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Old 08-19-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
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Don't we need vegetables?!

To stay in NK I am virtually down to eating almost 0 vegetables/day. But others as well as myself are wondering exactly how healthy that is. Vegetables contain fibre and vitamins. Don't we need these things? The Atkins diet recommends your 15g carb intake come from vegetables. So I am a bit confused as to if I should be cutting them down so low.

What are other people's opinions on this?
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
To stay in NK I am virtually down to eating almost 0 vegetables/day. But others as well as myself are wondering exactly how healthy that is. Vegetables contain fibre and vitamins. Don't we need these things? The Atkins diet recommends your 15g carb intake come from vegetables. So I am a bit confused as to if I should be cutting them down so low.

What are other people's opinions on this?
I usually do not eat vegetables. Fiber actually prevents you from absorbing as much nutrition. We actually do not absorb as much nutrition from vegetables as you think, because they do have a lot of fiber. I am feeling better without vegetables. I uses to have IBS and since I do not eat many vegetables, it has gone away. Also vegetables make me gain weight. Read the book Trick and Treat by Barry Groves.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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Punkin, I eat low fiber vegetables for the micronutrients. I have days without plant matter, but usually alternate those with days of herbs, greens/green vegs.

I second the recommendation for reading Trick and Treat.


In case it is of interest to you, the nutritional results of the 1930 Bellevue experiment, which was eating only meat for one year, here is the report of Drs. McClellan and Dubois, who were on the supervisory team of doctors:


http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
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Most low carb diets advocate green vegies. Here's a blurb from one:

"Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Vitamin K:
Regulates blood clotting
Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques
May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
May help prevent diabetes

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to put dressing on your salad, or cook your greens with oil. "


I suppose you could take vitamin supplements, but plant is better and the dark green vegies really aren't all that high in carbs.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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I eat veggies because I enjoy them (just not too many) and my husband would think I'm a total nutcase if I gave them up too.

I'm also noticing that at times I'm eating less of them, or skipping them all together. Like I came home for lunch today and just had chicken thighs, no salad like I usually would. I'll have some veggies/salad with my dinner. I'm often down to just one serving a day. Other days I eat lots of them.

I'm also currently reading "Trick or Treat" and it's a very good book.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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I eat veggies some days, not on other days. I don't plan it, it just happens that way. Sometimes I make a big pot of greens or some other veggie and have a serving or two per day. I can eat a few servings without it impacting my ketosis, but I do get hungrier sooner if I eat too many. I love veggies, but I don't need to eat them daily.

I'm allergic to all raw fruits and veggies, so I can never get their nutritional benefits, haven't been able to for 20+ years. The first few years after I became allergic, I worried like crazy about not getting those vitamins and minerals; I took supplements up the wazoo, and I'll tell you it made no difference when I finally stopped. Not to my sense of well-being, to my health, my energy levels, my labs, nothing.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:27 PM   #7
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I add the macro greens (6 carbs) powder to a whey shake....I then feel a lot less guilty of veggie depravation!
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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There are people who eat "zero carb" - essentially eat only animal products and no plant-based foods and they are perfectly healthy. I personally don't think vegetables are absolutely necessary, but I do eat them, though not too many. If my weight loss stops I would certainly consider cutting them out.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lovetoknit View Post
I usually do not eat vegetables. Fiber actually prevents you from absorbing as much nutrition. We actually do not absorb as much nutrition from vegetables as you think, because they do have a lot of fiber. I am feeling better without vegetables. I uses to have IBS and since I do not eat many vegetables, it has gone away. Also vegetables make me gain weight. Read the book Trick and Treat by Barry Groves.
Carolyn
While checking in to getting this book I read that he had recently passed away. How sad.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:21 AM   #10
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It is strange because in the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with what I eat for breakfast and a couple of times I have tried just a breakfast containing only fat. Sort of like a BPC and I found that I got acid in my throat. Yesterday I added a bit of flaxmeal and it went away. I feel like we must need a bit of fibre in our diet to get the proper digestion. I think in Gary Taubes books though he said that some civilizations just lived on fish grease for periods of the year. I guess your body has to get used to it.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
It is strange because in the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with what I eat for breakfast and a couple of times I have tried just a breakfast containing only fat. Sort of like a BPC and I found that I got acid in my throat. Yesterday I added a bit of flaxmeal and it went away. I feel like we must need a bit of fibre in our diet to get the proper digestion. I think in Gary Taubes books though he said that some civilizations just lived on fish grease for periods of the year. I guess your body has to get used to it.
Or it's just the difference in how our bodies handle what we eat. I'm sure, just as some people are more carb intolerant, there are people who are more fat intolerant. The trick is finding what works for our own individual needs.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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Or it's just the difference in how our bodies handle what we eat. I'm sure, just as some people are more carb intolerant, there are people who are more fat intolerant. The trick is finding what works for our own individual needs.
That is so true! I found that by doing a romaine heart a day, I don't have any potty issues. Although some people do other tricks to keep things moving. It only has 3 carbs and so far I'm doing a VLC woe and have lost 7 pounds in 8 days and NO POTTY ISSUES. That get's me dancing.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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Thank you

I'm so new here I have trouble finding my way around the site but I really appreciate the Trick and Treat book recommendation, so after popping out to buy the ebook, I meandered back here to say thanks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:52 PM   #14
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I am eating fewer than in the past and seem to be doing ok.
I am not doing good with magnesium supplements (goes right through me, diarrhea), so am going to try to get my magnesium from natural sources and that will include some leafy greens. It's a different topic, but I am starting to think my body doesn't need so much magnesium, but salt and potassium for sure.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:18 PM   #15
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I rarely, almost never eat vegetables. I stick to meat, eggs, and cheese for the most part and I don't have any problem with it. Having said that, if I do add in some lettuce or avocado, I don't find that it slows my losses any.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #16
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Or it's just the difference in how our bodies handle what we eat. I'm sure, just as some people are more carb intolerant, there are people who are more fat intolerant. The trick is finding what works for our own individual needs.

You may need fiber, but I do not. I find that everything works just fine by adding fat to my diet. Fiber just makes my body not work correctly. I get IBS from it. Now I go only once a day. Sorry. TMI. I used to go 6 or seven times a day. I feel so much better without sugar, grains, and fiber.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:25 AM   #17
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You may need fiber, but I do not. I find that everything works just fine by adding fat to my diet. Fiber just makes my body not work correctly. I get IBS from it. Now I go only once a day. Sorry. TMI. I used to go 6 or seven times a day. I feel so much better without sugar, grains, and fiber.
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I never said anyone 'needed' fiber. I merely posted what nutrients are found in green vegies that you won't get in just protein and fats. Whether people can live without those nutrients over the long term...who knows...but I also stated that we each need to find what our own individual needs are.

Some people do just fine without the vegies...some do fine without the fats. Some do better on a higher carb diet. Some on lower carb. I don't believe there is only one right way of eating for everyone. Call me a heretic, but I don't believe low carb is the only way to go either.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:45 AM   #18
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Dr. Michael Eades wrote a blog on the subject of dietary fiber that is well worth reading (titled: A cautionary tale of mucus fore and aft). Then to realize how the whole 'dietary fibre' recommendations came to be (surprise.... industry driven) and then to experience what it feels like to remove it (almost completely) over an extended period of timed, was quite telling for me.

When making dietary changes such as replacing fibrous foods with fat, the stomach and digestive tract needs time to adjust and in particular, ramping up or down of stomach acid and also digestive enzymes. One cannot really expect this to happen in a couple of days. Adding in supplemental digestive enzymes may help as well.

Some (and it seems like many) such as myself, found such relief from this sudden change (ibs) that the minor discomfort of stomach acid, (yes I did have that) was almost unnoticed by comparison.

My big problem with using veg as a condiment is that I miss them as a dish tremendously.... particularly now that the 'harvest' is in. I love them but they don't love me so much.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:04 AM   #19
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I never said anyone 'needed' fiber. I merely posted what nutrients are found in green vegies that you won't get in just protein and fats. Whether people can live without those nutrients over the long term...who knows...but I also stated that we each need to find what our own individual needs are.

Some people do just fine without the vegies...some do fine without the fats. Some do better on a higher carb diet. Some on lower carb. I don't believe there is only one right way of eating for everyone. Call me a heretic, but I don't believe low carb is the only way to go either.
You get almost all your nutrition from meat, fish, and eggs. You will lack vitamin C but you only need that to process carbs. Most vegetables and fruit already have it built in. Grains and sugar do not. Again, read Trick and Treat by Barry Groves.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:34 AM   #20
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You get almost all your nutrition from meat, fish, and eggs. You will lack vitamin C but you only need that to process carbs. Most vegetables and fruit already have it built in. Grains and sugar do not. Again, read Trick and Treat by Barry Groves.
Carolyn
You need vitamin C to heal wounds and repair tissues. You need it to heal infections. It is true that it is possible to get sufficient vitamin C using only meat products and it is true that vitamin c recycles better when it isn't competing with glucose. But if you're sick or injured while on a low carb diet, you might want to consider supplementing vitamin C.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #21
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It is my understanding that vitamin c is an antioxidant and is needed for the things that cause oxidation and that is primarily carbohydrates.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:44 AM   #22
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It is my understanding that vitamin c is an antioxidant and is needed for the things that cause oxidation and that is primarily carbohydrates.
Yes, all antioxidants, including C, work by pairing their free electron with the free electron on a free radical. A free radical is not good for us because its free electron wants to combine with lots of things in our molecules, including stuff in our cell structure.

Additionally, because it is needed to form collagen, vitamin C is needed for growth and repair of tissues and for healing wounds.
It also assists with the absorbtion of iron, and it prevents scurvy.

Because it is water soluble, it will not build up to toxic levels in the body. It can cause increased bathroom activity if too high of a dose is taken at once, though.

All that being said, meat eaters get sufficient vit C under normal conditions because they don''t have much glucose running through them, and glucose competes with vitamin c for uptake. And although C is more abundant in veggies and fruits, it is also found in meats and organ meats. So since lowcarbers need less Vit C and because it is contained in meat (and organs for those who eat them), we're okay under normal circumstances.
But since it's also used in wound healing, if I cut myself badly or broke a bone (or if I was still growing), I would supplement C.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #23
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I simply don't eat veggies because I don't like them. Tried raw cucumber for the first time in my life a few weeks back. Had to make myself swallow it. However, I will juice them and drink them that way (with some fruit to disguise the taste of course). But when I eventually do start low-carbing, I will mainly be meat and egging it.

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Old 09-05-2013, 10:32 AM   #24
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Dr. Michael Eades wrote a blog on the subject of dietary fiber that is well worth reading (titled: A cautionary tale of mucus fore and aft). Then to realize how the whole 'dietary fibre' recommendations came to be (surprise.... industry driven) and then to experience what it feels like to remove it (almost completely) over an extended period of timed, was quite telling for me.

When making dietary changes such as replacing fibrous foods with fat, the stomach and digestive tract needs time to adjust and in particular, ramping up or down of stomach acid and also digestive enzymes. One cannot really expect this to happen in a couple of days. Adding in supplemental digestive enzymes may help as well.

Some (and it seems like many) such as myself, found such relief from this sudden change (ibs) that the minor discomfort of stomach acid, (yes I did have that) was almost unnoticed by comparison.

My big problem with using veg as a condiment is that I miss them as a dish tremendously.... particularly now that the 'harvest' is in. I love them but they don't love me so much.
Cathy, what a great post! I have also found that eating only plant matter I grow myself, and using only pastured meat, cream, and butter has helped me in digesting food more easily. And using bone broth for liquid.

I started drinking Pu-erh tea daily, as a probiotic, as I wanted something in addition to my homemade yoghurt. All the supplements I looked at had FODMAPs in them, and the fermented vegetables seem to be mostly high fiber and usually goitrogenic. The Pu-erh tea is helping nicely.

Also, I find that eating very small amounts of meat at a meal (ca. 1.5 - 2 ounces) and enough fat to feel satisfied is key for me. Tiny meals, well spaced, and the Pu-erh, along with the exercise, rest, supplements, etc., have improved the balance.

I really, really like how I feel eating a very low fiber diet.

Hope this helps someone.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:04 AM   #25
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There are people who eat "zero carb" - essentially eat only animal products and no plant-based foods and they are perfectly healthy. I personally don't think vegetables are absolutely necessary, but I do eat them, though not too many. If my weight loss stops I would certainly consider cutting them out.
Agree 100%. I like vegetables, too, but there are no vitamins and/or minerals that you cannot get from animal products, as long as you are eating organ meats, too. Liver, etc.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:07 AM   #26
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It is strange because in the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with what I eat for breakfast and a couple of times I have tried just a breakfast containing only fat. Sort of like a BPC and I found that I got acid in my throat. Yesterday I added a bit of flaxmeal and it went away. I feel like we must need a bit of fibre in our diet to get the proper digestion. I think in Gary Taubes books though he said that some civilizations just lived on fish grease for periods of the year. I guess your body has to get used to it.
It seems funny to say, but your body only needs fiber if you are eating fiber. If you are not eating fiber, you don't need it and your digestion is fine without it.

I was recently zero carb for six weeks, ate no fiber during that time, and had no digestion problems. I don't even remember having a period of adjustment. I just stopped eating fiber and everything remained okay. The only difference is fewer and smaller bowel movements. But that's okay, because you are not eating enough to produce big poops.

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Old 09-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #27
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I merely posted what nutrients are found in green vegies that you won't get in just protein and fats. Whether people can live without those nutrients over the long term...who knows...
From what I have read, there are no nutrients in vegetables that you do not find in animal products, as long as you are eating organ meats, and not must muscle meat.

There is also the issue of how bio-available the nutrients in vegetables are. There are anti-nutrients in some veggies that make the nutrients in them not available to the body.

Also, many nutrients cannot be used by the body in the absence of dietary fat.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:33 AM   #28
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Dr. Bernstein makes a point that there may be phytonutrients in veggies that we don't know about yet, and therefore recommends eating some veggies. I think that's a good point actually.

I'm not giving up my veggies, but I sure don't feel guilty eating less of them, and other days I eat more. Perfect plan.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:50 AM   #29
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In terms of not eating fiber, I've been pure carnivore for nearly 4 years now. Oops, I guess I did have about a 0.5" by 0.5" of coconut meat in that time, but that's been it for plant matter consumption.

Fiber is a physical defense mechanism for plant to prevent their seeds from remaining long enough in our digestive tract to be destroyed. Fiber abrades the intestinal lining, which causes a mucous release which protects the area and speeds along the transit of food. I see what this defense makes sense for plants, but why do we want to hurt our intestines?

With respect to phytonutrients, I am sure there are many many chemicals in plants that we do not yet understand. Some of them might even benefit us. However, I am quite sure that many of the chemicals in plants are designed for the plant's benefit, and not for ours. The Diagnosis Diet blog does a nice analysis of chemicals in plants, as does Trick and Treat by Barry Groves. Basically, the cocktail of chemicals are a plant's way of trying to defend itself to prevent being eaten.

Humanity spread across the globe, including places with no tropical fruit (!), and sometimes little vegetative matter. Somehow they survived the experience.

There are online communities with a lot of pure carnivores, many of whom skip organ meats. I am aware of two incidents of likely clinical nutrient deficiency for carnivores. Both cases involved trying to subsist solely on pemmican (dehydrated lean meat mixed with rendered fat) for long periods of time. So, as long as you're not trying to live on pemmican, we have data for people surviving for a moderate number of years in good health.

Is muscle meat sufficient over a period of decades? Insufficient data. However, it seems sensible to include liver and eggs in the diet, as those have a nutrient profile very different than muscle meat. Bone marrow seems potentially another important part of the diet. Gelatin is another item to consider, as it has a very different amino acid profile than muscle and organs.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:07 PM   #30
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Excellent post Joe!
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