Phytohaemagglutinin is the name of the lectin found in red kidney beans, and it is extremely toxic. When red kidney beans are eaten uncooked or undercooked, it causes red kidney bean poisoning. The FDA claims that consuming just four raw kidney beans can result in severe symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.4
What are lectins?
Some people refer to them as antinutrients. According to research done on animals, some lectins may hinder the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Lectins are believed to have originated in plants as a form of natural defense and a poison that prevents animals from eating them (1).
Although many foods, both plant-based and animal-based, contain lectins, only around 30% of the foods you eat have considerable lectin content (2).
Despite evidence from animal studies that some lectin types connect to cells on the gut wall, it is still unclear how they function. This permits them to communicate with the cells, causing a response.
Animal lectins play key roles in various biological processes, including immunological function and cell proliferation.
According to research, plant lectins may possibly be used to treat cancer (3).
The gut wall, however, can become harmed if some lectins are consumed in sufficient quantities. This irritates the body, which may lead to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. It may also interfere with the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients adequately.
Healthy foods including beans, grains, and nightshade vegetables have the highest levels of lectins. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies to make these nutritious foods safer to eat by lowering their lectin level.
According to research, you may simply lower the amount of lectins in foods that are high in them by boiling, sprouting, or fermenting them (4, 5, 6).
The lectin-free diet is associated with numerous nutritious foods. The diet is weak in broad-based nourishment, especially fiber.
Lectin-containing foods, such beans and some vegetables, are frequently excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The positive advantages of eating these foods will probably outweigh the harmful impacts of lectins on your health.
Foods Low in Lectin to Consume and Avoid on Dr. Gundry’s Diet
So you’re prepared to give up lectins? You’re going to want the whole shopping list for the Plant Paradox diet, including Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program.
The complete list of lectin-free foods recommended by Dr. Gundry is shown below, along with the Plant Paradox food pyramid. The good news is that he does permit a lot of delectable foods, even though you will need to cut out some things to keep your diet lectin-free. If you’re looking for a list of what not to eat, jump to lectin-rich foods to avoid.
I suggest adding this website to your phone’s favorites so you can access it quickly when you’re out to eat or shop (it makes it into an app on your home screen).
Which food categories have the highest lectin content?
A peanut lectin appears like this. They have a really complex structure made up of several different amino acids put together.
That’s not an easy answer because every plant and animal has a different type (or several).
But if you were to consider them all equally and base your conclusion solely on percentage concentrations, these groups would rank among the highest natural sources thus far discovered.
- Fruits and vegetables known as “nightshades” include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Goji berries are considered nightshades because they belong to the Solanaceae family.
- Grains – Whole grains contain more since they are concentrated more in the outer bran.
- Milk and dairy products that have been pasteurized may actually be worse since the heat destroys the naturally occurring SIgA, an immunoglobulin that may partially neutralize lectins by binding to them (7).
- Legumes: Peas, beans, and lentils.
- Nuts and seeds – With the exception of grain seeds, there isn’t much proof that certain lectins found in tree nuts and the majority of flowering seeds are toxic to people.
- There are “just a few reports available” regarding the function of yeast lectins, which is important to note (8).
It was only recently that scientists came to the conclusion that every plant and animal contains them.
In actuality, glycan-binding proteins are produced by every single organism, including those as big as animals and those as small as insects and bacteria. Every time they searched for them in a particular species, they discovered them.
For instance, a 2015 study that evaluated hundreds of fish, including species we frequently consume like salmon, catfish, trout, tilapia, mackerel, and even eels, discovered them (9).
The worst foods have long been considered to be grains, nightshades, and dairy. That, however, might be drawing conclusions too soon. Because of their visibly large percentage content, scientists initially concentrated on those. Less isn’t always better, though, as lectin types vary depending on the diet. Most of them are supported by scant or no research.
The current mentality could be compared to thinking that a tiny nuclear weapon is less dangerous than a large truck loaded with explosives.
Here is a table of all known lectins to give you an idea of their diversity. These 50 are only a portion of the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of ingredients in our food, the most of which are unidentified or unstudied.
Many foods, even if they may include multiple types, have only had one kind studied, with the exception of dairy and wheat.
Do fish have lectins?
Currently, a very large number of animal lectin families have been identified; the majority of them are found in fish, including L-rhamnose, Pentraxins, Calnexins, I-types, and Galectins.
What foods are lectin-free?
- Grass-fed beef.
- seafood and fish.
- poultry reared in pastures.
- Plant-based meats sans soy.
- dairy products from sheep, goats, or buffalo.
- veggies with a crucifix.
- The sweet potato.
- a few seeds and nuts
What meals eliminate lectins?
Lectin-containing foods are safe to eat if properly processed (i.e., soaked, canned, thoroughly cooked). According to studies, cooking beans, legumes, and even kidney beans—which have a very high lectin content when raw—greatly decreases and frequently totally eliminates lectin activity.
No significant health organizations back dietary suggestions that encourage avoiding foods rich in lectins. This goes against every dietary recommendation made by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and other organizations, according to Dr. Robert Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and a former president of the American Heart Association.
Are there lectins in bananas?
Before we go any further, be aware that ripe bananas do contain lectins. If you’ve studied Dr. Gundry’s views on lectin restriction, you are aware that pressure cooking can occasionally lower the lectin content of foods like cooked beans, kidney beans, and other legumes.
With a ripe banana, this is not the case. According to studies, the lectin in bananas actually becomes much more potent when heated, unlike the lectin in legumes. 1 But who actually desires a hot banana?
Therefore, it is recommended to stay away from ripe bananas completely. Lectins are one factor, but not the only one. Actually, the biggest problem isn’t even the lectins in bananas.
Which foods contain the most lectins?
Lectins, also known as hemagglutinins, are considered a “anti-nutrient” since they are frequently mentioned in popular media and fad diet books as a key contributor to obesity, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune disorders. All plants contain lectins, although the largest concentrations are found in raw legumes (beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, and peanuts) and whole grains like wheat. Are these assertions accurate?
Do lectins exist in coffee?
Lectins are present in coffee beans. However, grains, beans, and nuts contain the highest concentration of them. They are Mother Nature’s insecticide and can cause problems in the small intestine when consumed in large amounts by people.
What cheese is lectin-free?
Technically all cheese should be lectin free since lectins come from plants. To prevent dairy from containing additional allergens When possible, Dr. Gundry advises looking for cheese made from A2 cows.
Are there lectins in blueberries?
The beauty of blueberries is that they have an amazing ORAC Value of 4,669 and are very low in sugar and calories overall while being extremely high in nutrients, including fiber. A cup offers 4g of fiber and only 84 calories.
Flavonoids in blueberries are responsible for their health-promoting qualities. Specifically, they’re filled with anthocyanins.
In contrast to popular belief, blueberries don’t have lectins. However, there is a catch: Blueberries are best enjoyed fresh and in their natural state, which is highly seasonal. Berries imported from other countries (such as Chile and Peru) were probably picked before they were fully ripe, which means they could be lectin-containing.
Is peanut butter high in lectins?
Let’s not beat about the peanut bush: unless you’re allergic to this particular nut butter, you may be one of the many people who enjoy peanut butter. The Western diet depends on it. If you were sent to school every day with a serving of peanut butter spread on some whole grain bread, you were probably like so many others. Was this, however, the best dinner option? Peanut butter: Does it include lectins?
Of course, roasted peanuts have a wonderful aroma. They rank among the most widely consumed plant foods when made into peanut butter. But you might be wondering whether consuming that much peanut butter is healthy.
The sad fact is that peanuts and peanut butter both contain a lot of harmful lectins. Continue reading to learn more about this lectin-containing meal and if it is healthy for your health or not.
Contains oats a lot of lectins?
Nightshades, such as tomatoes and potatoes, vegetables with seeds, such as squash and cucumbers, cereals like wheat, rice, and oats, and legumes like uncooked beans, split peas, and lentils are among the foods that contain lectin. When eaten raw, these foods contain the most lectins.
Is rice a source of lectins?
Around a thousand years ago, food processing methods evolved all around the world, and chefs discovered they could cut out the fibrous bits of rice and other grains that were more difficult to digest. This was the origin of a kind of grains termed refined grains.
Higher class society ate refined grains such unhealthy white rice or white bread since whole grains’ hulls occasionally hurt the stomach. People from lower social classes were only allowed to eat whole grains. However, neither faction was actually receiving the nutrition they required.
The problem is that whole grains, including brown rice and wild rice, have more lectins than refined grains that have had their hulls removed ( the hull is very lectin-heavy). But incredibly high temperatures are used during the stripping process to refine grains like white rice. The quality of the rice may be significantly impacted by these higher temperatures.
It turns out that the heating process depletes rice’s nutritional value by reducing the amount of amino acids present in the grain and removing the majority of its nutritional content.6 All of the components that gave rice its value, such as iron, vitamin E, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and more, are lost when rice is made into white rice.
Because the health food industry has promoted the notion that whole-grain products are healthful, this information may appear paradoxical to you. But it’s simply not true. There is really no excuse for including harmful lectins like wheat germ agglutinin in your diet.
Lectins like wheat germ agglutinin or the g protein present in rice might create issues throughout your system. Even if you are not allergic to them, they can harm the tissues in your body. For instance, a lot of people who have lectin allergies to gluten in other whole grains think they can eat rice without becoming sick.
Every day, researchers discover new information about these obnoxious little lectin proteins. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is one dissecting technique that is helpful in lectin research. Using test tubes, the process recently uncovered that while there is no gluten lectin in white rice, there is in fact a gluten-like lectin in white rice.7
As a point of comparison, wheat germ agglutinin (also known as gluten) has been demonstrated to impair metabolic processes and normal gut function.8 It is reasonable to suppose that the gluten-like lectin in rice may be connected to a comparable range of reduced digestive function and discomfort.
So, even though the food industry would have you believe otherwise, refined grains are as much of a disaster as whole grains. Because of this, it is advised to completely eliminate whole grain bread, sourdough bread, pastries, and rice when following a lectin-free diet. They are unhealthy food choices. They aren’t the only ones, though…