Phytates/Phytic acid - nutritional nightmare?

Post date: 2021-02-23 17:06:17
Views: 14
How concerned should I be with phytic acid in grains and nuts, and if I should be concerned, how should I prep food for it? Please link to reputable references if possible!

I've had to shake up my diet lately, which has got me scouring nutritional websites. I've once again encountered the phytic acid debate, and I can't make heads or tails over what's real science or not, too much information seems to come from wannabe influencers. Metafilter, help me with the definitive and evidence-based take on this subject!

1) Phytic acid - is it legitimately an "anti-nutrient"? Should vegetarians/vegans be concerned? I've read that along with being an anti-nutrient, it's also a beneficial antioxidant, so it's not totally bad for your diet.

2) How should foods be prepared, if phytic acid is a legitimate concern? I've read so many different takes!
* soak it in water in room temperature (kinda feel like this wouldn't be safe to do overnight?)
* soak it in water in the fridge
* add acid to it
* for beans, soak in an alkaline solution with baking soda instead
* for oats, soak with rye flour because oats specifically have low amounts of phytase and can't get rid of the phytic acid on its own???

3) Personally, should I be soaking my grains/legumes/nuts? (I draw the line at sprouting and fermenting - I will never be assed)

Personal details:
* I've always been on the edge of having low iron levels.
* I'm pescetarian, with no dairy, but I infrequently eat fish nowadays (especially since, with my gallstones, I'm loathe to eat fatty fish).
* I rely a lot on grains, mostly steel-cut oats and rice, trying to get back into wheat berries. I usually soak rice and wheat berries for 10 minutes right before cooking, but I don't soak my oats at all.
* I like having a half cup of nuts a day, I always try to buy it roasted anyway (I've read that roasting nuts decreases phytic acid).
* The most iron-rich food I eat everyday is tempeh, I eat a lot of it.
* I've been having digestive issues which is why I've been eating tempeh, the fact that it's fermented and therefore has huge amounts of nutrients available, with little phytic acid, is a plus, but in the near future I want to transition back to eating lentils (tempeh is expensive!).
* I already know to eat Vitamin C with iron-rich foods like tempeh, and I avoid drinking caffeine within an hour of eating iron-rich foods too.
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