Originally Posted by Frederick
The above quote is why I appreciate this post so very much.
In my view, the very “point” is that if one desires, he or she can live without veggies or any other plant foods of any kind—not that one must, but it is a viable option. Before this thread, I can embarrassingly admit that I once believed and was completely convinced of all the collective rhetoric that veggies contained certain unique nutrients necessary to essential health. I’m not referring to “optimal health” or the theorized proposed efficacy of its phytochemical characteristics reducing free radicals, but rather that plant foods had certain nutrients not found in meat.
I had believed that veggies were essential, just as I once believed eating low fat was essential.
I’ve never actually entered what I had eaten into a nutritional tracking site like Fitday. However, the past several days, inspired by this thread, I decided to enter my all-meat diet to see if I am indeed getting all of my necessary nutrients. My eating consisted of fish, steaks, chicken, pork, and along with some stomach, tripe, kidney, and livers—especially calf liver, which I like very much. Of course, I had assorted cheeses as well. (along with my regular 2-4 eggs per day)
According to fitday, I was over 100% in all recommended USDA nutrients. Vitamin A was over 400%, which I can only attribute to the assorted livers. Vitamin C was over 250%, which I contribute to the calf liver. I was shocked to see that every nutrient that I once assumed that I needed to derive from veggies, I already have in huge abundance from the meats and organs that I had already been eating. Furthermore, we all agree that vitamins from animal products especially the fat soluble ones such as Vitamin A are more readily absorbed than from plant-foods.
I feel that the point of this thread is not to dissuade people from eating veggies, nor anything else for that matter. I find the underlying aspiration of this thread to merely show that the belief of eating veggies to be necessary for acquiring all one’s nutrients to be completely without merit. This fallacy and scatalogical bovine has existed long enough. People who don’t like veggies should not eat it. Just as those who do like it should continue eating it.
I’ve never been prone to impress on people what they should or should not eat. Even while low-carbing, I never suggest to people around me to abandon eating 500 carbs per day. What I would sincerely thank the Bear for is bringing to light a fallacy that I had so long held to be true, almost on faith—that veggies are essential.
I don’t mind people suggesting that I should eat veggies. However, their reason should be, “eat veggies, because we think it tastes good adding variety to your meals” and not, “eat veggies because you need the special nutrients.”
After all of this, I think anyone who doesn't like veggies has absolutely no reason to eat it. Those who like it, should by all means eat it in abundance.
With kindest regards,
I admit I am personally biased in favor of pro-veggie omnivorism. I also have an objective reason to favor omnivorous diets.
Personally I enjoy vegetation greatly, and I tend to think it augments my health. I strongly object to theBear's insistence that a diet contains any vegetation compromises health. I believe veggies enrich both physical healthy, by providing nutrients at a low calorie cost, and emotional health, by increasing eating satisfaction.
I have objective rational reasons to favor veggie-eating.
There's the known, for one. Plants contain nutrients that are much more common in a much wider variety of sources than animal foods. Plant food supplementation is more likely to prevent serious deficiencies.
Furthermore, many plants are less concentrated in energy, and many nutrient factors are higher calorie per calorie compared to meat source alternatives; for example, vitamin A and vitamin C. If your metabolic needs are lower, it is much harder to fall deficient in these nutrient factors if you are eating some veggies. Older people, smaller women, people losing lots of excess weight, and many others tend to slower metabolisms. Those people might not use enough energy to consume enough of all nutrient factors on an all animal diet.
These people would be forced in a position of having to raise energy using just to avoid falling deficient in nutrition.
Raising energy using, assuming otherwise good health, means either exercising more or gaining weight. Both these choices come with some sacrifice. Exercise does not hurt health, but lots of people hate it and realistically will not sustain a program for long (like myself). Weight gain is passive and requiring of no commitment or dedication, however, it is physically unhealthy, and likely would mitigate any increase in health from consuming more nutrition.
On the other hand, if someone with a more sedentary lifestyle and slower metabolism eats more of the less calorically dense plants for nutrients, they can preserve nutrition status without having to exercise or gain weight.
The second factor is that omnivorism and varied eating errs on the side of sense and caution... you know, "balance".
Fitday does not tell the whole story. If it did, I can assure you my diet would consist of nothing but vitamins, oils, and protein powders supplemented to LC "fun foods"
. I would eat WAY more protein bars than I do.
But I don't because that's not balanced, and it is "risky" to assume fitday tellst he whole story. We simply don't KNOW everything about how food affects our body, so, it is not possible to say with certainty that dietary extremism is sound. It is possible that plants contain unique, beneficial nutrients not available in meat. It is also possible that meat contains deleterious factors which are less or not present in plants. We simply do not yet know everything "good or bad" about food; therefore, eating a diet with as much variety as possible is the best way
to avoid over or underconcentration of food factors, both good AND bad.
I must agree with you, Frederick, that this thread has lead me to conclude that veggies are not essential
. I still think they are the better course for most people (because of the aforementioned reasons). However, I am now much more accepting of the choice not to eat them, provided one is extremely mindful of their nutrition.
It is probably no worse to not eat veggies than it is to be vegetarian and not eat meat (although I still maintain veganism is unhealthy, since I am of the position the human diet is only to be supplemented with plants).