Fruits and Vegetables want you to die! (not really,....maybe)

Photo by ja ma on Unsplash

No, plants don't want us to die. That was just an attention grabber. I'll tell you something though. They sure as hell do everything that can to stay alive.

Plants can't run from us. They can't bite, claw, or hide. They can fight back and the way they fight back is causing a lot of problems for a lot of people.

Think plants are good for you? Keep reading.

I already addressed the three main points regarding why it's OK to remove vegetables from our diet.

  1. Vitamins and Minerals are in meat and animal products
  2. Anti-Nutrients are plant poisons
  3. Bio-availability is lower in plants

I've been Following @paulsaladinomd on Instagram  (Youtube: for a few months now. If you haven't heard of him, go follow him now. He provides the best common sense breakdown of science as it applies to the Carnivore Diet.

One of the things I like about what he's doing is, his ability to find and analyze studies and experiments that focus on how plants affect the human body. 

I wanted to pull some of the studies he's reviewed and list them all together in one spot. These are coming right off his Instagram Posts

Green tea extract only affects markers of oxidative status postprandially: lasting antioxidant effect of flavonoid-free diet*

"More evidence that polyphenols may not be all that they are cracked up to be! Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenolic compounds found across many foods including fruit vegetables, chocolate, wine and tea. Chances are that if you've heard that polyphenols are beneficial, you've been told of flavonoids ( anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavanones, flavones, and isoflavones, flavonols ). Well, get this, in this study researchers compared two groups of people in a 3 week cross over design. The study was originally intended to study the effects of a green tea extract but no long term effects of this intervention were observed. In order to avoid a confounding influence of other dietary flavonoids the participants in this study EXCLUDED all other sources of flavanoids in their diets during the study period.At the end of the study the researchers found some pretty surprising results, the 10 week (long study period!) WITHOUT dietary fruits and vegetables resulted in a DECREASE in oxidative DNA damage! This is consistent with some of the other studies I've posted recently which failed to show a benefit to fruit and vegetable intake on DNA damage and oxidative stress parameters (8OH2dG among others), and goes further to suggest improvement in such metrics with fruit and vegetable avoidance.
These studies are very disruptive to the often repeated notion that eating fruits and vegetables is essential for proper anti-oxidant status, and I would argue that they cast some major doubt on this premise. If we don't need fruits and vegetables for antioxidants, do we really need them for anything? Is there really ANY benefit to these foods, or is it possible that they are really just survival food?"
- Dr. Paul Saladino

Effects of High Consumption of Vegetables on Clinical, Immunological, and Antioxidant Markers in Subjects at Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

"In this study, which was 4 weeks long, a group with very low vegetable consumption (800g per week) was compared to a high vegetable consumption group (4200g per week). I guess they didn’t have the courage to do a zero vegetable group because, you know, that would be dangerous or something. The results are striking: “no significant changes in clinical, immunological or antioxidant markers.” How can this be? Like I’ve said before and like other studies have shown, humans simply don’t need or show evidence of benefit from the polyphenols in vegetables. The idea that polyphenols are “polyphenomenal” (as Dave Asprey would claim), isn’t supported by the evidence. Just like we don’t need fiber, we don’t need vegetables to achieve optimal antioxidant status. This paper would argue that we don’t need it for optimal immunological status either, and I would go further to posit that plant toxins/lectins etc. are probably creating inflammation and immunological activation in many individuals. " - Dr. Paul Saladino

No effect of 600 grams fruit and vegetables per day on oxidative DNA damage and repair in healthy nonsmokers.

"We absolutely need fruits and vegetables to obtain optimal antioxidant status, right? ...I would say this is wrong and not supported by the evidence. Clearly this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and thats what makes it so incredible to consider. This study showed that markers of oxidative stress were UNCHANGED between interventional groups given 600g of fruits and vegetables, a supplement containing and equivalent amount of polyphenols, or a group that didn’t have either and didn’t eat ANY fruits or vegetables for 25 days!
More detail: This study was done in healthy individuals in Denmark eating a traditional diet at baseline. One group ate 600g (more than a pound!) of fruits and vegetables daily, one group a pill with antioxidants, and the final group had a placebo pill and ate ZERO fruits and vegetables during the study period, which was 25 days. In the paper you can see the types of fruits and vegetables the Danes were eating, broccoli was definitely among them. The researchers used a variety of very sensitive measures of DNA damage and oxidative stress and guess what? No change. Yes, that’s correct, no change in any of these markers between the groups.
I’ve discussed this concept on a variety of podcasts in the past, but the idea is that plant molecules do NOT act directly as antioxidants in the human body. They may trigger hermetic responses but these are not unique and for many of the molecules touted at panaceas (sulforaphane, curcumin, resveratrol) there’s clear evidence of damaging effects elsewhere in the body. Furthermore, as we can see in this study, we don’t need these molecules and the endogenous antioxidant system of the body (composed of enzymes like SOD, and molecules like glutathione) are totally adequate to achieve optimal anti-oxidant status. PMID: 14578137. This also is not the only study which shows this!" - Dr. Paul Saladino

Dietary Plant Lectins Appear to Be Transported from the Gut to Gain Access to and Alter Dopaminergic Neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans, a Potential Etiology of Parkinson’s Disease's_Disease

"There are a number of recent research findings which suggest that lectins (carbohydrate binding proteins, found mostly in plants, especially nuts, seeds, grains and legumes) can travel UP the vagus nerve and affect the brain. In this case, when combined with gut irritants to induce leaky gut, they are suggested (study is done in c.elegans which is a worm and has been replicated in mice) to alter dopaminergic (dopamine producing) neuron activity and inducing Parkinson’s like states in animal models. Whaaaat?!? The idea here is that in genetically susceptible individuals with increased gastrointestinal permeability, lectins from foods like legumes could potentially be triggering Parkinson’s disease. I also think many people with autoimmune diseases could suffer from similar issues with lectins. What’s a good low lectin diet? #nose2tailcarnivore! Meat does have some lectins but these appear to be MUCH less immunologically triggering than plant lectins. If you heard me speak on the recent podcast with @bengreenfieldfitness you’ll know that this is likely because animals generally have the same “operating system” as humans, and their materials don’t look foreign to us like plant foods do! This is clearly an oversimplification to illustrate my point but you get the idea! "
- Dr. Paul Saladino


Increasing the Vegetable Intake Dose Is Associated with a Rise in Plasma Carotenoids without Modifying Oxidative Stress or Inflammation in Overweight or Obese Postmenopausal Women

Here's a study that show no benefit in the reduction of oxidative stress by eating more vegetables. If you think about it why would there be? Plant-based food increases oxidative stress why do we think eating more will make it stop? - The Meat Life

Dietary components related to N-nitroso compound formation: a prospective study of adult glioma.

From the Abstract: "We found no significant trends in glioma risk for consumption of processed or red meat, nitrate, or vitamin C or E. We found significant positive trends for nitrite intake from plant sources (hazard ratio for quintile 5 versus quintile 1, 1.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.20-2.10; P for trend = 0.028) and, unexpectedly, for fruit and vegetable intake (hazard ratio, 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-1.86; P for trend = 0.0081). Examination of interactions between dietary intakes (e.g., nitrite and vitamin C) and a limited analysis of diet at ages 12 to 13 years provided no support for the NOC hypothesis."
  1. The consumption of red meat or processed meat did not appear to increase the risk of a brain tumor.
  2. The consumption of fruits and vegetables did appear to increase the risk of a brain tumor.
  3. The hypothesis that nitrates in meat cause tumors has no support based on this study.


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