1

votes

Plant protein and toxicity?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 12, 2013 at 1:38 AM

So I've been doing more research recently into Lentils and Quinoa for two reasons:

  1. I am trying to live a more financially ethical lifestyle and have been trying to spend no more than $30/week on food for myself.

  2. I like the taste of them.

I recently found this article from 2010 where Paul Jaminet says that "plant proteins are behind nearly all the toxicity effects of grains and legumes" but then doesn't provide any links to back up this claim. It is fairly bold, and seems to rest upon the conclusion that unlike animal protein plant protein is toxic to our bodies. So is there any truth to this? I am looking for scientific data and not anecdotes or unverified statements from paleo authorities.

Thanks!

Link: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/09/the-oldest-profession-quinoa-millet-and-emmer-and-einkorn-wheat/

EDIT: The quiona I buy is locally-grown in the US. There is a small farm in Olympia, WA I purchase from but if you want to do the same online I suggest these people: http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/

Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 12, 2013
at 12:51 PM

The paleo aversion to plant proteins of all kinds goes almost as deep as the lectin aversion, and is on the highest level a rejection of grains as ancestral food. At the lowest level it is a paleo connection with Atkins and dependence on ketosis dieting for weight loss.

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on May 12, 2013
at 02:17 AM

Updated my original post. The quiona I buy is grown in a farm near Olympia, but is essentially the same as this place: http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on May 12, 2013
at 02:15 AM

The quinoa I buy is grown in the US: http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 12, 2013
at 01:58 AM

This is a question I have myself.

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6 Answers

2
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 12, 2013
at 12:21 PM

I don't have hard data for you, but maybe one of these rabbit trails will lead you to it...

Personally I find the debate of legumes versus non-legumes fascinating. One the paleo side you have the "legumes are full of anti-nutrients" position. On the vegan side you have the "anti-nutrients in small doses are actually good for the body" argument (on the basis of hormesis, such as that postulated by Archevore; although I think he means it as related to non-starchy vegetables: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/28/william-munny-eats-his-vegetables.html).

I find that I am coming down in the middle with the Weston A Price Foundation: Anti-nutrients are detrimental, but traditional cultures had ways of minimizing them, mainly through soaking and/or sprouting: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid

Even Mark Sisson ran a post of how if you're going to eat grains (in his case, oats) make sure you prepare them right: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-grains

Most people just don't eat them bc the preparation is too hard. But honestly, if you get in a rhythm, it isn't bad. We eat lentils about once a week in our house. I soak them for 24 hours, with 3 changes of water. For me, the main reason to avoid legumes is that they initiate that "crazy carb lady" tendency in me. I could eat my bodyweight in beans. :)

2
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on May 12, 2013
at 04:50 AM

Legumes are absolutely not "toxic". They can be of great benefit and are constantly correlated with good health in populations around the world. They also have an extremely high antioxidant content and are a good source of magnesium and thiamine.

0
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on May 13, 2013
at 03:31 PM

Have a look through the citations list for the PHD food toxins chapters...

Perfect health Diet. Notes to the Book. Food Toxins: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/notes/#Ch18

0
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on May 13, 2013
at 02:13 PM

Meh. The goal of Paul from the PHD is to educate his readers so that they can make informed decisions. While I agree that plant proteins are themselves toxic, I find wisdom in history. People have been eating grains and plants for thousands of years. Somewhere we got off track and started subsidizing grains and then putting them in unnatural forms into everything. But grains and legumes that are properly prepared can be an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants. And maybe more importantly, they are cheap.

I personally eat a fair amount of grains, but soak them first. I eat oatmeal about 2 twice per week, soaked the night before in water and either kefir or apple cider vinegar. I often make chili in cold weather months for which I soak the beans 24 hours. I make buckwheat pancakes on occasion, soaked at least overnight in buttermilk.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 12, 2013
at 01:05 PM

I think it's a matter of degree with all grains. A few people can't digest plant proteins period. But most people digest them very well, as well or better than the dairy protein casein. Over the last 30 years I can see the effect of all this good digestion (combined with increasing sedentism) in the greater rates of obesity, myself included. If you choose to eat them do the paleo thing and keep them scarce in your diet. They're a side dish to the meat, vegetables and fruit.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on May 12, 2013
at 02:07 AM

Quinoa is the main food of Peruvian peasants. As the result of the boom in it here, all of it is produced for export, and they can no longer afford it. It is not ethical. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/the-food-fad-thats-starving-bolivia-2248932.html and http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/first-world-food-demand-raises-prices-15008439

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on May 12, 2013
at 02:17 AM

Updated my original post. The quiona I buy is grown in a farm near Olympia, but is essentially the same as this place: http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/

091423a30c0188fbff51e39397e7e056

(384)

on May 12, 2013
at 02:15 AM

The quinoa I buy is grown in the US: http://www.whitemountainfarm.com/

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