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I'm a little confused here

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  • I'm a little confused here

    So last night the wife and I were reading some of the get started stuff here on MDA, and I noticed that in one of the recipes for a salad Mark mentions snow peas, however I seem to recall that in the book peas are legumes, and not to be eaten. On the topic of legumes, where do green beans fall? I understand that pintos, black, red, kidney, northern, white, lima, and soy are no nos, does this include green beans and wax beans as well? In addition I have seen numerous people within the forum talk about eating rice or potatoes. The vibe I got from the book was that wild rice is ok occassionally, and sweet potatoes are good to go if you are looking for more carbs.

    Cheese, is any cheese ok, or only white cheeses?

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    Peas are among the safest legumes. Mark has mentioned that, like grains, there is a spectrum of value in legumes. While most are worth avoiding, a few varieties are just fine here and there.

    Dairy is a personal choice, based on how your gut tolerates it, and whether or not it causes any side effects for you. But conventional dairy is very bad, stick with raw milk or high-quality cheeses, go for grass-few and raw whenever possible.
    Crohn's, doing SCD


    • #3
      Snow peas are mostly PEA PODS. The seeds (the legume) are almost nonexistent, and are quite neutral in their immature form.

      Green beans are the same...almost all pod and hardly any immature seed/bean.

      There is nothing wrong with some potatoes or white rice if you are not restricting carbohydrates.

      Dairy is fine, if you can tolerate it.
      *My obligatory intro

      There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo



      • #4
        He mentions cheese because aged cheese has very little lactose left in it (so even lactose sensitive people can usually consume small amounts). Once you are primal for a month or two you can try cutting it for two weeks and adding it back to see if you have negative reactions.

        The book allows for many people to eat better without excluding too many foods, you will find that variations of paleo (aip, imf, etc) can be even more restrictive for more dialed results, but not as easy to follow for mainstream America.


        • #5
          Ya, don't agonize over the garnishes too much. "Legumes and dairy are bad" refers to a broad pattern of relying on lots of skim milk, margarine, and dry poorly digested starch for energy at the exclusion of nutritious food.

          My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list


          • #6
            If you can eat it raw, it's food. Simple.


            • #7
              The natural yellow color of some cheese is actually good for you! It is beta-carotene (a precursor of Vitamin A):

              Why is cheese yellow or orange when milk is white?

              If artificial dyes are not used to color the cheese, yellow cheese is then possibly more nutritious than white cheese, but there is nothing wrong with white cheese either. Cheese in general is fine if YOU personally can tolerate it. Practicing paleo is usually not about all or nothing; it's about what is best for YOU, following general guidelines of avoiding grains in general, etc. If you are lactose intolerant, hard cheeses have the least, but all cheeses should be relatively low in lactose. Cream cheese as well is similarly low in carbs and lactose. I avoid drinking milk, but sour cream is still a staple in my diet. Also, the quality of the dairy product can very much impact how it is tolerated; some people cannot handle pasteurized milk at all, but have no problem with raw milk. Seeking out organic or higher quality dairy may be worth it to avoid side effects.

              Re: rice, actually white rice is possibly better then wild rice because the white, or polished, rice has had the outer germ removed, and it is the outer germ that while it is supposed to be "nutritious" according the CW values (vitamins, fiber, protein etc), it is also where all the anti-nutrients (phytates) and allergens are. So, in Paleo, wild rice is actually less desirable than white rice. White rice is a relatively "clean" source of carbs, that is, lacking grain allergens and anti-nutrients, compared to other grains - but all it has to offer really is carbs. Sweet potatoes are better because they are naturally very nutritious while also being a source of carbs and lacking the harmful elements of grains. But it is fine if you want to get your carbs from rice, as long as the rest of your diet is very nutritious. (cook your rice in your bone broth for instance )
              Natural products super cheap @ iherb: Use discount code SEN850 at for $10 off first order; free shipping $20+ order in USA


              • #8
                Pea pods are different from peas. Yeah, they are peas, but it's mostly the pod part.

                I am allergic to soy, peanuts, and subsequently quite sensitive to botanically similar legumes (peas, etc.) which contain the same proteins. I get very sick when I eat peas, but green beans and snap peas sit fine with me.
                Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2

                26lbs lost since cutting the crap.


                • #9
                  Alright! Thanks for all the great and prompt replies everyone! This really helps me out, we have limited food supplies here, and are on quite a bit of a budget. This is admittedly by choice, we love to travel and have two big trips planned this year. We are spending two weeks in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and then we will be spending 1-2 weeks in the San Francisco area later in the year. Knowing that some of these cheap foods are ok really helps us out a lot!


                  • #10
                    Fire and cooking were widespread during paleo times and even before - without the ability to BBQ meat we would not have got enough nourishment and energy from it to allow our brains to evolve to their current size and abilities.

                    The "party line" that legumes, potatoes etc are poisonous in their raw state so do not belong in a Paleo diet is somewhat extreme and perhaps underestimates the skills of our paleo ancestors. For example here in Australia, there are big stands of Bunya Pines in the mountains of Northern Australia - they yield masses of nuts that can be toxic until roasted and the indigenous people here (pure Paleo until around the same time as the West was being settled in the USA) had and still have no difficulty cooking and eating them.

                    They would travel long distances to gather for "conferences" and feast on the nuts, a little like Indigenous Americans in the New England area would cook vast amounts of beans and bear fat in pits for their "bean feasts".

                    I would guess that the reason that potatoes became farmed was because people toasted the tubers in the embers of the fire, like we used to do as kids.

                    So although I don't base my diet on them, I eat the occasional bean or potato with a clear conscience.
                    Last edited by MikeAtTaree; 05-02-2013, 12:49 AM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MikeAtTaree View Post
                      So although I don't base my diet on them, I eat the occasional bean or potato with a clear conscience.
                      Ya, the main point of 1st draft paleo was that both hunter-gatherers and industrial people tend to fall into monotonous dietary staples (industrial people have the illusion of a million shapes and colors but it's still monotonous). If those staples are nutritious and nontoxic it's not a problem. If those staples are hollow/allergenic/inflammatory then it's a problem. The more varied one's diet becomes, the less one needs to fear those suboptimal exposures.

                      My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list


                      • #12
                        When people say avoid legumes like peas think split peas and beans that you have to soak and then cook on the stove for hours and hours. Not the vegetables that you can eat raw.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.