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Nutrition

 

February 19, 2020 - Food Revolution Network

The Truth About Lectins

The Truth About Lectins
Lentils, tomatoes, wheat bread contain lectinsFile Image: (c) Photabulous!

The primary reason there is controversy over eating lectins today is because of a best-selling book, The Plant Paradox, written by Dr. Steven Gundry. The book advocates a lectin-free diet.

Gundry claims lectins adversely impact your gut flora  and can lead to unwanted effects like gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, aching joints, and even allergic reactions after eating them. Are these claims backed up by research? Do we have studies demonstrating that these purported lectin-free diet benefits are real? In a word, no. In a louder word, NO.

The foods that Dr. Gundry is telling us to avoid are, for the most part, beneficial. It’s true that plant lectins bind to carbohydrates, which slows down their digestion. But, in many cases, this is a good thing. It lowers the glycemic index of carbohydrates, and it contributes to the weight loss and anti-diabetes effects of beans and many other plant foods. Dr. Gundry is telling people to be afraid of eating foods like beans and many fruits and vegetables. But the plant foods that he says to avoid are, in fact, among the healthiest foods we can eat. The more of them we eat, the lower our risk for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

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