Beans and nuts...

by (0) Updated April 21, 2014 at 3:08 PM Created April 20, 2014 at 1:29 AM

I've read other questions on here about legumes, but I still don't understand why they are considered a "to be avoided food". I tolerate properly prepared legumes (chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans, etc. with the exception of soy and peanuts.) MUCH better than properly prepared nuts for some reason and that is why I am curious. This is just an n=1, I am just trying to find out what works for me and my body :)

So I guess my question is, why are beans not Paleo and nuts are Paleo, considering what is present in them (toxins, anti nutrients, etc.)?

(Just for the record, I'm mostly Paleo. I mostly eat meat and tubers because my body thrives on those. I have occasional fruit, some vegetables, occasional dairy (yogurt, cheese, etc.) and I haven't experimented with properly prepared grains (so no grains at all at the moment). No legumes right now, I just know I tolerate them well.)

Thanks for your answers. I look forward to reading them!

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6 Replies

4888 · April 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM

"Properly prepared means..." - so presumably you don't eat coffee / chocolate / butter / lard / bacon / fermented foods / etc etc. The list of foods which are considered perfectly OK as paleo foods but which take a lot of processing is large. Legumes take no more preparation so are OK in my book.

992 · April 21, 2014 at 4:40 AM

Legumes also offer a nice potential source of trace minerals, like molybdenum, which you might not find in fruits / vegetables / meats. I use hazelnuts as an easy way to up my manganese, and an occasional brazil nut is practically a selenium supplement. If you digest these well, they seem to have a place in a well balanced diet. I don't particularly buy into the phytates argument against them, in the context of an otherwise nutritionally-dense diet. If you have a biomarker for hemochromatosis (~10% of the population), phytic acid actually helps to pull iron out of the places it shouldn't be.

30 · April 20, 2014 at 10:16 PM

The way I think of the difference from an evolutionary viewpoint is that nuts are generally protected with a super hard shell, compared to the thin pods of legumes, so nuts might have relatively less anti-nutrients than legumes. Also, nuts can be eaten raw, while legumes can't be.

But you're question has me re-thinking properly prepared legumes. And I just read Chris Kresser's post here: http://chriskresser.com/are-legumes-paleo

962 · April 20, 2014 at 3:14 PM

There are two differences, one beans are, generally speaking, slightly more nutritious in nutrients that are not particularly abundant in paleo-like diets. two, the really big advantage is that beans are mostly soaked, often germinated, and cooked. Nuts are mostly raw and are digestive bricks. Good for them, they are trying to discourage you from eating them. Beans have not evolved to counteract the effect of prolonged soaking with multiple water changes, followed by thorough cooking (nor will we let them). It is no coincidence that my favorite nuts are chestnuts, because they are roasted, and really the only nut that does not bother me in quantities above one or two ounces.

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0 · April 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Maybe I'll get flamed for this by the sheep followers, maybe not though..

Well I pretty much think the whole "cavemen ate this, cavemen did that" is the most ridiculous part of the paleo fad. When applied to such specific food topics it's an incredibly stupid diagnosis for how we should conduct our lives.

Yeah legumes and nuts need to be properly prepared. So does coffee, cocoa, folks who cook their meat, cook down the tough cellulose in veggies, bake a potato, make bacon, drink water, ferment foods, even processing the flesh of a hunt in the most "paleo-esque" way possible requires preparation. Also considering so many paleo-sheep pop an incredible amount of supplements for whatever reason.


In my experience, I think legumes are pretty good, yes - when prepared properly. I only eat lentils anymore and always sprout them before eating them. I've noticed I don't get the big bean side-effects when I do this over eating canned or unsprouted beans. Just don't sprout kidney beans I've heard.

Nuts suck for me. I can see the skins in my poop and they make me hurt.

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188 · April 20, 2014 at 5:29 AM

Properly prepared for me means that it shouldn't be considered Paleo. I can't imagine that early man was sitting around and soaking beans, nuts or any other foods for 24 hours prior to cooking them. Nuts are supposedly ok in small quantities and I tolerate them well, whereas for me beans just lay in my stomach and cause a discomfort that I'd just as soon avoid.

Ultimately eating what works for you and doesn't come from factories is what I consider Paleo.

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