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Legumes vs Conventional Red Meat

by (3521)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created April 11, 2012 at 1:26 AM

If you only had the choice to eat conventionally raised meat, would you eat it or would you opt for a cheaper protein source such as beans.

Legumes have sustained many cultures for thousands of years, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico live off a diet rich in beans and yet don't suffer from modern diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Legumes are a great source of fiber, minerals (not as bioavailable as meat), and protein, but they also have lectins, saponins, and a considerable amount of phytic acid.

Lectins

Lectins seem problematic, but the following two studies showed that cooking destroys most of it.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/030881468990023X

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1985.tb13281.x/abstract

Phytic Acid

Personally I feel phytic acid is not much of a problem unless the diet has a low nutrient density, but a lot of it can be destroyed through soaking and fermentation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20715598

Saponins

Not to sure how to get rid of these. Maybe by carefully washing them? Or skimming the foam that forms on top when you boil them?

Other potential problems

Storage?? read Melissa's article: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/storagepossible-neolithic-agent-disease

Any others that I might be missing???

Conventional Red Meat:

Is well...junk. Animals are mistreated, badly fed, injected with a ton of hormones and antibiotics, and most of the conventional meat you find in supermarkets is old and heavily painted to keep it looking new and fresh. There is ton of studies on the potentially harmful effects of conventionally raised meat, and it's potential effects on human health.

I am super poor right now, and my high intake of conventionally raised meat has been making me feel terrible. Right now I want what's best for my health. If you were to only have a choice between conventional meat and legumes what would you opt for?

614591e2726eca42227b105dcbe44ea5
0 · April 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Same here. My strongest reason for being vegetarian for the past 6 years was due to the ethical treatment of animals. Now paleo, I only eat pastured organic meat. Beans were rather difficult to give up, since they found their way into most meals as my primary protein staple for me whilst veg*.

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5509 · April 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I'm jealous! Invite me over for breakfast, please.

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I have my own chickens, so they are already part of my diet.

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

My thoughts exactly. Properly prepared legumes don't seem to be much of a problem.

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Ok now we are all minorities. I eggs, fish and occasional grass-fed beef. But legumes are so cheap and convenient and don't seem to give me an obvious problems.

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5043 · April 11, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Awesome answer Shari. I agree 100%.

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141 · April 11, 2012 at 2:46 AM

That's what I love about leafy greens. They're inexpensive, easy to prepare and enhance with a little good butter, garlic, turmeric .. and FILLING. Cabbage is another one that I'm still trying to figure out. I have heard doctors forbid cabbage to their adult diabetic patients. Not sure what the basis of that would be ?

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141 · April 11, 2012 at 2:42 AM

But Rob Wolff or Dr. William Davis might argue that one builds up tolerance (addiction) to the proteins involved, like gliadin. And ultimately a greater reaction will result. Figure out the carbs that are affordable and still "safe" to consume regularly in any significant amount is tricky.

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141 · April 11, 2012 at 2:39 AM

I have always loved legumes. Especially in cuisines like various Asian and Latin. What would Indian food be with lentils and chickpeas ? Its a big problem for me. Even worse than having to abandon pasta and coarse black bread. I'm still a beginner studying the biochemistry of starches like potatoes versus legumes or rice. Right now if I can't resist, then I use a very measured PORTION control. Never more than a quarter-cup of cooked brown or white rice if at all. It all depends on how individually or genetically you are sensitive to the allergenic effects.

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11152 · April 11, 2012 at 2:36 AM

My kidneys would beg to differ on whether legumes are less harmful than meat. Have you ever had a kidney stone?

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5509 · April 11, 2012 at 2:25 AM

I also ended up adding kefir and yogurt to up the protein in my diet because I eat mostly eggs, sardines and only purchase 1 lb of humanely raised beef...and I didn't want to spend too much BUT was not willing to purchase factory farmed meat. I get ground beef, which is cheaper than fancy cuts.

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5509 · April 11, 2012 at 2:18 AM

I'd be in that minority with you:).

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713 · April 11, 2012 at 2:11 AM

where do you live? we do an awesome meatshare in NY that is really cheap.

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24271 · April 11, 2012 at 2:15 AM

If my choice is between CAFO meat and legumes I will pick legumes without giving it a second thought. I would prepare according to WAPF which helps a lot.

I would also eat a lot of yogurt(which you can make yourself very easily), cottage cheese, sardines, and canned salmon. Pastured eggs can be economical depending on where you live. I'd try to through in a pound of grass fed ground beef once a week or so if I could swing it.

I also think many of us can do just fine on lower protein. I've lowered mine into the 50-70g range most days and feel just fine. 4 oz of meat, a few eggs and a half cup of greek yogurt at night and I'm good.

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5043 · April 11, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Awesome answer Shari. I agree 100%.

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

My thoughts exactly. Properly prepared legumes don't seem to be much of a problem.

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4347 · April 11, 2012 at 2:15 AM

I am probably in the minority, but I prefer to stay away from conventional meat for ethical reasons. Given the choice between the two, I'd personally pick traditionally prepared legumes. Not paleo, I know, but it would make me feel better about what I'd be eating.

Disclaimer: I occasionally eat properly prepared legumes anyway, though not frequently (maybe once a month). I believe a lot of the issues with beans can be ameliorated through soaking/sprouting/fermenting, though they're probably not an optimal source of protein overall.

Do you eat eggs? Pastured eggs are a really good way to get nutrients from animal products without spending as much as you would for pastured meats. If you do end up choosing legumes over conventional meat, eating eggs will get you a lot more nutrients than beans alone. (Actually, if you tolerate them anyway they're a good option for nutrients.)

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5509 · April 11, 2012 at 2:18 AM

I'd be in that minority with you:).

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Ok now we are all minorities. I eggs, fish and occasional grass-fed beef. But legumes are so cheap and convenient and don't seem to give me an obvious problems.

614591e2726eca42227b105dcbe44ea5
0 · April 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Same here. My strongest reason for being vegetarian for the past 6 years was due to the ethical treatment of animals. Now paleo, I only eat pastured organic meat. Beans were rather difficult to give up, since they found their way into most meals as my primary protein staple for me whilst veg*.

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4292 · April 11, 2012 at 2:20 AM

I have this problem too - I have so many moral issues with eating factory farmed meat but just can't afford enough of the good stuff. Since I tolerate lentils and beans well, I do sometimes eat them instead - I soak them first. I refer to it as "broke-ass Paleo." I also eat a lot of eggs (if you can find cage-free eggs on sale, they're pretty affordable compared to grass-fed meat), and go for wild-caught fish, which I can get at a fairly reasonable price from a local farmers market. I also eat dairy for protein, especially Greek yogurt and kefir - if you can handle dairy well, this might be a good option. When I do go for grass-fed meat, I stick to cheaper meats like poultry or organs, and/or wait for a sale and freeze a bunch of it.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b
5509 · April 11, 2012 at 2:25 AM

I also ended up adding kefir and yogurt to up the protein in my diet because I eat mostly eggs, sardines and only purchase 1 lb of humanely raised beef...and I didn't want to spend too much BUT was not willing to purchase factory farmed meat. I get ground beef, which is cheaper than fancy cuts.

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1867 · April 11, 2012 at 2:47 AM

I eat beans because hunting season is once a year :)

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5509 · April 11, 2012 at 2:01 AM

Have you thought about incorporating local eggs into your diet?

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3521 · April 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I have my own chickens, so they are already part of my diet.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b
5509 · April 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I'm jealous! Invite me over for breakfast, please.

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