Anthropology doctoral candidate Hillary Huber thinks Paleo-TM folks give legumes a bad rap, arguing that:
- Paleo researchers tend to lump legumes with grains but only cite sources that discuss grains.
- Concerns about anti-nutrients come from old sources; in addition, cooking tends to reduce these problems.
- Some anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, actually have some benefits.
- Legumes have some health-promoting properties as long as they aren’t eaten raw.
My point is merely that the exclusion of legumes from the Paleo Diet, or any diet for that matter, is probably ill-conceived. I like to imagine that this negativity toward legumes is intimately tied
to human dislike of flatulence. Why else exclude a food group that is so nutritionally rich, has a deep history of being eaten by hominins and other primates, is one of the most concentrated sources of fiber available to humans, is inexpensive and widely available, and is so very delicious?
Good question! Actually, in his AHS12 presentation, Mat Lalonde pointed out that typical paleo foods are likely higher in nutrient density. However, as this review of his talk shows, legumes score fairly high when nutrient density is compared to calories.
My takeaway? Eat your organ meats regularly and enjoy your hummus or dal ;).
HT Melissa McEwen.