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I have some question, which I'm sure would fit better in the fitness section but proper answers should probably come from someone that knows biology.

My question is rather simple. How can a person that doesn't eat any vegetables at all be affected by such a diet? By no vegetables at all, I mean not eating any ever.

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You mean something like the Anti-Vegetarian? –  Tobias Kienzler Jan 9 '12 at 8:30
    
I don't know if it has a name. Just a person that doesn't eat any vegetables at all. –  Bugster Jan 9 '12 at 8:35
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Including or excluding fruits? The difference is purely culinary... –  mbq Jan 9 '12 at 11:10
    
Excluding fruit. A noemal diet with fruits but no vegetables. –  Bugster Jan 9 '12 at 11:47
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I would have thought that most nutrients that would be found in vegetables could also be found in fruits somewhere? –  Rory M Jan 9 '12 at 22:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

There is a list of several implications of not eating vegetables (references 1, 2, 3):

  • Weight gain (by eating fat-rich products);
  • Malnutrition (not reveiving enough vitamin A, C, D, K, etc);
  • Digestive problems (low fiber intake leads to digestion disorders, which could lead to health problems);
  • High risk of heart disease;
  • High risk of certain cancers.

I also pulled up the nutrition fact sheets for vegetables, fruits, and seafood created by the US Food and Drug Administration.

In order to obtain all the necessary vitamins, one can substitute vegetables for fruits. For example, to obtain 100% of the daily value of vitamin A, one should eat as little as one carrot a day. In order to get the same amount of vitamin A from fruits, one should eat 134g of cantaloupe, or 462g of grapefruit, or 50 large apples a day. Although this could be difficult but possible, the sugar content of the above-mentioned fruits should be taken into account.

Something else which needs to be considered is that vegetables are richer in minerals (iron, potassium, calcium), compared to fruits.

All this in mind, perhaps all minerals and vitamins could be acquired from a source other than vegetables.

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It's not just the vitamins, of course. By eschewing vegetables, you are depriving yourself of helpful phytochemicals (e.g. sulforaphane in broccoli and other crucifers, flavonoids in most other vegetables), which are helpful in staving off the onset of degenerative diseases. Not even most multivitamin supplements can give you those phytochemicals. –  user132 Jan 10 '12 at 2:48
    
Thanks for the answer, that cleared it. –  Bugster Jan 10 '12 at 7:20
    
FYI: this guy doesn't eat any vegetable: robrhinehart.com/?p=298 –  Memming Feb 22 '13 at 21:27
    
Weight gain? You can't possibly gain weight if you're consuming an equal amount of calories you're expending. Regardless of what you're eating. –  Dan Horvat Mar 11 at 17:18

You'd be deprived of the vitamins and minerals which are found only in vegetables, but you'd live. There are vitamins and minerals in meat and other foods, plenty of them, and your metabolism would adapt to produce the proteins which are missing. Human body is a wonderful organism.

You wouldn't have a higher risk of cancer because cancer is a byproduct of life (the DNA repair mechanism and programmed cell death) and you can't get it by consuming meat or by not consuming vegetables.

You wouldn't gain weight if you're not consuming too much food. The math is simple, if you need 2000 calories, you'll gain weight if you're consuming 2050 calories of vegetables and lose weight if you're consuming 1950 calories of meat.

Your risk of heart disease wouldn't increase.

The only things which would change in this case would be the ones directly related to the nature of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. The carbohydrates in vegetables release energy slowly over a longer period of time, so if you'd eliminate vegetables you'd possibly be hungry more often. However, fat - and the glucose produced from it - would keep you going.

And you might have digestion problems because of lowered intake of fibers until your metabolism adapts.

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