What can you do when you have serious health and fitness goals… but you just don’t like vegetables? First, know that you’re not crazy (and you’re not alone). Next, try our 3-step formula to go from spitting out to seeking out the veggies you used to hate.
Whether Paleo or vegan, fasting or “feed-often”, Mediterranean or New Nordic, almost all “health-conscious diets” agree on one thing:
You should eat your vegetables.
“Eat your veggies” is a childhood mantra, a government agency slogan, and a lesson that almost any health or fitness coach will eventually teach their clients.
Even newbies know they should be “eating the rainbow” (though they don’t always know how).
But many of our clients don’t like vegetables.
In fact, they HATE them, because many vegetables are bitter.
Personally, we like broccoli. We could happily eat bags of the stuff.
And spinach, and carrots, and radicchio, and arugula (rocket), watercress, Brussels sprouts, and any other plant that makes many people squinch up their faces and say Euw.
We love them all.
However, many vegetables have chemical compounds that make them taste bitter to some people. And, quite reasonably:
Many people avoid bitter things.
- Broccoli = stinky socks.
- Green peppers = turpentine.
- Escarole = little boats of bitterness floating on your tongue’s tears.
Now we have a dilemma.
- Vegetables are good, and healthy, and important.
- Everyone’s taste preferences are different.
- Some people may be genetically more likely to dislike vegetables.
- How do we get the benefits of vegetables if we don’t want to eat them?
So, in this article, we’ll explain:
- Why some people don’t like vegetables.
- Why they’re not bad or wrong for disliking vegetables.
- What to do about this.
Yes, vegetables are good.
Vegetables are full of nutrients that your body loves. Vegetables are bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. These nutrients help keep you healthy and avoid deficiencies (which make you feel really bad).
Vegetables have a lot of volume, but not a lot of calories. So, they fill up your stomach without adding a lot of extra calories. This can help you control energy balance (calories in vs calories out), and help you maintain a healthy body weight, or lose body fat without feeling too hungry.
Vegetables add fiber. Fiber not only helps us feel full, it feeds our intestinal bacteria, helps push things through our digestive tract, and helps to excrete unwanted waste products.
Vegetables add water. Staying hydrated is good. The extra water also helps the fiber do its job.
Vegetables add variety. With so many different kinds of veggies to try, learning to enjoy them can help you stick to healthy eating.
Of course, in theory, you could eat “too many vegetables”… but for most people, that would mean eating several pounds a day. (And lots of bathroom unpleasantness).
Most people, of course, have the opposite problem: barely eating any vegetables at all.
Reference – Precision Nutrition Published Lesson Plan Articles