Can You Live Healthy Without Eating Any Vegetables?

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Are Tomatoes a Fruit or a Vegetable?

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My clients call me “The Realistic Dietitian.”  If you got to this site because you are worried about your health or someone’s health who is not eating vegetables, please take a deep breath and know that there are always solutions to diet issues.  Enjoy the article.  The story was inspired by a very close friend of mine who has never during his 46 years on this earth eaten a vegetable and never will. 

Perhaps you Googled to get to this article on vegetables.  If you are reading this, you may be wondering the big question, “Can I survive without eating any vegetables?” Or perhaps, can I still obtain good health without any veggies in my diet? If you know the background and vision of this site, you will know that the answer is just a couple of compromises away.  The basic compromise is that you have to like fruit.  If you eat fruit you have even passed the survival mode.  But truth is, if you don’t eat any fruit nor vegetables, you may see your health struggle and your risk to get minor and major illnesses increase.

Living Healthy Means Being Creative and Knowing Your Body and Taste Preferences

So you don’t like vegetables? And maybe you completely hate vegetables? Are you going to listen to your dietitian/doctor/mother/partner who says that you MUST eat your vegetables?  Doubt it.  If you hate the taste of something, just because you should eat it doesn’t mean you will. Moving towards good health can also mean being creative with the basic guidelines we know:  5 a Day intake of fruits and vegetables can also mean 5 a day fruits. Of course, not all vegetables are created equal. Maybe you will love eating some veggies and not others. Or maybe you are like my friend…

Let me give you a funny example

My friend recently sent me an email about how his health plan is going.  He was laughing out loud with me because he hates vegetables and knows that I am a dietitian. He said

“Hey, Mare, you should write something in your blog about people who don’t eat vegetables and still are healthy!”

Because believe it or not my friend hasn’t put a morsel of any vegetable in his body in 46 years!  But do you know what?

He is healthy because even though he does miss this key component of a healthy, balanced diet (like his veggies) he does eat his very sweet and very sour fruits (as he calls them).  He is also quite a mentally balanced person, exercises some, enjoys life to the fullest, has good relationships, sees a doctor regularly, and he does eat his fruit. Living healthy is a full spectrum that includes more than what you put in your mouth.  It is an individual process with individual goals that fit into that person’s taste, lifestyle, habits and social background.  So, my friend, it is okay not to have eaten a vegetable for the past 46 years. It will be okay to continue to do this for the next 46 years too.  But how about sticking a carrot into your juicer, please?

What are your creative ways for living healthy? Let me know your feedback! And if you want to read more realistic ways to live healthy in your own way, keep reading and browsing the articles here.  Like our Facebook page or subscribe to our RSS feed to receive email updates.

To answer the question above, botanically tomatoes are considered a fruit but they are often served as a vegetable.

Update: If you are concerned about the lack or absence of fruits and/or vegetables in your diet, here is my suggestion: invest in a good blender or juicer. Here is a high quality juicer I can recommend that produces a great juice, full packed with vitamins!

A juicer is a good investment for your health, especially if you don’t like or cannot tolerate eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state. Taking a daily multivitamin is also a good idea.

If you are concerned about your (or your loved one) lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet and decide to take a multivitamin, buy high quality. You may get more than you bargained for in some of the cheaper cost vitamins. Here is an article just published on dietary supplements and teenagers, but it concerned all of us. Check it out. “Why Some Dietary Supplements Can Toxify Your Teen.”


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93 Responses to “Can You Live Healthy Without Eating Any Vegetables?”

  1. can you eat to much of one thing? i noticed that all i want one week is broccoli, the next is spinach, then i crave olives… assuming salt?

    • Hi Chris ! The fact you are eating veggies, one week tons of broccoli, the second week spinach…don’t worry about it…at least you are eating them! Although it sounds with your cravings you may be missing calcium or some other mineral (like iron) from your diet. Both broccoli and spinach are high in calcium and iron (although the iron in spinach in not well absorbed by the body). In addition, some say that cravings for salty foods (like olives) mean you may be missing calcium or another mineral from your diet. I would make sure you take a multivitamin with minerals daily and pump up on the dairy (women between 19-50 years old need 3 servings of calcium rich foods/daily). Let me know how things are going in a week or two.

  2. Thanks, that was helpful for people like me who are about to take the plunge into getting fit and healthy!

  3. so what if you don’t eat fruits as well but 18 and i can tell you i’m quite more healthy than the average human

  4. ummmmm…..this is my problem Im shy to tell my parents to help me diet but when i tell them it’s like a joke to them and my family is not really a veggy fan we always eat meat and fish but i have a sport basketball but i think it’s hard for me to burn fat plsss help me.

    • Dear Gherella,
      Why do you feel you need to diet? Do you feel you need to lose weight or you just want to feel better in yourself? Perhaps you could suggest to your parents to let you come food shopping with them and you select the vegetables and salads to put into the family meals. I am sure that your parents would appreciate this. When they see you determined to get healthier, they will be more open to the idea that you want to take care of yourself and you need their help.
      Unfortunately there is no secret way to burn fat. Keep doing your favorite sport (basketball). Eat regular balanced meals (with the veggies you suggest to add :) ) and try to limit eating too many snacks or sugared drinks.
      Eating fruit is also a good replacement for vegetables to get your 5 a day fruit and vegetable intake.
      Let me know if what I am telling you is clear and if you have any questions.


  5. I tried to eat vegetables several times but they make me very sick. I get sore throat runny nose and in general feel very bad. Tried to find a good diet but everyone talking the same nonsens that you have to eat fruit and vegetables. Get serious people, stop copying each other…

    • Hi Vick, obviously for you, (like my friend)vegetables in your diet is not going to happen. Ignore suggestions that you have to eat vegetables to be/stay healthy. Ideally though, if your body and mouth can handle it, a good daily fruit intake (including raw fruits) would be beneficial. Do you eat fruits?

      • Yes I tried fruit ate 3 apples couldn’t get out of bed for 2 days. Felt sleepy and also experienced musle aches. I have also tried to eat them steamed and cooked still the same effect. No energy, constipation, blur vision. I was eating a lot of vegetables before around 10 years ago and then suddenly they started cause me problems.
        Guess I was drinking too much tea around 5 cups a day with 2 sugars which probably disbalanced digestive system.

        • Dear Vick, incredible..sounds like you really have “issues” with fruit too. I wonder if you can drink fruit juice? Eat avocado? Tolerate tomatoes? There are always solutions. But perhaps a review with an allergist would be helpful. If you feel your digestive system is out of balance, a 2-3 week course of probiotics would be helpful. Also, if your problems are digestive in nature, you would usually see problems with other foods such as dairy products. I would recommend taking a multivitamin daily just to get the vitamins and minerals you may be missing.

  6. I can only eat english breakfast(no tomato) with no problems. Anything else out of this range means I’m in trouble this include juice as well,even foods such as rice and especialy fish. I’m taking vitamins I’ll try huge amounts of probiotics for couple of weeks will see what happens :)

    Thanks for advice

    • Hi Vick, Just an observation…if you have problems eating rice than you might consider investigating your problem with some type of gastroenterologist exam. Rice is considered one of the most easily digestible and non allergenic foods in the world. To not be able to tolerate rice is quite surprising. Let me know how the probiotic treatment works out.

  7. I have been trying to find information on ways to supplement eating veggies for something else. No matter what I try my body seems to reject it unless it is raw carrots or juiced celery, so I resolved myself to sticking with these veggies and compensating the rest with a bit more fruit intake.

    Anyways, in my search I found a few documentations stating that the different colors of fruits and veggies (red, green, orange, yellow, etc.) are important when eating your daily servings due to different nutrients being offered. I was wondering if this is something important to consider or not since I just happened across this on a few random websites, and if so, is it strictly limited to veggies or also fruits as well?

    Also, what kind of nutrients tend to be ignored when not eating veggies, but there is a decent fruit intake? There are many different kinds of vitamin supplements out there, so how do I know what is right for me?

    • Hi John, Excellent questions! First, I wonder why your body rejects all types of vegetables except carrots or celery? Can you eat salad? Also have you tried eating the vegetables very well cooked? (not the most nutritious way to eat them, but heat/cooking helps to break down the fiber among other things, making it easier for your body to digest/accept vegetables).
      Carrots, just by its color contain high amounts of carotenoids, thus Vitamin A. Great that you can tolerate those. Celery is an excellent source of Vitamin C plus containing folic acid, potassium, Vitamins B1 and B6.

      It IS important to eat fruits and vegetables with different colors in order to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. With both fruit AND vegetables color is important. Ideally you should eat different colored fruits to get the various vitamins and minerals you need. The one area you would be lacking some area to compensate for fruit is the green veggie area. Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These foods are high in B vitamins, but contain other cancer fighting compounds that are difficult to find elsewhere.

      However, if you have a decent fruit intake, along with a varied and healthy diet, do not be too concerned that you are missing your vitamins and minerals. As far as a vitamin /mineral supplement, it is difficult to recommend one without looking more closely on the quantities/type of fruit and vegetable intake and other foods in your diet. If you wish to be sure to be getting everything you need, I would recommend an over the counter daily vitamin/mineral supplement but one that does NOT contain too much Vitamin A. Vitamin A gets stored in your body as a fat soluble vitamin, you are already getting Vitamin A with your carrot intake, and too much dietary intake of Vitamin A can be toxic.
      Hope this information is helpful. Here is a link to an interesting webpage that has lists of vegetables/fruits, what is in them and what fruits are in the same category as vegetables:

      Do not hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions.
      Thanks for your comment/question. You gave me a great idea to write a post around your question to help others. You are not the only one wondering about this.

      • Thank you so much for all the help, as well as providing the information I was looking for, and a website to use as well. Very helpful and I plan to put it to full use. Also, I am glad to hear that you are going to create a post about these topics; I feel it is very important.

        As far as salads go, I know that pretty much everyone says that salads do not have a taste, but every time I try to eat salad, I can eat it, but it always has a strange taste, and the inconsistency of the flavor throws me off, so I typically try to avoid it. But I do notice that this is only true when it is mixed with other stuff (maybe absorbing the various flavors?), so perhaps I will try just some un-mixed salad and maybe a bit of dressing as well.

        Thanks again for all your help, it was really beneficial!

        • mary brighton May 9, 2011 at 12:18 Reply

          Hi John, thanks for your support. If you can tolerate romaine lettuce or another deep green leaf lettuce, you would be doing great. Let me know your progress!

  8. Carbaholic July 26, 2011 at 07:22 Reply

    Hello, I am having problems thinking up a diet that I could eat and be healthy. I am a mother of two boys- 4 and 10 months. Right now- Im extremely unhealthy- I drink pop, obsessed with carbs, Im not working out and I do not eat any vegetables. I keep getting motivated to get healthy and lose weight, but the diet thing always gets in my way. Knowing that if I bust my butt to work out, and don’t change how I eat, then the exercise is useless.
    I have always been a picky eater, and have been hoping my taste buds change, but no luck yet! I pretty much eat like a 5 yr old. I dont like vegetables- I do eat corn, I dont like salads but will eat it with alot of dressing- which makes it unhealthy bc of the amount of dressing. I don’t like seafood except breaded processed fish sticksI don’t like onions, peppers, lemon and many of the things that are used to flavor good food. I drink milk alot, which I thought was good until I was told that too much milk is bad.
    I just need some good meal options that isnt all carbs, for such a picky eater

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment. The fact that you are writing means you have a genuine concern for your health and eating habits. This is great and a wonderful first step to changes. It is not easy to eat healthy with the work and committment of having two young kids. I would suggest as a first start to focus on getting enough servings of fruit daily (5) and forget vegetables for the moment. You don’t like them so enjoy your fruits. Switching to water would be a great substitute to pop. Your kids are young, but soon they will see you as their role model.
      I will think of some healthy ideas for meals and/or links to websites for menu ideas.
      Think easy, think small changes and stay positive. Will be in touch.

    • Hi Carbaholic! Me again. Been thinking of your situation. Found some links to websites that may help you to plan healthier meals. (this one is quite interactive, but gives you a clear idea how healthy or unhealthy your eating plan is. (written by 2 registered dietitians) ( a link to easy to prepare healthy family meals)

      Lastly, I wanted to encourage you to keep exercising. Actually, if you do “bust your butt to work out” you are STILL doing healthy things for your body. Good health is not just what you put in your mouth. It is a combination of factors. KEEP WORKING OUT !

      As to your comment on milk. I am not sure how much you drink, but anything in excess throws the balance off. How much are you drinking? More than 3 cups a day? I would not do more than that. It fills you up also and cuts your appetite for other foods.
      Good luck, let me know how things are going.
      Best, Mary

      • Thank you so much for all of the information and comments. I will check out those sites and get in gear! I know I need to change now for me, and for the kids because I don’t want them growing up with the bad habits I have right now.
        Milk- yes, I probably drink 4-5 glasses a day- I love spicy foods and milk seems to cure my heartburn easily! Guess I should just switch to pepcid! I will keep you posted on my progress!
        Thanks again Mary- REALLY appreciate it!!

  9. Hi! This blog is very helpful. I am recently moved to a country where fresh fruits are incredibly pricy, but seasonal vegetables are really cheap.

    I’m wondering if its possible to avoid fruits and eat veggies instead?

    • Hi Lynda, Excellent question! Yes, the reverse is indeed true. You can eat just vegetables and avoid fruits for all of your “5 a Day” requirements. Thanks so much for your comment!

  10. This is a very informative article. Well I eat bananas, mangoes, apples, and tomato-based dishes, sometimes. Other than that, I frequently eat hot dogs, chicken, instant noodles, which I noticed are very high in sodium, oatmeal, just about that. I really don’t eat vegetables since I was a kid, except for tomatoes & potatoes. And I do excercise regularly, sometimes often. Any suggestions on what should I include in my diet? Nutritional habits that I should work on? Thanks for the help & I must say this blog is very helpful! :)

    • Hi Vin, thanks for your support and comment! I want to take time to respond to your question. I am away doing some food research. I will get back to you within 3-4 days. Until then, happy you find the blog useful and keep reading.

    • Hi Vin, If you came upon the article “Can you live healthy without eating any vegetables” it must mean that you don’t eat any veggies (potatoes our bodies use as starch, tomatoes are actually fruit). So, increase the amount of fruits you eat if possible. The foods you labeled as high in sodium ARE high in sodium, so it is best to have these in moderation. The positive is: you eat fruits, exercise regularly, and recognize that some foods you eat are high in sodium. What i would include is more dairy products, lean proteins like lean meats and fish, more vegetable based oils (like olive oil) and more variety in the different foods you eat.
      These are the main points. Without a full dietary analysis it is difficult to make a complete objective opinion.
      Hope this is helpful. Please keep reading and ask away if you need any further answers to various health questions.
      Best in Health, Mary

  11. Sure thing. Take your time! :)

  12. I’m a 22 year old male, 6’0″ 155lbs and I just can’t stand to eat either fruits or vegetables, with the exception of potatoes (I don’t really consider them to be either fruits or veggies for some reason. I think of them more like noodles or something), pickles, and occasionally onions, but only when they’re diced up small and cooked enough so that they have no real taste, like the ones they use at McDonalds (no, I don’t go there very often). I’m not too worried about my caloric intake, as my BMR is still plenty high, but I know it’s going to slow down soon enough. I have been without fruits and veggies since at least before puberty and I don’t feel too bad. I mean, I’m not exactly the poster boy for health, but that can be just as easily attributed to high levels of stress and less physical activity than I would like.

    Is there any way to put together a “good enough” diet without fruits or veggies? I have no problem drinking various fruit juices, oddly enough, so I think I get enough vitamin C at least. And I eat a good variety of cheese products (there’s a deli I go to every day for lunch) along with the occasional glass of milk and also a bowl of cereal every morning.

    • Hi Mike, Thanks so much for your comment and question. You are right, potatoes, high in vitamin C, are used by the body more like a carbohydrate rather than a vegetable.
      Do you eat tomatoes? Do you eat salad?
      Would you consider juicing some vegetables?
      My friend, the one written in this article finally bought himself a juicer (at 40 year old). The long-term affects of not having any vegetables (and very little fruit) in his diet were showing physical signs on his health. His doctor urged him to start eating vegetables.
      I think a good compromise for you is to buy a good juicer, get some carrots and other top of the line veggies and juice yourself a drink. Ideally a small daily drink, if not, a couple times a week.
      I cannot say fully now, without looking closely at your diet, how much you ‘desperately’ need to eat fruits/vegs. I know you cannot force yourself to eat them. But you are young-your compensates for what it misses. As you get older, this is harder for your body to do.
      HEALTH and GOOD HEALTH are not ‘objective’ measures. This means that we cannot make full judgements on how your health is just because you don’t eat fruits and vegetables. Health depends on so many things-and your lifestyle plays a part too.
      I think you should seriously reconsider a compromise on how to get some fruits and veg in your body. If not a juicer for veg, why not one to make fruit smoothies? Hold your nose and drink it down. Really.
      I will answer your other comment /question as a direct reply to it.
      Let me know if any of this isn’t clear. And let me know the answers to “do you eat tomatoes/salad”. That would be helpful if you do :)

  13. Sorry for the extra post, but the edit function isn’t working for some reason. I’m not exactly up to date on my biology, but how do animals that are pure carnivores get their vitamins? They should require the same ones we do, except for some cases where they can be synthesized within the body. I’m guessing it’s through the meat they eat, which consumed vitamins when it was alive? So, if I am eating the same meat a pure carnivore eats, would I not get the same vitamins?

    I’d also like to thank you for posting this article. It’s refreshing to find someone willing to accept that veggies are out of the question, and work within those bounds, rather than just insisting that I eat veggies and refuse to actually help.

    • Hi Mike, wanted to answer, in the best way I can, your question on carnivores and how animals can get enough vitamins if they don’t eat vegetables.
      Before I answer this, I wanted to emphasize something I didn’t in my previous answer. This is that the benefits of eating vegetables and fruit and not just because of the vitamins and minerals in them. It is because of the fiber and some properties in the fruits/veggie group that you cannot get from meat and dairy. Things like anti-oxidants and other cancer fighting compounds; phytochemicals, lycopene, etc. Things that haven’t been properly discovered yet. Vegetables and fruits help boost our immune system or protect us when we get sick. In ways we don’t know how. These are the big reason we eat fruits and veg along with meat and dairy. To get the full spectrum of what we need. I could also add in your case, a multivitamin would be helpful.
      Getting back to carnivores. I think about a big carnivore, like a tiger. In the wild, they have high chances to get what they need nutritionally if the prey is available. Their bodies do not synthesize taurine (humans do) and this is why cats MUST eat meat. If not, they will become blind.

      But even carnivores like tigers, put them in captivity and not feed them exactly what they need, they will be nutrient deprived and could die.
      So, yes your question, you do get the same vitamins from meat as a carnivore, like the tiger, but we are different and have different nutrient needs.

      I hope that somewhat answers your question about carnivores. I am not an expert on animal nutrition but do find the topic interesting! Especially knowing that some zoos around the world do not know about the different nutrient needs of the various animals and thus, the animals can miss what they need.
      Thanks very much for your support. I try to be a “realistic” dietitian. I don’t think that forcing someone to eat veg is the right solution. There usually is 2 ways to get to the same point.
      Keep reading, and let me know if you have any questions. Mart

  14. stewart thomson May 29, 2012 at 12:51 Reply

    Hi i am REALLY looking for help with regards to my eating habits and becoming healthy ,
    after 34 years of not eating fruit or vegs at all i am getting a little concerned , i cannot eat them at all and feel sick as soon as try , but love apple juice and can eat homemade soups with vegs as long as been through blender ? i would love to eat balanced diet is it possible with my eating habits.

    • Hi Stewart, Are there any particular questions that you have? I am not a doctor, but it seems to me, at least, that you can tolerate apples and vegetables as long as they are not in their raw state. Maybe you need your vegetables cooked and broken down (blended) due to the difficulties in digesting the fiber in the vegetables?
      Can you drink other juices such as orange, grapefruit or pineapple?
      My suggestions at the moment would be to get juicer so that you can mix up vegetables and fruits to drink down. Try with raw fruits and vegetables first. If you are able to tolerate these types of drinks (raw fruits/vegetables blended into a drink) than that might be a great solution for the present time. You would still be covering the “5 a day fruits and vegetables” requirement.
      A juicer is what my friend does in the article you read on “can you be healthy and not eat vegetables.”
      Let me know if you have any other specific questions so I can be of more assistance.
      Catch up with you soon, Mary

  15. Hello Ms.mbrighton I wanted to ask questions that if i cannot eat vegetables but i only eat meats and fruits but i still look a little thin maybe i have some problems i told my mother that i will go ask the doctor but we didn’t go so maybe if i could ask you to help me please!

    • Hi Einstein, You can be thin and healthy. If you eat enough fruits and do not eat any vegetables either because: you cannot digest them or do not like the taste, than you should still be ‘healthy’ because you are getting enough vitamins and minerals from your fruit. Eating vegetables will not have a big impact on gaining weight. Just be sure you get your ‘5 a day’ fruits and that they are mostly in the ‘raw’ form: fresh fruits, in season. Please let me know if this is not clear or if you have any further questions. Here to answer!

  16. Ok! Ms.mbrighton thank you for the tips!

  17. Hello, I am nineteen years old and absolutely cannot stand eating vegetables or fruits. The only ones I will eat are onions, corn, and potatoes. I’m concerned about my health lately because I think there might be a connection between my poor eyesight and the lack of vitamins I’m getting in my diet. No one in my family has ever had vision problems and while I can’t recall when exactly I started losing my sight, I went years without getting a proper eye examination. Even then, I don’t get checkups yearly and it seems as if my eyesight is deteriorating too quickly. That, and I would like to lose a few pounds, but other than exercise…I can’t find anything healthy to eat in order to lose weight. I don’t mind drinking juice, but the only kinds I like are the ones packed in tons of sugar which is obviously not a good substitute to obtain essential vitamins and minerals. I don’t want to be blind before I am thirty years old nor do I want to deal with other health issues because I’m being stubborn by refusing to eat vegetables and fruits. I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the texture but I have to eat them in order to be healthy, right?

    • Hi Stacy, Fruits and/or vegetables are an essential part of the diet in order to get all the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. But as far as your eyesight, rather than ‘jumping to conclusions’ find out exactly what it the reason your eyesight is failing. There may be another cause that is independent from your diet. Vitamin A is the vitamin for eyes. Carrot juice would be ideal juice to drink for this as carrots are high in beta carotene, the per-cursor to vitamin A. I would recommend juicing or making some smoothies with fruits and /or vegetables. If you don’t have a lot of time, the grocery or health food stores sell good quality juices (without added sugar) to drink. You can even find carrot juice or other vegetable juices to drink.
      See what the eye doc says about your eyes and yes, really try to get some fruits or veg in your diet.
      My friend, the ‘subject’ in the article you read did have eye problems from lack of fruits and vegetables in his diet, but his issue was tiny cysts on his eyes and not a worsening of his vision. An eye doctor could give more feedback.
      Good luck, keep in touch and let us know how things turn out. Mary

  18. Joed Barretto June 9, 2012 at 20:37 Reply

    I believe I am just like your friend.
    I am just a 14 year old guy here at Philippines. I dont want to eat vegetables but I like fruits, the problem is- fruits are not available that much at my house. Because my family are too busy to buy but if there is a fruit available. Twas me who eats them all. Haha
    Anyway- without eating veggies on my whole life- do you think my life will be short? : (
    I want my life to be long without veggies, are there any very healthy meats? and do you have any good fruits recommendations?
    Well I like Apples, Oranges, Grapes, Banana. : )
    thank you Ma’am : )

    • Hi Joed! Great you like fruits just too bad they are not more available in the house. Meats are not a substitute for vegetables because meats provide protein while fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals.If you do eat enough fruit you don’t have to eat vegetables, although at 14 years old you are young, maybe you will learn to like them! I see you like the basic fruits: apples, oranges, grapes and bananas. These are good, but to get a variety of vitamins try new types of fruits that could be available in your country like kiwi, strawberry, pineapple, grapefruit among others. I don’t you will shorten your life from not eating vegetables, but you could enhance your health by eating some. Just keep up with the fruits! Good lunck Joed, please let us know how things are getting on. Mary

  19. I believe I am just like everyone else here… I don’t like ANY fruits or veggies. The closest thing would be a potato! My diet mainly consists of chicken, ground beef, sausage, bacon, and all starches (noodles, potatoes, rice…) My palate is pretty bland and I don’t usually like a whole lot of flavors. I don’t think the problems lies with the flavor of fruits/veggies but with the texture. I can’t stand the way they feel in my mouth. I can/will gag when I try, which I do try often…I did recently buy a juicer (to try and remedy my problem) but I am having a hard time finding recipes that I can make that will be beneficial that I actually enjoy.

    Any ideas??

    I have tried all sorts of berries (strawberries, blueberries, grapes) with apples and pears…And one time I actually put a 1/2 carrot in. That one wasn’t my favorite but I guess I could stomach it if I had to. There is lots of publicity with “green” juices. Any way to add a little bit of green but still make it taste like a fruit juice?

    Thanks for all your help :)

    • Hi Britt! Looks like there could be an online “hate veggies (and fruit) club.” Yes, you are not the only one. But you are trying via your juicer to get the vitamins you need to stay healthy, so Bravo!
      For the question on adding greens to make a healthy ‘green’ juice, I could recommend to add only a small amount of green to the juice and use a sweet type of fruit (like a berry-strawberries or blueberries) to make the juice sweeter/more tolerable to drink.
      For some additional recipes, I would look online for ideas on making smooth juice drinks (to help you tolerate the texture) that taste good. This following website looks like a good place to start for ideas:

      Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
      If you have any additional questions, or clarifications on this reply let me know.
      Best in health,

  20. Mary,
    Without boring you about my cullinary (can’t even spell it) desires, I’m not a huge vege eater. My brother, 42, is worse. Sunday roast at the pub on Sunday, and when he’d finished, it didn’t look like he’d even started, as all the meat was hidden by “greens”.
    Anyhow, my question is: Does a multi vitamin tablet a day, in theory, nullify the need for the 5 a day of actual vegetables? If so, I reckon I have another few years left in me.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    • Hi Ben, It saddeneds me to write this but no, a multi vitamin does not replace the vitamins you are missing in the vegetables. “Beef up” on the fresh fruit, stay funny and try to swallow some high quality veg (like leafy greens). There is more in the vegetables (cancer fighting compounds as an example) that meets the eye-some things that haven’t even been discovered yet that labs cannot duplicate in a vitamin. Hope this news is not too difficult. Let us know how things are going for you. Thanks very much for your comment and good luck to your brother!

  21. Thank you for the quick response. I drank a smoothie and ate some broccoli yesterday. I’m not saying I’m turning over a new leaf or anything…..! 😉

  22. Joy Mandel June 25, 2012 at 00:50 Reply

    I am female in my sixties of normal healthy weight. With the e coli problems and recalls over the past few years I developed a fear of eating raw fruit and veggies. I also read that seniors have more compromised imune systems. I eat cooked frozen veggies and dried fruit like raisans and cranberries. I do eat bananas. Am I putting my health at risk. I like raw but afraid to eat it. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Joy, apologies for the delay in answering your important question.
      The chances of getting e-coli from eating raw fruits and vegetables is minimal. You would receive more health benefits from eating vegetables and fruit in their more natural state versus the chances to get e-coli. However, it is important to wash all your fruits and vegetables well before eating or cooking them. It
      is true that the older you are, the weaker your immune system can get. By having a healthy diet including ‘5 a day’ fruits and vegetables, you are helping to keep your immune system in ‘tip top’ shape.
      Do not feel you are putting your health at risk by eating raw fruits and vegetables.
      Let me know if I can be of further help or my answer is unclear.
      Best to you, Mary

  23. Hello im 38 year old female and over weight but I know its all the cokes i drink and should cut down.But I don’t eat veggie or fruits.I might eat a apple but I don’t like none of it really.I eat corn and taters buts thats it.When i was like 9 my school had this rule that you had to eat all veggie and fruits or you sat there till you was done.Let just say I didn’t make good grades cause I was always in the lunch room till the end of the day or if i did force them down i’d get sick.My mom talk to the school after coming home sick all week.So to get them to stop doing that my mom had to pack my lunch.Well alot of kids started packing there lunch to and they stop that rule cause nobody was getting school foods and lost alot of money.Every since then i can’t put veggie of fruit in my mouth but corn,taters,and a apple.What should i do to get health without eatting veggie and fruits or im I to far gone to help.thanks

    • Dear Wendy, Wow…what a story, what an experience. I was also ‘sickened’ to hear about how you were forced to eat your fruits and vegetables at school. ouand if you didn’t you had to sit all day in the cafeteria). This is a form of abuse-in my personal opinion. You probably have some emotional links to this difficult time and may be one of the reasons that you cannot even envision trying some fruits and vegetables today. In your situation, I cannot imagine telling you ‘you must’ eat your fruits and vegetables…this would be in vain. You cannot. However, I could suggest: making some smoothies? Making sure you eat your daily BIG apple, and why not some applesauce? Do you like juices? You could drink small amounts of fresh fruit juice. Daily multivitamin too, keeping moving (some daily exercise) and substituting water from cola. If you make a BIG attempt to keep the rest of your dietary habits as healthy as possible, plus whatever amounts of fruits/vegetables you can tolerate (apples, juices, smoothies) than you will give yourself the best chances to stay healthy. GOOD LUCK! please let me know if you have any questions. Would love to hear the name of this school that forced you to eat like this. Could you let me know? You can either respond via a comment or email me personally: *** I am interested in learning more about this horrible habits on forcing kids to eat vegetables and fruits*** Mary

  24. The only vegetables/fruit I eat are: apples, potatoes, sweet peas, green beans, and sweet pickles. It’s not that I don’t want to eat the veggies/fruits, it’s that I physically can’t. I start to get sick when the foods are in my mouth because of the texture, the slime or crunch (BAD BAD idea to eat salad…so so bad, tried it one day last year and needless to say, the janitors were NOT very happy AT ALL). I really don’t think I’m unhealthy but I do want to lose a little bit of weight and become healthier all around.
    I was wondering if you knew anything I can do about tricking my body into liking them?

    • Gosh Lacey, I wish I could give you the magic answer…I don’t know how to trick your body into liking them. What I could suggest is to try very small portions hidden in different foods: lasagne, pasta, soups, etc… to see if your body can like them better. If your body really cannot handle new vegetables, stick to the ones you can eat and eat them daily. Watch sweet pickles-taste great but high in salt.
      Please let me know how things are going! Mary

  25. Hello , i am 31 year old male. Height 5.7″ and a weight of 85 kg. I walk half an hour everyday and do work out also. Before my breakfast includes 1bowl oats 5 egg whites, 1 glass moosambi juice. Lunch includes 5 wheat roti along with fish or chicken,dinner 5 wheat roti with fish or chicken and salad , fruits also. From past 2 months my diet changed. Now my breakfast includes 5 wheat roti,lunch and dinner also the same. 1 bowl oats per day also.. no veggies, fruits ,egg in my diet. From longtime i am not taking rice, is there any problem ? Everyday i take 1 multivitamin tablet,Supradyn. Shelcal 500 3 times in a week, evion 400 4 times in a week. Can u pls tell my diet is healthy ?

    • Hi Rejeesh! Thanks for your question. I can only give you general observations on your diet from what you tell me, a better analysis is from looking at what you eat and drink over 7 days.
      What I understand is that you eat: 15 wheat roti, 1 bowl oats.If you do not eat any vegetables, fruits or eggs what else do you eat? I assume the wheat roti has fish or chicken with it?
      It is okay that you don’t eat rice.
      Great that you work out and walk! Great that you take a multivitamin. Great that you (apparently) are eating a lot of junk food and sodas (is this true?)
      Some things to think about: losing some weight, adding more variety in your diet, adding some fruits and/or vegetables in your diet. Adding some calcium to your diet (from dairy, certain green vegetables, certain nuts). These are some basic suggestions.
      Unfortunately, from the information you give me, your diet could improve and I wouldn’t say it is ‘healthy’, but with a few adaptions you could have a healthier diet.
      Let me know if you have further questions. Mary

  26. Hi,
    Its very impressive to see your commitment to answer all of these followers in the detail that you do. Ill try to make this short and simple. I don’t eat a lick of vegetables I’ve tried and tried. I do however eat some fruits: Strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, and pineapples. My question is since my fruit choices are limited would I be lacking needed nutrition from other fruits I dont eat and would I be getting too much of other nutrients only eating these as my 5 a day ?

    • Hi Marisa, I am going to do some research on what vitamins are in these fruits you eat and what you might be missing. Will get back to you as soon as I can! You are doing quite well though, at least you are eating some fruits, this is good, gotta be positive.

    • Hi Marisa, here is the information you are looking for:
      strawberry: excellent source of vitamin C. Strawberry is also a good source of folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin K.”
      grapes: high in Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants and tannins (both are very heart healthy!)
      apples: high in Vitamin C and fiber
      pears: high in vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium
      pineapples: high in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
      I could suggest adding fruits high in beta carotene such as melons and apricots.
      Do you eat tomatoes? (Even as a tomato sauce on pasta?) This is a power fruit! (Tomatoes are actually a fruit, grown on a vine). And what about potatoes? Potatoes are a vegetable too, even if our bodies use them like a starch. They are still very nutritious, especially kept close to their natural state (boiled, grilled, steamed).
      You wouldn’t get too much of other nutrients eating these as your 5 a day. Most vitamins from fruits (beta carotene is an exception) are water soluble, meaning that you eliminate what you don’t need through your urine. So, no problems in getting too much from your daily fruit intake.
      Let me know if you have any questions on this. Until then, good luck and keep eating your fruit. Mary

  27. I appreciate your research. One more thing, I love v8 juice the original not less sodium. But i never know how much to drink due to the high sodium. Is that actually a substitute to vegetables?

    • Hi Marisa, Yes, I agree with you on this one….I like the taste of V8 juice, the original, but cannot drink the low sodium version. It just doesn’t taste good! Not a bad substitute, but there are micro and macro nutrients, fiber and other benefits from eating vegetables in their real (fresh) form that you wouldn’t get in a glass of V8. I would suggest no more than 8 oz. a day just for the high sodium in original V8. Getting back to you now on your question on the nutrients in different fruits. So, check that out.

  28. Hello, i need your help.
    I am living in Qatar and we literally have no fresh vegs/fruits ever!
    You see all kinds every day in the year, they ‘look’ fresh but they’re not, all from other countries frozen and then displayed as ‘fresh’.

    Everything tastes really weird too, we only have fresh meat/fish and anything but green!
    I *can* eat them if i force myself, but i feel like i am eating.. well nothing.. they don’t even taste like anything.

    My meals now consist of meat, meat and fish and more meat, only tomatoes and potatoes taste natural so i eat them.. I currently seem healthy, and fit, but i don’t do any exercise, like nothing… And i don’t know for how long i will stay healthy like this.

    PS: When i am in Tunisia (my home country, usually only a month every year), i find all kinds of fresh vegs/fruits and enjoy them with their actual lovely taste, i have no problems digesting really anything.

    • Hi Skander! I am sorry that you find the vegetables and fruit difficult to eat in Qatar. I know that Tunisia has lots of good fresh vegetables and fruit, and it must be frustrating not to have the ‘fresh’ taste of these foods you like. How long have you lived in Qatar? Sometimes it tastes awhile to adjust to the different tastes that we find in foods in countries that we just moved to. I could suggest two things: eat a large quantity of tomatoes in Qatar, which are healthy and nutritious, continue eating potatoes, also high in vitamin C, and take it very slowly with adapting to the other ‘pre frozen’ vegetables and fruits. Frozen veg and fruit are still very nutritious, they offer a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Maybe ‘dressing’ the prefrozen vegetables with a sauce would help with the taste (rather than eating them plain).
      Why not do a bit of exercise? Walking is a great exercise.
      If you are not sure you are receiving all your vitamins, you could take a multivitamin to be sure to cover what you may be missing.
      It sounds like you are still adapting to the life in Qatar. It takes about 1 1/2 years to start to feel adapted, take it easy, take it one day at a time and things will hopefully get better.
      Let me know if you have any questions!
      Best to you, Mary

  29. Hi Mary

    I have always had a very selective diet. I eat many of the same foods daily – I know it’s not a good way to eat but I really can’t eat new foods. I have eaten like this all my like (23 now)

    I eat only potatoes, tinned peas, baked beans and tomato soup (if they count: high salt and sugar?) I can drink orange and apple juice but that is it for fruit. Can I get vitamins from other foods? Eggs, Full fat milk ect?

    If I am going to continue eating like this what supplements would you suggest? I would like a good quality multi vit to help me out.


    • Hi Jason, Thanks for your question. What is your reason for not trying new foods? I would recommend (highly) to try to expand, just a bit more, your diet. Every real food (like eggs, milk, etc…) contain vitamins. But fruits and vegetables contain unique nutrition that you cannot get easily in other foods.
      Bravo for eating some peas, beans and tomato soup, but yes, as you said, these are very high in salt so the positive aspects from eating these foods and less because you are (probably) putting too much sodium into your body.
      You are young…your body doesn’t feel all the negative effects of a poor diet. As you get older, it will takes its toll. Fantastic that you are looking into a multi-vitamin to get some more balance to your diet…You can ask at the chemist for a good brand that covers 100% of your daily needs.
      However, I would really recommend to reflect on even what small choices you can do to add some more new foods (and fresh fruits and vegetables) to your diet. Why not buy a blender and make some smoothies for example.
      Please let me know if you have any further questions and good luck!

  30. I was shocked by your post title. :-) I read it. Is it really possible to be healthy without eating vegetables? I’m not really sure it will work… Yes, we can be healthy without eating vegetables but I still believe that eating vegetable will make us MORE healthy.

  31. Hi Brenda, Thanks for your comment. You would be shocked by the number of internet readers who come onto my article BECAUSE they do not eat a single vegetable. My point was to encourage readers to at least eat adequate amounts of fruit or use a juicer/mixer to get some vegetables in the diet.
    Some cannot tolerate the taste or texture (or digestion) of vegetables.
    The best for optimal nutrition and health is to eat an adequate amount of vegetables but you can achieve good health by adapting your diet to just include fruits in place of vegetables.
    Have a great (and veggie :) ) day !

  32. Hi Mary,

    I am concerned that my two year old son won’t eat any vegetables. I have not managed to find one that he will eat. My 4 yr old daughter will eat any vegetable and I thought he would start to copy but he seems to just hate the taste. Even if I puree them into a sauce he won’t then eat the sauce…or last night tried to hide a piece of broccoli in his fish pie which he tasted and spat out. He does eat fruit and I give him a multi vitamin but I would like him to have the best possible nutrition whilst he is growing.

    I want to get a juicer but I read that you should’t combine fruit with veg in the juice? Is this very important as I know he would hate the taste if the juice was just pure veg. At the moment I give him shop bought carrot and apple juice but the percentage of carrot is low and if I can’t put a lot of apple in with the veg (as I’d ideally like to sneak in some green veg) I don’t think he’ll take it.

    Many thanks.

    • Dear Jenni, Thanks for asking some advice. Try to stay patient with your son and his dislike of vegetables…it could change as it gets older, two-year-olds are not an easy bunch to feed. Keep trying with him, sometimes it takes up to twenty times for a child to finally accept a new food. Offer the vegetables with meals as you do to your daughter but don’t force him to eat.
      As far as the juicer, it is fine to combine the vegetable with the juice, but you have to be careful with the amount of vegetable, types (whether they have a lot of fiber/leaves) and the taste.
      Since your son is young, I would stick with sweeter types of vegetables such as carrot.
      One method that the French use to introduce vegetables into their kids’ diets, is to make a nightly vegetable soup (or you could offer at lunch). You cook a carrot, potato and leek soup and puree it well so it just has the taste and not the texture (the texture would be smooth). A bowl of vegetable soup is a great way to get the 2-3 servings a day of vegetables.
      Good luck, let us know how you and your son is doing.

  33. Joe williams January 17, 2013 at 19:37 Reply

    Hi ms. Brighton

    So my issue is i have had a vegetable trauma since i was a little boy, im 24 now and still cant seem to shake the habit of not eating vegetables, how do you think i could best resolve this?

  34. Hey Mary. I am a 19 year old male and weigh 165. I know this may seem healthy but I am concerned because I do eat very bad (bacon cheeseburgers, fries, soda)But I did find your website very helpful and think it is a great idea since I like most fruits but hate all veggies. The only problem is that I am a crew leader at a fast food resturaunt (I work long shifts) and there are no fruits to choose from there. The healthiest thing we have that I will eat is char-grilled chicken. Good thing is, I get free food! So I was wondering if it would be a good idea to maybe eat a piece of chicken, and bring some fruits from home and drink V8 fusion with it. I think that, mixed with some working out would help me a lot. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dale, You are fighting an uphill battle. I commend you on your creative idea on what healthy options there are at your work. Yes, free food is important especially on a limited budget. The days you work bring some fruit (at least 2 fruits) and eat the chicken (grilled) from work. A V8 fusion is good but it may be high in sodium, so it is better to eat one time water, one time V8. Keep going! Try to avoid the foods you know aren’t healthy-the ones you mentioned in the beginning of your article. Eliminate the soda-that is also key to living healthy. Good luck!

  35. Just an update!
    I am starting to accept vegetables here after getting used to the state, still hate them.
    But can definitely eat them lol.


  36. Actually, many vegetables, especially green ones, are filled with anti-nutrients like goitogorens and oxalates. They aren’t that nutritious, and aren’t necessary for good health.

  37. What I don’t get is how the body can keep going when we don’t get enough of or zero of the certain kind of vitamins and minerals.

    B vitamins, especially. Those suckers are damn near impossible to get, and nearly all of us don’t get anywhere near the RDA.

    There are plenty of people who get only traces of the vitamins and minerals, yet they live to a ripe old age.

    I mean, come on, how many of us really eat salads every day?

    Granted, there are plenty who die before their time, and get sick over and over again, and they get diseases, but still….

    I don’t get how the body can keep going.

    • Hi Perry, Ah…there is so much we don’t know about nutritional science (and much we know too)….We have progress to be made. You would be surprised though that some ‘regular’ foods all contain minerals and vitamins-maybe in lower quantities than ideal. Also, there are many foods fortified with vitamins and minerals for the exact reason that we don’t all eat salads every day. Bread, milk, cereal, butter …these are fortified with different vitamins and minerals that are not normally found in the foods. Thanks for your comment and keep reading ! Mary

  38. So Here’s my Deal
    I am 22 almost 23 years old and absolutely hate vegetables and fruits. I hate the Taste and texture of them. I also want to start working out at the gym later this year and know That I need to get my diet fixed before I can do that. What are your Recommendations for someone who simple really can’t eat either. I have considered Juicing but don’t know what kind of juices to make. Any advice would be Appreciated.

    • Hi Bryan, You could start working out at the gym without your diet being totally perfect. If you have any health concerns or complicated medical history get a doc’s ok before starting a major workout program. You have a tough situation: don’t like fruits nor vegetables. I could recommend a good juicer(there is a link in the bottom of the article you commented here). Juicers normally come with a recipe page (just a couple of juice recipes). If you like sweet taste, I could suggest starting with just making fruit smoothies. Never too late to take positive steps in your health. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.
      Warmly, Mary

  39. What a fascinating idea! I would assume the healthiest of diets would of course include a range of vegetables so it’s very interesting to read your article, I will definitely look into this further! Thanks for sharing.

    Julie x
    Julie Montagu recently posted..Green Tea

  40. hey i’m a jamaican and i don’t like to eat any kind of fruits and vegetables. i was wondering if there is a way to get healthy. also when i do any sports activity my chest starts to burn do you know if its because i’m not eating any vegetables or fruits…

  41. I am 58 years old and am trying to figure out what I can eat. My doctor, who has so far helped me more than any other doctor, did a DNA test on me. Bottom line: I can no longer have sugar, gluten, grains, and must eat a low sulfur diet. Oh. And no dairy. My mother died of cancer. My older sister is in stage 4 breast cancer. My DNA/Genetic Testing shows that my body produces too much ammonia and sulfur, hence the diet. I had already cut out sugar and gluten (which included most grains). The most difficult aspect for me to deal with is the low sulfur diet. It pretty much excludes all greens with the exception of lettuce and zucchini. How can I stay healthy without greens? Eating nothing but fruits is too much sugar for my body. Any suggestions?????

    • Hi Alacia! Thanks very much for your question. I hope that you feel better on your diet and that your body recovers from whatever has been hurting you. Very interesting doctor! Is this a medical doctor? Has this doctor helped you at all with your diet changes? Without sitting down with you and discussing your eating preferences and medical history, it is not very easy to suggest a healthy diet for you. Your diet is extremely limited. You shouldn’t be eating any fruit if you are supposed to be on a low sugar diet. No dairy, no gluten, no grains , no sulfur. I am at a loss to advise you what to eat without a deeper consultation. However, I did find this website on a gentleman who follows a low sulfur diet. Check it out. He offers dietary suggestions and vegetables to eat: . GOOD LUCK! Let me know if you have any questions. I can also offer you a ‘virtual’ consultation that would be more personal, if desired. All the best and I truely hope you feel well soon. Warmly, Mary

  42. I can count on two hands (maybe even one) the number of times that I have voluntarily eaten raw fruits or vegetables in my life. As a kid, I was force-fed them, often to the point of being forced to eat dinner leftovers for breakfast the next day (salad does not taste good before school – trust me). Bless my mom’s heart for fighting the good fight, but ultimately she lost – when I got to high school, she told me it was up to me to eat healthy. Much to her chagrin (and now my wife’s), my eating habits have not changed much since that time.

    Now here’s my big problem – I care very much about my health, including my diet. At age 8, a nutritionist helped me completely turn around my health, virtually curing me of asthma, a smattering of allergies, and a short list of other health issues I dealt with as a young kid. So I know the power of a healthy diet. But I can’t bring myself to stomach fruits and vegetables. It takes 6 oz of water and a good deal of wincing to get a single piece of fruit down (single strawberry, slice of apple, etc). And the same goes for vegetables. I gag when I try to eat them, and I’m long past the age when most people (including myself) assumed that I would ‘grow out’ of this.

    My aversion to these foods has 90% to do with their texture, and about 10% to do with some of the intense flavors that often characterize fruits and vegetables (although, I’m thinking I could get use to the flavors if I could handle their texture). I’ve been told by some health care professionals that I might have some form of sensory processing disorder, but I’ve never been diagnosed officially, and I’m not autistic (nor do I have any symptoms of other ASDs).

    One of the same health care professionals that told me I might have SPD told me that I could mostly get around the nutritional deficiencies of a fruit- and veggie-free diet with some dietary modifications. This guy was not a trained nutritionist, but he recommended loading up on whole grains (which I do – double fiber bread, low-sugar cereals, whole grain pasta/rice) to make up for the lack of fiber, and otherwise encouraged me to eat more nuts and other nutrient-rich foods to make up for the lack of plant nutrients. He also recommended that I consume plant foods in whatever forms I could bear them, which more or less means in forms where the texture component has been removed. So I drink smoothies, eat homemade soups (thank you Vitamix), and get my fair dose of (relatively) healthy tomato sauces, etc. And I mostly stay away from junk food – although my achilles-heel in this area is a very strong sweet tooth.

    This is where I’d love to get your advice: At this point in my life, I remain a relatively health individual. I am an ideal weight, fairly active, I rarely fall ill, and the chronic conditions I mentioned above are still mostly gone, aside from the occasional sports-induced asthma fit and seasonal allergies. But part of me suspects that my continued good health might be the result of my relatively young age (26). Eventually, this nagging voice in my head tells me, my eating habits will catch up with me. I obviously do not want that to happen.

    So, for a guy that cannot bring himself to eat any fruits OR vegetables, do you have any additional recommendations to keep a healthy/balanced diet? Again, the issue is chiefly eating them in whole form – anything where the texture could still be detected. I am similar to the guy you mention in the original post, in that I do not anticipate my palate will ever change – so just telling me to get over it will not be an effective method. Do you have any wisdom to impart?? Thanks in advance :)

    • Dear Eric, First apologies. I was voluntarily ‘disconnected’ from internet connection while on a trip to the states and I just saw your message right now. It sounds like you have a good handle on your diet and health. You are probably eating even better than others who do add fruits and vegetables to their diet. The nutritionist who advised high fiber foods was right on target, keep going with that. The main part of adding fruits and vegetables to the diet are the vitamins and minerals that are in these foods (esp. vitamin C, A, folic acid, potassium). You may want to take a good quality multivitamin a few times a week to be sure you are getting these in your diet. As you mentioned, the texture issue is probably what is the biggest problem on why you cannot eat fruits and veg. Have you tried to make a smoothie with fruit? Do you eat tomato sauce (even on pizza?), Do you eat applesauce? Are there any type of ways to include fruits and vegetables where the texture is palatable for you? Cooked fruits? Raisins?
      Yes, you are young but you are doing well because you are taking steps to keep your health as a top priority. My friend in the article on fruits and vegetables is almost 50 years old, he still doesn’t eat fruits and vegs and he is still quite healthy. So, there is hope for you!
      I don’t know if my answer here helped you in any way, if you have further questions, please let me know. In the meantime, think of ways that you can texturize your fruits /vegs to (perhaps) be able to eat them. Such as in a smoothie form (even if this means adding yogurt/milk to it to make it like a milkshake). Good luck! Mary

      • Hi Mary – thanks very much for your reply. I’ve tried to tell people that I probably eat healthier than a lot of people who are OK with fruits and vegetables, but they never buy it. So it’s good to hear you at least confirm it as a possibility.

        I do try to de-texturize fruits/veggies as much as I can (although I could always do more). Cooked vegetables are only sometimes tolerable, but definitely better than raw, and I definitely work in tomato-based products, some dried fruit, and 3-4 smoothies per week.

        It’s good to hear one more professional say that I will be ok as long as I continue to be intentional with my fruit/veggie-free diet. Thanks for the help!

  43. Hello,

    I do not eat any vegetables except for potatoes and corn. When I was younger I had years of traumatic experiences with vegetables, like greens and cabbages. I also don’t eat certain fruit like tomatoes and cucumbers. I never ate vegetables when I was young, but there was a period of 4 years where I spent the day at a daycare center and there I was force-fed cabbages, green leafy vegetables and I remember crying all the time and suffering every day there because I would not be allowed out of the meal room until I finished everything I was given (including huge amounts of vegetables). The vegetables, which I already didn’t like, that I was forced to eat, made me throw up and vomit them all out in the toilet after every meal.

    When I grew up, I had food trauma of vegetables where now as an adult, I cannot even stand the sight of vegetables, especially cabbages and greens. If any food I eat comes into contact with these vegetables, I would discard them. Like I was served a plate of noodles at a restaurant. I didn’t know there were tiny cabbages hidden inside them until I prodded the noodles and discovered the vegetables mixed with the noodles. I immediately felt so nauseous that I went to the toilet and threw up all the noodles I ate. It was an involuntary, instinctive reaction that I had no control of.

    I also do not drink any form of liquid milk or dairy. I do not eat ice cream either. My parents told me I never drank milk after I was 2 years old, and that I would throw up when I drank milk. I don’t necessarily hate it, but whenever it gets into my system, I get extremely nauseous and queasy and instinctively puke.

    However, I eat most fruit (except banana, tomato and cucumber which make me feel queasy too). My diet is also very healthy since I do not eat fast food or processed meats (like sausages, ham or bacon). I also do not eat red meat, beef or pork.

    My entire diet only consists of hardboiled egg, tofu (non-fried), steamed fish (tuna, mackerel, ikan bilis), boiled herbal chicken, baked potatoes, plain egg/rice noodles, fruits (only papaya, apple, pear, grapes, lychee, rambutans, longans, mangoes, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew). I take a full multivitamin and 1000mg omega-3 capsule everyday.

    Besides vegetables, can you tell me what is lacking in my diet since what I listed are the only things I eat. Also, what foods are good substitutes for vegetables?

    • Hello Ash, Thanks for your story and question. I understand why you don’t eat vegetables and your physical reaction to vegetables (throwing up). You have been in a traumatic experience at the daycare when you were younger. I would consider the repeated behavior you described, (making you sit in the meal room and force fed your food) as a type of abuse. If I knew any of my kids were being subjected to a situation like that, I would take action because as you can see, being force fed has detrimental consequences for a person’s mental health.
      As far as your diet, I cannot make 100% clear conclusions on what you are missing /lacking in your diet because I do not know the quantities of what you eat. However, just a quick look I could say that you are missing fiber and carbohydrates (unless you eat the fruits raw for the fiber and your intake of egg and rice noodles is very high to help with carbohydrate). It seems too that your diet lacks essential fatty acids (and good fats ) because you don’t eat a lot of oils , butter, avocados, seeds , nuts… and lacking a calcium source.
      Good job on the vitamins, and for substituting for the vegetables, keep eating the fruits and you should be ok.
      My main suggestions would be to add some healthy fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (like olive oil), along with some whole grain carbs: wheat bread, brown rice. Since you do not eat any type fo liquid milk or dairy (I assume this includes hard cheese and yogurt), then you need to keep your bones strong by either a good calcium/vitamin D supplement, or even better-good amounts of sunlight, and weight bearing exercise (both of these keep your bones strong).
      Good luck, let me know if you have any questions. And don’t worry, your diet is quite okay-just needs a little ‘tweaking’ depending on the quantities of the foods you eat.
      Warmly, Mary

  44. Hello Mary,

    I’ve become fearful for my life longevity. I’m afraid of dying young because I eat 0 vegetables. (except the occasional corn and plenty of potatoes). I eat fruits, mostly tangerines/mandarins, apples, bananas, and sometimes grapes. on the weekdays i usually eat chicken, fish (kwai), homemade french fries, spaghetti, etc. all used with olive oil/wheat products, and i use a sugar substitute for koolaid. and drink around 2 bottles of water a day plus i take 2 fiber tablets a day. on the weekends, that’s when i splurge and eat out with friends and family. I haven’t seen a doctor for about 6 years. I’m afraid of how my heart is doing. I am currently 25 about to turn 26 in July. I’ve been trying out different veggies and I CANNOT eat them. I try so hard to swallow them and I cant. they make my gag reflex go off. My taste buds are incredibly sensitive and anything I don’t like, i automatically reject. Is my current diet ok for living a long healthy life? MUST I eat veggies to live a long healthy life and see my children grow? (currently i have no children but plan to one day) Or is my diet ok? what do i need? what do you recommend? I don’t want to die of a heart attack or something at the age of 50something….

    Thank you so much for your time.


    • oh and i consume fat free milk and low fat butter.

    • Hi Mary…thanks for your question. You are young but you are have the right thinking to start to be concerned about your long-term health. No, you don’t have to eat veggies to be 100% healthy. Keep going with the fruits and your current eating plan. You didn’t mention about exercise ? Do you do any sport? This is important to have some physical activity. What also keeps you healthy is controlling your stress and having a good mental attitude. It sounds like you have both of these under control. If you are never sick, then you don’t really need to go to a doctor, but you may want to consider just having a doctor do an overall check, to be sure your blood pressure and sugar levels are in the right control. Hope this is helpful-sounds like you are doing okay! Thanks again Mary -let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help :)

      • Thank you for responding Mary!

        Unfortunately I used to work out 3-5 times a week just basic cardio on the treadmill or elliptical for around 30-hour. I dont have alot of time with work, school, family, etc. Therefore I’ve had to stop and i have not worked out or done any physical activity (besides walking up and down the small 2 story stairs at work and at home) lol other than that im usually sitting in front of a computer doing work/homework/helping family/etc. My posture is shot, back is always hurting. But I cant afford to visit a Chiro. I do get sick ocassionally but not enough to need a doctor. usually just over the counter medicines do the trick. Just the cold/flu every few months or so when the flu season is around. I dont feel stressed, thankfully. But yes i was worried about my health since i saw a news article about a man who died in his 40-50s from a heart attack because he didnt eat right. so i was just worried. I’ll try my best to get back to the working out. Its tough but I know it has to be done. :(

  45. Dear Mary,

    I’m so glad to have found this article. I have never really many vegetables. Up until a few years ago, the only veggie i ate was potatoes. Now i eat tomato sauce, tomato soup, basil, cilantro and green onions. It’s hard for me to eat enough of any of those to constitute a serving. All other vegetables make me gag uncontrollably. I just can’t get them down. Apples and pears are the only fruits i can stand eating without being pureed. I will eat any fruit pureed, except bananas. My diet mainly consists of whole grain bread, roasted chicken, beef, rice, sometimes smoothies. I try to avoid processed foods.

    I’m 28 years old and i had my first baby 6 months ago. Before my baby i had a BMI of 23, now i have a BMI of 29. I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy and i haven’t lost any of it. I have never been concerned about my weight, and even after gaining 45 pounds i wouldn’t say i hate my body. But carrying this much weight is impractical. It’s harder to bend and move and i don’t like that. I’m also concerned about the health risks that come along with being over weight.

    I don’t want to raise my child with my eating habits. She has recently started solids and i am feeding her the foods our doctor recommends. I am also taking this opportunity to taste all foods i have around to give to her, since they are all a mushy texture, which makes them better, but some still make me gag (broccoli, green beans). Right now i can feed her anything and she wont argue. But when she gets older, she might say, “if you don’t eat it, why should i?”. The main reason i am working on changing my eating habits is to set a good example for her. The second reason is that i want to loose weight. While i gradually add vegetables to my diet, how can i eat more healthy in the mean time. Any suggestions of non vegetable ways to get a variety of nutrients with little fat would be greatly appreciated. I go on brisk 1 hour walks twice a day with my baby in the stroller. It’s hard for me to do higher intensity physical activities because that would require a babysitter.

    • Dear Amy, thank you for your question and comment! Apologies for the delay in answering – we are on vacation. For your worry on whether your child will question your eating habits and then reject vegetables if you don’t eat them: for the moment, focus on giving your baby a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (along with other foods). Establishing good eating habits and tasting everything is key for her to grow well. By the time your child recognizes that you don’t eat everything (probably around 7 years old or later) they will have good eating habits that should continue. For your weight, it takes several months after baby to get back to pre baby weight- so,don’t lose hope- keep up the walking and sport and for a suggestion on foods to add: beans, nuts and avocados. Beans such as chick peas (hummus), nuts for health and appetite filling and avocados for a nutrition power packed food. Take care of yourself too- plenty of rest – when we feel good, we eat well. Take care and let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Mary


  1. Ideas For Improving Your Nutrition By Juicing - June 4, 2012

    […] the necessary nutrients you need from these foods. It can have a phenomenal impact on your life.Almost everyone can remember being told to finish their vegetables at dinner. If the thought of eati…smiling again. It's important to juice fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables that are beyond ripe […]

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