Bear Grylls: ‘raw vegetables are really not good for you’

Do you folks have celebrities that you hear their names so often, you assume you know them? But when it comes to discussing them, you realize you really don’t actually know much. Bear Grylls is one of those celebs for me. I know he goes out in the woods with pampered rich people and makes them eat bugs and drink urine, but I had no idea what qualifies him to do that. It never occurred to me to check his credentials until now, because he came out as anti-veg. Specifically raw vegetables. Bear is promoting his latest season of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge. He sat down with GQ to talk about his diet, since that seems to be what most people want to know about him. Understandable given he answers things like “snake” and “Bison blood” on occasion. Bear used to be a full-fledged vegan. He even wrote a book on it. But then he got Covid, and his health deteriorated. Naturally he decided it was vegetables’ fault. And now he has banned them and nuts from his table.

Nuts and Vegetables are out to get us: Super against nuts. And against grains, wheat, and vegetables. They affected my health negatively. I was a massive advocate of the vegan lifestyle for years, and wrote a book on it, but my health tanked on it. When I got COVID a couple years ago, I doubled down on what I thought was healthy—raw juice, vegetables—and got mega-sore kidneys, almost kidney stones. The more research I’ve done, I’ve noticed raw vegetables are really not good for you. So I’ve started incorporating quality grass-fed steak and liver. My lunch is meat, eggs and dairy, a lot of butter, and fruit. I have liver probably every other day. I started to get strong again.

It’s cool, though, he’s flexible: I’m not super strict. I changed my mind-set away from vegetables are great to realizing we’ve had millions of years of evolution where we’re designed to eat meat and milk and eggs. And fruit—sweet, bright colors—and a lot of honey. It’s made eating a lot more fun. I have combinations of eggs fried in butter, greek yogurt with honey and berries. Before I’d think, “Oh, I have to have a salad.” It’s a revolution to me.

Seed oils are also coming for us: Seed oils is a big one. But I’m not militant about it. Sometimes I’ll have a pizza or a fried whatever, once or twice a week. Though I’m learning they’re the real killer. This stuff is not in our evolutionary diet. It’s designed for lubricating engines. I get the sense this isn’t new to you. This is heartening to me, since in the early days, people thought I was nuts for eating like this.

If you have meat, just add more meat to it: I’ll make a burger from grass-fed mince, with cheese and an egg on top, cooked in tallow, fry some white rice in it. A scoop of bone marrow, and a massive tub of Greek yogurt, and honey and berries. If I was to have a treat, I’d have some cocktails and a sourdough pizza. Maybe a good British roast, sticky toffee pudding. And freshly squeezed orange juice. I found eating like this, I have fewer cravings.

[From GQ via DListed]

The GQ interviewer is all for Bear and his meat heavy diet, by the way. The interviewer references the Ray Peat diet, which is a misnomer because there is no real ‘diet.’ Bear backs that up with a shout out to his buddy Paul Saladino, aka The Carnivore M.D. While Ray’s plan is better than Saldino’s all meat diet, it worth noting there are valid criticisms against both. The study that the article links to back up the Killer Vegetable theory is this one. In the opening paragraph it summarizes, “though certain foods may contain residual amounts of anti-nutrients after processing and cooking, the health benefits of eating these foods outweigh any potential negative nutritional effects.” It then reminds people to eat a variety of nutritious food and not “large quantities” of a single food at one meal. But eating a huge amount of one thing at one meal sounds like it’s exactly what Bear is doing. He kept emphasizing his hamburger was grass fed. I guess he’s letting the cow do all the work on the greens?

As I said, I don’t follow Bear so I don’t know how dangerous this kind of interview is. Meaning, I don’t know know how much influence he has. I read that he’s a big scout guy, I hope he’s not passing this information on to kids. I’ve mentioned before that I have dangerous cholesterol levels. If I ate anything close to what Bear is suggesting, my heart would pack up and leave. Believe me, I’ve tried to convince my doctor a cheeseburger a day is good for me but he’s not having it. So please talk to your doctor before you listen to Doc Bison Blood here and ban broccoli from your home. Remember also that Bear thinks carrots are why he was unwell when he got Covid*. Not the life-threatening respiratory virus infecting his lungs, but his vegetable drawer. And I don’t know why he targeted vegetables and not fruit. There is probably a reason, but I’m kind of done here. Please remember that one diet will not work for everyone. Consult a nutritionist. Or your mother. She didn’t go hoarse telling you to eat your vegetables for nothing.

*FYI, Emily from DListed assured us that Bear is a big supporter of vaccines. So even though he’s scared of vegetables, he’s not that far gone

Photo credit: Instagram, Avalon Red and Backgrid

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82 Responses to “Bear Grylls: ‘raw vegetables are really not good for you’”

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  1. Lucy says:

    Vegetables ARE good for you. Next!

    • TIFFANY says:


      It is when they are overcooked is when they lose some of their nutrients.

      An actual doctor and nutritionist told me this.

      • L84Tea says:

        Roasted veggies are nom nom nom. Like when broccoli or brussels sprouts get those crispy brown edges–delicious! One of my favorite weeknight dinners is a huge cookie sheet filled with broccoli or sprouts, cubed butternut squash, and sliced pieces of some kind of good sausage (like apple gouda that I get at Publix). Mix it all up with a little olive oil and seasoning and roast it till everything is crispy.

      • C says:

        Roasted brussels sprouts with feta and a bit of honey. YUM!

      • Jan90067 says:

        If this guy thinks kidney stones were painful, wait for the pain from a full on heart attack/stroke from clogged arteries or colon cancer from all the red meat, butter and eggs.

        Good luck buddy. Oh, and Grylls, until you have an MD or at least an RD after your name, stop spouting medical advice!

      • Duch says:

        At Jan 9..67
        Or gallstones. If he thinks “near kidney stones” are bad, wait til he has gallstones from all that food and has to have his gallbladder removed.

    • Lolo86lf says:

      Uncooked raw vegetables are a big NO NO for me. I become a gas machine really bad. Food generally speaking is better cooked as it is better digested and more nutritious. When humans started cooking their food thousands of years ago they became smarter because all those nutrients that their GI tract was able to absorb made their brains bigger. Cooking food including vegetables also kills any bacteria lurking in it. Carrots and cabbage are particularly gassy when not cooked.

      • Kate says:

        This. Idk how people eat salads for a meal I become a toot machine after I have one. I have heard from my nutritionist there is good research on health benefits of grass-fed meat and dairy/butter which she has encouraged me to eat more of – but at the same time I am (and she is) extremely wary of saying any foods are “all bad” or “all good” aside from person-specific health requirements like having high cholesterol or allergies.

        As to why he’s having this change of heart, I am noticing it’s really common for people to have health scares and go immediately to changing their diet – even if the health issue is not obviously linked to diet. It’s a control thing.

    • Justwastingtime says:

      He seems like he has an eating disorder, and isn’t very interesting or original.

  2. L84Tea says:

    Hmm, the grape tomatoes on my salad yesterday did look a little sinister. This explains it–the tomatoes wanted to kill me!

  3. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Non-scientists spewing anecdotal “evidence” are just as dangerous as any anti-vaxxer, Marjorie Taylor-Greene-type moron and he will likely not survive this experiment in artery clogging.

  4. crogirl says:

    I wonder what happened to “eating everything in moderation”?
    People take all things to such extremes these days

    • SarahCS says:

      Which makes me wonder if he was so extreme the other way previously and not looking after himself properly that he did have some deficiencies that left his body less able to cope with an infection.

    • kirk says:

      People do take things to extremes.
      This reminds me of what an old boyfriend used to say about Hare Krishna and Moonie type folks, “I used to be all messed up on drugs. Now I’m all messed up on the lord.”

    • SomeChick says:

      this is known as orthorexia and it is totally disordered eating. anything taken to extremes isn’t healthy. dude is not a nutritionist! I can’t believe people take pronouncements like this seriously.

  5. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    I have a really difficult time digesting raw vegetables so get what he’s saying. I do however eat cooked veggies. I have hereditary high cholesterol but in my research I’ve found that eating lean, good quality meat, not processed deli meats a few times a week doesn’t negatively affect my cholesterol numbers.

    • Becks1 says:

      My husband hates raw veggies because they are “hard” for him to eat – he says they make his throat scratchy/itchy. Apparently that’s a real thing and its not uncommon. so while he does eat cooked veggies, I don’t like cooked veggies that much so I don’t make them. (I’ll roast veggies, those I like, but like steamed broccoli is gross to me and he and my 10 year old love it.)

      • windyriver says:

        Haven’t noticed that issue with raw veggies but have always had a scratchy throat/puffy lip reaction to a few fruits – bananas, cantaloupe (which I otherwise like)! It’s definitely a thing for certain people

        Unless Bear is still eating bugs on the regular he’s gonna run into some other problems as there’s not much fiber in meat milk and eggs.

      • Chicken Tetrazzini! says:

        It’s called Oral Allergy Syndrome and yes it’s real. The body mistakes the proteins in certain food for being an allergy, think tree pollens and responds accordingly. Cooking the fruits or vegetables a little bit breaks down that protein thus stopping the reaction

      • Roop says:

        @Becks1 that’s called Oral Allergy Syndrome. I have it, my hubby has it, and our daughter has it. For me I react to raw celery. Hubby reacts to raw celery, carrots, and various other veggies and fruits. Our daughter has a really bad allergy to raw pineapple. If she eats one piece, hives immediately break out around her mouth and spread across her face really quickly. It’s a little alarming.

        Someone told me that their OAS turned anaphylactic, and she has to carry an EpiPen now! Crazy.

      • Pork Chops and Applesauce says:

        The best way to do broccoli is a careful blanching, drain them then put them back in the pot with salt, pepper and a good extra virgin olive oil.
        Also, roasted asparagus is pure heaven!

      • Becks1 says:

        Thanks CT and Roop – maybe I should do more research into it. It’s definitely not every veggie with him, only some (like lettuce is fine, salads seem okay-ish?) but raw carrots, raw broccoli, etc is all a no-go for him. to be honest I’m not sure how much he would eat cooked veggies anyway if I made them more regularly. Like he loves a good beef stew with soggy carrots, bleh. LOL. But I do enjoy roasted veggies so i’ll do those a lot. sheet pan dinners are the best!

        @Pork Chops that sounds amazing, but the funny thing is my 10 year old likes the steamed broccoli really really steamed with some salt (its from the school cafeteria, thats why he likes them, so think of that, lol.)

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I too have hereditary high cholesterol and have to watch my red meat and diary intake but I do try and counter that with magnesium supplements.

      • Emily says:

        I found out mine is crazy high at 34 years old. I work out, I’m thin and thought I ate okay. It’s 100% hereditary. I also have low iron, so the limited meat is a fun balance.

    • MF says:

      Same! I avoid raw veggies because they make my digestion system angry. I’ve also had issues with nuts. He specifies raw veggies, so I assume he eats cooked vegetables.

  6. Julia K says:

    Moderation in all things including food and drink. So called experts are dangerous.

  7. Christine says:

    I mean if you’re eating nothing but raw veg for every meal, sure. I can’t think of any raw vegetables I’d happy make a meal out of without some sort of protein or dip or dressing involved.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I worked with a girl who used to eat a lot of raw veg and she used to complain of headaches, cold hands and feet etc.. I think she was anemic but refused to take supplements, even the vegan ones.

      She was def one for trying out these ‘fad’ diets that have no basis on science.

  8. Malificent says:

    Our ancestors ate anything they could get their hands on that added calories. Insects were often the everyday source of protein, and still are in many places. And what was available varied drastically by environment, but we still managed to populate everywhere but Antarctica.

    • Becks1 says:

      I have seen Bear Grylls eat insects on Man vs. Wild lol.

    • BeanieBean says:

      More and more archaeological research is telling us that instead of the term ‘hunter-gatherer’ we should be using the term ‘gatherer-hunter’, as plants formed a larger part of our diet than meat over the millennia. Excepting, perhaps, within the arctic circle.

  9. TIFFANY says:

    Dude is nothing but a connected socialite who use them to become a successful extremists.

    Why would I take him seriously.

  10. Emmi says:

    GTFO. I was vegan for over a year and then had gallbladder issues so a lot of “healthy” foods caused colics (along with uneahlthy foods, it was awful). Now that the sucker is out, I’m returning to the vegan diet. It’s not healthier, it’s an ethical decision. He annoys me because he seems like he can only do extremes and of course that doesn’t work. This gave him away: “I doubled down on what I thought was healthy—raw juice, vegetables” YEAH NO SHIT SHERLOCK! Of course you had no energy. That’s your fault, not the veggies’.

    I know militant vegans give us a bad name but the carnivore idiots who proclaim veganism almost ruined their organs? They’re worse. You did it wrong, fool. Don’t blame the cucumber.

    And raw veggies aren’t for everybody, I understand that. But cook them? These discussions are so tedious, let’s stop asking celebrities about their diet.

  11. OriginalLaLa says:

    Can we PLEASE stop giving air time to un-educated, non-experts when it comes to health? have questions about nutrition? talk to a dietician, not a celebrity.

    • GoldenMom says:

      100% agree….and this guy sounds like a LOT of work. Clearly successful in his world, but a lot of work on a personal level.

      • TwinFalls says:

        +1 so much work. I’ve watched his show with my son and he has a bit of a frenetic energy about him that I guess is really who he is.

  12. Becks1 says:

    It sounds like he’s swung from one extreme to another, where he realizes that extreme veganism wasn’t working for him (since he says he “doubled down” on it during/after COVID) so now he’s all meat, all the time. At least he’s eating fruit and dairy so its not like he’s eating nothing BUT meat, but still its an extreme.

    I just find all the eating rules so annoying. I saw something yesterday on IG that said drinking my tea on an empty stomach in the morning was messing with my….I don’t know, something. And then I saw something about how its my hormones. And then its that I eat at the wrong times. And so on and so forth. (I’m a sucker for IG reels, I just keep scrolling through every one so IG assumes I’m interested and keeps showing me all these really random-ass ones, even though I’m just too lazy to close the app sometimes, lol.)

    We love Bear Grylls in my house and my boys are scouts and I can tell you they could not care less what he eats or doesn’t eat unless its on Man Vs Wild, lol.

  13. girl_ninja says:

    Whatever happened to the notion of a balanced diet? Why so extreme? Have some meat and veggies and be done with it. If you don’t like it raw the COOK them. My goodness.

    • kgeo says:

      This. I’m not even sure mine is balanced, but I go days where all I want is meat, and then all I’ll want is salad or humus. Today, I was craving a gas station muffin filled with fats and sugar, so I went and got one. My daughter eats like this too. Some days she only wants all the chicken or deer meat. Then she’ll eat noodles for a week straight, and then raw veggie plates 3 nights in a row. My husband on the other hand got some tick born disease that has made his body crazy. He suddenly can’t eat gluten, and has to be careful about really fatty meats. No doctor could help him figure this out, btw. He just had to listen to his body. It’s like everybody is different when it comes to food and maybe we should stop with the one size fits all and teach people to listen to their bodies.

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    After my ordeal in November, I basically cut out everything and started over slowly. Because unsalted butter has no sodium, I did eat a bit of buttered steamed veggies and lamb. But I also made salads and used unfiltered apple cider vinegar and avocado, truffle or olive oil. It’s been all about sodium and sugar for me.

    Then the heat wave hit. Mind you, I’ve been exercising everyday. Then the heat wave hit lol. After about a week of full-on sweat, I dropped again. Husband comes running in, I’m out of it, but kinda chuckled and said Gatorade lmao. I’ve adjusted my salt some. Duh. We can be so stupid sometimes. Liver is a great thing to eat. And it’s okay to have some micro greens with it plus a baked potato and a salad. 😱

  15. Lemons says:

    I think most celebs go on a vegan diet for weight maintenance, not because they feel healthier. After a certain age, going vegan is probably the easiest way to cut down the calories and see results.

    Unfortunately, this means that they probably are missing out on nutrients the body needs and it feels good when it gets a bit of meat and fats. Raw juice is not a meal supplement. It’s just juice!

    Being vegan for actual health or ethical reasons seems to have a much healthier community where the meal prep is enviable! I follow abetween(?) on Youtube who has so many great vegan recipes and it’s much different from the usual vegan diet we normally see.

  16. Izzy says:

    (FB Thumbs-Up Emoji Reaction) HDL Cholesterol likes this…

  17. Ann says:

    Liver everyday is the fast track to gout and blood disorders, specifically hemochromatosis, which is iron overload that requires bloodletting as treatment. Fun stuff! I’d rather just eat the carrot.

  18. Ameerah says:

    Raw vegetables ARE hard on the digestive system. But that just means you COOK them. It’s weird that he completely skipped that and decided vegetables were just bad all around. Which is counter to everything we know about vegetables. Any diet that makes you eliminate an entire food group is not only unsustainable but also incredibly dangerous.

  19. HeyKay says:

    This headline is the funniest thing I’ve seen today.
    My Dog, the stupid is taking over!

  20. Cool eye says:

    He believed vegetables would make him immune to diseases. Now, he’s disappointed it didn’t work. It’s not the carrots fault!

  21. Miss Melissa says:

    The NIH and others have come to realize Covid is vascular, and it attacks systems and organs. They don’t know why it affects some differently than others.

    That said, I had it twice in 2020 and it went after my already vulnerable endocrine system and my liver. The advice Grylls is giving is completely opposed to what my doctors have recommended to me. The grains, OK, but the veg? Nope. And eating liver is BAD for my liver. Beef acts like alcohol in my system right now. Too much fat or dairy is affecting my digestion.

    There is not doubt a in my mind that covid was being studied and was accidentally released from Wuhan lab. That said, I am of the opinion that it was probably stripped down or broken down for study and as a result its effects will never be predictable.

    • Emmi says:

      There should be some doubt. I’m not saying it’s impossible but there is no proof whatsoever and we’ll probably never know because China didn’t make an effort to find out exactly where it originated. Whether it was the market or – maybe – the lab. And of course they wouldn’t. Some people take that as proof they’re hiding a lab accident but … that’s China. There’s no transparency. But we’re not going for ever find out from the outside.

  22. Lila says:

    Totally recommend the Maintenance Phase podcast for anyone that wants to hear these fools taken down in a data driven, hilarious way.

    • damejudi says:

      I love love love Maintenance Phase! Have they done a deep dive on Bear Grylls? I’ve only recently started listening, so I’m working my way back.

      • Lila says:

        Yassssss! So good!

        No Bear Grylls episode yet. Although it’s nice knowing they check their email and take requests. Lol maybe we should get the ball rolling!

        The Pete Evans/Jordan Peterson episodes are probably closest in terms of addressing this diet (And covid).

  23. Leah says:

    I have a good friend in her mid fifties who is all in on keto carnivore. She is using is to keep her weight low but her blood work is a mess. After six months her blood work is showing she is in kidney failure and her thyroid numbers are getting worse among many other bad things. She didn’t change her diet, she just added more medicines to deal with all the side effects. These famous people are so dangerous for recommending people not eat vegetables because they went on some crazy green juice cleanse and didn’t like how they felt.

  24. Plums says:

    Fad dieter claims to be nutrition expert, news at eleven.

    I mean, I get he was probably looking for some reason why a very healthy, health conscious person developed serious covid- people like to be able to point at things to blame that are within their control when bad things happen even though they did everything right, but this seems like a pretty extreme reaction.

    And isn’t eating a ton of liver like he says he does now super bad for you? I thought I remembered hearing that at some point.

    Neither here nor there, but I have watched one episode of his show where he does extreme wilderness survival stuff with a celebrity, and it seemed super obvious to me it was very scripted and fake, but who knows.

  25. kelleybelle says:

    “Live food? Live body. Dead food? Dead …”

  26. MsIam says:

    Whenever I hear about these meat heavy diets, my fear is about pancreatic cancer. High cholesterol can at least be controlled but the cancer is a whole nother level. I believe in moderation and variety and I’m sticking to that.

  27. Jenny says:

    Dudes like this trigger my eating disorder

  28. Nikki says:


  29. TrixC says:

    What a fool. Eating too much meat and dairy is terrible for the environment , and the amount of liver he’s eating he’s at risk of vitamin A toxicity. Vegetables are full of vitamins, and some, particularly broccoli and other green veg, have been shown to protect you from cancer. And his ‘evolutionary’ diet is bad science, things like milk and butter have only been in the human diet for 10000 years or so, since the development of organised farming, and even in hunter gatherer cultures meat is unlikely to have been eaten every day.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, that cracked me up. We were fully evolved Homo sapiens by the time we started with animal husbandry & milk/butter consumption (goat or cow, doesn’t matter). Along with the non-doctors, non-nutritionists, let’s add the non-anthropologists & their idiotic ‘based on human evolution’ dietary advice.

  30. NotSoSocialB says:

    Couldn’t POSSIBLY be the covid itself, nah!

  31. bears says:

    It seems to me that he has an unhealthy relationship with food regardless of what he’s obsessively eating/not eating.

  32. Jaded says:

    He is Aaron Rodgers level stoopid. Say hello to your new best friends Bear — iron and vitamin A overload, which can actually cause liver damage amongst other very unpleasant medical issues. A meat heavy diet can raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer. While liver is good for you, it should only be consumed once a week, and we need the vitamins/minerals/fibre that veggies, whole grains, legumes and fruit contain to maintain optimum health. This guy is a total meathead [pun intended].

  33. tealily says:

    I don’t get this all or nothing attitude about any diet. All things in moderation, right? I know plenty of vegan and vegetarian people who are super healthy, and I know plenty who eat like they have an eating disorder and surely aren’t getting enough nutrients. My guess is that his previous diet was more limited than it should have been. Probably a little meat did him some good. Doesn’t mean he should drop the veggies though, sheesh. Just expand your diet, man!

    • Julia K says:

      I have tried every fad diet known to man. They do not work. This works; listen to your body, common sense,moderation and portion control.

  34. Silent Star says:

    Man this guy is a lot. Sounds like his main problem is not being able to moderate his own behaviors. Looking forward to his book on why meat-heavy diets are bad for you.

  35. jferber says:

    Never heard of this guy before, but I was intrigued by that top pictures, with the straps around the crotch area. Very intrigued. I’ll skip the rest.

  36. Ms. says:

    Could possibly be….. The extreme measures he seems to take in all directions that were messing him up? Just a hunch.

    I’m not dumping on veganism since I know lots of people who do it right. But this is a special kind of extremism, especially going from one direction to another in a short period of time.

  37. Dee says:

    Take anything these people tell you about their lifestyle with a MASSIVE pinch of salt. These people have professional chefs and dietitians, plastic surgeons and fitness coordinators on the payroll. I bet you he doesn’t even choose or cook his own food because there’s a pro whose entire job it is. So he can show up in an interview and tell the most outlandish porkies bc it’s all for show

  38. H says:

    Yeahhh, excess fruit sugars can take your liver as bad as alcohol, excess meats and especially liver can cause problems like gout. And no shit taking an extreme like drinking massive amounts of celery juice will not make a substantial improvement on your health. This man does not know how to do a single thing in balanced moderation.