do vegetables count as carbs

hey guys,
my friend who is a pretty serious bodybuilder (not much of an athlete) was telling me about how he structures his nutrition. he told me he eats between 300-400 g of carbs a day. he also said that eating vegetables at every meal will help digest and absorb protein into the muscles. is this correct?

he also mentioned that when counting carbs in your diet, vegetables and foods high in fiber do not count towards your total daily intake. is this accurate in some sense or completely off track?

finally i was wondering if consuming the “good fats” such as those found in fish oils, peanuts etc lead to an increase in bodyfat or fat cell storage. basically if you eat these everyday in somewhat decent amounts will you put on bodyfat and increase fat cell storage and get “flabby”, or would thi sjust occur as a result of eating the “bad fats”

Completely off track! From my understanding the vast majority of veggies are carbohydrates, what would he classify them as …fat? protein?What was his justification for excluding veggies?

yeah thats what i figured. he mentioned something about the high fiber content in certain veggies aiding in protein absorption into the muscles. im not sure where he got the idea you dont have to count vegetables as carbs though. just wondering if there was any truth to this statement.

also do vegetables aid in protein absorption into the muscles?

Peanuts (which are actually legumes) are not very healthy. Eat almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or other nuts instead. But remember to eat these in moderation since they do contain high amounts of energy. Fish oils are a very good addition to your diet and may even help reduce body fat.

Regarding carbohydrates, you should get the majority of your daily intake as vegetables, berries and some fruit.

Well, any carbohydrate source will do. Some faster than others.

there are carbohydrates in veggies, but the concentration varies depending on the vegetable. eg potatoes have a high concentration of carbs/gram whereas brocoli has a relatively low concentration of carbs/gram.

Do a web search, or buy a book with the nutritional breakdown of foods, this will tell you.

Bet he counts them when he’s dieting to compete.

I know certain diets like weight watchers allow you to eat veggies in unlimited numbers so he may be using the same principle.

I’ll say he’s off base. Ask him where he read all this. When you look at the carb content of vegetables, you can subtract the amount of fiber from the total. When the USDA figures the amount of carbs in something, the fiber is counted because it technically is a carb. We cannot digest it since we are not a ruminant (cow, sheep, etc.) and pass it through. This includes soluble and insoluble fiber.

Vegetables “not counting” isn’t always false, depending on the angle you take and your goals. The bodybuilding/dieting angle is based on a) vegetables tend to have a relatively high fiber content, especially compared to anything processed (the reasoning behind this was already explained - we don’t digest fiber) and b) vegetables tend to be relatively low in digestible carbs and the digestible carbs they do contain tend to be low-glycemic carbs. The major exceptions being the veggies you pull out of the ground like potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.

Low-glycemic basically means the carbs are absorbed slowly and do not cause a big spike in insulin release - which is good for staying lean, maintaining steady energy, and staying healthy overall as chronically high insulin levels are linked to so many problems, like obesity, diabetes, lethargy, aging, and heart disease.

I don’t totally understand why he would say veggies are good for aiding in the absorption of protein, at least not directly. Veggies would slow the absorption of a quickly digested protein like whey, which you would NOT want after a workout, but may want at other times of the day when you aren’t concerned with rushing protein to your muscles. Looking at the big picture, someone who eats his veggies is probably going to be healthier than someone who doesn’t, so indirectly the veggie eater may be able to absorb, digest, and utilize protein better.

Good fats should never be excluded from a diet in the interest of losing body fat. Within reason, they WILL help you lose body fat. Dietary fat is more efficiently absorbed than protein or carbs. If fat weren’t important, would the body absorb it so efficiently? Some people, like myself and my sister, do much better on a diet relatively high in fat. This includes losing body fat. The “fat is bad” scare is totally BS in my opinion. The only type of fat that should be avoided are trans fats. Most other types, like omega 3s and medium-chain saturated fats should be sought out in the diet - the amount really depends on your own metabolism, but nobody should completely avoid any type of fat but trans fats.

Getting “flabby” is a result of too many calories taken in vs. too little calories expended through exercise and general metabolism, and eating highly processed foods, sugary foods, and calorie dense foods with little nutritional value.

He might not count veggies before a competition. As far as I have heard, a somewhat common competition diet would partially include (meaning in mini-cycles or something similar) eating zero carbs from anything but veggies. This will completely shred the fat of for many people. In fact, the best everyday diet I have found for myself is similar to this, except I add in carbs from fruits and raw milk - these being the variables I tweak depending on how concerned I am with recovery and fat loss. Its easier said than done for me, but if I follow a diet like this my bodyfat goes down fast, and I still can gain muscle and my strength and energy levels stay high and stable (or go higher).

Another dieting note: raw veggies will usually fill me up very fast and without eating all that many. They never make me tired or too full, so they make a great snack for me in between the meals I try to take in more calories.