Do I HAVE to eat my veggis?


Yogi. Have you noticed the recipes I posted on this forum. They are FULL of vegetables. Is corn chip tortillas zero carb? Is almond biscotti zero carb? How about stroganoff made with mushrooms? I don’t believe the “need to eat the veggies or else you get diseases” rhetoric as there is sufficient science to disprove the needs, and human tribes that survived without stated diseases. In fact, this week I helped newbies on this forum with vegetarian and vegan constraints with improving their keto journey and I respected their want to remain vegetarian. I gave them advice in a way that they can remain veggie only eaters. So not sure this negative post from you. How is it that I’m getting a kick in the ass from you? Please help me understand your negative post calling me out.

(L. Amber O'Hearn) #16

You may be interested to know that Steven Phinney himself is aware of and talks about the fact that many indigenous cultures did not eat much plant matter. I’ve talked to him about my diet, and he expressed no concern whatsoever.

Here’s an example of what he thinks from an interview: Steve Phinney on Pemmican and Indigenous Diets

Interviewer Shelley Schlender: People of course lived on this with vegetables and salad supplemented, to get their vitamin C, their carbohydrates. Surely they added other things to this diet?

Dr. Phinney: That has always been the tacit assumption that “hunter gatherers” did that. But the accounts of Catlin and others is that different groups of indigenous people had different dietary practices. But some of these indigenous people existed essentially as pure hunters. The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota nations were nomadic peoples who did not farm, they lived on the prairie, and they had very little fruit and vegetables available for most of the annual cycle of the year, and the warrior group of males in particular prided themselves in not eating “women’s food”, by which might be meant gathered plants.

(L. Amber O'Hearn) #17

As to micronutrients, it is easy to verify that animal sourced food is richer in micronutrients and in more bioavailable forms than plants are.

The most contentious one is vitamin C, which I’ve addressed in a couple of places:


I tried the zero carb month and had no ill effects from eating no veggies. Since then I have noticed a decline in my desire for veggies overall. I used to think I’d suffer ill effects from no fiber but that has not happened. I’ve learned to listen to my body so sometimes I eat veggies and sometimes I don’t. I continue to be amazed at the lessons keto has taught me.



One month is not enough to hurt yourself with zero carb. I’m talking the years long situation. It takes years and years to establish a quality gut microbiome and it can take years for any problems in a poor gut to show. It’s the same stuff that kills vegans after decades – it is slowly degrading metabolic function. Issues like anxiety and depression don’t just suddenly announce themselves. People can have these issues for years before they get so problematic that people seek help. Same thing with chronic fractures and any number of issues that can arise from poor gene expression.


You might want to study what the various keto experts (outside of this group) are saying about plant fiber consumption. David Perlmutter for example says that the damage done to the gut biome is sometimes completely unrecoverable without drastic interventions.

It’s a great video interview really highlighting the need for plant fiber. Check out his book too if you have time.

You could look at any number of keto experts really. Same story with most of them. They just kinda nod and say “yup need fiber for the gut microbiome.” They are simply reporting the weight of current evidence (not opinion and zero carber bias). It’s an open and shut case really. There’s a lot of good quality evidence supporting the role of a well managed microbiome through plant fiber.

My advice would be to eat your greens. Feeling bad through the absence of plant fiber is something that can take a long time to happen but when it does it can take an equally long time to recover from. Not eating quality veggies will deprive your body of pre-biotic fiber the gut microbiome needs in order function well. It can take a decade or more to fully repair the genotype signatures of your gut microbiome.

The gut is really crucial to your health and particularly your longevity and risk factors for disease in later life. The quality of the gut microbiome determines your genetic expression of your DNA. What that is saying is that if you want to be the best version of yourself you will look after the gut flora diversity and quality.

Good luck.

(I want abs... olutely all the bacon) #20

I encourage exploration of our Zero Carb / Carnivore threads, there’s enough science linked there to help you form your own opinion.

My n=1 is I ate ZC for 18 months without problems, regular health screenings showed no deficiencies. I didn’t have deficiencies until 10 years later after I reintroduced processed carbohydrates, I had a significant D deficit and was mildly deficit in a few other nutrients along with a fatty liver, elevated liver enzymes, and skyhigh triglycerides at the top of my list of issues. I thought the 18 months ZC “solved” my issues, I just restarted the deterioration period over. I am biased because I feel better eating ZC, but I don’t stay ZC consistently because I enjoy garlic, onion, curry, spinach, chocolate, herbs… I eat these for flavor and not a desire or cravings for nutrients. I’m also like others in this thread, my interest in these flavorings is diminishing with each ZC round.



Check out these poor souls. So weak and unable to defend themselves against the challenges in their environment. If only they ate more veggies…

(David) #23

When someone talks about eating ZC, which makes others concerned about them missing out on nutrients in the long term, you don’t think this is necessarily correct. For the benefit of the original poster (and me) could you explain whether this requires eating more than just animal muscle and fat, but also liver, kidney (i.e. Nose to tail) etc or is muscle meat enough in your view? Thanks. PS enjoyed your appearance on the podcast and the reading it led me to.

(Jessica) #24

So another n=1:
My boyfriend, 28, not (yet) keto though, doesn’t eat vegetables, nor fruit. Never liked it, never will.
Most sort of vegetable-ish thing he has is tomato sauce as an ingredient of pizza or pasta, canned of course. Once or maybe twice a year he will have one-two single strawberries. I used to have the rest of the bowl.

I was seriously worried about him, so I tried loads of recipes to make him try things. But, like his mother, I failed. He took one bite maximum, disliked everything, even my tomato sauce.

Then I learned about ZC. Looking back, in the 8 years we’re together, he’s been completely fine.
He very rarely got sick and his weight is normal. Without supplements.
Now the thing is, he likes meat. A lot. And this just has to be the nutricious component of his meals, the rest is mostly carbage, no whole grains, no quinoa or whatever, just white bread, ketchup, pasta and so on.

So I’ve become more conscious about meat quality to make sure he gets enough nutrients, but I’ll let him do his thing. Although I’m still hoping to get him into keto - this would be so good for him. The Carbage will hit him someday.

(Pam Rutten) #25

I have not listened to that one yet. I am trying to go in order.

(Nick) #26

Until then, you could listen to a Paleo Magazine Radio episode that @amber , I and others were on titled “Is eating plants Paleo?”

(Jo Lo) #27

Interesting discussion. I’m impressed with the high caliber of the people chiming in about this.
Well informed, balanced, experienced, international.

(Andrew Anderson) #28

Very interesting! My personal favorite is spinach fried in bacon fat! It seems like a fair balance.


No… video… I was genuinely waiting for the video to buffer for a few. :wink:

(Dustin Cade) #30

I like brussel sprouts, broccoli but I don’t eat them but a few times a week… Unless I want to eat them more… I don’t really think it’s an issue either way really… Bigger fish to fry…


I made an honest mistake about her gender. As far as being rude. What are you construing as rude? That I disagree with her and disagree with her summary of what was discussed in the other thread? Which she raised here, not me.

I haven’t descended to name-calling, as you have. You don’t know me.


I have considered the words here carefully for some time.

I stand by my viewpoints on the irresponsibility of zero-carb (and zero plant fiber) recommendations being made without mention of risks.

I believe it’s only a matter of time before somebody dies from dogmatic and loosely thrown about extreme low-carb recommendations.

I am keto myself, and so yes, I take it seriously enough that I believe confronting people on their recommendation is warranted. The whole community will be tainted if somebody dies from dogmatic low-carb beliefs. Please read this article:

He says, “In my opinion, low-carb zealots trolling the web scaring people away from whole foods like carrots and fruits, without any regard to context, are no better than militant vegans spreading fear mongering about meat and eggs.”

I agree with him.

If someone asks if it’s okay to zero out on their carbs and fiber I don’t consider it adequate to just say “yes, go for it, the Masai do.” The vast majority of keto experts beyond this group are recommending veggies (regardless of any off-the-cuff mentions they make about the Masai and Inuit, and the possibility to zero-carb safely).

Photos of Masai warriors are a non-argument. Even scientists researching the Masai don’t use it as an argument for zero-carb. It’s a logical fallacy to apply it to a broader audience, and I know that Fiorella knows better than to do so. So I’m perplexed that she would use such a knowingly fallacious argument to make her point when she has better skills at her disposal to make her point. Someone could post photos of a 30 bananas a day zealout and it would be meaningless also.

However, the main problem with the Masai argument is nobody is living exactly like the Masai: extremely active in the sunshine, eating whole fresh kills, including offal, drinking fermented milk, and sucking raw blood from the vein while covered in natural bacteria in the fresh air and bare feet on the ground.

Who exactly in the west is approximating this way of life?

If you’re living in a polluted, irradiated place, suffering from western food system toxicity, and a passive lifestyle, you are in a very different situation. Clearly people aren’t dropping dead of zero-carb diets. However, there are very real risks, and a couple of people have had some truly scary outcomes, including coma, and scurvy.

These aren’t just possibilities. They are actual events. My request is that people temper their recommendations with a good dose of common sense. Your personal zero-carb experience is not universal.

p.s. I have removed the poorly sourced links from my comments above.

(matt ) #33

Did you really link to a Daily Mail article? What’s next? Weekly World News?


Are you refuting the facts of the case? If it’s true it’s true.