From a young age, most people are told that vegetables are really good for you and you must eat them
Most vegetables are very good for your health - they are high in fiber an d contain essential vitamins and minerals. Also, most vegetables are low calorie and all are cholesterol-free.
The Harvard School of Public Heath notes that: "Most people should aim for at least nine servings (at least 4½ cups) of vegetables and fruits a day," and that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides the following benefits:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and probably some cancers
- Lower risk of eye and digestive problems
- A mellowing effect on blood sugar that can help keep appetite in check
The United States Department of Agriculture lists the following benefits from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables:
- Dietary fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease and is important for proper bowel function.
- Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
- Eating vegetables rich in potassium may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
In my opinion, vegetables generally don't taste as good as a burger. Why so why have my taste buds evolved to like something that is bad for me and dislike something that's good for me. It doesn't make sense.
Our taste buds have evolved to identify high calorie items as tasty - sugar, fats, and protein. These types of food provide a much higher ratio of calories per gram. For much of our evolutionary history, given a choice between a fatty slab of meat and broccoli, those ancestors that chose the steak would have gained more calories and thereby increased their odds of not starving to death. Consequently, these genes got passed down the evolutionary tree.
Eating unhealthily is not the only example of things that feel good, but are bad for you. Take exercise. In our prehistoric past, a human who exerted less energy would have a greater chance at survival as he'd require less calories per day. A caveman would not needlessly run a half marathon for exercise or sport; rather, he'd conserve his energy with a more lax task - tool making or story telling. As a result, it "feels better" to sit down in front of the computer or TV than it does to go to the gym, but we know that such a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy, especially given our high-calorie and unhealthy diets.