So What’s Wrong with Eating Lentils and Beans?
Over the last 10+ years, a lot of people have switched from eating red meat, chicken and fish to eating lentils and beans.
We are all for people who want to clean up their diet, stop raising and killing animals in an inhumane way, but we were surprised to learn that according to the Paleo diet, lentils and beans aren’t all they are cracked up to be.
Before we continue, we think that in small portions lentils and beans are okay, but eating them every day or every other day isn’t healthy.
Why you ask?
Well first of all, it’s because they all contain something called phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to nutrients in the food which then prevents you from absorbing them. They won’t remove already existing nutrients in your body, but they certainly don’t help the lentils and beans provide you with rich protein.
Even with soaking them that doesn’t usually help.
So what about going the sprouting route?
Well besides it taking a few days to sprout, you run the risk of contaminating your lentils and beans with mold. Mold that is VERY dangerous to most people, especially the 1% that have a GNOM marker for mold.
But if you do your sprouting properly, you shouldn’t have a problem. Just make sure you understand that you still have to cook them and this still only gets rid of 25-75% of the phytic acid content.
What about fermenting the lentils and beans?
That’s also another good option to get rid of the phytic acid content. Again, you still have to cook the lentils and beans after they are fermented.
Understand that peanuts which are a legume, are NOT healthy for you no matter what you do to them prior to cooking them.
Peanuts have phytic acid. They also have lectins, which are not eliminated once you cook them. They also produce aflatoxins due to the mold that generally shows up on peanut (and corn) crops.
It’s considered such a containment, that even the FDA recognizes it as being a problem and usually the FDA doesn’t care about mold or health. Even on their site they state you can have them in moderation whereas we’ve always learned to avoid peanuts at ALL costs.
Lectins are a protein that harms the intestinal wall of your digestive tract and helps contribute to leaky gut. There are some people who aren’t affected by them, but if you already have digestive issues, note that this just isn’t healthy.
Soy has another issue altogether and that’s phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogen mimics estrogen in your body just like environmental estrogens. This signals your body to think it has enough when it really doesn’t.
Men could end up growing breasts and producing fatty hips, while women have menstrual, fertility, and other hormonal problems.
AND phytoestrogens have been linked to breast cancer and disrupts the functioning of the thyroid.
Soy alone doesn’t create this problem, but because there are so many hormone disrupting chemicals out there that we are exposed to all the time, eating soy only adds to the problem.
Soy also contains trypsin inhibitors which blocks protein absorption and forces the body to need more B12 and Vitamin D.
Plus the LAST thing you want to do is use soy protein powder which of course is just fake soy.
Now if you are wondering why Asians don’t have these issues, it’s because they always ferment their soy, their soy isn’t ruined due to the industrial processing, and they only eat a small amount of it in combination with other meat and vegetables. They do NOT eat only soy as a means for protein.
Also be aware of soy lecithin which is a by-product of soy oil commonly found in dark chocolate.
We recently found a great coconut chocolate bar, but we quickly figured out it had soy lecithin in it and we stopped eating it.
The Next Reason
The next reason lentils and beans aren’t all that great is due to how many carbs they have. Someone who eats them usually thinks they are getting mainly protein, when really the majority of the lentils and beans are carbs, and only a small percentage is protein.
A Third Reason lentils and beans aren’t all that healthy for us
They are a FODMAPS. A FODMAPS contains a carb called galaco-ligosaccharides which causes digestive problems, especially with people who already have digestive issues.
The worst kinds of oils are vegetable oils that go rancid very quickly due to high heat. They are VERY toxic to the body. You can even smell how rancid the oil is in your pan or container if you leave residue of oil in there for a few days.
Oriental restaurants almost always cook with peanut or sesame oil, and soy oil is used in MANY processed foods.
If they are a “seed” oil, they will contain PUFAs and Omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the leading causes for so many diseases that almost no one talks about unless they study holistic health.
PUFA is a fat that oxidizes when it’s heated up. This oxidation then produces free radicals that pushes the body to become inflamed and produces oxidative stress. These two elements are behind aging and many chronic degenerative diseases.
Overall meat has more nutrients than lentils and beans. No one is saying you should never have lentils and beans, we are just saying having them every day to replace the protein your body needs, probably isn’t a good idea.
And like always, it’s best to try and eat beef, chicken and eggs that are raised on a caring farm that knows how to feed the animals properly, doesn’t give them chemicals in their food OR water, and their animals are killed in a respectful non aggressive manner.
You can read more about the type of acids in lentils and beans here on this paleo page.
We Deserve Health