There are currently two dietary trends with completely opposing views on beans. ThePaleolithic Diet along with Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf are on the anti-bean side while the Slow Carb Diet with Tim Ferriss and Dan Buettner are firmly in the “beans are awesome camp”.
So what gives? Are beans good or bad? Should I include them in my diet or not? Let’s find out about bean nutrition.
I can’t answer that for you, but I can supply you with some information that you can use to poke around the internet and make an educated decision that will fit your life. If nothing else, my aim is to make you reconsider your stance on beans – be it for or against – so that you analyze it further and come to the best conclusion for you – not the conclusion someone else told you to take. I will do my best to provide many citations for every bullet point – so further learning is easy.
The Anti bean camp says…
- Beans are hard to digest if they are not properly prepared in a million step manner (soak, drain, boil, drain, cook again…probably drain again…and on and on it goes). Evidence of this is that beans make you fart more.
- Beans contain lectins, sugar binding proteins that are used by viruses to attach themselves to host cells. Lectins have also been shown to contribute to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatiod arthritis.
- High consumption of soybeans can lower your cognitive function, enlarge your ventricles and lower your brain weight – and raises your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 2.4.
- Beans are a predominant source of isoflavones – estrogen like molecules that can produce either estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activities. Bean derivatives might one day be used in hormone therapies.
- Canned beans have bisphenol A in the can lining that easily leeches into food.Government funded studies on low dosage bisphenol A have shown health effects such as increased postnatal growth, advanced puberty, reproductive malformation in male offspring, altered immune function and much much more. Essentially, make sure everything your food or drink comes into contact with is BPA free (beans or otherwise)!
Ok, if I haven’t scared the pants off of you, here is what
The Pro bean camp says…
- Beans are high in protein and fiber (and give you pretty big bang for your buck).
- Soybeans have some antioxidant effects.
- Beans are “slow burners” or, if you remember from the last segment, have a low GI, releasing carbs slowly into your system.
- Beans are high in nutritional content
- Beans have been shown to reduce colon cancer
There you go, five arguments for each camp and a ton of external links to dig even deeper.