Are beans toxic?

Below is a thorough and admittedly somewhat lengthy article about why beans and legumes are problematic for so many people, especially those with chronic illness or a compromised gut. While beans have a reputation for being very healthy and “good for you”, the truth is that they contribute little but inflammation and high levels of carbohydrates for most who consume them. I’ve had SO many clients who were shocked to discover how much better they feel taking these out of their diet.

It’s why I take all my clients with Lyme Disease off beans and legumes.

And I found the same thing myself. In the 5 years before I was diagnosed with cancer, I was a strict vegetarian. It was part of being a serious yogi. I had been through this before, always choosing it for moral/ethical reasons, and hoping I could stay healthy on a lower protein diet. Beans and legumes, and particularly lentils in all forms, were a HUGE part of my diet.

But after the cancer diagnosis, I swore off vegetarianism once and for all. And now that grass fed meat, from animals raised appropriately for their species, is so much more available, I don’t feel quite as conflicted as I used to.

[Now please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying beans cause cancer! (although this article, and others, suggest they may play a part). But when you take animal protein out of your diet, you are basically left with a high carbohydrate and higher glycemic diet, and that definitely contributes to cancer]

But back to my story. After I went back to eating grass fed meat, I ignored beans and legumes for a very long time. And I felt much, much better. And then one day my son brought a friend home from college and asked if I would make a spicy dal recipe he loved, with red lentils. So of course I did. And  was amazed to discover how much inflammation that dish caused in my system: my joints ached; I was tired; my gut was off….

As I constantly tell clients re gluten: you can’t tell how something is effecting you if you are consuming it all the time. The only way you can tell is to “clean up” for long enough for the inflammation – and the hyper-vigilant inflammatory response – to subside, and then you can tell, if you introduce it again, if you are having a reaction of some sort.

I was also pleased to see validation of my own testing with clients: that peas and green beans do not have the high lectins of other beans and legumes, and are usually safer to eat.

So you might want to do your own N=1 experiment and see if lectins are effecting you. If you do, I’d be curious to hear, so please share your results.

Source: Lectins Are Toxins –

3 thoughts on “Are beans toxic?

  1. The raw vegan diet is supposed to be the gold standard for cancer patients! What a joke!

    The diet that’s recommended now is the ketogenic diet, but that is so difficult to adhere to.

    You are very honest in your blog about how you used to be a vegetarian. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your knowledge.


  2. I just discovered your website – thank you thank you thank you!!! Hubs and I are both in treatment for late stage limeand coinfection’s. We were pretty much Paleo line before our diagnosis – the doctor says that’s probably the only reason we were still standing. My question is – does sprouting beans make them less problematic? I have also read that lentils are comparatively low in lectins – is this true?


    1. Hey Kirsten, thanks so much for reading and writing, and for your kind words. I test everything individually for clients, including 4 different kinds of lentils, and many other beans and legumes, and my answer is… it just depends. This article is my best attempt at generalizing, without customizing. I hope it proves helpful. If I can assist you in any other way, please let me know, and best wishes for your complete healing.

      p.s. I just saw you’re a natural horse trainer, one of my passions for a very long time!


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