consumption

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · September 15, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Reading Nora Gedgaudus's Primal Mind Primal Body left me with the impression that veg was not a major component of what we evolved eating. Not anti-veg, just that regular veg availability was NOT a part of most of our evolution.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · September 14, 2010 at 9:38 PM

This is not true. The "Snowball Earth" hypothesis dictates a frozen earth 650 million years ago. Since then, there have been varying patterns of glaciation, but few times with little to no vegetation. During a time with "not much veg" around, the animals that we eat would also not have food, and there would be a huge bottleneck in population growth. From what I understand, the one big human population growth bottleneck was from a supervolcanic explosion a while back. Where did you get your information from?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · September 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM

IIRC, bone analysis of paleolithic hominids reveals a 60-65% animal product intake. That's still 35% from plants! I can't say I get anywhere near that much plant matter, even when I hit the nuts hard. Okay, what?! Totally lost my train of thought... Not sure what I meant to say there - perhaps we ate the plants only because we couldn't get as much meat as we wanted to...

5c8a675951eb32b8c19e9fe4e764294c
0
168 · September 16, 2010 at 10:56 PM

My sources are Whole Health Source and The Perfect Diet - fructans feed the bacteria who make butyrate.

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes