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Old 04-26-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
Nikki Young
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I want to get a better understanding of anti-nutrients in specific foods.. So i have a couple Q'ns.

I know soaking nuts, seeds, legumes and grains have shown to reduce their anti-nutrients. If in traditional cultures they would soak grains and legumes for up to weeks before cooking, i presume that means anti-nutrients would slowly die off during this period? Wouldn't that mean that good nutrients (especially those in nuts) would slowly die off as well? Leaving the food source mostly macronutrient based.

Also, would heat play a role in removing anti-nutrients as well? When rice is boiled, for example, would that remove a vast majority of anti-nutrients or only some, none?
For some reason i would presume no.. just because if they did we wouldn't have such a big problem with their anti-nutrient amount. Why is soaking more beneficial?

Legumes like kidney beans and chickpeas, aren't they generally soaked/cooked so they can become soft and edible, wouldn't this process remove a lot of the anti-nutrients and leave them being a pretty decent food source? (proteins mainly).

One last thing, at the moment anyway!
Can someone tell me the main food sources which have the highest amount of anti-nutrients?

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Old 04-27-2007, 02:35 AM   #2
Gerhard Lavin
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Two good Weston Price articles on the preparation of grains and beans w/f safe. Soaking also reduces cooking time. When I make porridge I soak the oats overnight in hot water with a little lemon juice or vinegar added.

Although I find elements of the paleo diet interesting I don't think it would be a sustainable diet for the majority of the world's population. Grains and legumes have been part of healthy traditional diets. As someone else said the industrial revolution has been much worse for our health than the agricultural revolution.
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
Nikki Young
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Thanks Ger,

So am i right in saying that grains and beans are actually a paleolithic food, when prepared correctly? Because HG had access to water, so they could have gathered some kidney beans (for example) and soaked them in water for 2weeks or so, so they would become edible.

So beans like kidney beans and chick peas which are canned and can be left soaking in liquid for a long time, would they become very low in anti-nutrients?

And the only real downside to grains which have been left soaking and prepaired the right way, is the GI factor?
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:14 AM   #4
Marc Moffett
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Nikki, I don't have much to add, but wanted to point out that a reasonable response to the presence of anti-nutrients is dietary variety. Anti-nutrients have a cumulative, chronic effect. Eating the same or similar foods day in and day out is what is going to cause problems. So, quite independent of your questions concerning preperation, irregular consumption of any food is arguably paleo.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:52 PM   #5
Nikki Young
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Thanks Marc, i see your point. But from what i've been running off, eating a paleo diet is eating what HG's could eat. Previously i assumed grains and beans where out because everywhere said that they weren't paleo. Foods like potatoes, legumes and grains needed to be cooked with heat to be eaten, therefor doesn't fall under the category of paleo. But from reading up on soaking grains and legumes, doesn't this mean that they can be edible, just by this process of using water and soaking them, which would also reduce the anti-nutrients, making them a fairly healthy source of food for HG's.

I would like to hear what others have to think, if they could clear me up maybe a bit more..
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:48 PM   #6
Robert Wolf
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Hey Nikki-
Anti-nutrients can come in a variety of forms. Phytates for example bind to metal ions such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. This has dual purposes of preventing early germination of seeds AND it can remove these nutrients from the intestinal contents and thus decrease their availability from the diet. This is the hallmark of the transition from the paleolithic to the neolithic as we see significant decreases in height, bone formation and dental health in agriculturalists as compared to HG's and pastoralists such as the Masi. This is also the difference we see in in the traditional Japanese diet (high rice content) and the Okinawan diet (main starch source is a variety of yam).

Other antinutrients exist such as Avidin in eggs:
and the avidin provides a similar role of sequestering biotin which is necessary for both embryologic development but also bacterial growth. Similar to grains and legumes, raw eggs CAN pose a problem of biotin deficiency if taken to Rocky Balboa-esque extremes.

Now the items discussed thus far are constituents largely involved in growth management...both of the reproductive structures (grain, bean or egg) but also the growth of critters that might eat some of these items such as bacteria and people. These are the true to life "anti-nutrients" however grains and legumes also have constituents broadly categorized as Lectins which can be VERY damaging to every organ system in the body: CNS, heart, kidneys etc. Gluten is the protein in wheat that is the main problem and is in fact the cause of the recent pet-food poisonings. Here is a CNN anchorwoman talking about her and her sons experience with gluten: &vidurl= n%2Bceliac&usg=AL29H21nD6nTrrbVk2gGXDmO8_3fHTuGIw

Gluten is but one of many lectins which pose significant problems for is a discussion of that topic in the British Journal of medicine:

So...does sprouting and various forms of processing decrease the activity of these antinutrients and lectins? Yes. A little. Does it make them on par with lean meats, veggies, fruits? No, not close in my opinion.

If I lived in a 3rd world country and had no other choices...well that's one things. I think it's tough to construct an argument for the inclusion of these foods other than "I want to eat this".

Loren Cordain has much to say on this topic at his site as well.

Edit: Adding a note to point out that all links above are work and family safe.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
Sam Lepore
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Please stick around here. Good to have you posting again.
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
Greg Battaglia
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I second what Sam said. I learn something new EVERY time Robb posts!
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:20 PM   #9
Kevin McKay
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My personal theory is that Robb is one of those extraterrestrials that can absorb all the information in a book just buy touching it.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:08 AM   #10
Garrett Smith
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I am of the belief that the only time the avidin in eggs becomes an issue is when people (typically BBing types) eat large amounts of egg whites (sans yolk). There is biotin in the yolk--wonder why nature/God put it there?

If anyone can find any case studies of someone who ate whole raw eggs (not any egg whites by themselves) and induced a biotin deficiency, I'll take a second look at my stance. Otherwise, I'll have to believe my own experience and the experiences of many other Primal Dieters (raw dieters, eggs are a big part of that diet, some do up to a dozen a day) that whole raw eggs do not present an avidin issue.
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