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Are Legumes Really That Bad?

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  • Are Legumes Really That Bad?

    So in Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution, he lumps grains and legumes into the same category, basically saying avoid them completely.


    But, while I understand why grains are bad I'm not 100% on why legumes are so bad.


    Yes, they have phytic acid which prevents nutrients in the legume from being absorbed BUT phytic acid doesn't actually leech existing minerals from your body or anything, it just renders the legumes nutritionally empty.


    Here's the thing though, as long as you are eating lots of meat and veges you should be getting plenty of good micronutrients so it's ok to indulge in "filler calories", stuff that has low micronutrient value.


    Is there anything really wrong with eating legumes sometimes? More specifically, the canned kind, like Chilli Beans, Baked Beans, Kidney Beans, etc.


    Keen to hear your thoughts on this. I'm currently in the process of refining my diet to only exclude things that are actually bad for me, not just things that don't conform to the paleo way.

  • #2
    Lumping the whole family together can be misleading.

    • Soy and peanuts are pretty bad if you care about O6 fat, endocrine disruptors, immuno-reactive proteins, and dubious growing conditions.

    • Starchy beans can be digestively unkind and most folks don't need the filler calories. Coaxing them out of their storage phase of life with soaking or culturing is probably wise--I would skip the canned ones. Baked beans in particular tend to have a long ingredient list. Though frozen green peas are immature and very low in these toxins.

    • Pea pods, green beans, mung sprouts, and other low-energy parts are all groovy.

    Legumes are seeds and seed foods range from harmless to harmful but none of them are really beneficial IME. Plenty of other options for filler calories.
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    • #3
      I eat Eden Foods organic, soaked, canned (BPA-free) beans. Easy, cheap, healthy food.
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      • #4
        Hi is there any info available on how and how long they have been soaked?

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        • #5
          Search around for what wholehealthsource.blogspot.com and Chris kresser say about legumes. I've been soaking my black beans for 24-36 hours (some people say 12-24, some say up to 48 hours), then cooking and cooling them to maximize resistant starch. I soak then in warm water (just slightly warm, not boiling to start), and just leave them in a covered pot on the stove to soak. I've also seen references to adding a little vinegar to the water but idk what that does.

          I love black beans and lentils, and only excluded them from my diet to stay low carb. I'm not eating low carb anymore so I'm back to eating them on occasion.

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          • #6
            I figure that if I have to soak or process something for 24 hours to make it okay to eat, I might as well just leave it in the store. When the heck did everyone get so addicted to beans? Tasteless little blobs of squish.
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            • #7
              I am with JoanieL on this aspect, I do not understand all the love for beans. I have never found a bean that I felt I could not do without. I understand that they are a rich source of protein and readily available, but I could cut them out of my diet forever and not miss them.

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              • #8
                I am with you but if Eden ' s Organic black beans have been properly soaked they would be a nice treat every week or so and a decent source of RS...

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                • #9
                  Hell, I eat tofu and peanut butter in moderation.

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                  • #10
                    I love beans - delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare. Just cover with water, leave for 24 hours, rinse and then cook until tender. I use a pressure cooker which makes it all much quicker. Cold, they make delicious salads with a vinaigrette and plenty of garlic and herbs. Hot, they are wonderful in stews and casseroles, also as an accompaniment to main course. Hummus is a delight and peas pudding (I'm from the North East of England, where peas pudding is pretty much a staple) is almost a miracle food. It appears on most dinner tables frequently - and so many people in the north east reach a very fit and healthy old age!

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                    • #11
                      Last time I checked beans are another food the paleo leaders and community have back tracked on. If you soaked legumes, for up to 24 hours, you remove most of the problematic components of them. Sprouting is another route to making them more agreeable to eat.

                      So I don't see any reason to avoid them unless you have an intolerance.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AMonkey View Post
                        If you soaked legumes, for up to 24 hours, you remove most of the problematic components of them.
                        Yeah... but I'm talking about eating them unsoaked (ie canned beans). If I'm going to be eating beans it's going to be out of convenience. I'm sure as hell not going to spend 24 hours preparing them, they aren't worth that amount of trouble.

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                        • #13
                          Only one word: LegumesAreAwesome

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FatIsAwesome View Post
                            Yeah... but I'm talking about eating them unsoaked (ie canned beans). If I'm going to be eating beans it's going to be out of convenience. I'm sure as hell not going to spend 24 hours preparing them, they aren't worth that amount of trouble.
                            You don't "spend 24 hours preparing them". You put them to soak 24 hours before you want to use them. A bit like going to the shops and buying ingredients 24 / 48 or whatever hours before you are going to use / eat them. Or taking meat out of the freezer 24 hours before you are going to cook it. I honestly don't find that it takes me more than about 2 minutes to put them to soak.

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                            • #15
                              So the take home seems to be that IF you buy them yourself, soak them yourself, and prep them yourself, then one can remove a lot of the reasons why they would otherwise be sketchy.....

                              This still leaves the fact that most of their actual preparations, in restaurants or in stores, are questionable. Also, they can be made into a pretty potent calorie bomb. I think beans are disgusting, always have. Even as a vegan I HATED the advice to put beans into things. I don't understand their appeal at all.
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