For someone who has no allergies and is in good health but wants to reach optimal.
I hear really negative things about nuts/seeds, due to enzyme inhibitors, but hemp seeds(which I read are also a great source of high quality protein and fiber) dont have them and other nuts/seeds can be soaked to get rid of them. Is this true, and does dry roasting w/o salt do the same thing?
I also hear negative things about beans because of poor protein quality and apparent gastrointestinal issues.
Answer on Things to include and exclude from ones diet?
You're an omnivore. Your diet should include a wide range of foods. Don't pick and choose one or two foods to live on.
Really, the only thing I'd say to exclude or be careful about in your diet are soy products. Soy has been linked to early puberty in girls, low sperm count in men and thyroid problems. If you don't have thyroid problems or a family history of them, soy in moderation is probably ok. Otherwise, really restrict it. You may already be getting more soy than you realize if you're eating soy cereal, soy milk, soy burgers, soy hot dogs, using soy cooking oil, eating bread containing soy fillers......
"While the U.S. has stayed out of the fray over soy, other countries have taken action to limit the possible dangers of soy. The French Center for Cancer Research put out a warning saying that soy products -- in any amount -- should not be eaten by children under 3 years of age or women who have breast cancer or are at risk of the disease. The Israeli Health Ministry has also issued a public warning on soy, suggesting that soy consumption be limited in young children and avoided if possible in infants. In Germany, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is doing a study of isoflavone supplements, and has reported that there's a lack of evidence to confirm the safety of such supplements, and some evidence to suggest that there may be health risks. (New Zealand's Soy Online Service is an excellent resource with information on studies and findings relating to soy's health effects, as well as recent developments in legislation to control or limit soy around the world.)"
If you're going to cut out meat, you really need to eat beans. Protein is made up of amnio acids. Your body makes some amino acids, but you need some in your diet, too. While meat, eggs, dairy products contain all the amino acids needed for complete protein, most veggies only contain some. You should eat a wide variety of veggies every day (not every meal) so your body can combine the amino acids in each into complete protein. And one of those amino acids, lysine, is found only in legumes (beans, peas, etc.). One serving a day is essentail, three is better.
Some people have problems with beans, but most people, over time, adjust to a more high fibre diet. Beans are high in fibre.
Plant proteins are generally just not as high a quality as meat, eggs, dairy contain.
And don't forget your supplements. B12, calcium, iodine (if you're eating soy), Vitamin D(3), DHA, zinc, B2 & B6.....