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Debate- should I cut legumes and dairy?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 05, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Hi everyone,

So I've been pretty Paleo for several months now. Cottage cheese is the only dairy I eat, and I only have it a few times per week. I also eat legumes (black beans, lentils, etc.) but I do not touch flour, rice or corn products and I have refined sugar only with dessert on special occasions. I have never gone a full month without any dairy or legumes, never gone a full month 100% paleo- so my question to you all is, should I?

I don't have any food allergies. I exercise several times per week, I get 8+ hrs of sleep per night, and I really can't imagine feeling any better than I do now. How many of you have found that a bit of dairy and legumes affect you negatively? What effects do you notice? How long did you wait before reintroducing these foods to see if you felt different? Also, what do you replace these foods with to get energy before hitting the gym?

On a health level, are a few ounces of cottage cheese and a few cups of legumes per week really so bad for you? If I feel fine with them, is there any health reason to cut them out? I know legumes contain some anti-lectins (but I believe beans can be soaked to minimize the negative affects of them???), but I'm not really sure what all that means.

Lastly, I would love to lose a few lbs but have pretty much given up on the idea because my body seems pretty adamant on holding on to lbs I have left. Do any of you find legumes impact weight loss/gain? Additionally, if I do choose to go a few weeks 100% Paleo, any recommendations to ensure I do not fruit-binge and end up gaining weight? Around how many servings of fruit per day do you recommend to maintain weight, and what fruits do you find are lowest in sugar / best for you overall?

Thanks in advance!

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on March 20, 2013
at 07:41 AM

Yes... most dairy should go before legumes. Reaction to legumes are legume type & person specific. Legumes are 'ok' but not great, there are lots of better foods without the hassle. They contain "anti-nutrients" that need to be dealt with...they evolved to avoid digestion. These issues can be dealt with but (imo) most people have not the skill, desire or time.. are they worth it? I did the whole 9 yards with a batch of golden lentils only to have them turn out like little pebbles... very disappointing considering the effort. The verdict.. an old batch. :(

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 05, 2013
at 04:36 PM

As someone who has had surgery to recover from lower GI issues that *some* legumes exacerbated, I sincerely must have to disagree with this: legumes are not categorically "health promoting". There are plenty of safe legume choices, but certainly not the entirety.

5740b342b3b4ca4af7625f9505f7eb5d

(281)

on March 05, 2013
at 12:44 PM

Whilst this is the standard paleo wisdom on such matters, I found that, on re-introducing oats and white rice, I had mild GERD/pain that faded over a number of weeks. So far, no one has been able to explain why these symptoms disappear, other than to say that I am now less aware of those symptoms, which quite frankly is bullshit. I have been a mindfulness/meditation practitioner for many years and probably overly sensitive to bodily communication, if anything.

B9cfa43798183424786a59d11ac52f76

(145)

on March 05, 2013
at 06:55 AM

I agree with Heidi: you'll only know how much these foods affect you when you do trial periods without them. For that reason (and because its easier than being 100% paleo) you could try eliminating dairy for a month (or 3) and then move on to the next thing, in your case, legumes. I have tried a month without dairy and did not feel any different, so I added it back in (although now I question whether I should have gone longer). I had some chili the other day, though...now that's a different story.

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4 Answers

3
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 05, 2013
at 05:09 AM

I'd say, that if your dairy is fermented. and especially if it's from casein A2 animals, go for it. Go for plain milk if it's raw only (and if you trust that raw milk). Home-made goat kefir is very helpful for the gut for example.

Regarding legumes, it depends on the legumes: green beans, pods, green peas are ok for almost everyone to eat on Paleo. White beans, wild rice, and lentils (and possibly garbanzos) become almost benign after 36 hours of soaked into water (never cook them as-is, or open a can). The colorful beans (and peanuts) are the problematic ones, the ones with the most deleterious toxins in them. So as long as you stick to the least bad legumes, and soak the dried kinds for a long time (change their water 4-5 times in the process), I guess you can try them out and see how you go.

White rice is considered rather benign too. Avoid GMO corn, processed gluten free products, and soy (only tamari wheat-free soy sauce, unpasteurized soy miso, and natto are acceptable from the soy products because these were traditionally fermented for... months or even years).

However, these are suggestions for those who don't want to be strict Paleo, and they want it both ways. On strict Paleo, people eat sweet potatoes and other tubers to recover from exercise.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on March 05, 2013
at 05:28 AM

I don't think you can truly say you do fine on a food unless you eliminate it from your diet for a significant amount of time to see how that affects you, then try to reintroduce it and see how that affects you. People who think they do just fine on dairy or legumes often find out that allergy problems, or sinus or intestinal issues "magically" clear up when they stop eating dairy--some of these issues they didn't even realize they had. If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have told you I did fine on dairy, also. I fully believed I did. But my allergist wasn't pleased with my progress on allergy treatments to environmental allergies, so she ordered a full food panel of tests "just in case." I was shocked when I found out I was allergic to both wheat and dairy. Anyway, I haven't been off dairy long enough to notice any difference (only a few days now). But my allergist tells me it could take a few months to notice the full affects of being dairy-free. She then said I could experiment with small amounts of raw yogurt once or twice a week (my favorite dairy) to see how it affected me.

Anyway, if you are wondering if you should go "full" Paleo, the only way to find out is to go "full" Paleo for a reasonable length of time and see how your body reacts. A lot of people think 30 days is a good trial period, although my allergist said that wasn't long enough for me.

B9cfa43798183424786a59d11ac52f76

(145)

on March 05, 2013
at 06:55 AM

I agree with Heidi: you'll only know how much these foods affect you when you do trial periods without them. For that reason (and because its easier than being 100% paleo) you could try eliminating dairy for a month (or 3) and then move on to the next thing, in your case, legumes. I have tried a month without dairy and did not feel any different, so I added it back in (although now I question whether I should have gone longer). I had some chili the other day, though...now that's a different story.

5740b342b3b4ca4af7625f9505f7eb5d

(281)

on March 05, 2013
at 12:44 PM

Whilst this is the standard paleo wisdom on such matters, I found that, on re-introducing oats and white rice, I had mild GERD/pain that faded over a number of weeks. So far, no one has been able to explain why these symptoms disappear, other than to say that I am now less aware of those symptoms, which quite frankly is bullshit. I have been a mindfulness/meditation practitioner for many years and probably overly sensitive to bodily communication, if anything.

0
783275f7d7d5fd8de47977d42fc5f97d

on March 05, 2013
at 09:11 AM

Everyone's different, and if you're only considering cutting them out because of some dogmatic version of 'paleo', I would discourage you from doing it.

If you don't have any health issues, if you are feeling great on legumes and dairy, I don't see why you would eliminate them. Make sure you prepare them properly, i.e. eat cultured dairy and soak, sprout, ferment your legumes. This will take care of most of the antinutrients and imho goes a long way towards dismantling the argument against eating legumes.

-1
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on March 05, 2013
at 07:07 AM

The rejection of legumes is probably one of the stupidest paleo rules. Beans and lentils are not only extremely health promoting, they are also cheap and good for the environment. Dairy on the other hand has a lot of negatives going for it so I would definitely eliminate that before legumes.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 05, 2013
at 04:36 PM

As someone who has had surgery to recover from lower GI issues that *some* legumes exacerbated, I sincerely must have to disagree with this: legumes are not categorically "health promoting". There are plenty of safe legume choices, but certainly not the entirety.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on March 20, 2013
at 07:41 AM

Yes... most dairy should go before legumes. Reaction to legumes are legume type & person specific. Legumes are 'ok' but not great, there are lots of better foods without the hassle. They contain "anti-nutrients" that need to be dealt with...they evolved to avoid digestion. These issues can be dealt with but (imo) most people have not the skill, desire or time.. are they worth it? I did the whole 9 yards with a batch of golden lentils only to have them turn out like little pebbles... very disappointing considering the effort. The verdict.. an old batch. :(

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