Well, to ask the above question, you must ask yourself another subset of questions to make sense of the context in which your answer will be directed.
Do you only want to focus on body composition?
Its pretty common knowledge that overall caloric consumption versus the overall caloric expenditure is the basis for weight gain or weight loss. Slap the proper set of macronutrient ratios on that and you get optimized results. So, in theory, you wouldn’t technically need to eat veggies and fruits all the time to see results, right? Not so fast. You may be able to hit your macros by stuffing donuts, ice cream and pizza, supplemented with protein shakes. However, you’re likely lacking needed fiber content and micronutrients that the gut needs for certain metabolic processes to occur. Eating vegetables will aid the fat burning process because of this fiber content. And it takes more energy for the body to break down animal proteins than it would a micronized protein powder because the powder has effectively been broken down to a very easily digestible state for fast absorption. Not the same metabolic effect.
I once heard a guy say, “that a macro is a macro, it doesn’t matter what source it’s from”, as he stuffed a Little Debbie™ Zebra Cake into his mouth. He was wrong.
Does optimal performance matter to you?
If you are like me and trying to be an athlete, you’d better get your micros in. A diet void of micronutrients will only lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that will most likely surface as sickness or injuries down the road. Why? Because the cells and tissues in your body must have what they need in order to function properly. If they are not getting what they need, they will draw from other sources, namely other tissues in your body or converting stored nutrients into the resources they need. This creates deficits elsewhere. You can see where I’m going with this.
There are thousands of known cell processes in the body — powered by the assortment of micronutrients that we consume each day. As well as genetic expressions that occur. There are also likely thousands more that are unknown. All of these are outside the scope of this article, so we won’t touch them here.
How sick do you want to be in old age?
Piggybacking off of the above two answers, I will add that the lack of micronutrients in a diet are likely the cause of many chronic illnesses and diseases, including autoimmunity. The implications of the Western Diet of low fat and high grain consumption are already prevalent in America. All you must do is go to a public establishment to see what havoc this has wreaked on our society. So if you’re okay with the thought of living a less than your best life, then by all means keep hammering the cakes, pies and booze with reckless abandon. I’ll be over here trying to get my health on. At the end of the day, you are in control of the decisions you make regarding your health and life. I implore that you make the best decisions, not only for your sake but for those that love you.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”-Hippocrates
The Bottom Line
It would behoove you to eat a variety of vegetables, organic if you can afford them. It’s really not that bad.
There are a few practical ways to make sure that you’re getting enough vegetables.
· Make a salad and use a lower calorie version of the dressing that you prefer. OPA™ is an excellent brand!
· Take a mixed bite of whatever veggie is on your plate and something else. I know some people eat one thing at a time, but give it a shot. It helps mask the sometimes bitter flavor of certain leafy greens.
· Season and bake your veggies. Two of my favorites are sea salt, olive oil broccoli and sea salt, pepper and honey Brussels. Add some spice to them if you want. But eating veggies with no seasoning or flavor will of course get old, fast.
· Mix your raw, leafy greens in a stew or soup. It will completely change the flavor and texture of the greens.
This blog is not written for the purpose of giving medical advice or prescribing a particular diet to heal or prevent disease. It is merely making suggestions backed by evidence. You should always consult your physician first on matters regarding your health.
If you want or need help with your goals, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or inquire of me at email@example.com