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.”

Mary

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

  1. 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: http://howirecovered.com/sulfur-free-at-last/ . 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

  2. 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!

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