legumes

The Legume Manifesto

From Whole9, as a preface to our Manifesto series:

manifesto-definition1
As we wrote in It Starts With Food, “We have a theory about food that directly influences the rest of this book. The food that you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”

Of course, we spend the rest of the book explaining why a concept that sounds so simple is not that simple at all in practice. That’s why our Good Food recommendations are based on not just one foundation, but a combination of three:

Nutrition-Pyramid-Web-NEW

Based on the science as we understand it today, and our clinical experience with the tens of thousands of people who have completed our Whole30 program, we make some general recommendations as to which food groups may make you less healthy–including legumes. Below, we’ll outline the basics of our case against consumption of legumes as part of your daily diet. But until you undertake your own self-experiment (via the Whole30) for yourself, you’ll never know for sure how consumption of legumes are affecting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life.

Our Manifesto: Legumes

Legumes are a botanical family of plants that include dozens of varieties of beans, lentils, garbanzos, peas, soybeans, and peanuts. (Note, the coffee, cocoa, and vanilla “beans” are not, botanically speaking, legumes, and thus are excluded from this particular discussion.) While eating plants would generally be thought of as healthy, the part of the legume that we eat is actually the seed of the legume plant. As with grains, the seeds of legumes store a large amount of energy in the form of carbohydrate, which may or may not support healthy metabolic function (pending your individual context and health history).

Legumes are often recommended as a healthy dietary choice, based on their fiber, vitamins and minerals, and “high” protein content. But legumes aren’t really a dense protein source (most contain two to three times as much carbohydrate as protein), and they’re nowhere near as dense (or complete) as the protein found in meat, seafood, or eggs. In addition, when compared to vegetables and fruit, legumes pale in comparison in both micronutrient density and fiber.

Some legumes also contain considerable amounts of phytates — anti-nutrients which bind to minerals in the legumes, rendering them unavailable to our bodies. (This means some of the minerals technically present in the legumes aren’t able to be accessed by our bodies — and means that legumes aren’t as micronutrient-dense as nutrition data might suggest.*)

*Ancient cultures figured out that rinsing, prolonged soaking, cooking, and fermenting legumes reduces the anti-nutrient content. If you choose to eat legumes, we highly recommend you also take these steps to mitigate some of the potential downsides.

In addition, because some of the short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) found in legumes aren’t properly digested and absorbed in the digestive tract, they can act as food for bacteria living in the intestines. These bacteria then “ferment” these carbohydrates, which can create unpleasant symptoms like gas and bloating, and potentially contribute to gut dysbiosis – an inherently inflammatory condition.

Soy

Soybeans contain compounds called isoflavones, which are types of phytoestrogens (phyto meaning “plant,” estrogen as in that female sex hormone). These phytoestrogens are recognized in our bodies — male and female — as a female reproductive hormone. While phytoestrogens may be beneficial for a very specific population (such as perimenopausal women), the effects on other populations are largely unknown and, in our opinion, unduly risky.

Peanuts

Peanuts contain a unique, disruptive protein called a lectin. While lectins in other legumes are largely destroyed in the cooking process, the peanut lectins are not destroyed by heat, and are resistant to digestion. This means they arrive in your gut largely intact, and can fool your gut lining into letting them through, and into the bloodstream. Once inside the body, these peanut lectins provoke an immune response, promoting systemic inflammation.

It Starts With Food

These manifestos are not intended to be a comprehensive dissertation of our research or recommendations. For more information on the effects of legumes on health, our recommendations for vegetarians and vegans, and scientific references used to support our position, please refer to our book, It Starts With Food.

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Comments

  1. says

    I don’t really miss legumes in my daily life (well, except peanuts but that’s only because I was hopelessly addicted to peanut butter…) I’m so thankful that the coffee, cacao and vanilla bean are not legumes…I would seriously have to reconsider then… :)

  2. Katerina Styers says

    Question: Is there an research you can point me to related to peanuts and systemic inflammation?

  3. says

    @Katerina, we’ve got references listed in the appendix of It Starts With Food – plenty of them. That’s where you’ll find all the scientific back-up for the statements in our manifesto series.

    Best,
    Melissa

  4. Cecilia says

    Kind of a wet-noodle condemnation of these foods. Which is actually a relief because I enjoy a small amount of beans in my diet.

    • Kendra says

      I was thinking the same thing! The weak argument seems to boil down to:
      1. Legumes are less protein-dense than meat
      2. Legumes aren’t as micronutrient-dense as nutrition data might suggest – unless you cook them properly
      3. Legumes are less fiber dense than fruits and vegetables

      As long as you are getting enough protein, fiber and micronutrients overall, the fact that legumes are not the densest source shouldn’t really matter (unless rapid weight loss is your primary goal). They are much cheaper than meat.

      And this argument is the most ridiculous:
      4. Soy is good for specific groups (perimenopausal women) and might possibly be less good for other groups, we don’t really know, so we’ll ban it just in case.

  5. Otto says

    I sometimes eat beans and soy, because I eat with a vegan often. I don’t think it is really a problem if you eat a normal portion once, maybe twice a week, if the rest of the food is ok and there is a lot of variation. It might be a problem if I would be eating it almost daily like my vegan friend, although she is still fitter than me. ;)

  6. loz says

    One thing that really distresses me about this line of nutritional thinking is how privileged it is. This is completely unsustainable eating. The future of global agriculture depends on high fibre, high protein, low cost, easy to grow grains. It is misinformed to accept that the world could or should eliminate legumes and grains as food groups. One of the greatest pieces of advice in regards to running training i ever received was ‘eat like a poor person’. I am a medical doctor and I certainly appreciate any website promoting health and self-awareness regarding lifestyle choices. Its just in the 2050, the date of the presumed global food shortage, this form of eating may become completely impossible.

    • sam says

      Industrial agriculture is what is making the world food poor. Cheap foods are causing the malnutritioned people of the planet. Sending boxed processed foods grown with pesticides and roundup which also require gmo’s does not “feed” the planet. There is so much more you need to learn it cannot simply be even outlined here.
      It takes a very privileged person to be so ignorant to what is really going on in the world.

  7. Brian says

    @Loz…3 things 1) so people who are priviledged shouldn’t enjoy anything they can have that less privileged folks can’t have? Doesn’t make sense…basically socialism! 2) The authors never said that the whole world should eat like this. They wrote the book for those who are interested. It is a choice. It has drastically changed my family’s life as well as several close friends and clients and they thank me daily for turning them on to it. For that I thank them. 3) No one has ANY idea what will be happening in 2050. Period. It is unlikely that the world would ever be able to sustain a diet like this (possibly) but I doubt poverty will ever be conquered so rice will always have a place in many people’s diet. Have you tried the whole 30? If not you are speaking out of ignorance….

  8. says

    So you discount the message out because it doesn’t apply to everyone on the planet? That makes no sense.

    We get the whole “you can’t feed the world on grass-fed beef” argument – and there are some scientifically-based rebuttals to that which I will not get into here. But for those of you reading this post and reading our book, in privileged first-world countries with access to higher quality food, why wouldn’t we take advantage of that? I appreciate that there are people surviving on grains and legumes in other parts of the world. But I don’t have to do that, because I am blessed enough to have the resources available to make better choices. And if you’re responding to this comment on your MacBook Pro, so do you.

    For those of us fortunate enough to not have to survive on less than optimal foods today, we should make better choices. Period.

    Best,
    Melissa

  9. Brett says

    “One of the greatest pieces of advice in regards to running training i ever received was ‘eat like a poor person’.”

    Poor people eat the way they do because of a lack of options. This sounds like the sort of ridiculous, romanticized nonsense that people come up with when they don’t have a legitimate reason for advocating something. Legumes are nutrient poor relative to other options, but they’re cheap. That’s why a lot of poor people eat them as a staple, not because they’ve stumbled onto some ancient wisdom for distance running.

    As for the article itself, more great stuff. Your book is changing my life. Thanks for the hard work y’all put in, it’s making a huge difference.

    As an aside, the graphic at the top has the word “delcaring” where I’m assuming you meant “declaring.”

  10. Jeff says

    For me, no soy and no rice is probably going to be the biggest challenge to commit to this in the long run. I am Chinese and we use soy sauce in the majority of the dishes (and then eat it with rice no less). But then again it is probably no harder for people to give up bread and cheese. I am starting my whole 30 today and I look forward to all the good things promised in the book :D

  11. says

    @Cecilian, you know, it kind of is. There isn’t enough really convincing scientific literature for us to say, “All legumes prepared in all ways are unhealthy!” We like to err on the side of caution, however, and there is enough evidence specifically for us to recommend against peanuts, and (in our opinion) soy. As for the other legumes, this is where the self-experimentation piece comes in. As for the “wet noodle,” some people (not you) have criticized us for not really making a good case against some of these non-Paleo foods… but we’re not big fans of overstating the science just to make our recommendations, or articles, or program sound sexier. People have to figure some of these things out for themselves.

    @Brett, thanks for the comment, and for pointing out our typo! We’ll correct that forthwith.

    @Michelle, you certainly can, but it may be more difficult. First, you’ll have to plan and prepare your meals a lot more than a normal daytime worker, because I’m assuming at 3 AM you can’t just pop next door to the cafe for a chicken salad if you forgot your lunch. Two, lack of good, appropriate sleep (which you miss out on by default when you’re up all night and sleeping all day) makes it that much harder to make good food choices – and often leads to uncontrollable cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. So make sure you’ve got good food on hand at all times, and remind yourself that any cravings for sweets is actually more due to your lack of healthy sleep than an actual need for sugar. If you focus on sleeping as much as you can, doing low-intensity exercise (movement), and keeping your stress levels down, you can absolutely rock your Whole30 on a night shift. Good luck! (And use our free forum for support – there are people posting any time of day or night! http://forum.whole9life.com).

    @Jeff: You can use coconut aminos as a great sub for soy sauce during your Whole30 – some folks say it doesn’t taste the same, but I honestly don’t notice the difference, especially in recipes. But yes, we all have our struggles with giving up foods that are staples in our diet – but I think you’re going to do great! Keep us posted.

    Best,
    Melissa

  12. Carmen says

    Greetings W30 parties,
    I am on day 6, very good response so far. My motivation is systemic inflamation (carpol tunnel specifically). The rub: I smoke, 2-5 self rolled American Spirit/day. I decided not to wait on the W30, but as I felt better I would have a leg up on quitting altogether. I swear, my hands feel perfect after only a few days on the food program. The pain in my wrist is directly related to smoking now. Why can’t I quit? I have lozengers, they contain a small amount of sweetner. I’m starting to think during the whole30 that would be the least of the evils, compare with my 2-5 ration of cigs. I’m also thinking of hypnotherapy for the smoking at this point. Rant at me if you will, but any suggestions or comments will be read with a willingness to “hear” you.

  13. Hilary says

    Hi Carmen,

    You should feel proud of yourself for wanting to quit smoking and go on a Whole30. I think I read somewhere that Dallas and Melissa say to either quit smoking first or quit while doing Wole30. So, you may want to focus on quitting smoking and then coming back to do a new Whole30. Or, another option could be looking into getting the nicotiene patches (probably no sugar in them). But, I think a less than perfect Wole30 (using the lozenges) is better than no Whole30. And, you can always do a new absolutely strict Whole30 once you have conquered the smoking.

    I quit smoking using the gum. It was a godsend!

    Good luck!

    -Hilary

  14. Raquel says

    I am very new to all of this, but I am contemplating this new adventure. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetis 11 years ago . Well throughout the years in turned to Type 1. I am 5 ft 8 and weigh roughly 140. What I would like to know if this is diabetic friendly ?

  15. says

    Raquel,

    We believe this program is ideal for managing blood sugar and insulin levels, and
    for preventing (and even reversing!) type 2 diabetes. We have seen firsthand
    the effects of our Whole30 program and healthy-eating guidelines on
    those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and the scientific literature also
    supports our protocol.

    However, diabetics must work very closely with their doctors to ensure
    that the powerful effects of these dietary changes are monitored and medications
    are properly adjusted. We have seen dramatic results in as little
    as one week, with one client being able to cut his oral medication in half.
    Radical improvements, in just seven days—which means that you’ll need
    to speak with your doctor before making changes in your diet, so that together
    you can decide how to monitor and adjust your medications.

    In addition, those with type 1 diabetes will need to make changes
    far more gradually than the Whole30 program calls for. Start with small
    modifications to meals, gradually substituting your “less healthy” foods for
    high-quality meats, vegetables, fruits, and fats. Working with your doctor,
    adjust your insulin dose and/or oral medication as necessary to accommodate
    these new foods, until you’ve successfully replaced all the less-healthy
    foods on your plate with more-healthy choices.

    Always speak with your doctor before beginning any new diet or exercise
    program.

    Best,
    Melissa

  16. Toni says

    I have been on the Whole 30 diet since September 5. Have lost 20 pounds and feel good. But everybody around me is concerned that the diet doesn’t include grains and feels it is just an “Atkins-type” low carb/no carb diet. Also my cholesterol was a bit high and people are asking why I can eat meat, but no beans or grains. With a family of heart problems I’m also wondering why I can’t have heart-healthy food such as grains, beans and legumes. Is this really a lifetime way of eating, or can I incorporate ‘occasional’ things to keep food enjoyable.

  17. says

    Regarding the “poor person’s protein” aspect of legumes – it is easier for me to raise rabbits in my back yard than it is to try and grow an equivalent quantity of legumes for protein (the rabbits can be fed all the weeds and scraps that are no use to me directly).
    I don’t buy in to the argument that this can’t apply to the vast majority of people in the world.

    Having said that, I still grow and eat runner beans and peas, for the taste, and also for the fact that they fix nitrogen and so improve the soil.

  18. Cyndie says

    I have to say that most of the “diet” advice out there today is extremely confusing! On the one hand you have the low card, paleo camp such as this website and others. Then on the other side is are those such as Dr. Furhman, Dr. Barnard & Dr T Colin Campbell. Each respective side is has their facts and graphs and statistics and some research they have done or come across that someone else has done. There seems from all I have read in both camps and it has been considerable that there is a compelling case for BOTH camps, but I guess my question is which is the BEST camp? The more I read and study and ask questions it seems the less I know what is right. Very discouraging.

    Any one wan to weigh in on this issue?

  19. says

    @Cyndie: First, I’d just like to clarify that we are not advocating low carb. And, to answer your question, the BEST camp is the one that makes you feel the healthiest and most vibrant allowing you to live your best life. And the only way to figure out which camp that is, is to try this stuff out for yourself. We agree, it can be really confusing sifting through all the contradictory information out there, but all you can do is educate yourself and then eat the food that makes you the most healthy.

  20. pawel says

    For @Carmen and anyone else wanting to quit smoking – I highly recommend Allen Carr’s book The Easyway Method… Sorry for the plug, but I speak from personal experience!
    No nicotine patches, pills what have you, or other substitutes (candy etc.) will ever help you. The most important thing is your approach and mindset when quitting (once and for all – cutting down or other half-ass attempts do not help, but make it worse). I had great results with this book – stopped craving cigarettes in a matter of days, stopped thinking about them completely in a matter of weeks (my overall physical/mental condition also improved very quickly) and then could only pity the smokers, who I would have envied (which makes absolutely no sense) in the past.

  21. Mayme says

    As far as the “eat like a poor person” comment it is actually quite amazing if you look at “cancer maps” which show patterns of cancer throughout the globe. The people who get the most cancer are wealthier Westernized parts of the world where lots of high fat animal foods are consumed – Europe, Australia, the US. The poorer parts of world whose diets consist mainly of grains, roots, tubers, legumes, veggies are hardly affected by cancers. This could clearly be attributed to many factors – bad factory farming practices, sugar and processed foods but I do think there is some wisdom in that advice and maybe it is that grains and legumes aren’t necessarily the enemy either. @Brett research the Tarahumara tribe where it is customary for the men to run distances around 30 miles a day many of them octagenarians and their diet consists mostly of corn. Not to say the Whole 30 isn’t a good plan, just that when it comes to disease there is enough evidence to take notice that plant-based diets have a lot of merit as well and not just because some people can’t afford meat. It seemed to me that Loz was pointing out the notion that “we are in this together” and if as a population we continue down a path of unsustainable eating then it affects whole globe – it’s not an issue of money but an issue of clean water, arable land, clean air etc … the amount of animal agriculture needed to meet the demand of “wealthy” eaters is very toxic to the environment. What I do like about this “paleo” advice is that the animal products recommended are far more sustainable that conventional agriculture and for those who want to eat them bravo for spending more of your hard earned money for a better product!

  22. CWolfer says

    I’ve been attempting to understand the reason why some dietary advice advocates not consuming legumes. The argument that carbohydrates from legumes are fully absorbed by the body and feed bacteria in the gut isn’t a good one for me. Fiber is also a carbohydrate that isn’t digested by the human body and feeds bacteria in the gut. Should I stop eating fiber for this reason?

    Also, the argument that some of the micronutrients in legumes are not absorbed seems relatively weak to me when there is a body of research to support the health of eating a diet with legumes. To my knowledge, legumes have a net anti-inflammatory effect. For example, Hermsdorff et al (2011) in The European Journal of Nutrition found that a legume-based calorie-restricted diet reduced C-reactive protein (CRP is a measure of inflammation) more than a hypocaloric diet without legumes. Also, legumes help to improve leptin levels, a hormone that plays a role in inflammatory response, satiety, and fat mass. As for being a high protein food, I agree that they don’t have the same percentage of calories from protein as an egg or even spinach. Legumes are highest in carbohydrates. In terms of nutrient density, legumes aren’t as calorie dense as vegetables or fruit which is why I think that you should eat more of these than you do of legumes.

    After reading this, I still think that legumes have a place in some peoples’ healthy diet. I say some people because there are people that have a difficult time digesting beans. There are also people whose natural gut flora is disturbed which causes a higher absorption of lectin from legumes, which is not good for the body.

  23. Mark D says

    Melissa, While no one can make an argument against eating more fruits and vegetables, and the value of a diverse diet (plants and some meat), it is very misleading to have a “legume manifesto” that knocks legumes without explaining their potential health benefits, especially if you’re using science – which is supposed to be unbiased and thorough – as the foundation of your philosophy. Sure, there is scientific evidence that some legumes, especially soya and peanuts, which mind you are anomalies among edible legumes, can have negative health consequences in general or under certain conditions, but so do meat and eggs and other protein sources; your article implies that if a food has a potential negative health effect then it is simply bad. Nutrition is not so simple! What about the negative and positive effects relative to each other: the net effect? And what about the good vs bad of other protein sources? It seems like you’ve chosen to give emphasis to the good of some, and the bad of others, but not the good and bad of all.

    And to follow up on Loz’s comment, and to those who responded, it is errant to think that your consumer choices in the developed world do not affect both food producers and consumers globally, and our ability to feed 9 billion folks in the near future. Given current trajectories of population growth and food demand, relative to trajectories of yield improvements, it’s pretty darn likely we’ll need to change something (a lot really) about the way we grow and consume food. Something’s gotta give. Legumes may have to be a part of that.

    Erin, I like your philosophy. Is that the Whole9 philosophy? Finding what makes you feel the best is the way to go, so long as your intuition lines up with health. I’ve found a diet that works for me (lots of legumes, woops), and I’ve never felt or performed better in my life, and it’s affordable on a low income. It seems diversity and moderation are best.
    If I’ve misunderstood the Whole9 perspective based on this article, please inform me!

  24. Kenli Pratt says

    Melissa, I was wondering if this diet compatible with people like myself who have cardiopulminary disease. I have 5 stents in my heart and I take medications to keep the cholesterol very low so no plaque builds up. Eating so much meat and fats sounds dangerous for me. Healthy people probably have no problems with this and I know only about 20% of our bodies cholesterol comes from food, but, since I am on a low cholesterol diet would it be wise for me to eat like this?

  25. says

    @Mark D: Erin speaks for us, yes. We outline our full case against legumes and other food groups (both for, to some degree, and against) in our book, It Starts With Food. There, we also explain ad nauseum that our recommendations aren’t a one-size-fits-all, and that you cannot possibly know what foods are healthiest for YOU until you do some structured self-experimentation. I think if you read the book, you’d have a better understanding of our perspective, which is quite balanced. This manifesto is just a small snippet of our general thought process and recommedations, and doesn’t even come close to telling the full story.

    @Kenli, we always recommend working closely with your doctor when making dietary or exercise changes, especially in the context of health conditions. That having been said, we believe this way of eating decreases inflammation in the body, which is the biggest driver of cholesterol production in the body. Talk with your doctor about how you might implement a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet in a way that’s right for you – perhaps with lean meats and plant-based fat sources (like olive oil or avocado).

    Best,
    Melissa

  26. says

    You have to consider the kind of activity that you usually engage in because it will tell on how your arm will be able to get some rest.
    There is no magic bullet or pill that you can take that will overnight repair a frayed and torn extensor tendon.
    If the painful area isn’t hot, or red, or swollen, it’s likely not inflamed, which means you
    don’t have tendonitis.

  27. Randall S says

    Actually “poor people” have terrible diets generally. Fast food, processed foods, and chips seem to make up a large portion of the diet. Look at the bodies of the poor people in any section of the country today. Fat, fat, and more fat. I think what the previous poster meant was “Eat like a poor peasant of a bygone era.” Although it is doubtful those folks were examples of glowing good health either.

    • Kendra says

      A billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day. To find truly poor people, you need to look outside the US.

  28. Christina says

    What about sprouts made from lentils or beans? You mention fermenting and rinsing, but what´s your opinion or the process and nutritional changes in sprouting? I eat sprouts daily, but never legumes the way you define it. My favourites are mung beans and black beluga lentils.

  29. Yacob says

    There is only one diet that we can safely say works for every single human being — one that is is animal free. Try it for 30 or 60 days as an experiment and your body will tell you the truth: if you get enough nutritional value during that time, you will never feel better than when animal free. For those people who denounce the vegan diet, I have one challenge–have you ever tried it? If you do it for 60 days, then I will listen to you. If you have never tried it, then please keep your opinions to yourself.

    A chicken is not more of a food than a dog is. Both are animals. If you are uncouth enough to eat chicken, you are uncouth enough to eat dog.

    Animals are not more food than humans are. Both are earthlings. If you are uncouth enough to eat chicken, you are uncouth enough to eat humans.

  30. Andrew says

    I was an”ethical” vegetarian for three years after researching factory farming and food production and distribution chains. That lifestyle did not work for me at all, and was a struggle to maintain. In modern society there are animal products used in virtually every product we buy, often in places you would never suspect. Maintaining a “cruelty free” lifestyle is difficult, if not impossible. If you are unclear about how many living mammals are sacrificed in the process of large scale vegetable and grain farming, I recommend a book titled Blood Ties, by Ted Kerasote. Very eye opening.

    Today, I mostly eat meat from locally sourced grass fed and pastured animals. I have a personal relationship with the farmers that raise these animals and I know they are treated humanely during their lives. While from a nutritional standpoint, eating a dog may be similar to eating a pig, this is a violation of a social norm, and that’s why we don’t do it. Your “all or nothing” argument can’t hold up on a rational basis. Consider how many hundreds of millions of living bacteria you kill each time you shower. At the end of the day, though, we all have to live in a way that works for us. Just please don’t be so quick to judge omnivores as uncaring. Unless you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, you don’t know me at all.

  31. Mike says

    I am with Andrew. I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years. When I first started I felt much better, because my previous “diet” was horrendous. Over the years, as I looked back, I realized I just didn’t have “energy” to be really physical. I began incorporating meats back into my lifestyle and began to feel like I did when I was a kid; always ready to DO something. This past year I started eating strictly meats and fishes along with greens and vegetables. I ate very very little beans/legumes and almost no bread/grain. I have never felt better. I also began some body weight excercises daily and found I had a LOT of energy, and I would crave my meat and salad dinner. In the past six months I have stayed almost the exact same wieight and yet have lost two pants sizes (34 – 32). This is mostly due to starting crossfit two months ago as well, however; I never had the kind of energy in the past to do any serious workouts.
    Is there one “diet” for everyone? No. I agree with the authors, you NEED to find out what suits you and your body, we are all different and unique and need to understand that.
    I have not read the book yet but am very curious to see how close my diet is to the recommendations.

  32. iam says

    “We know this is true for other cancers. One research trial showed that those eating the most beans had 65% fewer colon polyps and 50% fewer colon cancers.” Dr. Gourmet

    Mayo Clinic: “Legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available.”

    So sorry, but I think this part of the Whole9 manifesto is about as wrong as it can be. Legumes have been a regular part of my diet for decades and I am a pretty healthy person.

    While I agree with a lot of your philosophies, this one is not one of them. Sorry. Science is not on your side on this one. (And my ND agrees… He has me on a modified paleo diet…legumes in moderation are allowed.)

  33. Elmer says

    I came to this site thru a Google search, specifically “legumes”. Congratulations on getting into the first page on that, it must have taken some serious SEO.
    I don’t see any science here, it must all be in the book.
    I do agree with you that most legumes should be cooked before eating.

  34. lj says

    I love how your answer to so many people who disagree with you is to buy your book. How convenient. Because it would be so incredibly difficult to list a few studies that you referenced at the end of this article (I see many other websites do this all the time, so I know it can be done and is not an impossible feat, but if you don’t believe me – buy my book), but no, instead the answer to “I don’t know if I believe you” is “give us money and we’ll tell you!” So you’re actually attempting to profit from not giving people the evidence you are using to support your position. Sounds legit.

    • says

      @lj – You don’t have to buy the book to read it. It should be available, for free, at your local library. There is certain information that we are unable to share due to agreements with publishers and whatnot.

      Best,
      Lacey

  35. CourtneyOlay says

    Hi All,
    I am 26, very athletic, and have all around GREAT health except…digestion. I am on my 5th day of the Whole30 (start date being May 1st), and so far so good! I can already feel a general relief of stomach discomfort and my energy levels are way up. Excluding dairy, sugars, gluten, alcohol, and grains from my diet in one big sweep has definitely made a world of difference. The “legume” aspect, however, I am having a hard time with because of my “third-world” experience last year. I spent the entire month (31 days) of May in Costa Rica last year teaching English. I was in Marbella, a northern part of Costa Rica that is rural and …well… sparse. Don’t get me wrong – it is the most beautiful place I have seen in my life! While in Costa Rica, there were no “grocery stores” … we had a produce truck and a meat truck that drove through our town each once a week – that was it! Therefore, my diet NATURALLY consisted of – local fruits, vegetables, rice, and black beans (tortillas once in a while if the truck had any left). I drank black coffee in the morning and my sleep pattern was superb. What’s my point? That during my stay in beautiful Costa Rica, I was in the happiest and best looking shape in my life. I ate black beans A LOT during my month stay and my results? Sustained energy, uninterrupted sleep, glowing skin, healthy hair, regular bowel movement, mental peacefulness, …the list goes on. SO MY BIG QUESTION IS… will I receive similar benefits/results or, will I FULFIL the Whole30 Challenge IF I allow Black Beans as my ONLY exception?
    Best Regards ~ Pura Vida
    Courtney Olay

  36. CourtneyOlay says

    TYPO*** I mentioned the meat truck but did not include it in my diet list – I ate chicken and fish MOSTLY – sometimes beef but the cows aren’t raised to be eaten there. They were often very skinny due to malnutrition. The chicken and pigs were top priority for food use. All of the meat/fish I consumed were from the town in which I was staying – the best!

  37. Clyde Grubbs says

    Tofu, miso, etc. are fermented and ancient. Black beans and red beans etc. should be soaked and rinsed. Beans require the build up of micro organisms to digest. For you to declare green beans, etc fine and dried beans a problem based on “your research” is imperious. While processed foods (including soy) are indigestible, and for people who have been eating legumes without ancient wisdom (fermentation, soaking perhaps should fast from processed foods legumes have ten thousand year of human wisdom as healing food.

  38. Lia says

    This is just an advice for all of you who believe everything you read on the internet. There are so many interesting books about our diet but one in particular that I recommend you to read: “THE CHINA STUDY” by Dr. Collin Campbell. This book doesn’t only explain in detail how your body works and how different kinds of food interact with it. But it’s based on years and years of proven studies, journals, articles, recognized doctors and clinics, etc etc etc. That basically tells you there is nothing better for the human body than a whole food plant based diet. I won’t say more because I would have to explain the whole book and the danger of eating an animal based diet, but it is pretty obvious and basic once you realize it.