To tell someone whose staple diet includes legumes, that their diet is inadequate or anti-nutrient is plain stupid. Foods, diets, lifestyles are all relative. When it comes to beans and I, my relationship is conditional. I can definitely say that I have an upper tolerance to beans (which basically means I can eat a bowl of chili and enjoy it, but if I overdo it, I can start to feel gassy). When I’m eating beans, I simply have to utilize the saying “in excess, anything can be bad for you”. With that being said, there are some benefits to adding the odd bean dish to your diet.
I wont make you a long list of the benefits of beans in this post, but I will briefly explain to you something called “The Second Meal Effect”. This was something introduced to me by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The premise is based on two facts. Firstly, when we eat beans along with a starchy carb, it can lower the insulin spike or blood sugar spike of lets say rice. This is simply due to the fact that beans are high in fibre and in most cases, fibre when eaten with higher glycemic food slows down the absorption of sugar. Want to lower the insulin spike of rice? Eat some beans with it. Studies have also shown that eating a higher fibre containing food and/or lower glycemic food at dinner can affect the glycemic load of what you eat at breakfast (It lowers the glycemic load in the morning).
Also, the beans we eat are not so quick to empty out of our digestive tract. Instead, it hangs out a little longer and feeds our gut bacteria (sort of like prebiotic food).
So are beans bad for you? Everything has to be looked at in context, but people looking for another tool to hack insulin levels may want to add this to the arsenal.
Beans Beans the magic fruit,
The more you eat,
The more you lower insulin and dietary fibre…. (See what I did?)