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Is it unhealthy to eat fruit and not vegetables?

  1. Aug 27, 2008 #1
    I understand that all fruits are vegetables, but not all vegetables are fruits. They say that it's good to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but since fruits are vegetables, can I get away with eating only fruit? I heard very little about which types of fruits are vegetables to eat.
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  3. Aug 27, 2008 #2


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    Fruits and vegetables are your big source of vitamins. The important thing is to eat a variety, since different ones have different vitamins (or amounts of them) in them. They have other goodies too, like antioxidants.

    As for the distinction between fruits and vegetables, technically, both are completely different things...at least as a biologist would define them. A fruit is the ovary of the plant, which is a fleshy part containing the seeds. A vegetable is any other part of the plant (leaves, stem, root, flower).

    Nutrient-wise, I've never given such a question much thought. If you mean fruits in the biological sense, yes, you'd be fine (that would include things like tomatoes, peppers, green beans, as well as things like apples, bananas, cherries, etc.) If you limited your fruit intake to only the "sweet" fruits that we mean in the laymen's sense (apples, oranges, peaches, etc), I'm not sure. Probably as long as you ate a big variety of them you'd be fine, but you might want to verify that with a nutritionist if you intended a steady diet like that.
  4. Aug 27, 2008 #3
    Fruits don't have much in the way of fiber. Vegetables do. That's something you really need.

    Also, fruits are really acidic and have a lot of sugar. My stomach for example can't handle a lot of fruit. I need something milder like vegetables too in order to supplement my vitamin intake.
  5. Aug 27, 2008 #4


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    The terms are loosely defined and mean different things in different fields. A vegetable in biology is not the same as a vegetable in horticulture is not the same as a vegatable in culinary arts.

    When you say all fruits are vegetables, it is worth noting that trees and grass are vegetables as well.

    It's hard to go wrong with a diet high in fruits and veggies, but a diet too high in fruit will lead to a number of undesirable side-effects:
    - lots of sugar = weight gain
    - highly motivating = cramps
    - very acidic = mouth cankers, indigestion, heart burn
  6. Aug 27, 2008 #5
    I think it could take ALOT of fruit to create these symptoms. I usually eat three cartons of mixed berries and a banana most days totalling about 7 servings without problem.

    Don't try and fool yourself out of eating healthy. Veggies taste good. Eat variety of colors.
  7. Aug 28, 2008 #6


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    A handful of cherries is quite motivating and can cause cramps and a quick visit to the loo. (Not that that's all bad)
    For me, a single ring of pineapple can lead to blisters on my tongue. (not that that's terrible)

    Now, I'm not saying these are unhealthy or that isolated bouts of these symptoms are bad, I'm simply pointing out that, if one serving of fruit can generate mild symptoms, I'd be careful before overloading my diet with them.

    For most people, it's highly unlikely they'll get too much fruit in their diet and, in that sense, I completely agree - eat eat eat fruits & veggies! but the OP is proposing to overload his diet.
  8. Aug 28, 2008 #7


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    Green leafy vegetables are the main source of vitamin K (required for blood clotting), you would get a deficiency for that vitamin for sure.
  9. Aug 29, 2008 #8
    I think bananas are excellent forms of K (potassium) right?
  10. Aug 29, 2008 #9


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    Vitamin K and potassium are not the same thing. I'm not sure if you had that confused or not, but since you quoted monique's post, I wanted to clarify.

    Though, it's pretty hard to get a vitamin K deficiency. That's usually more of an indicator of pancreatic disease where you're not properly absorbing the fat soluble vitamins due to lack of the right pancreatic enzymes.

    DaveC's insensitivity to cherries notwithstanding, eating lots of fruits and vegetables doesn't usually cause that much of a problem. The ones with high acidity can sometimes give people problems if overconsumed, but again, unless you have a particularly insensitivity, you REALLY have to overconsume to get to that point...for example, tomatoes and citrus fruits are fairly acidic, so people sometimes get rashes around their mouths if they eat too many of those. I think that happened to my grandfather every summer when the first tomatoes ripened and he'd go crazy eating fresh tomatoes at every meal and as snacks between meals for the first week. :rolleyes:

    But, I think the OP isn't really asking about OVER consumption, just whether you need to balance fruits AND vegetables or if fruits in place of vegetables is okay. Eating a big bowl of fruit salad isn't going to have any more of an effect than a big bowl of tossed green salad with lettuce, onions, celery, carrots, etc.
  11. Aug 29, 2008 #10
    Yes, I had always thought that K was potassium-I think I associated it with the table of elements because my father is a nut about taking vitamins and he and I would take this liquid supplement called K1. Anyhow thanks for the clarification! Nice to hear from you Moonbear.

    Some info on that supplement just for kicks.
    potassium iodide, KI, is obtained by dissolving iodine in potash, the deoxidation of the iodate being facilitated by the addition of charcoal before ignition, proceeding as with the bromide. The commercial salt usually has an alkaline reaction; it may be purified by dissolving in the minimum amount of water, and neutralizing with dilute sulphuric acid; alcohol is now added to precipitate the potassium sulphate, the solution filtered and crystallized. It forms colourless cubes which are readily soluble in water, melt at 685°, and yield a vapour of normal density. It is sparingly soluble in absolute alcohol. Both the iodide and bromide are used in photography. Iodine dissolves in an aqueous solution of the salt to form a dark brown liquid, which on evaporation over sulphuric acid gives black acicular crystals of the tri-iodide, K1 3.

    Potassium iodide is extremely safe in the dosage provided by IOSAT and ThyroShield. Because it is widely used in other treatments, its effects are well known. Calculations by the National Council on Radiation Protection suggest that the incidence of adverse reactions to Potassium Iodide can be as low as 1 in 10 million, and often no more than a mild skin rash. In the 1930s the government required salt manufacturers to add Potassium Iodide to its table salt (like Morton salt) because people in the great lakes region had iodine-deficient diets and had a high rate of goiters and other thyroid problems. Potassium Iodide is ... added to children's Flintstone vitamins because it is an essential mineral. It has also been used as a children's expectorant for years.

  12. Aug 29, 2008 #11
    I would just stick with the food pyramid on this one. I think its 3-4 servings of each a day? I can't really remember but I try to follow it as close as I can and its never done me wrong.
  13. Aug 29, 2008 #12


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    It's not mine, it's well-known. Like prunes.
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