Grains, legumes, and potatoes, are they bad for you?

I don't bring up this topic from a fat loss perspective because I have solved such issues for myself a long time ago. What I actually found was that I continued to lose fat and keep it off while keeping such foods in my diet, because calories were low enough, I didn't go hungry, and I felt good as opposed to feeling like crap from low blood sugar that which happens from a low carb diet. So it is safe to say that I have seen the proof with myself and others that the idea that grains make you fat is complete bolagna. But that doesn't mean that such foods are the best thing for you and/or they won't be bad for you. The answer to that question is what I am trying to figure out.

I have had symptoms of celiac disease, that which my mother has also suffered from and she had to start eating gluten free foods to solve her problems. For such reasons I became curious and started looking into the paleo diet because it eliminates foods such as grains. I always questioned when people said grains were bad for you with the possibility that such beliefs might be simply dogma. Because I didn't see any proof. Now I second question and I found a good article that actually gives some rational reasons why foods such as grains, potatoes, and legumes might be bad for you. Here is the link:

As I already mentioned, I really liked that article because it actually explained scientifically why certain foods might be bad for us, as opposed to the dogma I have heard from low carb advocates. I don't believe in the low carb dogma that demonizes foods such as grains all for the sake of justifying a reduced carb diet, moderate carbs work just fine for me. But if there are other health reasons why I should be concerned with such foods, I definitely want to know.

Any further comments would be appreciated. And I would also appreciate it if anyone had any good sources.

Pete Read's picture

Grains bad

I first heard about grains being bad for you around 20 years ago after reading some books by Dr Norman Walker. I was 19 years old and lifting heavy. I started a paleo diet before ever hearing the word paleo. I started eating 2 dozen eggs a day and a lot of fish with raw vegtable juice and fruit. After a 3 or 4 weeks, my bodyfat was really low. If there is such a thing as "not an ounce of fat" that was me.

Also, I've stayed lean with grains before like raw oats soaked in water over night, brown rice mixed with chopped raw vegtables and plain whole wheat pasta. I guess that would be classified as a slow carb diet. Its a lot different than eating macaroni and cheese and cake. If you really like grains, you could still be lean. Consistant training plays a role too. Some people eat whatever they want and still stay lean. Not everybody has to eat like a endomorph.

Pete, I actually enjoy

I actually enjoy eating grains, legumes, and potatoes, very much. The only reason why I have started looking into the idea of possibly cutting them out is because of the problems I have been having with how they digest. It shouldn't be a surprise.

Also, although such foods have been a staple in my successful diet for keeping the fat off and feeling good, I am starting to recognize the possible benefits I might obtain by cutting them out. If you read the article I posted, they did discuss the negative affects such foods can have on certain hormones (by far not limited to insulin), affects that would inevitably affect ones performance as an athlete as well as their health and overall ability to be as lean as possible. So I guess what I am saying is although I have had success with such foods, I might be able to do even better if I find replacements. My main aim is health, but even further improvements in the ability to become leaner sounds like a pretty good bonus as well.

Todd Wilson's picture

I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with legumes as much.... Nobody eats too many and they don't present the problems of processed grains. As for grains being bad.... Look at the research. They're awful.... But besides that.... Look at it frothe reverse angle... How good for they are you?

They aren't!!!!

Compare a pound of grains with a pound of vegetables with regards to their nutrient profile. To pick grains wouldn't make sense. Other than relatively empty calories, much like junk food, grains provide no benefit.

As for celiac disease.... Stay away from them and most people quit suffering from symptoms.

Todd Wilson's picture

As for potatoes, as I

As for potatoes, as I mentioned in summer six pack, people eat too many. Fury emote, due to farming methods, they aren't as nutritional as they use to be.

I tried looking up the

I tried looking up the highest protein legume. Does anyone know?

I eat alot of soy because of the glutamine and the fact males do not have many estrogen receptors and cooked soy probably has few living bioactive phytoestrogens. In fact, according to someone who has credentials on alternative health some phtoestrogens are good for men (help the heart and skin).

That video on the paleo diet had some mention to avoiding dairy but whey concentrate? Any comments on that?

Yeah, the zig zag makes

Yeah, the zig zag makes sense instead of low carb all the time. One of Dr. Squat's articles in a book mentioned Platz so low on carbs that he was dizzy and felt sick. I ketogenic dieted and did low carb for a long time but this site really helped me with periodization (stopped overtraining)and zig zaging helps with some high carbs on high load days and low carbs on low load days. Getting proper blood sugar again made me feel alive and more color to my face. Of course after low carb I had an adaption time period to having more medium and high GI foods but after losing 30 pounds I no longer need my metformin to keep blood sugar below 140.

As far as high sugar intake my father is living proof one can eat lots of candy and stay slim and type II free if one does alot of moving and exercise. He's 74 but needs much more protein.

Pete, another good reason

Pete, another good reason for eating raw fruits and veggies (especially organic) is to flush the body of chemical calories. The idea is about a decade old (from what I can see) but the average American has about 10 pounds of fat from chemical calories. My family grew up durring the great depression and basicly ate what they grew with the exception of bread. I stay away from bread but have an ocasional bagel with creme cheese but I'm switching to soy milk (unsweetened again) for my whey shakes. The whole paleo diet makes sense if Europeans digestive systems and genetics have not evolved to accept grains and dairy but there is evidence with the blood type diet a, b, ab, and O that the more modern blood types tolerate grains and dairy much better (a,b, and ab)

Todd Wilson's picture

Eating legumes for the

Eating legumes for the protein is like driving. Prius for the drive train.

As for soy..... It's great for female bodybuilders injecting testosterone who need more estrogen to balance it out....

Yeah, I might switch to

Yeah, I might switch to Carnivore protein shakes if I cannot get more wild venison. I'm checking my gains with the soy protein vs. whey isolate/concentrate. I'm definately trying to avoid dairy so perhaps the whey is not a good choice. I'll do some reserach to see and post later.

Todd Wilson's picture

There are plenty of lactose

There are plenty of lactose free whey proteins on the market.

As for soy, look at the research. Ignorant nutritionist who sell the BS line that red meat is bad for you tout it's health properties, but they are incorrect and/or dishonest. Soy decreases testosterone, increases estrogen, and potentially increases the incidence of certain types of cancer. Stay away from soy proteins! It also has no where near the anabolic properties of whey and is not as beneficial to the immune system.

I love a good whey protein shake, but get your protein from dead animals. Fish, fowl, and furry things!

I would agree that you can

I would agree that you can and should get your protein from real foods. However, my past experience has proven that protein shakes can be a very convenient meal replacement for a few meals per day if you are too busy or just new to dieting and aren't used to cooking more than 3 meals per day yet. But yes, if you have the time, get all your meals from real food. I have tried several different kinds of protein shakes and most gave me digestive problems. A few weeks back I tried the Isopure brand which tastes pretty good and so far is the only protein shake that I have tried that doesn't give me any problems. I think the reason why is because it is 100% whey isolate with zero whey concentrate.

There actually is an

There actually is an alternative trick you can do to solve the problem with eating too much potatoes, if one is to keep it in the diet. Cook them by boiling them. This results in a satisfaction rating that doubles that of most fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. In other words, it fills you up quick. I have tried this with sweet potatoes and it works. Of course you can do this with other foods as well. That's why I highly recommend soups and watery fruits. It's all about the water content.

I can also see why some potatoes might not be as nutritious as they used to be. But there really is a great variety to choose from. Japanese sweet potatoes (I think that's the name, they are long and purple) are delicious!

By now I think I can understand why people are saying grains are bad for you. It's believable, surely when certain people are having problems from it.

But I am still wondering if there is any validity to what they are saying about potatoes being poisonous. Is there any legitimacy to it? Or is it just a bunch of biased dogma all for the sake of paleo?

I guess you all can understand where I am coming from with my skepticism on some of these topics. There is some good and real legit info out there. But some just go off the deep end and "drink the cool aid" (so to speak).

Todd Wilson's picture

If satiety is an issue,

If satiety is an issue, you're not eating enough meat. Meat is more satiating than anything else.

Protein seems to have that

Protein seems to have that sort of affect. If I eat enough protein for 2-3 days I end up feeling so satisfied that I can barely eat for a half a day.

But as for carbohydrate sources, we all have choices. I'd go for an orange any day over a banana. And I'd go for the boiled sweet potatoes over baking or microwaving them any day as well.

Yeah, I figure the lactose

Yeah, I figure the lactose is the problem with some wheys. I like Pro Power and never had a problem. I only take soy protein a few times a week but I heard there are not enough estrogen receptors in males for it to effect negatively or most soy does not have bioactive phytoestrogens that can effect guys negatively (if some guys have enough estrogen receptors). I'll go with wild venison (either from hunting or form the meat locker), creatine supplementation, glutamine supplementation, whey and soy on rare ocasions.

Avoid Soy products if you

Avoid Soy products if you can, like Todd said. There are some soy products that are healthy, but you wont find them in American grocery stores (fermented soy foods - miso, tempeh, etc) and they should be consumed in moderation. Soy protein is definitely NOT a replacement for whey protein.

You should be fine with whey products - people with milk sensitives are often able to tolerate high-quality whey protein. Try different Whey protein isolates until you find the right one.

Green potatoes are poisonous

Green potatoes contain solanine, which is a poison:

Pete Read's picture


I read about that years ago. I used to drink a quart of potato juice a day without any problem. I would just cut away the green parts.

Pete Read's picture


Thats true. Some soy products like tofu and soy protien are'nt as bad as eating the whole soybean. A lot of the antinutients are removed during the processing. The only reason soy products got hyped up as a health food is because it is so cheap to produce and theres a big markup.

I remember about 12 years

I remember about 12 years ago studies showed cofee had benefits but carcinogens. The same with soy. I learned from my African doctor in Africa the coffee beans are not ground but soaked in room temperature water for a few days then drank on special ocasions. Deviating from the paleo diet might have some benefit but some problems. Animals ate grains and legumes not humans thousands of years ago. Perhaps our digestive system and CNS cannot tolerate certain bio-compounds of the modern age foods. Wheat (with the exception of German spelt) has gluten that some people are untolerant with. I am going with the Paleo diet with wild venison as a meat source with whey. I still will have venison chili with legumes but rarely. Hopefully my writing here will answer questions why some foods seem healthy and non healthy due to current scientific studies.