Carnivore diet

The Scary Truth About Veggies (+5 Vegetable Toxins)

The Dangerous Truth About Vegetables

Want to hear something scary? What if I told you some of your favorite superfoods are actually hurting you.

Almost like finding out your doctor spends his free time as an axe murderer…

Turns out plants don’t want to be eaten. To defend themselves, they produce toxic booby traps. One of which is saponins.

Now you may need to sit down for this…

This is a tour of all the destructive compounds in plant foods.

Yes this is shocking. But you should be thrilled. Face it. You’ve never liked vegetables since the first time your mom put microwaved broccoli in front of you.

#1 Saponins

Saponins…Not just a shorthand way to say hello to someone. “What’s saponin?”

Saponins are a class of bitter-tasting compounds that produce soap-like foam when added to water. Most saponins occur naturally in plants, but some are manmade for scientific or industrial purposes.

Quinoa, the pope of the church of superfoods, is loaded with these chemicals.

Like many plant compounds, saponins evolved as a defense system against herbivores and insects<*>. Unlike human beings, they don’t like being submerged in a bubble bath.

What are some of the things saponins can do?

Saponins are antinutrients and disrupt fat metabolism: Research shows that saponins in plant foods may interfere with the absorption and digestion of glucose, protein, and vitamins A, B12, D, and E<*><*><*>.

Saponins also can destroy your gut and increase intestinal permeability -- which is associated with almost every disease. According to the authors of a study published in the Journal of Nutrition,

“The results indicate that some saponins readily increase the permeability of the small intestinal mucosal cells, thereby inhibiting active nutrient transport, and facilitating the uptake of materials to which the gut would normally be impermeable.”<*>

Second, many saponins have a phytoestrogenic effect and may act as an endocrine disruptor<*>.

In men, endocrine disruptors can reduce testosterone levels, lower sperm count, and cause feminization<*>. We all knew eating quinoa was lame, but this takes it to a whole new level.

#2 Oxalates

Oxalates are salts -- minerals bound to oxalic acid, that plants use as a defense mechanism.

Oxalates can cause many issues such as:

  • Kidney Stones: 80% of kidney stones made of calcium oxalates
  • Autism-- oxalate blood levels are 3x higher in people with autism.
  • This study found that patients with Autism had 3x the levels of oxalates in their blood than normal individuals. <*>
  • Reduced mineral absorption: oxlates bind to minerals like calcium and magnesium reducing how much you can absorb
  • Joint pain
  • Skin and eye issues
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced antioxidant <*>.

Oxalates are ubiquitous in plant foods. They occur in over 200 plant families and in some plants comprise over 80% of the dry weight <*>.

The foods highest in oxalates are below

Green smoothies are loaded with these crystals and really should come with a warning label. In this study a green smoothie caused kidney damage in a 65 year old woman <*>.

Just because it’s green doesn’t mean it’s your friend!

I have now written more than 30 long form articles on why I think the carnivore diet is the healthiest diet in the world. If you’re just getting started, here’s everything you need to know about trying the carnivore diet.

If you’re ready to start, sign up for my guide to mastering the carnivore diet in 30 days below.

#3 Goitrogens

If you’re like most people, you think that drinking a veggie smoothie is the healthiest thing you can do. You think that you’d have to be crazy to not eat vegetables. Some vegetables are goitrogenic. No, goitrogenic doesn’t mean overpriced and bland.

It means they may be bad for your thyroid.

And it means that they can cause

  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Depression
  • Cold sensitivity

Goitrogens are foods that cause goiter — or swelling of the thyroid.

For some muscularly inclined Neanderthals — i.e. bros — a swollen neck means CrossFit is working. However, for most of us, it’s not a good thing.

Goitrogens do this by interfering with iodine absorption in the thyroid. Iodine is required for thyroid hormone production. Without it, the thyroid cannot produce the T4 and T3 hormones.

TSH is like a 5am wake up call for your thyroid, and iodine is its coffee. Without it your thyroid is like a hibernating bear.

In response to deficient T4 and T3 levels, your pituitary gland produces more TSH to signal to your thyroid to produce more T4. The excess TSH causes swelling.

All goitrogens are derived from naturally occurring plant pesticides called glucosinolates.

These goitrogenic chemicals are even too toxic for the plant to store. So they store them in an inactive glucosinolate form. But when the plant is cut, chewed or digested, BOOM, it combines with the myronase enzyme. A nuclear bomb of plant pesticides explodes, turning your gut into a wasteland.

Glucosinolates are mainly in the brassica family of vegetables. There are over 120 known glucosinolates <*>.

The chemical Broccoli produces, for instance, is called sulforaphane.

Think of this like coke and mentos mixing together. It serves a purpose…like impressing someone at a middle school party. But it’s pretty much unacceptable and damaging at all other times.

Goitrin isn’t naturally occuring in plants. It’s the result of the enzymatic breakdown process of the glucosinolate called progoitrin.

How much is needed to be damaging?

One study found that when a diet of 154 μmol of progroitrin per 100g was fed to rats, they developed hypothyroidism. They found that in pigs it took a higher concentration to induce liver damage — a diet of 383 umol / 100g <*>.

According to another study, 70 μmol / 100g of progoitrin was not associated with thyroid issues, whereas 194 μmol was. Based on his study, three foods were highest in progoitrin compounds with over 100 μmol per 100g of weight <*>:

  1. Siberian russian kales
  2. One collard green
  3. One brussels sprout

What is its function? Sulforaphane is a powerful insecticide…and it can do the very same thing to your cells. How does it kill insects? Does it smash them with a shoe? No.

Sulforaphane <*> <*>:

  • Poisons mitochondria
  • Generates free radicals
  • Damages thyroid functions
  • Depletes glutathione
  • Damages epithelial layer

There’s a common theme here…Trying to manipulate foods for your advantage will almost always backfire.

Sam dancing, a bodybuilder, developed hypothyroidism from excessive broccoli sprout consumption.

Studies on rats show that quercitin — one of the most abundant flavonoids in fruits and vegetables — inhibited iodine uptake at their thyroid. <*>.

I’m most concerned about Soy. Soy contains isoflavonoids…which translates to PLEASE STOP EATING THEM.

The damage starts from day 1 out of the womb. Studies show that babies who consume soy based formulas have increased risk for autoimmune disorders <*>.

Two flavonoids found in soy products, genistein and daidzein, inhibit TPO function <*>. A study in 1991 showed that 50% of subjects eating 30g of soy beans every day for 3 months developed hypothyroid symptoms <*>.

#4 Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is a protective substance found in plant seeds.

It’s predominant effect is as an antinutrient, blocking mineral absorption. Like oxalates, phytic acids steal nutrients from us -- most commonly impairing iron, zinc and magnesium absorption <*>.

After bullying plants for too long, this is their way of fighting back…

This study pictured below shows that when 120g of oysters are eaten with tortillas, you absorb none of the zinc. Oysters are traditionally one of the foods highest in zinc.

It makes sense why so many vegans are deficient in iron, despite eating more than the recommended amount <*>

This chart from healthline below shows the vegetables with the highest % of phytic acid by dry weight.

If you want to optimize your health, beware of these foods.

#5 Lectins

Lectins are one of the most harmful and insidious plant compounds. They’re poisons almost perfectly concocted to destroy human health.

Remember, evolution was about maximizing genetic fitness. That is, increasing the chance genes are passed down to the next generation. If a vegetable’s seeds are eaten, its genes ceased to exist.

So plants tend to concentrate their defenses in seeds to protect the family jewels. Over time through evolution, the plants that were best able to protect their offspring survived.

Thus, the plants and vegetables that exist today are hyper optimized machines to protect their seeds. This is why plant seeds and beans are often the most dangerous to eat.

For instance, in 1988 a hospital launched a healthy eating day for staff. One dish had red kidney beans. Over the next 4 hours, over 10 people vomited profusely and had diarrhea. It was not a pretty sight in the hospital. No pathogens were found.

The culprit: the lectin phytohaemagglutinin <*>.

Lectins are highly inflammatory, and resistant to cooking and digestion. Thus, they pass right through the gut where they wreak havoc.

Lectins have been linked to countless issues such as:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Depression: A study in yeast showed that lectins are transported directly from the gut across the brain barrier into the brain <*>.
  • Insulin resistance: When they reach the bloodstream they bind to insulin receptors and interfere with insulin’s action <*>.
  • Obesity: lectins bind to leptin receptors, decreasing satiation.
  • Leaky Gut: After passing through your gut undigested, Lectins attach directly to the intestinal lining. There they cause digestive discomfort and can even pry your gut lining open. Additionally, lectins like gluten also stimulate the release of zonulin which opens up a space in the lining, causing leaky gut.


The prevailing belief that vegetables are a staple of a healthy diet is all wrong. Not only are they not the healthiest foods in the world, many of them are bad for you.

This is why 10s of thousands of people have benefited from the carnivore diet -- a diet with 0 vegetables and plants.

I have now written more than 30 long form articles on why I think the carnivore diet is the healthiest diet in the world. If you’re just getting started, here’s everything you need to know about trying the carnivore diet.

If you’re ready to start, sign up for my guide to mastering the carnivore diet in 30 days below.

What are you waiting for?