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Beans and other legumes - are they healthy?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legumes come in different forms. There are many kinds of beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans and lentils and for a long time all of them were known for being high in protein, minerals and fiber and therefore healthy while fairly low-priced. But legumes may indeed have a number of disadvantages and may be downright dangerous for some people to consume.
Rather than writing a very long blog on this topic I decided to provide some links of people who have done their research:




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  • SKATER787
    Great discussion. I think some will do great with beans while others won't. A lot of vegetarians live on beans, so you won't be able to take that away from them.
    1637 days ago
    I'd given up beans for the most part, but decided to use some of the dried beans we had on hand while I was laid off during the government shutdown - trying to save some money. We had green French lentils as a side dish with no ill effects, but small red beans, thoroughly soaked and rinsed caused major bloating and well... gas. I do get away with having some black beans on my salad from Chipotle with little to no side-effect. Overall, lentils seem to be OK for me, so I'll be choosing them over most types of beans in the future. I may throw out the rest of those red beans though!
    1639 days ago
  • MLB570
    Thank you for the blog and links to more info. I will be doing more research into low-carb and paleo diets.
    1639 days ago
    I linked several articles with somewhat different viewpoints intentionally because I think they are all legitimate. I guess whether legumes should be part of one's diet depends a lot on the individual. I personally can not have any because they raise my blood sugar far too much, just like grain. I also would have trouble with leaky gut. I suspect that a significant percentage of the population (at least a 1/3rd) may fall ino that category. I could tolerate homemade legumes, especially lentils, much better than store-bought canned, but still, if I do eat carbs I enjoy leafy greens much more.
    Rosewand, thanks for linking the article. I will take a look at it. For vegetarians it would be possible to avoid all legumes by eating a lot of dairy and eggs but of course it may not be necessary for everyone to avoid them.
    For vegans I suspect it would be very hard to get enough protein without beans.
    I also know that fermented beans are much better tolerated by many people.
    1639 days ago
    Rosewand, Interesting comments and thanks for the link! Very interesting article. I have some questions about both. But maybe there's a better place to discuss it than here?
    1639 days ago
    As a vegetarian, beans contribute significantly to my
    diet. And there is amble research to show that are
    they are healthy for most people to consume. They
    contain resistant starch which can be very helpful in
    maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and helping
    with weight loss. They also go along way to help
    your food budget.

    Having said this, it should be noted that there is a
    major difference between home-cooked beans and
    canned beans. The carbs in home-cooked beans
    will breakdown far more slowly than those in
    highly processed canned varieties and will have a
    smaller glycemic impact.

    And finally, beans are absolutely delicious! emoticon
    Edited to add link that offers a good discussion of
    the pros and cons:

    1639 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/24/2013 3:32:56 PM
    I found those articles somewhat confusing. (Let's assume for the moment that we're not the part of the population for whom legumes are deadly.) For example, in the conclusion of the first article, the author admits to eating legumes.

    So do you avoid all legumes? If no, how much do you eat?
    1639 days ago
    I also have problems with beans. Thanks for the post.
    1640 days ago
  • RUSSELL_40
    I eat chili beans 2 X a week with my chili on Wednesday, and Sunday with not much problem. I only use 1/4 of a can because of the high carb content, but it makes the dish. Otherwise I would just have tomatoes, and beef.

    I treat them like a limited food, just like cheese. I doubt that I will cut them out of my diet, but I was never a huge fan of beans, so they stay a very small part of it. They haven't hurt my weight loss, so I don't have a problem with them.

    As always, I love the discussion.
    1640 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    I do not eat legumes at all! I am one of those people who get so ill from them that it tears me up. I have tried them every which way and preparing them every which way and I react each and every time. Oh I love the taste and how I can make them so very yummy, but they truly are not for me.
    My family has little issues with lentils when used in a mild modest way, but will not buy them in the future. I will use up the 3 pounds of organic ones I was convinced were good and healthy and would not react on me...yah right!

    One clue for me was not only how I reacted, but acted when eating them. I wish I could place my hands on the article that cleared this up for me, because it agreed exactly with what I had known; every single time I ate them, I became obsessed and craved more and more. I use to think I was nuts. But after reading an article on food allergies it all came together and became very clear that I have a food allergy to them. My gut is still healing from the damages I have done to my body eating foods I should never have be eating, all of these years. I am actually finally relaxing in diet and accepting what I was meant to eat, healing and looking forward to living free from food allergies.
    I am a true paleo person and so much healthier and happier because of it.

    Thanks Birgit for placing this here today, it came at a good threshold for me, reinforcing what I have been working toward!
    1640 days ago
    I think you are reaffirming for me why I won't go paleo, even though I do prefer making my own homemade foods, as I control the ingredients and they just taste better.
    1640 days ago
    Great info links! Thanx! emoticon
    1640 days ago
  • SUNSET09
    I enjoy lentils and recently started including them daily with my lunch! It's always something! Everything in moderation, thanx. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1640 days ago
    do eat lentils but occasionally enjoy them also beans as a snack thanks for posting this
    1640 days ago
    I do miss beans on occasion and I really go by my response to them. I do best with dry beans, organic that I soak myself. I rinse them several times throughout the 24 + hour soaking process and then cook them. If i just eat whatever refired beans or canned beans I have a bad GI reaction. I don't if they are my own, and I have also never felt bad from peanut butter. I do go by what makes sense to me in science, but also by how I feel when I eat things. I feel once in a while is OK, they are not aprt of a daily diet. I won't give up legumes entirely until they affect how I feel. I have already given up too much!
    1640 days ago
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