Holy are beans controversial! The vegans say eat them, the Paleos say don’t eat them, Timothy Ferris, author of "The 4-Hour Body", says eat them, Dr. Mark Hyman says don’t eat them. Every article I read says something different. Who’s right? I guess that depends what you are looking to accomplish with your diet.
I’ll start in order with the Vegans. Vegans like beans because they are high in protein, fibre, and carbs. They also contain other nutrients like iron, folate, magnesium, potassium, and to a lesser degree, Vitamins B1, B3, B5 and B6, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese. This is a little deceiving due to the process it takes to be able to eat beans removes a lot of this nutrient. I’ll get into that.
Paleos don’t agree with each other on what to eat and what not to eat. Just being “Paleo” is controversial. Now the experts have to do studies on ancient teeth to discover what cavemen ate way back then so they can derive what a Paleo diet really was. Some will say beans are included in a Paleo diet and some will say they aren’t included in a Paleo diet. Incidentally, the tooth study confirmed cavemen from the Paleolithic era did indeed eat beans. So if you’re on a Paleo diet… you can now eat beans.
Timothy Ferris author of “The 4-Hour Body” swears by the bean. He claims it’s the magic ingredient for weight loss. The bean is high carbohydrate/fibre/protein and low glycemic index making the bean a “slow carb” and attractive to weight loss folks. Tim claims that in his study, adding the bean to a diet and not changing anything else improved weight loss very substantially. Can it work? According to Tim it can. According to experts, the glycemic index depends on how the bean is prepared. The more you soak the beans and cook the beans the higher the glycemic index. Mom’s baked beans with bacon and brown sugar are delicious, but are among the highest glycemic index foods you can find. In other words, they make you fat.
Dr. Mark Hyman
The reason why I’m writing this article is because of Dr. Mark Hyman. He isn’t a fan of the bean and I haven’t read much on why he doesn’t like them so I did a lot of digging and the more I read the more I agreed with Dr. Hyman. Hmm… these little suckers can be pretty toxic and cause all kinds of mischief in your body.
Plants can’t run or fight so their way of defending themselves is to produce toxins or poisons. Phytic acid or phytate is one of the poisons plants produce. Phytate binds to certain minerals and prevents their absorption to the body. Phyto means plant by the way. Let’s get honest, beans aren’t great tasting either. They are considered the least addictive food on the planet.
Phytate is more of a concern to vegetarians because meat eaters tend to get enough minerals from their meat. The other problem vegetarians face is copper toxicity and some beans are high in copper. Copper is a needed nutrient in very small amounts but adding too much in beans and not enough zinc in meat leads to copper toxicity.
A little more on the copper toxicity is, anybody with a high copper diet can end up with it, not just vegetarians. When you are copper toxic you will likely hate protein because it stimulates the thyroid and adrenal glands releasing the stored copper inducing the copper toxicity symptoms: headaches, emotional instability, fatigue, insomnia, depression, skin rashes, brain fog, learning disorders, and premenstrual syndrome. Once copper toxicity is overcome the symptoms go away.
Ever heard of lectin before? This is important my friends. This is huge actually. It’s causing all kinds of problems and it’s getting much worse as we speak, or as you read I mean. Lectin causes “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. Some doctors still say that this is a nonexistent syndrome, but it’s getting harder and harder to deny it exists. Lectin binds to cells and kills them. After this happens to the lining of the gut, the gut becomes much more permeable. Lectin can then bind to cells in the bloodstream killing those cells. We are talking system wide inflammation. Lectin is in lots of plants but very high in grains, pasteurized dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds. When you think about it, it’s all foods that are the seed of the plant besides the dairy. Soy and gluten tend to be the highest contributors.
Genetically modified shit
Then there’s GMO. Genetically modified shit. One of the ways the food industry has modified GMO foods is by increasing their “natural” toxins so bugs won't touch them. In other words, they make them really high in lectin. My friend planted organic potatoes and non organic potatoes on the farm in large amounts. The bugs didn’t touch the GMO potatoes and ate the organic ones. If bugs won't touch it, you shouldn’t either. There are more problems with GMO but I’ll stop there for now.
Almost all soy and soy products are GMO along with corn. When you add all that up, if you are eating packaged foods you’re eating corn, soy, and all kinds of grains, (all high lectin) with modified sugars. Sugar just synergistically magnifies all the inflammation and bad bacteria/yeast. I guess I could mention the preservatives and other toxins in packaged foods here.
I’m sorry. I work as an EMT on the side and did it for 10 years full time and I understand that people think of this stuff like a sasquatch; it might exist but they’ll never see it. Then they get to be about 40 and the doctor wants to give them more hugely toxic crap in the form of pills for a medical issue instead of dealing with the cause of the issue. Just stay away from packaged foods and GMOs. They are killing you.
You can neutralize phytate and lectin in your beans by soaking them in water, sprouting them, fermenting them, or boiling them at 100 degrees Celsius for at least 10 minutes. Obviously this process of soaking and boiling is going to remove some of the nutrients in the beans and it’s going to increase the glycemic index. Beans aren’t so bad? Studies show beans are still linked with IBS, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, peptic ulcers, allergies, and Type 2 diabetes. I also want to mention that if you don’t cook your beans at a high enough temperature they are deadly. People die every year from lectin poisoning by slow cooking their chilli as kidney beans are amongst the highest in lectin.
Another plant's defence is to cause predators to be infertile. Phytoestrogen is not estrogen but mimics estrogen and messes with hormones. High estrogen is not good for males or females for various reasons one of which is low thyroid which kills metabolism.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are carbohydrates that are hard to digest and turn to sugars that compound all kinds of issues in the GI tract. For some it's much worse than others. Let each little bean be heard. Pardon me, my friend's an A-hole...
Peanuts are a bean and have a special kind of toxin on them called aflatoxins. They have the other toxins too but as a bonus you get aflatoxins which is a mold that is one the most carcinogenic things known to man. It’s another toxin your body has to deal with and fight off. Who needs more inflammation? I should point out the lectin in peanuts and peanut oil is potent and roasting them doesn’t neutralize it.
OK, if I didn’t turn you off from soy yet, then let me add a little more :) Soy is high in the aforementioned phytoestrogen. Also, a trypsin inhibitor inhibits the digestion of many different proteins by preventing the enzyme trypsin, from breaking down the proteins. Soy protein and soy milk are 2 things that should never be considered food. I cringe when I hear the process of how this stuff is made. I hope that’s enough to beat out all the great marketing in favor of soy.
Fermented organic soy is the only soy I recommend. It’s called Miso. Green beans and peas have much less of these above mentioned toxins and get the thumbs up as well.
I hope you liked the article. If you did, share it with friends. These are the types of issues I deal with daily with my clients in order to accomplish their fitness goals. I believe in a coach like approach and I help guide my clients to do the things they deem relevant for them and they are seeing really great results. For me the reward is the happiness it creates and seeing the new found confidence in people. WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PERSONALLY SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS ...FOR FREE?
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