Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,236
    Thanked: 708

    Default Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    Does anyone know why legumes are on most "Do Not Feed" lists for squirrels?

    Also, more specifically, does that restriction apply to garbonzo (chickpeas) beans (which are a legume) as well?

    I am curious to know if anyone knows what the specific issue is.

  2. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Buddy (11-22-2020)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,236
    Thanked: 708

    Default Re: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    I think the concern arises from the higher levels of phytic acid found in legumes. In some health circles it is referred to as an anti nutrient because it is believed to block the uptake of certain minerals like iron, zinc and calcium by bonding to them in the digestive system.

    On the other hand, the above function can also serve to remove harmful toxins from the body. Lead would be one example. The phytic acid would bond to the lead and it would be subsequently excreted, removing it from the body. Certainly, squirrels get into some stuff that contains elements that aren't healthy, good things mixed with bad things.

    One way, discussed in health circles, to deal with this issue is not to consume the calcium rich foods at the same time one is consuming foods which are high in phytic acid. That way those two are not in the digestive tract at the same time and thus will not bond to each other.

    Legumes are a stable food of many cultures and thus it is hard to imagine it being a major net negative where nutrition is concerned. Food science can be complicated and controversial, with many different opinions being expressed.

    Legumes also help with maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve colon health.

    The cooking of the legumes vastly increases digestibility and neutralizes some of the lectins found in legumes.

    In humans, the consumption of meat is part of what counterbalances some the potential nutritional negatives of phytic acid. I guess squirrels in the wild might counterbalance by the consumption of bugs, though that dietary source doesn't exist for most squirrels being rehabbed.

  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Buddy (11-22-2020)

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,236
    Thanked: 708

    Default Re: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    Phytic acid is also an antioxidant and is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers.

    Other foods that are high in phytic acid include grains and nuts, as well as the previously discussed legumes.

    Most of the anti nutrients in legumes are found in the skin of the legumes. Given a soaked and cooked chickpea, a squirrel will remove the thin layer of skin every time. It is easy enough to remove by hand.

    Green beans and fresh peas as legumes also have some phytic acid, though substantially less than the dried beans.

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    Buddy (11-23-2020)

  7. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    808
    Thanked: 647

    Default Re: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    Does anyone know if the pine nuts are okay for gray squirrels? Thanks!
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    East coast of Florida
    Posts
    8,422
    Thanked: 11290

    Default Re: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    Pine nuts are one of the worst nuts you can give a squirrel. Legumes in general have a very unbalanced calcium to phosphorous ratio. Ideally the food that is given to squirrels should have a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1 or as close as possible. The following link shows that pine nuts contain a calcium to phosphorous ratio per human serving of 16:575!! eek

    https://nutrientoptimiser.com/nutrit...ne-nuts-dried/

  9. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Mel1959 from:

    Buddy (11-23-2020)

  10. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    808
    Thanked: 647

    Default Re: Why Are Legumes Bad for Squirrels?

    Thanks! Saw somewhere the pine nuts are good for red squirrels, maybe? So I was wondering! Never given one to Buddy but we have some at home and I know they were expensive, so if they are good, I was going to offer some to my little Buddy.
    Animals are magical....Thank you everyone who tries to help them, save them tirelessly...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •