3

votes

Saponins the last obstacle to legume consumption?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 01, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Assume the following for the sake of the question:

1) I select a legume with relatively low phytate and lectin contents.

2) It has relatively low glycemic load, or I will limit my portions accordingly if it does not.

3) The legume is not prone to molding and the resulting fungus toxins (unlike peanuts for example).

4) I soak it in a near optimal way for several days, decreasing lectins some, drastically decreasing phytates, and also decreasing indigestible polysaccharide (e.g. raffinose) content considerably.

5) I pressure cook it for a bit longer than recommended, eliminating virtually all lectins and phytates.

According to the Paleo Way, are saponins the last obstacle to me enjoying a plate of these delicious beans?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 06, 2010
at 09:17 AM

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4405/2 raw pink lentils = 48g net carbs and even that isn't very many lentils- 100g cooked lentils is nothing at all, 116 calories, just over an ounce of raw lentils. If you want to merely season your food with lentils, then you'll doubtless be fine of course.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on December 06, 2010
at 12:43 AM

I see. After checking nutritiondata.com, it says 20 grams of carbs per 100 g of lentils, but I can see your point regardless. To me lentils seem like a relatively high carb, high nutrient, slightly inflammatory food (so I'll put a lot of veggies in the stew to counteract). I play a lot of tennis and cycle a bit, so going very low carb is not really my thing. As for preparation, it seems that pressure cooking for 25 minutes gets rid of much of the saponins too, so I'll try this tomorrow and see what happens.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on December 06, 2010
at 12:38 AM

Thanks for that advice. Would that get rid of some of the nutrients though? Either way I imagine the husks have the most of the toxins, so that suggestion makes perfect sense.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on December 02, 2010
at 08:09 PM

I agree, lentils seem to have some of the lowest risks of the popular legumes. I will try those and go from there.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 02, 2010
at 12:04 AM

Call me a heretic, but I sometimes enjoy dosas and recently had some lamb served with a size of butter and broth braised lentils that was rather delicious. Lentils have never bothered my stomach the way other beans do.

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3 Answers

2
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on December 01, 2010
at 10:28 PM

It appears to me that nothing will be an obstacle to keep you from "enjoying a plate of these delicious beans..."! I find most starchy foods are simply a vector for the flavorful goodies I top it with.

1
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on December 03, 2010
at 10:03 AM

If anyone must eat lentils - one must try the ones available at several Indian grocery stores marked "Hulled and split". All lentils are available as a whole grain/seed or as hulled and split which is after removing the outer shell and then split into two. The hulled and split ones have a lot of the toxins in the outer shell mechanically removed.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on December 06, 2010
at 12:38 AM

Thanks for that advice. Would that get rid of some of the nutrients though? Either way I imagine the husks have the most of the toxins, so that suggestion makes perfect sense.

0
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 03, 2010
at 10:16 AM

I suspect that one of the main motivations, for most people, for avoiding legumes is simply because they're very carbohydrate rich. There are no legumes that I'd consider as having 'relatively low glycemic load' since 100g of lentils (not much), will give you 50g+ of carbohydrate. The fact that they have a relatively low glycemic index, I wouldn't view as particularly significant, since you're still going to have to absorb the glucose some time, however much fibre is slowing down its digestion. All in all it seems a bit of a waste of one's days carbohydrate, given how much fruit/vegetable you could consume within the same limit.

If you're a high-carb paleo though, eating a lot of starchy tubers, I guess it would be much harder to justify the distinction. My own suspicion is that anything that requires such elaborate preparation is likely, even when tolerated, to be sub-optimal. (To steal Kurt Harris' formula).

Incidentally, before going paleo I used to live on lentils/chickpeas. It didn't do me any visible harm (apart from losing about 2 stone in a matter of months- not a good thing), but neither did living on mostly raw wheatgerm and soy milk, which I've also practised.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 06, 2010
at 09:17 AM

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4405/2 raw pink lentils = 48g net carbs and even that isn't very many lentils- 100g cooked lentils is nothing at all, 116 calories, just over an ounce of raw lentils. If you want to merely season your food with lentils, then you'll doubtless be fine of course.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on December 06, 2010
at 12:43 AM

I see. After checking nutritiondata.com, it says 20 grams of carbs per 100 g of lentils, but I can see your point regardless. To me lentils seem like a relatively high carb, high nutrient, slightly inflammatory food (so I'll put a lot of veggies in the stew to counteract). I play a lot of tennis and cycle a bit, so going very low carb is not really my thing. As for preparation, it seems that pressure cooking for 25 minutes gets rid of much of the saponins too, so I'll try this tomorrow and see what happens.

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