Home > Ape Mind, Critical Thinking, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > The Myth: “Eating Vegetables and Fruits is Healthy”

The Myth: “Eating Vegetables and Fruits is Healthy”

Before saying anything else, let me make an important clarification:

I am not implying that eating vegetables and fruits is unhealthy, nor am I suggesting that people should not eat any vegetables or fruits.

My bone of contention with the whole “vegetables and fruit are double plus good for you” myth goes something like this- Where is the evidence that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits has any benefit beyond that derived from moderate intake? Most of the important vitamins and other essential stuff from vegetables/fruits can now be obtained in synthetic forms. Many of the non-fresh vegetable/fruit products eaten by us are now routinely enriched with synthesized versions of vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Have you noticed that most developed countries in the world have very similar average life expectancies inspite of different diets? While the incidence of various diseases in populations is variable, total mortality from all causes is rather consistent. Why would that be so?

Why don’t people who live in countries that eat far more fresh vegetables and fruits NOT live significantly longer than those who do not? Why are the average life expectancies of the average french, greek, spanish, japanese, australian, canadian and uruguayan so similar? Their cuisines and eating habits are certainly not similar!

I believe that the whole vegetable and fruit meme is a fraud propagated by CONservative and LIEbrals to cover the adverse effects of income inequality and poor/costly healthcare on life expectancy.

It is another variant of the classic scam- blame the victim.

The unpleasant truth is that good stable incomes and affordable/accessible healthcare have a far bigger impact (direct and indirect) on life expectancy and disease burden than eating lots of vegetables and fruits.

Comments?

  1. 7:40
    October 9, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    The only scientifically proven method to increase life span is to eat less. Not much money to be gained from promoting that.

    I don’t ever personally remember being told that increasing vegetable/fruit intake would increase my life span. The only positive talk about them is related to anti-oxidants and the effects related to them.

  2. Monad
    October 10, 2010 at 1:19 am
  3. Hughman
    October 10, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Replacing ‘natural sources’ with synthetic sources nulls any benefits. In fact, some studies indicated a higher morbitity and mortality rate when taking supplements.

    As for differences being limited with mortality causes, that’s bollocks. You only need to look at stomach cancer rates to see there is wide differences across the globe. Or differences in cardiovascular disease mortality rates.

    Even average life expectancy varies. Japan has almost 10 years more than the USA.

    Though I agree the ‘5 a day’ scheme is propaganda. You need more like 2 a day to be healthy. But telling the proles that is a bad idea as they will then totally miss the mark.

  4. Nestorius
    October 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

    AD, why don’t you attack myths in other pseudo-sciences like archeology, history, sociology, political science and anthropology. I work in these fields and I have so many myths to rebut and so many ‘experts’ in these field to feed shit. Take for example the categories ‘Semites’ and ‘Indo-Europeans’, you can still hear some ‘experts’ still using them according to the definitions of the 19th century.

    I look to see from you on this matter.

  5. almost 40 year old virgin
    October 10, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I suspect just plain proper personal hygiene have a bigger impact on longevity than most of the current “flavor of the year” health food fads.

    That and not having a soul sucking harpy in your ear 24/7, heh!

    Oh, and what 7:40 said.
    Though I´m not so sure how many of these antioxidant agents are actually left in our over fertilized and green harvested veggies and fruits. Most of the shit just tastes like crappy water.

  6. namae nanka
    October 10, 2010 at 8:38 am

    breathe less, live longer. wisdom of the ancients.

  7. October 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

    As 7:40 mentioned the biggest benefit to a diet high in fruits and vegetables is lower caloric density. Vitamins, non-vitamin nutrients, and fiber are fringe benefits. People in America just eat way too damn much and you know this (without the physical activity to offset intake). Also, life expectancy as a benchmark is somewhat flawed. 2 people may live to be 80 but one might spend half that time in misery where the other is mostly happy. This is oversimplified, but I’m just saying the metric is flawed. As it relates to health, would you rather have a “healthy” diet and be activity and almost entirely ailment/disease free for the majority of your life or live to be the same age but feel like crap the whole time while doped up on meds? Personal choice I suppose.

  8. w
    October 11, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Eating more fruits and vegetables can’t possible hurt, but this is still a fantastic point. Never even thought of this situation like this. I fucking love this blog!

  9. DoesNotMatter
    October 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    fool! Synthetic vitamins and minerals cannot be absorbed by the body because they do not have enzymes. they’ll just give your kidney a workout it does not need.

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