Why are Legumes not Paleo?

by (22684) Updated September 24, 2013 at 2:32 AM Created September 28, 2010 at 5:11 PM

The base answer I can find revolves around phytic acid and lectins...

Which rings true because these chelate minerals , niacin deficiency etc... Until we look at approved Paleo..

Veggies = lectins and antinutrients, different ones leech different things, but for most, the benefits outweigh the risks

Nuts/Seeds, just as much phytic Acid/lectin load as legumes, poor O6 profile, but Still recommended.

So why are legumes ousted with similar makeup to nuts seeds? Surely something makes them different...

Now certain legumes are crazy bad(soy), but all?

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8 Replies

20222 · September 28, 2010 at 5:32 PM

It's step 11 of the 12 step plan from Dr. Harris at PaNu - so I take it as somewhat optional. Even he doesn't do step 12.


"If you can do step 1, that is about 50% of the benefit and alone a huge improvement on the standard american diet (SAD) By about step 6 you are at about 75% , by step 9 about 80% and at 10 you are at 99% for most people." - Dr. Harris

Furthermore, coffee and chocolate are beans and therefore verboten. However, many of us "cheat" daily with at least one of these (coffee for me).

I'm also thinking that anything that makes me fart isn't digesting well and perhaps should be avoided. You may be right - too high in starch?

Again, I mostly avoid, but don't worry about having some now and then. I'm kind of getting to be the same with nuts - the O6 scares me a little.

As an aside - I love peanuts - but when I eat them, I eat a lot and then I feel kinda crappy. I was so sad to find out that they are legumes...

Perhaps if it HAS to be cooked to eat it, it's not Paleo?

1410 · September 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM

It tends to be a question of lectin content but my philosophy is this:

Can you........pick it > cut it > heat it > eat it?
Or can you... kill it > cut it > heat it > eat it?

5888 · September 28, 2010 at 9:17 PM

As I understand it, the lectins in beans are destroyed by thorough cooking, with pressure cookers being particularly effective at destroying them. That said, I'm certainly not going to go back to eating them as a staple food, but I do enjoy them and eat them once in a while.

3591 · September 28, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Beans are Bad for a few reasons:

  • They are acidic and throw off the acid / base balance.
  • Their lectins promote gut permeability.
  • Their lectins promote bad gut flora.

Scary article from Cordain on Legume lectins:

Because dietary lectins are able to cross the gastrointestinal barrier rapidly and enter the circulation intact (Pusztai et al. 1989), they may also be able to interact directly with synovial tissues. Although not a characteristic model of RA with all of its symptoms, a rabbit model of arthritis has shown that the direct injection of legume-derived dietary lectins into the knee joint induces the development of severe arthritis. Specifically, single injections of Lens culinaris lectin (derived from lentils), Pisum sativum lectin (derived from peas), or the lectin concanavalin A derived from the jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) were able to induce severe arthritis characterized by an amplification of the initial inflammatory response due to T-lymphocyte stimulation (Brauer et al. 1985). Source: "Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis,"

2088 · September 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM

I've tried properly prepared legumes again recently after a long absence, and they just can't be a part of my diet. They are the only foods that give me heartburn, and they also cause lots of gas and bloating later down the line. If I eat them more regularly, I get obvious systemic inflammation.

Except for gluten, they are the only food that causes noticeable and immediate problems for me. I take this to mean that I need to kick them to the curb for good.

Being inflamed for three days is just not worth it eating pinto beans, much as I love them. There's lots of things I can eat that I love.

Also, I thought coffee was actually a berry, botanically speaking? And chocolate...pods/plants don't actually look like any of the other banned legumes.

Neither cause me any trouble at all, but maybe it's just quantity or processing, I don't know.

962 · September 24, 2013 at 2:32 AM

I don't think anyone answered the question. It might have to do with the fact that nuts can be eaten raw, but beans can not (without discomfort). But one still has to try everything. Me, I prefer steamed string beans to tomatoes or eggplants, I can eat two pounds of string beans in a sitting, no problem but one pound of tomatoes affect me. And I will always prefer fresh shelled beans, frozen until it is time (they are the best vegetable for freezing), cooked in some good broth, to any nut. These legumes at least are incredibly healthy.

0 · September 23, 2013 at 4:40 PM

what do vegetarians eat. I am good. Do not like beans except green but no problem giving up. I love protein and veggies better

131 · May 09, 2012 at 11:54 PM

So basically the peanuts and green beans I've been dreaming of are out huh? Dammit. And they seem like healthy foods!

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