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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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April 14, 2008

Dear Mark: Beans/Legumes

By Mark Sisson
194 Comments

Dear Mark,

I’m a former vegetarian who still enjoys cooking with all kinds of beans. I don’t see them in any of the MDA recipes. What’s your take on them?

Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, etc.) aren’t, by any means, the worst thing you can eat, but they don’t make the ideal meal either. In my estimation, legumes fall into the “O.K.” category with wine, chocolate, cheese and other dairy, etc.

On the upside, legumes offer protein, and they tend to be good sources of several minerals like potassium and magnesium. On the downside, they offer only a moderate at best amount of protein (generally 4-9 grams per ½ cup serving). As the How to Eat Enough Protein post showed, legumes’ protein content is dwarfed by the 28 grams you’d get from a cup of cottage cheese or the 50+ grams you’d get from six ounces of several meats. And this relatively small amount of protein comes with a hefty carb content: as high as 28 grams for that same ½ cup serving!

Because legumes generally contain so much soluble fiber, they won’t result in sudden blood sugar spikes. However, as I said a while back in the whole grain post, at the end of the day carbs are carbs.

Yet, the Primal Blueprint philosophy allows for some carbohydrate content. I’ve suggested in the past 150 grams as a daily ceiling. There’s certainly reason to shoot for less (100 is even better), but 150 grams can be a reasonable goal for many of us. The key is to make as much of that carb “allowance” vegetable-based as possible. Legumes offer nutritional benefits, but what they offer can be found in equal to greater amounts within other foods that have lower carb content.

All this said, not all legumes are created equal. Some, like lentils, have higher protein content. Others, like peas, have lower carb content. Both glycemic index and glycemic load vary among legumes. Check out this “International Table” for more info on legumes and hundreds of other foods.

The ultimate point on “O.K.” foods is this: if you can make the majority of your diet “best source” foods (meat for protein, vegetables for carbs, etc.), you’ll meet your daily nutrient goals and have room to include a few “lesser benefit but high enjoyment” foods such as dairy and legumes. (That is, if you consider beans exciting. Cheese I can understand, but give me a a big salad over a bowl of kidney beans any day.)

An additional note: the bioavailability of minerals in legumes is compromised by the body’s difficulty in digesting them (hence the flatulence jokes). If you’re going to include legumes in your diet, preparation is everything. Diligent and tailored soaking processes are necessary for the proper digestion and nutrient absorption of legumes.

Check back in the near future as I’ll be posting exactly what I eat in a typical day and how it breaks down in calories from protein, fat and carbs.  Thanks for your questions and comments, everyone. As always, if you have a suggestion for “Dear Mark,” shoot me a line.

Roger Smith Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

My Carb Pyramid

Dear Mark: Sugar Cravings

The World’s Favorite Bean

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

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104 Comments on "Dear Mark: Beans/Legumes"

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Sasquatch
8 years 7 months ago

Nice post! I can’t agree more that proper treatment of beans is essential! Soaking and/or sprouting beans in plenty of water for 24 hrs or more, and changing the soaking water is best. That goes for lentils too. When you do this, they’ll break down most of the toxins they use to keep animals from eating them before germination: lectins, phytic acid, protease inhibitors and other nasty things.

carice
carice
5 years 11 months ago

The quickest way to soak and cook beans is as follows: In a pressure cooker, boil beans in just enough water to cover them for 5-10 minutes. Drain, rinse, then fill up the pressure cooker 3/4 of the way full with water and your “soaked” beans. Put the lid on properly, then bring to pressure. Cook at pressure for 25-30 minutes for pinto beans. Drain and rinse with hot or boiling water water if serving hot; cold water if you want them in a salad. Serve hot or cold. Never gives me gas this way.

Rupert Picklefeather
Rupert Picklefeather
4 years 11 months ago

I didn’t know cavemen had pressure cookers.

I soak legumes for 24 hours, changing the water four times. Drain, let sprout for another 24 hours, rinsing as often as possible. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes, then stick the pot in a hay box.

Sampson
Sampson
4 years 10 months ago

They probably also didn’t have hayboxes.

Huckleberry
8 years 7 months ago
I also liked this post. Do you know if there are any beans that are especially high in carbohydrates? Also, I’m curious, why do you consider dairy just in the ‘okay’ category? My main concerns about dairy are either low-quality dairy (grain-fed, not organic, pasteurized) or the potentially high levels of dioxins and other pollutants that accumulate in dairy fats. However, the first is also a problem with low-quality meat and the second is also a problem with fish. I’d think that good quality dairy, with lots of protein, good saturated fat, and important nutrients would be on the list… Read more »
Sonagi
Sonagi
8 years 7 months ago
Legumes don’t pack as much nutritional power as meat or veggies, but some of us cannot afford to eat animal protein at every meal. A 1 lb. bag of legumes costs about $1. I often mix small amounts of meat and beans to make an affordable protein serving. I also liked this post. Do you know if there are any beans that are especially high in carbohydrates? Size is a good general indicator. Larger beans like butter and lima are higher in net carbs than smaller beans like black and pinto. Soybeans are low in carbs because they are relatively… Read more »
Sonagi
Sonagi
8 years 7 months ago

(That is, if you consider beans exciting. Cheese I can understand, but give me a a big salad over a bowl of kidney beans any day.)

The blandness and creaminess of beans makes them ideal for spicy ethnic dishes like hummus or dal.

Mike OD - IF Life
8 years 7 months ago

My stomach usually revolts if I have too many beans….so needless to say I listen to my stomach. That and I don’t crave them like meat and fat…so nothing missed to me….except a musical concert from the bass flute.

DaveC
DaveC
8 years 7 months ago

While growing up in New Orleans, “red beans and rice” was a staple at our house. I still love to eat it–I just leave out the rice. The one problem I have with it is portion control. I can eat the stuff till it’s coming out of my ears!!

Sue
Sue
8 years 7 months ago

Would sprouting increase the carb content?

Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Anyone wanting to build lean muscle would be wise to disregard Mark’s dietary advice. Limiting yourself to 150 grams of carbs per day is fine if you’re trying to drop unwanted body fat. It’s not fine at all if you’re trying to create the optimal anabolic environment for building lean muscle mass. The notion that “at the end of the day, carbs are carbs” is patently absurd, and downright idiotic. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George is at the diner with his girlfriend with whom he wants to break up and she observes that “Eggs are eggs”.… Read more »
Pam
Pam
5 years 8 months ago

Thank you for making these points. I just modified my diet to cut WAY down on animal meats for many reasons. I want to lose weight and am focusing on a more plant based diet after lots of research.
This article made me feel like I got it all wrong! Goal: cut body fat by 5%, cut body weight by 11%, build lean muscle, feel good. Can’t do that eating meat three times per day right?

Tyler
Tyler
4 years 6 months ago

“Can’t do that eating meat three times per day right?”

There’s plenty of success stories–including my own–that would disagree.

Robin l. Westrick
Robin l. Westrick
3 years 3 months ago

As a dietitian in training I agree. I was about to post a similar response to the nonsensical statement ” carbs are carbs”

Dave C.
8 years 7 months ago

Anyone wanting to build lean muscle would be wise to disregard Mark’s dietary advice.

Barry, Barry, Barry,

Where do I start..

So let me get this straight. We are supposed to ignore Mark’s suggestions for building lean muscle mass, and adopt your ideas. Well, you know the old saying that a picture is worth 1000 words? In this case, I’d say it’s worth 10s of thousands:

MarkArtBarry

nathan
6 years 6 months ago

Exactly. I am 30 years old and don’t look as good an old Mark! Plus I tried the whole carbs for insulin to build size and it made me a strong fat ass. No thanks.

Franko
8 years 7 months ago

No matter what you do, beans will still create a lot of smelly gas in some people. If you do not want to take any OTC medications, there is a nice simple solution, a Flatulence Deodorizer by Flat-D Innovations or http://www.flat-d.com it is an activated charcoal cloth pad that you place in your underwear next to your buttocks. When you expel intestinal gas, it absorbs the odor out of the gas. No side effects and it doctor recommended. check it out

Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Dave, if you take a moment to pry your mind open, read my blog, and know my history, you’ll see that I spent the last 8 to 9 months cutting fat. You don’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time under normal circumstances. I did however preserve virtually all of my existing lean mass. Now, for about a month, I have been in a mass building phase so right now I haven’t got much to show off. Dave, go ahead and try building lean mass on 150 grams of carbs a day. Let me know how that works… Read more »
Mark Sisson
8 years 7 months ago
Barry, I find it quite amusing that you would so aggressively defend carbohydrates when they clearly haven’t worked well for you. On your own site, you chronicle your transformation from 189 lbs. and 19% body fat to 167 lbs. and 10% body fat in eight months. During that time you supposedly embarked on a program of weight training for the purpose of building or maintaining muscle mass, yet by your own admission you still lost three pounds of muscle. Eight months, man. That seems ineffective at best and a big waste of time at worst. Any effective weight-training program will… Read more »
Dave C.
8 years 7 months ago

Nevermind your picture, Barry…what is your answer for the other two? Mark looks like something chiseled in granite by Michaelangelo, and he did it on low carbs. Kind of blows your theory out of the water. You’re the one that needs to open your mind. I’ve already opened my mind and have transformed from a carbo-munching aerobiholic based on the latest evidence as presented by Mark and others.

Joe
Joe
8 years 7 months ago

you wrote: “bioavailability of minerals in legumes is compromised by the body’s difficulty in digesting them”

The indigestible carbohydrate in legumes is also present in cabbage, broccoli and most vegetables.

Other Donna
Other Donna
8 years 7 months ago

You rock, Dave C. Way to have Mark’s back!

Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Mark, those body fat percentages are estimates for the photos taken at the time. I actually was hydrostatically weighed once at 191 pounds, and again at 175. I lost no muscle whatsoever. My photo at 167 is a guess at my body fat percentage, based on the hydrostatic weighing two months before. Nothing more, nothing less. I’d like to know what planet you live on where you believe that you can be in a caloric deficit and build muscle while simultaneously losing fat. The only way to do that is by cycling calories (and carbs). Mark, if you’d bothered to… Read more »
Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Dave, again please read what I’ve said. Getting “cut” which is what you’d need to do to “look like a chiseled statue” is best done with a low-carb approach. I never said otherwise. Also, I did NOT say you cannot build muscle on low carbs. Low carb diets do not create the OPTIMAL anabolic environment for building muscle. Even diets like the Anabolic diet utilize low or no carbs during the week, and a two day carbohydrate bonanza on the weekend. Why do you suppose that is? Because carbohydrates are ANABOLIC. Dave, Mark.. both of you need to slow down… Read more »
Shane
Shane
4 years 6 months ago
Barry, I really don’t like when people who just read a few book, think they are qualified to make all these arguments. First of all, bulking and cutting is a thing of the past. Read about leptin resistance a bit and you will see why. I used to be like you, constantly trying to eat a ton and gain muscle, but it was just too much work. I now have gone low carb and do strictly gymnastic type workouts and have dropped from 11% to about 5% bodyfat which is effortless to maintain and I am actually stronger than when… Read more »
Barry
8 years 7 months ago

Oh, and Mark.. I have not cited Gary Taubes one time. I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.

I am currently reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories” but I’m not far enough along to feel comfortable referencing the book.

Also Mark, everyone who knows anything about fat loss understand the role insulin plays, which again is why I think low carbohydrates are an effective TOOL (not a lifestyle) for fat loss.

Dave C. - DaveGetsFit
8 years 7 months ago

Barry,

No one, including you, me, or Mark, can claim to be the way, the truth, and the light when it comes to nutrition and fitness. There is room for disagreement. There have been posts here where people have disagreed with Mark, and he’s actually modified his position on a subject. But when you throw out words like asinine, idiot, and “you don’t know what you’re talking about,” the chance for respectfull discourse is pretty slim.

Come back after you’ve read Taubes and tell us again how eating low carb is not a lifestyle.

Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Dave, I said it’s not a lifestyle for most people. I also agree that there are different strokes for different folks. What works for me might not work for you. Insulin resistant people wouldn’t want to try and build muscle with lots of carbohydrate because they would gain too much fat in the process, however it would still not be the optimal environment for building the most muscle mass possible. Most people cannot eat a diet of protein, fat and vegetables for the long term. Boredom, temptation, etc., will creep back in and they will return to eating carbohydrates. In… Read more »
Tina
Tina
5 years 5 months ago
Barry, You are being disingenuous by saying you didn’t call anyone “idiotic”. Your aggressive verbiage is just so much verbal rock throwing with terms like “asinine” “downright idiotic” “patently absurd”, etc. It’s certainly not the way to anything that resembles civilized discourse. After all, we’re not talking politics here. If Mark only seems like a smart fellow, at least we can say that for him, whereas you don’t even come off as half smart, just informed enough to be dangerous and a bit of an egotist to boost judging by how much effort you’re putting in here. Also, I question… Read more »
Barry
8 years 7 months ago

By the way, here is a photo of Layne Norton, natural pro body builder. Layne eats about 450 grams of carbohydrate per day.

Mark Couch
Mark Couch
3 years 11 months ago

LOL…you don’t read about body builders, right?? Seems I remember that being another one of your defenses.

Look man, you do not even seem to remember what you espouse one post to the next.
You might want to ask yourself why you are so passionate about disagreeing.

Have you even tried a Paleo diet for at least 90 days to make an educated, empirically/experimentally based argument??
If not then maybe it is best you save your breath until you can say unequivocally, “I tried this and it does not work for me.”

Just saying…

Dave C. - DaveGetsFit
8 years 7 months ago

I think Mark seems like a smart fellow. His statements here, however, betray that perception

To quote Ronald Reagan: “There you go again.” You seem incapable of expressing your opinion without denigrating others. There isn’t a thing Mark has written in this exchange that can’t be found in blogs written by other M.D.s and PhDs.

I apologize to all for continuing the noise — I’m done.

Mark Sisson
8 years 7 months ago
Barry, Dave, I think I’m done, too. I don’t even know why Barry hangs out here if he is in such disagreement. Methinks there is more than a little cognitive dissonance going on. I was a carburetor for most of my training days. It was nothing for me to regularly take in between 600 and 800 grams of carbs a day – some days much more. I was addicted to bread, pasta, potatoes, beer, ice cream, energy drinks – you name it. I have been eating low carb for almost 10 years, since I decided I didn’t want to beat… Read more »
Sasquatch
8 years 7 months ago
In the past 6 months, I’ve been lifting weights and eating 100-150g carbohydrate a day (mostly “paleo” carbs plus fermented dairy). I’m lifting for strength rather than to pack on meat, but I have nevertheless put on 7 lb of muscle. My bodyfat percentage has actually decreased, and is below 10%. That’s with 2 short, intense weight/sprint sessions per week, and cycle commuting. Barry, you’re right about carbs being anabolic. It’s because they increase insulin, which is anabolic. The problem is, it’s anabolic to all tissues, including fat. The “Zucker fatty” rat has severe hyperinsulinemia. It’s larger and more muscular… Read more »
Victor Tellez
Victor Tellez
8 years 7 months ago
Although I not always agree with Mark’s articles, I do always read them with very much interest and learn something (or a lot) from them. In my case, I’m building muscle, but as I’m training for an Ironman: each week running +40 miles, swimming +10,000 yards and cycling +150 miles… my carb intake is and MUST be a lot! My point is that everything depends on each one special case. That would appear that I agree with Barry because my carb intake is very far up from Mark’s suggestion (while at the same time building muscle), but no… Mark’s article… Read more »
Sue
Sue
8 years 7 months ago

Barry said:
“Most people cannot eat a diet of protein, fat and vegetables for the long term. Boredom, temptation, etc., will creep back in and they will return to eating carbohydrates. In my opinion, people should strive for a healthy balance instead of going to extremes”.

There is nothing extreme about the above diet. This is the healthiest way to eat. I hate the word healthy balance you talk about its just as bad as the “everything in moderation” line that health officials talk of!

Barry
8 years 7 months ago
Mark, I actually agree that in the long run putting on mass is unsustainable. All body builders eventually lose the mass because they don’t keep up the big eating. As to meal planning, I don’t spend much time at all. If you read further down on my blog I detail the “body transformation lifestyle”. I spend maybe an hour total on Sunday prepping food, and about 10 minutes each morning putting together the day’s meals. I do not worry if I miss a meal, and the meals are not planned beyond picking a protein, a complex carb, and optionally, a… Read more »
JJ Tooms
JJ Tooms
3 years 10 months ago

Barry you are a malaka

Barry
8 years 7 months ago

Sasquatch,

I agree totally! Low carb bulking is an ideal way to build muscle while minimizing fat gains. However, you will not build as much muscle on low carb as you would on a higher carb diet.

And honestly if you have good insulin sensitivity and time your carb intake appropriately you can eat a higher carb diet and keep fat gains minimal.

John La Puma
8 years 7 months ago
Very interesting points here!, but I agree with “Sonagi” as well about the cost-effectiveness of legumes. Legumes tend to be very cheap, and in my opinion very tasty as well! Try some of these delicious legume recipes for high-protein content such as the “Curried Lentil Soup”. Another great recipe is the “Two Bean Chili with Onions”, which is tasty and has the added beans-benefit to your heart, backed by research! A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that adults who consumed at least one serving of pinto beans every day for 12 weeks had significant reductions in cholesterol. Both… Read more »
Sue
Sue
8 years 7 months ago

The bean was shown to reduce cholesterol but isn’t the reason why it did this was because beans can decrease digestion and absorption so you are not getting most of the nutrients out of your food. I don’t think that is a good thing.

John La Puma
8 years 7 months ago

Sue-Beans probably reduce your LDL cholesterol level for two reasons: first, because they contain soluble fiber, which binds bile acids in the GI tract (http://books.google.com/books?id=MQYNgHEaxZMC&pg=PA289&lpg=PA289&dq=soluble+fiber+ldl+effect+mechanism&source=web&ots=Jt9vAvhpGI&sig=AXvnM5tPd4NwOCDj32zYN2Y2s3A&hl=en)
and second, because the sterols in the beans also reduce bile acid absorption. Because high cholesterol levels have been linked to heart disease, and recently the risk of Alzheimer’s, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080416081641.htm, it’s another reason to love beans!
Best,
JL
http://www.ChefMD.com/book.php

Sue
Sue
8 years 7 months ago

John,
there was a study that linked high carb, sugar consumption to alzheimer’s. Eating a high fat, moderate protein diet is very beneficial for the brain.

john black
7 years 10 months ago

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

Elliot Wilson
7 years 6 months ago

Are chickpeas really that bad? I always find a meal done with chickpeas in the slow cooker is very satisfying. I guess like you say in this article though, carbs are carbs…..

Eve
Eve
7 years 4 months ago
Hi I wondered if anyone could give me some advice. I don’t eat meat, fish, or any flesh. I don’t eat eggs or milk. I’m mostly vegan, but not arsy about it and will eat cheese if there’s nothing else. Anyway, I need to lose weight (only about 20 pounds) and found that reducing carbs does help. But, it’s such a problem as you can imagine – there’s not much left to choose from. If you could advise me, what would you suggest I eat most of, or cut back on most, eg cut out wheat, increase beans – by… Read more »
Anand Srivastava
Anand Srivastava
7 years 4 months ago
@Eve Your diet is a big problem. Are you religious about it. Or you think that you are helping the animals. I don’t know where you are coming from. The important thing to lose fat is to get into low carb periods. This can be done by eating very little carbs during some times, could be by fasting. The longer the carb periods the faster the loss will be. You could fast all the time and lose a lot of fat, but the problem is that you also need a lot of vitamins and minerals for your body’s daily needs.… Read more »
Steve
Steve
4 years 11 months ago

I was a long-term vegetarian (~20 years) for ethical reasons. Eventually I came to terms with the fact that I was born an omnivore, not an herbivore, and nature itself is a harsh mistress.

Ultimately, the choice you have to make is whether you care more about barnyard animals than you do about yourself and your family.

It’d be nice if that choice wasn’t necessary, but, well, the real world is far from what I would consider ideal (and this is only the tip of the iceberg)

But this is the life you’ve got, so make the most of it!

Eve
Eve
7 years 3 months ago
Hi Thanks for your reply. I don’t eat meat because it makes me want to gag when I think about what I’m eating. There are probably other reasons around animal welfare etc, but don’t want to start a debate on that 🙂 Can anyone tell me what the max carbs are that I can eat in any one day. I looked on fat-loss 101 and it said that any intake over 100g per day will lead to weight gain. I can do 100g a day on some days, but I’m a night owl and sometimes get the munchies when I… Read more »
ladycyb
ladycyb
4 years 11 months ago
I was a vegetarian for 15 years. I can offer some advice. What you don’t want to be is a GRAIN-FAT a tarian. Which is sadly what most vegetarians end up being. If you can consume milk and eggs then you will do much better – cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt. These fermented/consumed types of dairy are most healthy. Other options are Tempeh which is fermented soy. Tempeh is gross but grilled tempeh with the right sauce is ok. But the MAIN ADVICE is to UP UP UUUUUPPPP your veggies and fruits. And to ditch the grains. Beans should be light… Read more »
Steve
Steve
4 years 11 months ago

Even though I now eat meat, I still occasionally get a craving for tempeh. I can’t say the same for tofu or manufactured pseudo-meats…

Tempeh is real food, and it’s easier to digest than other legume-based foods. Goes well cooked in barbecue sauce (yeah, some sugar carbs, but it’s not like eating bread).

I also like tempeh with miso, but that’s probably more of an acquired taste.

bob
bob
7 years 3 months ago

So peas are not a veggie from the “Optimal” group? They’re a legume from the “you can get away with it in moderation” group? Greaaaaaaatt.

frenchmargaret
frenchmargaret
6 years 9 months ago

What’s the thinking on bean sprouts? Are they still classed as carbs or are they salad/veg.
Broccoli sprouts are supposed to be a “superfood”, but what about lentil sprouts, mung bean sprouts etc?
Do they contain lectins or other “anti-nutrients”?

carice
carice
5 years 11 months ago

Bean sprouts are included in one of the recipes in the free user generated cookbook you got when you signed up. So beans can’t be that bad if bean sprouts are in a salad, I think.

pete
pete
6 years 9 months ago

I’m sorry but the tortoise and the hair analogy was absolutely priceless! Barry, for someone with clearly ZERO experience in the field of nutrition, it amazes me that you would have the audacity to question and insult a man of Marks standing. And for the record, Bodybuilding reflects deep insecurities . Which is why (as Rippetoe says)you feel the need to paint yourself brown and stand onstage in your underwear, showing your muscles off to other men.

Sarah
6 years 7 months ago

What about pooping? Whenever I go low-carb I get constipated and there is nothing worse than not being able to go poo. What do you do about that?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 7 months ago

You’ll only stop up at first. You’ll get regular after a week or so (though with less junk in you’ll have less junk out so don’t mistake that for being stopped up or lethargic). Make sure you get your veggies and some fruit. Some apple at lunch and a helping of broccoli at supper should move things along just fine. No fiber supplements.

Geoff
Geoff
5 years 22 days ago

My experience as well. Once I went through a one or two (memory a bit hazy now) week transition period, I have been far — FAR — more regular than in the old higher carbs, with plenty of fiber, days.

That you need to make sure you get sufficient (whatever that means) fiber in your diet in order to avoid colon cancer and other health issues is one of the many ideas that have pretty much been exposed as canards, IMO, by the Primal lifestyle exponents.

Steve
Steve
4 years 11 months ago

Then you’re not eating enough vegetables and fruit, which are definitely encouraged in a Primal lifestyle.

Christina Bertges
Christina Bertges
6 years 6 months ago

lmfao@Pete!

nathan
6 years 6 months ago

I read in the Paleo Diet for Athletes, that beans and legumes should be avoided for their high acidity not so much for their carb content as their glycemic index is similar to veggies.

Moncton
Moncton
6 years 5 months ago

Beans are good for you, because they contain a lot of fiber and fiber is a GOOD carbohydrate. Especially with a diet rich in meat, beans are irreplacable.

Christine
Christine
6 years 3 months ago
None of this has convinced me to go off of beans and legumes. My husband has just found out he is gluten intolerant and his brother is an advocate of the Paleo Diet since he too is gluten intolerant and lactose intolerant as my husband is. We only eat fish. I remember years ago when my mother had colon cancer surgery, the first thing the doctors in L.A. told us was to stop eating beef and red meat. Takes a longer time to break down in the intestinal tract. I see on here people advocate eating bacon and its fat?… Read more »
Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 3 months ago

How could it NOT be good for anyone? The conventional wisdom that sat fat is bad came from horrible science that was in no way correct. Fat is a wonderful energy source with no intolerance problems.

Geoff
Geoff
5 years 22 days ago
Christine’s mother’s doctor’s blanket advice was certainly misguided, but any claim that you can eat as much (Primally vetted or not) fat from any source whatsoever with no “intolerance” problems lacks nuance. To take an extreme example: I recall stories of well-meaning Allied soldiers offering newly liberated concentration camp survivors some of their meat rations, with the unfortunate result that consuming the fat-rich meat killed the intended beneficiaries. Their bodies could not handle more than tiny quantities of meat after long deprivation. More apropos, I converted to an almost no-grains diet, incorporating far more animal protein than before, 6-odd months… Read more »
Christine
Christine
6 years 3 months ago

Then I would say to you Jonathan, how is it good for you when it takes beef much longer to break down in the intestinal tract, therefore, creating more carcinogens which in turn cause polyps? The human body does not break down meat quickly. Many people who consume plenty of meat have cholesterol as well as plaque issues in their vessels. What I think is that people have a hard time giving up meat and will find any excuse to eat as much of it as they want.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 years 3 months ago
“Most people that consume plenty of meat have cholesterol” Everyone has cholesterol because we HAVE TO HAVE IT. Every cell in our body NEEDS cholesterol. And not just HDL. We NEED LDL and we NEED Triglycerides. The “people” you refer to also consume large amounts of grain which inflames the arteries which causes plaque which causes a cholesterol raising response to repair the damage. Cholesterol is not the bad guy, just a bystander. You worry about colon cancer, then you should cut the “whole” grains (all grains) as all they do is scratch and bind up nutrients and add intolerances.… Read more »
Neil
Neil
6 years 3 months ago

This may be a good reminder that much of what Mark outlines in all of these blog posts come together as a fairly complete package, with much contingence on giving up grains and the sugar/insulin spike cycle. Good foods may have bad consequences when eaten with bad foods, but very few bad consequences when eaten without the bad food.

Kenny
Kenny
5 years 5 months ago

Sorry, I’m 48, steak is one of my favorite foods. Has been since I was a child. My latest CT scan for pulmonary calcium came up a ‘1’. At 200, there is supposed to be concern. I’m literally less than .5% from perfect.

So, Christine, if cholesterol is so evil, why do our bodies manufacture it?

Clue: Read up Dr Barry Sears, famed pulmonary doctor.

Ralph
Ralph
6 years 3 months ago
The problem with bread products today is the way we make it. In 1950, when I was a baker, We molded the bread by hand and because there was no refrigeration in the bakery we had to use very little yeast. The reason is the dough would have to sit for 16 to 18 hours, proofing and fermenting, before it was baked. This long fermentation period changed the composition of the dough from a high carbohydrate to high protein. This is accomplished by the fermentation process where the yeast and the Lacto Bacteria consumed the starches and the sugars in… Read more »
ladycyb
ladycyb
4 years 11 months ago

Tartine BREAD!!! read the book. Yes it seems like this new movement for natural yeast starter and 24 hour rise breads yields an altogether product

Marsha
Marsha
6 years 8 days ago
Hmmm I can say I was impressed with this blog until this post. Saying “carbs are carbs” is a dangerous statement and untrue. Legumes are VERY beneficial for many people. I speak with years of experience of being in the health care profession and countless nutrition and dietary courses. Eliminating legumes from a diet for some people can be devastating. People need to be weary of taking advice from anyone…whether highly educated or not. People that have devoted years of their life to education of the body and nutrition would disagree with saying all carbs are treated equal.
Usman
Usman
5 years 10 months ago

I think you’re missing the point completely. Legumes may be beneficial… but any benefits can be had from a variety of other primal food sources, and they are likely far more bioavailable than from any legume. Fiber and proteins are more easily gotten through veggies and meat/eggs.

carice
carice
5 years 10 months ago
How do you get fiber from animal protein like eggs/meat? You would need to eat A LOT of fruit or veggies to get the same amount of fiber as what’s in just 1/4 cup of lentils (uncooked). Uncooked lentils also have more protein than tuna in the same amount, too. Check the labels for protein and fiber in 1/4 cup uncooked lentils vs. 1/4 cup canned tuna if you don’t believe me. You can also check online to see how much broccoli you would need to eat to get the same amount of fiber as 1/4 cup uncooked lentils. You’d… Read more »
Jay
Jay
5 years 10 months ago
Just in response to Barry’s comment about refeeds being there for “anabolism” or whatever. They’re actually there to raise leptin and lower gherlin as well as refill glycogen. (though leptin wasn’t really discovered until later than Mauro Di Pasquale’s CKD diet, it still has the same purpose) I’m a low carb bodybuilder, I manage to keep my bodyfat low while gaining muscle. Not to mention that while in low carb you have heightened IGF-1 (which can do everything insulin can but store fat), testosterone, and growth hormone (due to insulin being non-existent), you know, I think I’ll take that over… Read more »
Jay
Jay
5 years 10 months ago

Oh, and to respond to the post itself:

I’m pretty much in the same thoughtline as Mark, though probably not for the paleolithic aspect, but rather that I’d rather get soluble fiber from beans than say rice or fruit (low carber here). I wouldn’t go overboard with beans, but might as well get some of their benefits. And just a point on carbs, you can’t derive calories from fiber like you can sugar and other net carbs, so I always go by my net carbs as far as “carb counting” goes.

Caitlin
Caitlin
5 years 10 months ago
Wowzers. I just looked up at this post to see whether peas were okay. I think I remember reading something in the Primal Blueprint that listed peas as part of primal meal. And wow, just wow. For anyone disagreeing with the site, have you read all the posts? And the articles backing the posts? No? Okay, just checking. And, so peas are okay to eat sometimes? They’re so easy to cook, and so cheap, it was the only reason I wanted to know. I think having peas once a week might be what I’m aiming for, unless some one says… Read more »
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