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.

  • $\begingroup$ You mean something like the Anti-Vegetarian? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if it has a name. Just a person that doesn't eat any vegetables at all. $\endgroup$
    – Bugster
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 8:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Including or excluding fruits? The difference is purely culinary... $\endgroup$
    – user59
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ Excluding fruit. A noemal diet with fruits but no vegetables. $\endgroup$
    – Bugster
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 11:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would have thought that most nutrients that would be found in vegetables could also be found in fruits somewhere? $\endgroup$
    – Rory M
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 22:05

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – user132
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ FYI: this guy doesn't eat any vegetable: robrhinehart.com/?p=298 $\endgroup$
    – Memming
    Commented Feb 22, 2013 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Horvat
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Memming: Almost all the people who promote meal replacement products are bogus, and so are most of the products. Even the established brands like Nestle make it clear that their meal replacement products are only to be used under guidance from medical professionals and not for long-term. Not eating real food will cause problems in the long run. $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 14:13

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.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you have any reference/s to support your claims? $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ Not saying a pure-carnivore diet is a good idea, but there are no vitamins or minerals that are only found in vegetables (assuming you include organ-meat, etc - the entire animal). There are compounds such as phytonutrients, only in plants, but those aren't vitamins. In fact, it's really the other way around, there are vitamins in meat that are, at best, extremely hard to get from plant-based diets only (no supplements). $\endgroup$
    – John C
    Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 17:06

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