Did Tim Ferriss miss a bean alternative?
I will be the first to say that Tim is a very well researched guy, and that his efforts and countless hours spent investigating multiple topics have improved my life, and the lives of many thousands of people. For that I owe him great gratitude, a big thanks and a lot of respect. I was surprised then when I randomly picked up a can at my local grocery store and discovered that it’s nutrition panel was almost identical to the can of beans I was holding in my hand – and what I was looking at was not what anybody would consider a bean, or a lentil.
Obviously I can’t ask a question like this without providing some evidence.
An important note: At the moment 4HBC headquarters is in Australia – this means our nutrition panels have 2 big differences.
1/ They give you values per 100g. So no matter what the food is, you can compare nutrient levels in a 100g serving – this makes it easier to compare between two items that have different ‘serving sizes’.
2/ Fiber is not counted as a Carbohydrate – it is counted separately. So, to get North American fiber numbers – simply add total Carbohydrate + Fiber on these labels.
So, here are the pics – fresh from the cans I had in my hand this week:
So, to clarify, we’re talking about these differences per 100g of each product:
- 71 vs 76 calories of energy – Alternative has 5 calories more per 100g
- 5.6 vs 6g of protein – Alternative has 0.4g protein more per 100g
- 0.4 vs 1g fat – Alternative has 0.6g fat more per 100g
- 12 vs 7.4g Carbohydrate – Alternative has 4.6g less carbohydrate per 100g
- 1.2 vs 1.4g sugar – Alternative has 0.2g sugar more per 100g
- 7 vs 6.9g dietary fiber – Alternative has 0.1g less fiber per 100g
Seems pretty similar, huh?
If at this point you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what this can is, then I promise I’ll let you know very soon.
Firstly, I just want to make two points – when I checked a different brand of this product, the nutrition panel was actually quite different – suggesting that there’s quite a bit of variation between growing methods, preparation methods and recipes for canning. That said, this is also the case between different brands of beans and lentils too, so I don’t think that should hold us back.
Importantly though, I’m not sure if the nutrition values are anything like this for the frozen, or the fresh varieties of this particular food type. So, it’d be worth double checking before making any radical changes.
So what was the can I was holding?
Yep. Baby Peas.
And I posted the nutrition panel just in case you didn’t believe it. I know I didn’t at first!
What’s the bottom line, then?
For me, this represents something that needs to be tested, and right now, I’m not the guy to do it. It’s not because I don’t have time, or don’t want to, just that I’m not in a position to lose bodyfat in a relaible way, on which to base a recommendation.
So, I need some people (you!) to test this theory out! If you feel like the logic of the nutrition panels makes sense, and you’re interested in a change, then I’d like you to test this for a few weeks, and report back some results if you want.
For anyone who is sick of beans, or can’t digest them very well, these particular peas definitely seem like a worthy alternative, at least according to their nutrition composition. I would suggest that if beans are a problem, then peas that are similar to these ones in nutrition would be a worthwhile alternative, before you throw in the towel on slow carb.
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