soya, lentils, oats and dairy

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 29, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Hi there, so i've only recently started on the paleo diet, since i've started crossfit. All my life i've eaten healty, but i've allways used full cream milk with my coffee (max 2 cups a day) and in the morning with my breakfast. My breakfast is usualy gluten free, raw rolled oats or high protein Future Life cereal, witch is mostly a soy protein with lots of added vitamins and minerals. Futher on, sometimes ill use lentils and fresh green beans when i'm cooking soups, ect.

I've read a lot about the paleo diet, and know it excludes all of the above products. I don't think its harmfull, seeing as it is healty products...

My question is if you guys feel oats, soya, milk and the occasional lentils and green beans is bad for you, and if I should completly avoid them?

Any comments would be usefull, thanks so much.

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4 Answers


on May 29, 2013
at 10:18 PM

Green beans are 100% fine.

Lentils, if you're soaking and cooking them properly, are very nutrient-dense. If they don't bother you, knock yourself out.

Oats are somewhat less nutritious. Depending on what you're eating alongside, you could be missing out on nutrients that are bound to phytic acid and/or fiber. A lot of folks can eat them with impunity, but ask yourself whether you eat oatmeal because you love oatmeal or whether it's a mere habit that is displacing more nutritious foods.

Ditching the soy protein and the prepackaged cereal is probably a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to avoid processed food. Moreover, soy contains phytoestrogens and tripsin inhibitors (these factors are reduced in fermented soy products like shoyu/miso/natto). The effects of these on human health is a matter of controversy, but thyroid disregulation and endogenous sex hormone production could be affected. There is probably a threshold dose below which you'll be fine, but again, is soy protein really that delicious?

Finally, dairy. Most people around these parts stick to grassfed dairy fat, and fermented products like cheese/yogurt/kefir. Products like milk, containing unfermented casein, have high levels of IGF-1, a hormone implicated in a number of undesirable health outcomes (including the acne to which Lily alludes).

I should note finally that dairyfat is not uncontroversial. If you're avoiding soy because of phytoestrogens, you should know that dairy products have been shown to contain estradiol, a more biologically active estrogen, and have reduced testosterone in healthy males (albeit within the normal range). It's possible that this effect in conventionally produced dairy products is amplified by poor diet (including soy!) and production practices (i.e. constantly pregnant cows).

Personally, I eat butter because I like it and because I have virility to spare.



on May 29, 2013
at 08:47 PM

I think you should go 100% without them for a month. THEN add one thing and see how you react.

You won't 'react' the same if you don't allow body to heal, so definitely buck up and do that month what I call 'clean.'

Since you grew up with full fat dairy, unless you're trying to lose weight or if you have some other health issues, full fat dairy will be FINE (but only if you wait that month to test it!).

You will know! I cannot do dairy. I knew that for 40+ years but I've tested and retested in every possible fashion.

If you find that you can do dairy, you may want to move toward grassfed and raw dairy (generally healthier). But again please wait that month, okay?

When you've 'failed or passed' the dairy reactivity test, then try one more of your old favorites. Again, after one month of being 100% clean, it'll be easy to tell.

I never had too many gut issues with dairy (compared to others I personally know and by that I mean, I see their toilet issues!).

What I can GUARANTEE is cystic spots on my face. One serving of dairy and I get 2-5 massive, painful cysts.

I've tried simply whey protein and I have a primary allergic reaction to it (breathing impaired, swelling of mouth and stinging sensation). It's not good at ALL.

I cannot do soya in the form of dried/ cooked beans but I can tolerate unsweetened, organic soya 'milk.' I only take this because I'm a woman and I need the hormone help. As a man, I'm not sure if you can make an argument for soya. Try coconut or almond 'milk' instead.



on May 29, 2013
at 08:11 PM

Suppose it depends on who you're asking and how it would affect them. Whilst they might not be strictly paleo foods, how do you feel eating them? I'd suggest cutting them out for 30 days and reintroducing them after to see if you notice any difference. Personally i'm keeping them out and might have gluten free oats as an occasional treat in some homemade flapjack, but that's what works for me. A lot of people consider themselves to be paleo 80-90% of the time with the rest being allowed for cheats. So maybe that could be you 10-20%?

Hope this helps a bit :)

Medium avatar


on May 29, 2013
at 11:52 PM

The best way to exclude these foods is to incorporate other foods which will push them out of your diet. For instance, use heavy cream instead of milk in your coffee. The paleo objection is mostly to the carbs from lactose, and not to the butterfat. Incorporating seafood and root vegetables will replace the need for soy and lentils.

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