Pulses - poison or permitted?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 03, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I've just been looking through store cupboards of foods I used to love pre November 10 (when I started primal / paleo)

Chickpeas and puy lentils figure strongly here - if soaked and cooked at high heat (i.e. pressure cooker) which is supposed to remove many / most lectins, can they be a useful food source?

I could imagine a form of Humous made with chick peas, coconut oil, garlic etc to be very high in good fats and not too bad as regards anti nutrients.

Or are they to be binned and relegated to the past?

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6 Answers


on June 03, 2010
at 11:41 AM

In small amounts- as flavorings, garnish, treats- your body should be able to detoxify from them. As staples perhaps they can be harmful. You might be interested in chickpea miso, which you can make hummus with. The miso fermentation process destroys many antinutrients.



on June 03, 2010
at 11:07 AM

Depends on your personality/willpower more than some objective nutritional point, really.

You can likely render safe chickpeas and lentils through processing. This, however, is not really compliant with the "point" of paleo, which would be to eat real whole foods and stop worrying about it. If you're the sort of person who might follow the behavior of "well I ate this, so I'll give this a shot" until you end up back wherever you started, then yeah, bin the beans and move on.

If you just can't tolerate life without humus, and you genuinely aren't having any negative health effects from eating it (you're confident your processing is taking care of any potential negatives), then sure. The hardline paleo response is to just make a clean break, which actually isn't that hard if you just do it, but I don't think that you're going to kill yourself with occasional humus.



on June 03, 2010
at 08:57 PM

If they're canned or in sealed bags, donate them to a food bank rather than bin them. For a lot of people they're healthier than nothing or what they might get otherwise. I'm going through the same quandary - beans were always something I considered a healthy part of my diet - apparently not so much.



on June 04, 2010
at 07:14 AM

Thanks for the answers. So - I'll donate them to a deserving neighbour! They are organic, bought loose from a local organic store, and I used to love them. But - they can be replaced with liver, kidney - cheap meats. I used to regard them as a VERY economical source of minerals, vitamins etc - but then, so is offal (organ meats).

So thanks - you have helped clarify my thinking!



on June 03, 2010
at 06:12 PM

For me the focus is on high net gain foods (e.g. the biggest nutritional bang for each calorie consumed). Your Pulses may not be poison, but for those same calories could you have eaten a complete protein or a healthy fat?



on June 03, 2010
at 10:59 AM

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