When you think of food that is crap (a very intellectual adjective), you think of funnel cakes and Twinkles, not beans. Hummus, edamame and lentils are great!…… Or are they? Beans have long been thought of as a health food. However, they have several properties that dictate otherwise. Ever wonder why legumes/beans are omitted from a lot of the popular diets? Let explore some of these properties and why you may want to reconsider beans as a “health food.”
1. They have phytic acid which binds to nutrients preventing you from absorbing them. This makes them less nutrient dense than the label says. A few beans here and there won’t kill you like eating a few funnel cakes will, but they should not be a staple and compose the majority of a meal. Peanuts are legumes, just a heads up here! I know, this may be a sad day for you. I too experienced separation anxiety from peanut butter. However, just like you can replace a bad boyfriend/girlfriend, there is hope that life will go on. Try SunButter made from sunflower seeds or Barney Butter which is an almond butter.
2. Beans contain Fodmaps. Fodmaps can cause unpleasant digestive problems in some. Hence “the more you eat the more you toot.” This comes from a type of carbohydrate called galaco-ligosaccharides. Other foods do contain Fodmaps that don’t necessarily need to be avoided such as mushrooms and onions. However if you already have IBS, beans will agitate this condition and have you purchasing some Flat-D Flatulence Deodorizer Underpads (also a great gag gift).
3. Lectins! Lectins have the potential to be toxic to the body. They will damage the intestinal wall contributing to leaky gut which is associated with digestive and autoimmune problems. While many lectins can be destroyed by proper preparation, these methods can be extremely daunting. Secondly, lectins can lead to weight gain by mimicking insulin. Insulin is a hormone in our bodies that stores excess carbs as fat. Lastly, they can block digestive hormones and enzymes associated with appetite control.
** Lectins are found in lentils, green peas, corn, potatoes and wheat germ**
They’re minimal protein, especially since they prevent you from digesting protein effectively. Protein aids in muscle development, the more muscle you have the more fat you burn throughout the day! They screw with your hormones and have a high carbohydrate content.
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