The reality is, eating whole plant-based foods are far superior to consuming them in processed form. Dr. Michael Greger outlines in this video some eye-opening information. For example, comprehensive studies involving participants being divided into two groups of either eating Honey Nut Cheerios or steel cut oats, resulted in the oatmeal group being satisfied for hours longer with no hunger cravings, unlike the sugar-ridden, refined Cheerios group.
In another study it was shown that consuming raw nuts as opposed to eating them ground into nut butter causes less fat to be absorbed into the intestines, bringing more fat to the colon. No matter how well you chew your nuts little pieces still remain undissolved, causing the oils to remain intact. This was a study involving peanuts verses peanut butter. Not that I am a fan of peanuts because of their lectin content, but the principle remains which likely applies to all nuts concerning whole verses nut butter.
Concerning the Paleo and Ketogenic Cult
Watching this video of a well-respected, highly educated plant-based doctor, Michael Greger, I am reminded of how insidious the other side of the health movement is concerning the consumption of grains. All across the Paleo and ketogenic diet community is a gospel of “Grains are not ideal for human health,” which alludes to claims that humans only started eating them 23,000 years ago.
This is problematic for several reasons. I think anti-grain advocates like Steven Gundry and Joseph Mercola leave out the fact that proper preparations of several grains have no adverse effects. For example, eliminating the hull by making brown rice “white,” or by soaking, sprouting or making sourdough one can remove many of the damaging lectins and phytic acid that lead to gut disruption, inflammation and nutrient malabsorption.
Dr. Gundry, though I respect his research and have gained knowledge from him, seems to cutely contradict himself at times. For example, when his groundbreaking book came out in 2017, The Plant Paradox, he preached a message in both interviews and on his YouTube channel that you should stay away from beans and grains.
Nevertheless, he implied that if you must compromise or eat lectin-containing beans or nightshades sometimes, use a pressure cooker because it destroys most lectins. When his book came out Gundry was criticized heavily by the vegans who basically survive on beans and grains for protein. In one confrontation with a plant-based doctor on the TV show The Doctors, Gundry admitted to eating beans every day despite declaring they were bad for health. He negates the justification of occasionally eating beans of course by use of a pressure cooker.
So, which one is it Dr. Gundry? If I thoroughly pressure cook my beans and nightshades (where lectin-residing skin and seeds are intact), am I really damaging my gut? Apparently from research, proper exposure to high heat and pressure (i.e. pressure cooking) destroys virtually all “sticky protein” lectins with the exception of gluten.
What about the common opinion from emerging studies that eating some lectins may be beneficial to health by suppressing cancer, etc.? Nonetheless, what about the several advantages eating beans and nightshades have for fiber, micro and macro nutrients to include good protein and polyphenols? Surely, we won’t get all the benefits from strictly eating leaves and animals?
Likewise, even Dr. Gundry promotes the benefits of eating less animal protein in order to suppress the mTor pathway. Science shows that the amino acid profile of plant proteins as opposed to “anything” animal (cheese, fish, eggs, meat) contain less leucine, which increases TOR and IGF-1. Thus longevity and graceful aging can be improved by lowering these two metabolic pathways via consumption of more plant protein.
I will say, Dr. Gundry is honest in this regard, and even he has admitted recently since the publishing of his subsequent book, The Longevity Paradox, that certain natural inhibitors of TOR are found in plant phenolic compounds such as extra-virgin olive oil.
Dr. Greger mentions these TOR-inhibiting effects of many spices, fruits and vegetables in this article:
We don’t have to starve ourselves to suppress TOR; just reducing animal protein intake can attenuate overall TOR activity. Moreover, diets emphasizing plants, especially cruciferous vegetables, decrease TOR activation from animal proteins while providing natural plant-derived inhibitors of TOR found in broccoli, green tea, soy, turmeric, and grapes, along with other fruits and vegetables such as onions, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and the skin of cucumbers.How to Suppress the Aging Enzyme TOR
Further, there is stigma attached to not only Dr. Steven Gundry but the many pro-ketogenic diet advocates out there who seem to “romanticize” Darwinian evolutionary theory and our alleged hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s not that science can prove the existence of “cavemen”—it has not. I myself am skeptical of any claims about human life before documented civilization began in ancient Sumer, about 5,000 years ago.
From these earliest recorded ancient Biblical times, humans ate several grains and beans, including Einkorn wheat, barley, spelt, lentils, among others. Thus I am reluctant to stand upon such strongly felt claims that human beings were never agrarian consumers for most of our history. A lot of this is myth and unproven science.