I love beans and peanuts. Beans and peanuts (all legumes, actually) are nutritious. Many beans are an excellent source of vegan protein.
The Whole30 plan states that:
"Legumes are often recommended as a healthy dietary choice, based on their fiber, vitamins and minerals, and “high” protein content. But legumes aren’t really a dense protein source (most contain two to three times as much carbohydrate as protein), and they’re nowhere near as dense (or complete) as the protein found in meat, seafood, or eggs. In addition, when compared to vegetables and fruit, legumes pale in comparison in both micronutrient density and fiber.
Some legumes also contain considerable amounts of phytates — anti-nutrients which bind to minerals in the legumes, rendering them unavailable to our bodies. (This means some of the minerals technically present in the legumes aren’t able to be accessed by our bodies — and means that legumes aren’t as micronutrient-dense as nutrition data might suggest.*)
*Ancient cultures figured out that rinsing, prolonged soaking, cooking, and fermenting legumes reduces the anti-nutrient content. If you choose to eat legumes, we highly recommend you also take these steps to mitigate some of the potential downsides.
In addition, because some of the short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) found in legumes aren’t properly digested and absorbed in the digestive tract, they can act as food for bacteria living in the intestines. These bacteria then “ferment” these carbohydrates, which can create unpleasant symptoms like gas and bloating, and potentially contribute to gut dysbiosis – an inherently inflammatory condition."
Allow me to translate this for you. "Legumes have protein but it isn't as GOOD a protein as MEAT. Also they make you fart. Oh and they may prevent you from absorbing certain minerals (like almost every other edible plant known to man)."
That's their logic for excluding legumes. And when asked about the science behind it, here was the response:
"There isn’t enough really convincing scientific literature for us to say, “All legumes prepared in all ways are unhealthy!” We like to err on the side of caution, however, and there is enough evidence specifically for us to recommend against peanuts, and (in our opinion) soy. As for the other legumes, this is where the self-experimentation piece comes in. As for the “wet noodle,” some people (not you) have criticized us for not really making a good case against some of these non-Paleo foods… but we’re not big fans of overstating the science just to make our recommendations, or articles, or program sound sexier. People have to figure some of these things out for themselves."
HEY WE DON'T NEED TO SEXIFY OUR PLAN WITH ACTUAL SCIENCE, GUYS. THAT'S A CHEAP PLOY ONLY USED BY LESS REPUTABLE DIET PLANS!
Now, don't take this as me saying Whole30 is garbage. It isn't, and it works for a lot of people, but it's not for me.
PS - I'm still here. Still working out. Still mostly tracking food. Just dealing with some stress right now. Love you all.