Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts

Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts
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Do the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas remain when they’re powdered? Also, how to use temperature stress to boost sprout nutrition.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas. But do the benefits remain even when they’re powdered? There are a bunch of bean pastas on the market now, made from bean powder instead of wheat powder. Does it have the same benefits as whole beans? In terms of blood sugar control, yes. “[N]o differences in [blood sugar responses] were observed between [whole beans, puréed beans, and powdered beans].”

This study, however, failed to show a benefit. They gave people powdered chickpeas/lentils/peas and did not see any cholesterol benefits—for example, compared to a potato placebo. Now “[c]onceivably the [powdering] process may have altered the properties of the…fiber,” but they were only giving people 100 grams a day—which is less than half a can of beans, and previous studies that have shown significant cholesterol benefits tended to use more than that. Another bean powder study also found no cholesterol effect, but they were only giving 15 grams a day—that’s just like 15 beans a day. If you do a systematic review of all the randomized, controlled regular bean studies, significant benefits were found more like up around 130 grams a day. In other words, at least one full serving.

If you ever get sick of pulse pastas and beans that are canned and cooked, “[s]prouting is a cheap, effective, and simple tool…for improving the nutritional…quality of [certain] legumes.” I have fawned over lentil sprouts previously as one of the healthiest snacks, along with kale chips and nori sheets. Anyone can make lentil sprouts at home super easy for pennies; fresh produce year-round on your windowsill, but any way to boost their nutritional quality even higher? Well, as a response to environmental stresses, “plants modify their metabolism,” and we may be able to take advantage of that to modify the composition and activity of plant foods. For example, plants are subjected to free radicals too, which can damage their DNA just like it damages our DNA. So, “to reduce excess [free radicals],…plants can ramp up their “antioxidant defense system,” which we can then take advantage of when we eat them.

So, for instance, as a germination technique for chickpeas, if you irradiate them with gamma rays you can boost their antioxidant defences. But, if you don’t want to Bruce Banner your chickpeas into hulk hummus, how about eliciting the “nutritional and antioxidant potential” of lentil sprouts “with temperature stress” instead.

For example, what if you took your sprouts when they were two days old and put them in the fridge for an hour. Then you take them out and let them continue to germinate normally. Would that one hour of cold stress make them more nutritious? Or, instead of putting them in the fridge, what if you lived in Phoenix, and then took them outside for an hour?

Here’s what happens to a measure of the antioxidant power of lentil sprouts germinated the whole time at room temperature–a slow rise with time. But just that one hour in the fridge on day two, and days later significantly more antioxidant build-up. Same thing for an hour at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

What about then storing them in your fridge? Sprouts are usually consumed fresh; however, to keep them fresh we usually stick them in the fridge. But, there hadn’t been any studies about the effect of fridge storage on the nutritional quality of sprouts… until, now.

On days three through six, you can see the phenolic phytonutrient content of sprouted peas decline, but keep them in the fridge and they go up instead. The same thing with mung bean sprouts, which are your typical bean sprouts—whereas in lentils? No significant difference. We should still keep them in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling, but the best way to ensure maximum nutrition is to store them at body temperature, by eating them.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: milivanily via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas. But do the benefits remain even when they’re powdered? There are a bunch of bean pastas on the market now, made from bean powder instead of wheat powder. Does it have the same benefits as whole beans? In terms of blood sugar control, yes. “[N]o differences in [blood sugar responses] were observed between [whole beans, puréed beans, and powdered beans].”

This study, however, failed to show a benefit. They gave people powdered chickpeas/lentils/peas and did not see any cholesterol benefits—for example, compared to a potato placebo. Now “[c]onceivably the [powdering] process may have altered the properties of the…fiber,” but they were only giving people 100 grams a day—which is less than half a can of beans, and previous studies that have shown significant cholesterol benefits tended to use more than that. Another bean powder study also found no cholesterol effect, but they were only giving 15 grams a day—that’s just like 15 beans a day. If you do a systematic review of all the randomized, controlled regular bean studies, significant benefits were found more like up around 130 grams a day. In other words, at least one full serving.

If you ever get sick of pulse pastas and beans that are canned and cooked, “[s]prouting is a cheap, effective, and simple tool…for improving the nutritional…quality of [certain] legumes.” I have fawned over lentil sprouts previously as one of the healthiest snacks, along with kale chips and nori sheets. Anyone can make lentil sprouts at home super easy for pennies; fresh produce year-round on your windowsill, but any way to boost their nutritional quality even higher? Well, as a response to environmental stresses, “plants modify their metabolism,” and we may be able to take advantage of that to modify the composition and activity of plant foods. For example, plants are subjected to free radicals too, which can damage their DNA just like it damages our DNA. So, “to reduce excess [free radicals],…plants can ramp up their “antioxidant defense system,” which we can then take advantage of when we eat them.

So, for instance, as a germination technique for chickpeas, if you irradiate them with gamma rays you can boost their antioxidant defences. But, if you don’t want to Bruce Banner your chickpeas into hulk hummus, how about eliciting the “nutritional and antioxidant potential” of lentil sprouts “with temperature stress” instead.

For example, what if you took your sprouts when they were two days old and put them in the fridge for an hour. Then you take them out and let them continue to germinate normally. Would that one hour of cold stress make them more nutritious? Or, instead of putting them in the fridge, what if you lived in Phoenix, and then took them outside for an hour?

Here’s what happens to a measure of the antioxidant power of lentil sprouts germinated the whole time at room temperature–a slow rise with time. But just that one hour in the fridge on day two, and days later significantly more antioxidant build-up. Same thing for an hour at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

What about then storing them in your fridge? Sprouts are usually consumed fresh; however, to keep them fresh we usually stick them in the fridge. But, there hadn’t been any studies about the effect of fridge storage on the nutritional quality of sprouts… until, now.

On days three through six, you can see the phenolic phytonutrient content of sprouted peas decline, but keep them in the fridge and they go up instead. The same thing with mung bean sprouts, which are your typical bean sprouts—whereas in lentils? No significant difference. We should still keep them in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling, but the best way to ensure maximum nutrition is to store them at body temperature, by eating them.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: milivanily via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

95 responses to “Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts

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  1. As a T1 diabetic, I have always been concerned about getting adequate fiber. From this I would infer; add 50 grams of bean pasta and no effect. 50 grams of bean pasta + a chickpea patty latter (or earlier) and I have a net measurable dietary improvement. Since I start the day with oats,flax blueberries, spices, matcha, amla and ground dates. It’s all a plus.

    The real point is that by itself the bean pasta isn’t much. But a small serving of beans in any form on top of an already healthy diet and that diet is healthier.

    Little increments can make a difference. After 45 years with diabetes I began having a little neuropathy even on a whole food vegan diet. That diagnosis was a wakeup call. Now I never miss a single additional factor to improve the quality of diet. And TAH DAHHH, the neuropathy is reversing. Not only has this not developed into pain, but the sensitivity in the toes is coming back.

    1. Good point. Plus the bean pasta is most likely a lot higher in antioxidants than most other pastas and richer in protein and other nutrients than most pastas. Wo maybe the lentil and bean pastas aren’t replacements for your bean/legume intake, but a healthy addition to an already healthy diet.

      Very interesting about the sprouts storage! I would imagine the same would go for broccoli sprouts, hopefully.

  2. I like lentil and chickpea pastas.

    Waiting for a 100 gram study.

    Being a post-menopausal woman, I hear many of the women saying their numbers suddenly shot up.

    Wondering if there are tricks like the foods with estrogen effects or something?

    Seems like I read about something which women use at menopause where a doctor said it gave just enough of an estrogen response to avoid the negative effects of menopause. I didn’t pay attention because I didn’t have any negative effects at all.

    But I didn’t know back then that I needed to check my cholesterol.

    1. Phyto-estrogen (that produced by plants) blocks the activity of animal estrogen; the body does not itself respond to phyto-estrogen.

      Nature is wonderful in its wisdom.

      1. Thanks Navy Corpsman!

        Yes, I love that the plant foods dont give me Breast cancer!

        Something to celebrate!

        I am just trying to remember if it was a supplement or a food, which they said gives a small trickle of estrogen.

        Can’t remember who said it or what they said it about.

        Just pondering the women having their cholesterol shoot up after menopause.

        I got rid of so many disease symptoms but haven’t had my cholesterol checked yet.

        Waiting for a while so I can see if WFPB is enough for me.

      2. My understanding is that a majority of scientists considers that the human body does respond to phyto-oestrogens

        ” A litany of health benefits including a lowered risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, and menopausal symptoms, are frequently attributed to phytoestrogens but many are also considered endocrine disruptors, indicating that they have the potential to cause adverse health effects as well. Consequently, the question of whether or not phytoestrogens are beneficial or harmful to human health remains unresolved. The answer is likely complex and may depend on age, health status, and even the presence or absence of specific gut microflora.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/

        1. From what I’ve learned here about phytoestrogens, at least form soy, is that it is selective in how it acts in the human body, lowering estrogen where our bodies need to and raising estrogen where some bodies may need it, thus being great for breast cancer patients as well as post-menopausal women.

        2. Tom,

          Thank you for saying that. It is another one of those complex equations.

          I watched a Budwig for Breast cancer video and it made it grow faster and that could be the dairy or oil but they said it was the flax.

          I have heard the logic from every direction and my mind isn’t strong enough to figure out which logic to follow.

          I am post-menopausal so I would assume they might help slow down the effects of low estrogen, but it is a complicated topic is the answer.

      3. Navy Corpsman, According to Dr. Greger, phyto-estrogens, at least those found in soy foods, do act in the human body: they bind to estrogen receptors in human breast tissue, though weakly, and prevent estrogen from binding to these receptors, so they act as anti-estrogenic compounds; and they bind to estrogen receptors elsewhere in the body, such as the bone, though more strongly, where they actually act as estrogen and are pro-estrogenic compounds. That is probably because there are two different estrogen receptors: alpha in breast tissue, and beta elsewhere. This is explained much better and in more detail here: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/who-shouldnt-eat-soy.html

    2. Deb, my favorite are red lentil rotinis with pesto sauce from Dr. G’s “How Not To Die” book (not the cookbook). I mix them sometimes with a whole grain pasta. But the red lentil rotinis are my favorite! And that pesto recipe is the best WFPB recipe I’ve ever tasted!

      1. Cool Nancy!

        I just bought some red lentil rotini. Haven’t tried it yet, but I liked the green lentil lasagna. Bummer, I just gave away Dr Gregers book again or I would try the Pesto.

        I might have to buy another copy or go to Barnes & Noble with a cell phone camera until after I finish spending all my money on my sweet dog.

        I ended up having The Beyond Burger tonight and it has so much oil in it that I almost felt queasy looking at it cook. I drained it a few times trying to get rid of as much oil as possible but it will not be on my food list at all.

        I had wondered if my friend with Cancer could eat them but nope oil causes Cancer to grow faster.

        I had watched some vegan YouTube reviews and someone like Dr Oz and they all liked it but If I am going to eat a faux burger it is not going to be that oily.

  3. After watching the video I decided I wanted to brush up on my understanding of what “free radicals” and “antioxidants” are.
    (What would we do without Google?) Here’s a simple explanation that some may find useful and interesting:

    https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html

    I believe there are some 10^80 electrons in the entire universe, yet these silly free radicals just can’t get enough of them… tsk tsk.

    1. Dr. Cobalt:
      Some things in this article are misleading. A free radical is a species that has one or more unpaired electrons. The oxygen molecule (O2) itself is a free radical because it has two unpaired electrons. It doesn’t have to be split into two atoms to create free radicals; it already is.

      1. Hmmm. I’m still confused, George (although I believe you know more about this than I). I did more research and found that a single oxygen atom has an electron configuration of 1S2, 2S2, 2P4, which leaves two valence electrons unpaired, presumably two of the 2P electrons. If a second oxygen atom bonds with the first as a molecule, won’t the two unpaired electrons of each atom pair up with the unpaired electrons of the other?

  4. I stocked up on the Organic Lentil and Chickpea pasta when it was on sale, and I regularly add it to my soups. Whether the benefits are there or not when powdered, it has to be better than regular pasta, and definitely makes the soups more filling with that extra dose of protein.

  5. I find the bean pastas expensive but found them on sale at the vegan food festival and tried one. Not only was it good, but had additional byproducts! I saved the water, and it made a delicious thick soup.
    I would like to know whether the lentil sprouts are as nutritious after I put them in boiling water for just a minute. I find them easier to digest that way.

    1. Some foods nutrient content rises with cooking while others decrease. Both are irrelevant if eating a nutritious food is hard to digest. Better digestion equals better nutrient absorption. A human body can only absorb what it can digest, this is why absorption levels are affected by cooking in many foods. In fact many beans REQUIRE boiling to remove a anti-nutrient (phytic acid) that blocks some absorption of the beans nutrients.

      1. Jimbo, there is no such thing as anti-nutrients, or at least phytic acid isn’t one of them. Actually phytic acid is an incredibly beneficial nutrient in and of itself. Beans require cooking (unless you’re eating sprouted beans) because they’re too hard to eat raw! Kidney beans require some light cooking because raw kidney beans can be toxic. All information in videos on this site.

        While bioavailability is definitely important, here’s even benefits from larger fragments from beans and I think nuts, that end up getting swelled from eating the whole bean, legume, or nuts… our healthy gut bacteria feasts off those larger pieces :) I guess plants are just awesome at any angle.

      1. Why would you particularly want to eat foods that are ‘crazy high’ in protein?

        High protein diets are associated with higher mortality (although plant proteins do appear to be less harmful than animal proteins) and as Dr Greger has previously commented:

        ‘People are more likely to suffer from protein excess than protein deficiency. The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein diets may include disorders of bone and calcium balance, disorders of kidney function, increased cancer risk, disorders of the liver, and worsening of coronary artery disease. Therefore, there is currently no reasonable scientific basis to recommend protein consumption above the current recommended daily allowance, due to its potential disease risks.’
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-great-protein-fiasco/

        1. Hijacker, older people benefit from somewhat higher protein intake and Dr. Greger and Dr. Valter Longo both recommend that. Protein may be important for bone strength, again especially in the elderly, and especially for vegans (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24103482). Plus, legumes are one of our healthiest foods and there doesn’t seem to be a point at which you can get too much legume protein (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.538.8279&rep=rep1&type=pdf).

          1. I appreciate high protein plant foods and I never worry about getting too much protein from plant sources apart from if I drank gallons of soy milk everyday, but I don’t. I have a lot of muscle and I would actually like more information about how much more protein you might need depending on how much muscle you have, like how much more would a body builder need or what if your body is healing from a serious injury, would it need extra protein then? My thinking is basically just to eat a well rounded whole plant foods diet and if your body will be hungry if you need more of something, just my own experience and philosophy and theory I guess. Still would like more info though, especially when it comes to injuries.

              1. Checked it out Tom and it is laughable. No offense to you, I know you did not review it.
                Here is a part…
                “In 2009 three major health bodies endorsed the 0.5 to 0.8 g/lb. (1.2-1.7 g/kg) figures above (American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine).4
                Jack Norris, RD points out that nutrient recommendations are always “padded” with safety margins. That is, most people need less:
                Considering the information reviewed above…it seems reasonable to conclude that the protein needs of most vegan bodybuilders are somewhere between 0.8 and 1.5 g/kg (0.36 and 0.68 g/lb) of body weight…. ”

                That is a actual quote and sequence in the quote. He states the 2009 numbers which really have not changed, but then uses a unknown source, a random RD, and suggests the three bodies are padding the numbers. Which is a giant leap with no substance to support it.

                No, I read the position statement, if anything they state intensive training may even require above that amount. And any that are actually in that sport do not attest to lower numbers being required. No one is padding anything. I follow some of these peoples a bit and none that are any good at it attest to low protein levels he suggests.

            1. The positional statement of the leading body in sports nutrition suggests this in their piece..”Dietary protein intake necessary to support metabolic adaptation, repair, remodeling, and for protein turnover generally ranges from 1.2 to 2.0 g/kg/ day.” This is supported also in NIH study

              However they also mention the amounts taken in very intensive exercise may be significantly higher. Injury is sustained in very intensive exercise.
              The body repairs by building muscle after muscle break down. So that amount may serve as a baseline from which one may care to increase depending upon extend of muscle repair necessary due to training load.

          2. Thanks Miki.

            To tell the truth, I am wary of the claim that higher protein intake is beneficial in older people unlike in middle aged people.

            It is based primarily on observational studies in humans. The same types of studies purport to show that high cholesterol levels, being overweight and having high blood pressure are beneficial in older people unlike in middle aged people. However, they are almost certainly confounded by factors such as disease states common in the elderly causing cholesterol and blood pressure to decline, and poor appettite/dentition and low levels of income also common in the elderly being associated with both weight loss and increased risk of disease. That seems a more probable explanation of why lower cholesterol, blood pressure and weight are protective in younger people yet appear to be risk factors in the elderly. I see no reason why the association between lower levels of consumption of protein and mortality rates shouldn’t also be caused by the same or similar confounding factors. That said, there are I understand some mouse studies that show that higher protein intake in elderly mice may be beneficial.

            And sure, beans are very good for us and associated with longer life. However, that is beans not their protein content per se. There are many other nutrients in beans besides protein. Choosing to eat beans because they are beans seems a great idea but eating them because they are crazy high in protein makes less sense to me.

            Thanks for the links by the way. I would just comment that both links suggest that legume intake is very important not that legume protein intake is important. They didn’t indicate that lentils (29% protein by calorie content) were superior to chickpeas (18% protein) for example. And if vegetable protein content is your sole criterion, then buying chickpea pasta doesn’t make a lot of sense anyway given its much greater cost since plain old ordinary wheat pasta contains 15% protein

            Re your remark on bone health is important, yes, but Dr Greger has previously noted that high protein consumption adversely affects bone health (see my previous post).

            IMO, attributing all the benefits of legume consumption to their protein content seems a bit of a stretch.

              1. McDougall is clearly referencing the typical western diet and protein sourced from it as mentioned in this quote from it…”Processing all that excess dietary protein – as much as 300 grams (10 ounces) a day –causes wear and tear on the kidneys; and as a result, on average, 25% of kidney function is lost over a lifetime (70 years) from consuming the Western diet.8,9″

                He is absolutely right. But protein source in a western diet is meat cheese or fish.
                And if one does have some specific existent disease, kidney or of similar type, he cites… likely any protein at a high level is detrimental. But that does not imply a healthy person consuming plant protein is at risk.

                1. Studies on vegans have shown significantly higher fracture rates which would presuppose occurance on a low protein diet.
                  Not that it needs to be that, but that most vegans buy into the demonization of protein and do actually usually consume much less.
                  But studies such as this…but study of vegans with adequate calcium seem to show no such tendency.
                  https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/3/852S/4688026
                  suggest no connection between high protein and fracture rates. The outlier is the consumption of calcium. If adequate levels of calcium are present a higher protein diet may be protective. This study is somewhat faulted as they introduced milk into the issue but this science is not singular.
                  The high protein intake instigating a acid environment which eats our bones seems just not true if ones diet includes enough calcium. And low protein/calcium seem to correspond to more fractures. Though I would not exempt vit D from the equation.

                  1. This paper discusses the issue specific to vegans and mentions many of the comments I make..
                    “www.tihcij.com/Articles/Can-Vegans-Have-Healthy-Bones–A-Literature-Review.aspx?id=0000440

                    1. From that paper here is the part specific to protein…
                      “Although protein is part of the bony matrix, the type and the amount of dietary protein necessary for bone health are controversial.11 Adequate protein has been shown to be an important component of skeletal robustness.26 Non-collagenous protein makes up 10-15% of the bony matrix.27 Adequate protein provides amino acid precursors necessary for bone structure and anabolic support of bone structure.28 In particular, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) may participate in bone growth and maintenance.28 Inadequate protein may contribute to accelerated bone loss through both mechanisms.

                      In addition, protein increases dietary calcium absorption and bioavailability,28,29 while high protein diets may increase urinary calcium loss. The effect of animal versus plant protein has also been studied. A recent meta-analysis found both positive and negative effects of animal protein, but total protein appeared to have at least a neutral effect, and at best a positive effect.29

                      In 2008 it was found that higher consumption of foods rich in protein was associated with a lower risk of wrist fracture, regardless of whether it was animal or vegetable protein.26 However, epidemiological studies have shown mixed results regarding the effect of protein on bone loss and fracture risk.11 A comparison of Taiwanese vegetarians and non-vegetarians did not demonstrate differences in BMD despite the lower protein intake of the vegetarians.16 In Ho-Pham’s study of Buddhist nuns, animal protein and animal lipids had a negative effect on bone density.17

                      In other studies, higher levels of dietary protein have been shown to result in urinary calcium loss and negative calcium balance and bone loss.11 Specifically, a higher intake of animal protein compared to vegetable protein has been shown to accelerate bone loss.22 This result was attributed to the effects of animal protein on bone metabolism related to the acid-alkaline balance.22 However, despite the suggestion that modern diets increase systemic acid load, resulting in accelerated bone loss, results from recent meta-analyses did not find a direct link between dietary acid load and bone loss or osteoporosis.28,30”

                      To support as I read it the original contention on dietary acid load and osteoporosis was found not true. In the presence of adequate calcium intake.
                      Personally I think most of the population studies are focusing on milk. Milk may not be a read on dietary protein and calcium. Though they are contained in milk that does not suggest necessarily protein and calcium from other source may show other benefit not found with milk consumption.
                      Milk and meat are usually in study equated with high protein and high calcium. But they may have other constituent properties which make that not a direct translation for this specific study.

          3. Miki

            It’s perhaps worth adding that, in the study which delivered the finding that older humans appear to benefit from higher protein consumption, the authors comment

            “In fact, inflammation and other disorders are known to decrease IGF-1 levels, raising the possibility that the low protein and low IGF-1 group may contain a significant number of both malnourished and frail individuals having or in the process of developing major diseases (Fontana et al., 2012).”
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988204/

        2. Well if one is a athlete there is a significant reason to eat this much protein daily…

          This from a vegan sports site….
          ” We have updated Protein Part 2—Research and Weightlifting for Vegans with this information about the protein needs of athletes.
          The Institute of Medicine, which sets the RDAs, doesn’t recommend higher protein intakes for athletes. However, in a 2016 joint position paper on nutrition and athletic performance, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and Dietitians of Canada recommend higher protein intakes for athletes and also suggest that athletes should give some attention to timing of protein intake (1). They don’t differentiate between strength and endurance athletes in making the following recommendations:
          Dietary protein intake necessary to support metabolic adaptation, repair, remodeling, and for protein turnover generally ranges from 1.2 to 2.0 g/kg/ day.
          I won’t get into the specifics of it, but there is literally no doubt in the athletic community that these protein intake levels are that desired for maximum muscle growth.
          This applies for vegan athletes and meat eaters.

          No offense to Dr Greger but we don’t all want to look like that, nor as suggested by that appearance, be that weak . Yes he may live to a hundred and twenty but I would guess with a high degree of certainty that look he has, absolutely does not translate to strength.
          Oh…yes but he has great endurance….as the quote suggests there is no exception for endurance or other athletes they all need in that range of protein intake daily. Long or short twitch emphasis and development varies as per sport but they are both muscles.
          And yes muscles need protein to grow.
          There is a fairly large body of evidence to show the negative effects of animal protein. I see not the same large body of evidence on the consumption of plant protein and equal negative findings.
          Vegan athletes all attest to this and it is not that they disavow protein. It is just that it is easily found on a vegan diet. Beans and such usually suffice.
          If protein powders are preferred one must be careful with contaminants but plant source proteins are as good as or better than any dairy or animal source.

          If one is basically sedentary or walks around the block perhaps as exercise..then one needs far less protein. Or if ones whole focus is on living to 120 with no focus on performance then also one needs far less protein.
          But many of us are not that.

            1. RDA is, as is quite usually concerned, only with deficiency not optimal levels of intake. Common in RDA’s.Protein is the same in this.

          1. Thanks Ron.

            I come at it from the opposite perspective to you. Maximum muscle growtth is of no interest to me. I am interested in healthy longevity however and consider that emphasising nutritional needs for muscle growth may be inimical to healthy longevity.

            For example, you need lots of LDL cholesterol for tissue (muscle) growth and repair. It’s one reason why cancer patients often have low cholesterol levels – the cancer uses the cholesterol to build new cancer cells. It’s probably also why exercise lowers cholesterol levels. However, consuming and/or having lots of LDL cholesterol may increase your risk of CVD, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers etc. Having high levels of protein – even vegetarian protein – may carry similar risks.

            Thanks for the links though – very interesting. I’d only comment that studies referencing so-called vegans my not be of much relevance to people eating WFPB diets.since there are some shockingly bad “vegan” diets out there.

            1. Well yes I agree it is a trade off. IGF-1 promotes cancer but is also assists most probably with bone/muscle rebuild….so pick your poison to a extend.

              I do vegan mostly for ethical reason, dietary advantage is not so important. But WFPB vegan is optimal for athletic recovery.
              There is no doubt in my mind on that. But that does not mean one cannot suffer that advantage and want to have muscle growth as well with additional plant protein, bean lentil or pea source being most advisable.

              McDougall is absolutely correct.If I had a massive stroke at age 18….I would advise things he does to exclusion. But I did not and so find in some things I may moderate my opinion and favor things by preference.

              I suffer a great hazard to life or limb and perhaps I change that. Till that if it happens, doing things real physical, is way important.

        3. I took another look at this video by Dr Greger and from the citations reviewed this, the basis of the mention of adverse affects of high protein.

          One can see clearly the meta analysis is focused on the combination of meat and protein…: “The adverse effects associated with long-term high protein/high meat intake in humans were (a) disorders of bone and calcium homeostasis, (b) disorders of renal function, (c) increased cancer risk, (d) disorders of liver function, and (e) precipitated progression of coronary artery disease.”
          Protein is equated with meat….protein/meat

          1. Here from another citation in the article which I found in pdf form.. A critical examination of dietary protein needs of athletes NIH study…..from the conclusion
            “To attain peak levels of performance athletes clearly need to be aware of their dietary intake of protein, as well as carbohydrate and a number of other micronutrients and minerals. Highly detailed and refined guidelines for intakes, however, are likely to be confusing for most athletes. Notwithstanding, it appears that emerging dietary guidelines for protein are in the range of 1.2–1.6 g protein·kg–1·d–1. This level is greater than the RDA, with the general recommendation that the RDA is a protein intake designed simply to alleviate deficiency”

            So Dr Gregers citation itself claims higher than RDA protein intake for athletes.

  6. The REASON that phenolic phytonutrient content increases in the fridge is because allowing sprouts to grow longer with the intermittent light of the fridge turns sprouts into microgreens which have higher nutrient content than sprouts. Microgreens are the current trend in healthy eating.

    1. Sprouts don’t just turn into microgreens by being placed in the fridge. Microgreens are what you get when sprouts are allowed to grow for a longer period of time, which they cannot do without some sort of substrate – whether that’s soil or a nutrient solution… As for whether or not microgreens have a higher nutrient content than sprouts, that’s debatable until some good science is done…

    2. Actually Jimbo, from what I gathered from the video, it has more to do with the temperature causing stress to the plant. If you’re going to state a “fact” though, you should cite some evidence to back it up.

  7. Is it possible to print out the video data? I can read this much faster than a 4:38 minute video. A read option would be great for those who do not have the time or care to get all of their data through video.

    1. There is a read option Michele, just click the “Transcript” tab under the video to see the print out. If you want to see the actual studies, click the “Sources” tab.

  8. I would just like to know if I want a past dinner with marinara sauce, am I better using a pasta made from chickpea than the white noodle? I assume I am if I am getting more fiber and vitamins and that alone is worthwhile and satisfying.

    1. The chickpea pasta has twice the protein and four times the fiber of regular pasta, with fewer carbs. It’s also gluten-free and it’s low glycemic if that makes a difference to you.

    2. Wholemeal wheat pasta is a better option than regular pasta. Alternating between 100% wholewheat and bean pastas may be a good option.

      Of course the matinara sauce itself may also be problematic. Commercial pasta sauces normally contain boatloads of sugar and salt and who knows what else. Even if you make it yourself, an authentic marinara recipe would require the use of olive oil. I prefer to avoid oil so I make my own pasta sauce using just tomato paste, vegetables plus herbs and spices to taste.

      1. My mom makes the best marinara sauce I have ever had and uses no oil and very little salt or no salt and no sugar. I make my own vegan parmesan out of nuts and or seeds and nutritional yeast in a coffee grinder, so there is my added fat to help with nutrient absorption.

        Agreed, you can’t find a pre made sauce without oil and salt, I think I was able to find one without sugar once but I had to look very hard for it. Now though, I’d take the sugar over the oil and high salt.

  9. I acquired a pressure cooker and started to cook my own beans in it by presurre cooking them for 40 minutes.

    The cooked beans and lentils taste fantastic in this manner, no salt and they are not mushy like those in cannes or glasses.

    With such a great tasting ingredient getting the daily dozen amount was going to be a breeze. For the first time my hummus from the daily dozen cookbook was succeeded. If I follow the recepy it is too dry to eat or spread. I found out adding soymilk gives it the right consistancy. Woohoow! Such great taste.

    But, the beans are turning out to be too harsh on my digestion. How unfortunate. Sprouting them is not an option, too much effort for the amounts required.

    I must consider buying them in glass and rinse of the salt in the hope that they will digest better but the taste is so much worse!!! No salt version don’t appear to exist in Europe.

    Another option is to let them soak before cooking them. But this will make them more mushy and decrease nutrition.

    But I have no other option, pressure cooking them from dry results in digestive problems. Anyone else had such issues?

    1. Netgogate, add a bay leaf or two, fennel seeds, and some asofoetida to the cooking water when pressure cooking dried beans. That should help with flatulence.

      1. Rebecca Liebes, correct!! I forgot all about the bay leaves, which I always use. I’ve also read that epazote works, too. Or a piece of kombu — which I have used, though in a rice cooker (I gave it away after I’d owned an electric pressure cooker for a year). Thanks for the reminder.

    2. Netogate, although it is possible to cook dry beans in an electric pressure cooker, I prefer to presoak them before I cook them. It takes less time to cook them, and I think that the beans taste better. And the beans are not mushy, definitely not. I use the cooking charts (and recipes) in “The New Fast Food” and “Vegan Under Pressure” by Jill Nussinow (ann RD who is a vegan and cooking expert); I highly recommend them. You can cook pre-soaked beans in 3/4 cup liquid — though I use more, because I like the bean broth — and in as few as 6 – 15 minutes or so at pressure, depending on the specific bean (cooking times vary for different beans).

      Plus, the pressure cooker is great for soups and stews, cooking whole grains, and even fresh or frozen vegetables. I’m going to try a potato, cauliflower, and tofu dish tonight, to serve over rice — all to be cooked in the pressure cooker. At two separate times, sadly (rice first); I’m thinking of even buying a second one. Whew!

    3. try grandmas old tricks to make beans more digestive: Adding a bit of sodium bicarbonate helps, and if you like the taste then adding some caraway or savory usually helps too.

  10. Thanks for the suggestions on bean preparation. I will try them out some time during the next few days. Also someone showed me how to sprout a selected mix of beans without much hassle by using a big glass jar with 3 rinses. Im going to give that a change too. Cheers.

    Cant wait to go buy those bahi dates Dr Greger was talking about. Someone already eating these dates? Are they alwas to be eaten fresh? Does the taste change in the freezer? DR G was saying that they turn into caramel toffees in the freezer. Fresh dates, seems so amazing, good sweetness without all the calories.

    1. Lentil and mung bean sprouts are definitely good to go. I wouldn’t eat larger beans raw… for one they’re not very soft. Never eat raw kidney beans because of the toxic lectins which are not destroyed by sprouting.

      1. Thank you Miki, I will buy some lentils and mung beans tomorrow and give it a try. Is this the correct way?
        Soak them overnight, transfer them into a mason jar and rinse them twice a day and let them drain. Then, after 2 days, put them in the fridge for one hour to boost their nutritional quality ever more (optional). Then continue sprouting at room temperature. But how many days do the beans need to sprout before you can eat them?

  11. Dear Dr. Greger and all nutritionfacts.org enthusiasts,

    The state of California seems to be getting your message as State Senator Nancy Skinner sponsored a bill which succeeded in passing that mandates a Vegan food option for all State Institutions like prisons and care facilities. This is hundreds of thousands of people. Not all of them will be eating vegan, but they will have the option. She must be a subscriber to nutritionfacts.org or at least have read How Not To Die!

    Best,

      1. On the down side of things saw the debate today between paleo advocate Kris Kresser and WFPB doc Joel Kahn…geeze louise….
        On Joe Rogan.
        It was two on one, but this was the most miserable support for WFPB I have ever seen. Joel Kahn…has no clue on how to debate.
        Stated over and over his one main point….. 21 authoritarian bodies state sat fat is bad….which is a fact….but why repeat it about a hundred times.
        There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of studies to support that. And he sticks with all his data from the 50’s and 60’s…I just cannot believe it.
        And on and on He is apparently hoping that people have a slightly better diet, still eat meat and this and that but not so much…. cubya….stuff….
        I wanted to quite firmly yell at the guy…this is a debate idiot, this is what you signed on for, read the press releases..not some 60’s peace love nonsense.
        No you are not there to represent the have a little less meat side. I am still hours later still tiffed at that spectacle. Yes sat fat cholesterol are bad..cite the studies idiot..that is all you have to do. Kris Kresser??? He knows next to nothing. Tell him how and why the studies sponsored by the egg industry are faulted….YOU IDIOT. Do you not even have brains enough to know or state that???. Everyone knows except you moron.
        It was like Joe Rogan had to pull teeth to even get him to state his case.
        What does he cite main supporting evidence sat fat is bad…USDA. Esselsteine you idiot…..Esselstein….
        Play the audience you fool…this is young male UFC fans rough and tumble get in your face, not silicone valley polite lets work together. Did this fool even spend five minutes examining the demographic???
        A complete total loss I actually had to turn it off towards the end it was that bad.

        F(*&…Greger would have beat his ass…Kris Kresser….I simply can not believe it. And this hits a million plus viewers…for 3 plus hours…opportunity lost…..idiot.

        So some good some bad as well.oh well…

        1. They must have known how this guy would play…shows up some artsy fartsy black on black with a bolo or something….to a show when the lead wears some used T shirt about always, ……why….as that is the audience you idiot.

          So we again get ……F
          Because some idiot is not prepared and does not study the demographic. And probably has not debated in like a eon.Practice it if you have not done it idiot……

          1. Dr Greger would simply have eaten Kris Kresser for dinner….and a million confused peoples would now be not so much confused……
            But we get a moron great credentials but clearly not in his element and unable to debate.
            Guess he wanted to sell some books or something…..
            How sad…..defeated by a no nothing. Sorry to go on I am still tiffed.

  12. Dr. Joel Kahn really isn’t that bad me thinks. He is somewhat of a hippie though.

    I didn’t see the Doctors because for me as a European seeing stuff like that is just a silly American show a la Jerry Springer. But Joel is big friends with Dr. David Katz (the guy from “save the rhino’s please” and that silly fingers, feet, forks stuff). And they released a paper together with Walter Willet to re-establish the scientific validity of the findings from Ancel Keys. As the latter is being discredited for faulty science by recent popular media.

    They released a white paper in 2017 to firmly establish that the science from Keys was and still is sound in regards to the saturated fat story.
    https://www.truehealthinitiative.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SCS-White-Paper.THI_.8-1-17.pdf

    Joel Kahn probably keeps referring to this on the show as it is sound scientific work that is not less powerful just because it was written in the past. Kahn calls it the posthumous assassination of Dr. Ancel Keys. See his article here.
    https://medium.com/@Kahn642/the-posthumous-assassination-of-dr-ancel-keys-a742ed98b9c1

    Perhaps you are correct that some of their other stuff is too hippie like and “moderation” of bad foods isn’t exactly what we are after, especially when educating the public who are in need for strong opinion on the manner as the tables of culture and society are firmly turned against them when it comes to what is healthy nutrition. But I guess they are doing a good job in their respective positions in the more conservative center. Which is nice.

  13. I am trying to follow Doctor’s advice but am getting too many carbs and adding calories too quickly.
    Today I have 7 of 24 servings…half cup of all….buckwheat soba, black beans, oatmeal, apple,walnuts and arugula.
    Already I have amassed 986 calories and 141 carbs and I have 17 more servings to go until I reach the goal.

    How can I lose weight? I am on a 1250 calorie diet to lose 1.5 pounds a week on My Plate. with all the beans
    and grains, I am just piling on carbs and more carbs.

    Any help will be appreicated. OR, if there is no help,i will just not visit this site. Btw. I bought the book last week
    and enjoy it. But it seems I will baloon up with this diet and blood sugar will be sky hight

    thank you

    Frank

  14. Hello,

    If that’s the diet you are following is not well planned. I highly recommend you to go with a nutritionist to make you a better meal plan. As a start, it’s too much food for just one meal.

    Add more plant based food but FRESH. Such as lettuce, peppers, spinach, tomato, etc. Eat more tofu, tempeh or edamames as protein sources. I totally suggest you not to eat any rice, potato or pasta until you loose some weight.

    I hope this helps

    Yared, Health Support Volunteer

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