Beans and the Paleo Misconception

Beans and the Paleo Misconception


Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ve most likely heard of the hot new diet out there, the Paleo Diet. The premise is: “a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.” Its an interesting idea, eating like our skinny ancestors, like how our bodies evolved to eat, and become healthier as a result. Our biggest issue with this diet is the exclusion of healthy beans and legumes. Much debate has been made over this rule, with good reason. The arguments behind the exclusion of beans does not hold up when examined closer.

  1. Myth: Ancient people did not eat beans.
    This is simply not true and discoveries about ancient man’s diet show quite the opposite. For example, Dr. Stephan Guyenet who examined Neanderthal tooth plaque discovered peas and fava beans as a main food source.
  2. Myth: Beans contain anti-nutrients.
    While Lectins are known to impair cell growth and are founds in beans, they only exist in the raw form of beans. Once cooked, even for a short time, lectins are no longer present. Humans do not consume raw beans so it seems this argument also has no real world value.

When choosing a diet just remember that beans have been shown to be an important part of a healthy diet, even for our ancient ancestors.

Learn more about why beans can fit within the Paleo Diet from a Paleo expert Chris Kresser here:
Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback in December 2014 as The Paleo Cure).

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