Don'ts of Whole30®: Legumes

Let’s talk beans, beans, the magical fruit…. And all the other legumes!

Legumes are a staple in many diets around the world. They are cheap, easy to come by, and when you are looking at the nutrition label they appear to be really good for you. We see issues with legumes. They contain phytic acid. The phytic acid is why we rinse or soak certain grains, legumes, and nuts before cooking or consuming them. Soaking helps to break that outer layer down, but it is still present. Small amounts of phytic acid are not typically bothersome. Higher amounts can create digestive issues and actually keeps us from absorbing the full amount of nutrients that are stated on that label. Basically you think you are getting more from legumes than you really are. Tree nuts also have phytic acid, but we aren’t consuming them in large amounts like we do legumes, so they don’t have the same digestive effects unless eaten in excess. (Tree nuts are allowed on Whole30®, for the record.)

I know my vegetarians are screaming right now. I had a time when I relied on beans for energy and dietary fiber, but my gut hated me for it. Ever since completing my first Whole30® I have stayed away from them. Honestly, I didn’t love them to begin with and haven’t missed them one bit.

Let’s cover the list of legumes and what is off-limits during your 30-days.
  • ALL beans-pinto, kidney, black, navy, white, fava, lima, red, etc.)
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Peanuts & Peanut Butter-yes, peanuts are a legume!
  • Soy in all forms-soy sauce, tamari, miso, tofu, edamame, tempeh, and soy lecithin

We do have a couple of exceptions to this. Certain legumes are allowed as they are more of a pod and are healthy and green.
  • Green Beans
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Snow Peas

Back to legumes. This means hummus is off-limits as well. Anything made with or from legumes is not allowed. You need to check the labels carefully, especially for soy. Soy gets snuck into a lot of bottled and canned items. Soy may not be listed as a straight-forward ingredient, however, you may see a bolded statement that says “contains soy.” Sneaky, sneaky! The same goes to dairy and wheat. Pay attention. Those are all no gos. If something states it is produced in a facility that also produces soy then it’s considered fine. If you know you have a sensitivity to soy then you are best to steer clear of that. Soy lecithin is a very common ingredient found in all sorts of things from nut milks to your tea bags. Read ALL of your labels. 

If you are coming to our Kickoff Dinner at Coolgreens I am bringing different items for us to practice looking over labels and deciding what is compliant and what isn’t. Learning how to read a label will aid in your program success greatly. That dinner is Sunday, January 8th from 6:00-7:00p at the Coolgreens Nichols Hills location. Click here to register. The community dinners are free to attend, but we need you to reserve your spot as space is limited. You will have the option to purchase a Whole30® compliant salad I have put together once you are there!

Okay! Next is dairy. Until then…!