They’re all around you. High-lectin foods are everywhere. And in some cases, they’re the foods you thought were the healthiest for you. But, plants have a way of defending themselves that can leave you feeling sick and uneasy – for the long haul.

So, how do you know which foods are high in lectins and which foods are okay to eat whenever you want them? Easy… just pay attention to this list of high-lectin foods, and steer clear of them. 

 

High-lectin foods to say NO to – 
 

  • Regular dairy 
  • Soy 
  • Nightshade plants 
  • Roots 
  • Tubers 
  • Corn 
  • Grains or pseudo-grains 
  • Fruit 
  • Sugar 
  • Seeds 
  • Eggs 
  • Canola 
  • Inflammatory oils 
  • Farm animal protein
     

But let’s break it down even further.  

To begin with, refined, starchy foods aren’t the greatest food group when it comes to your health. But the following starches are absolutely off limits when it comes to trying to keep your lectins low … 

Just say NO to these refined starches –  

  • Pasta 
  • Rice 
  • Potatoes 
  • Potatoes chips 
  • Milk 
  • Bread 
  • Tortillas 
  • Pastry 
  • Flours from grains  
  • Cookies 
  • Crackers 
  • Cereal 
  • Sugar 
  • Agave 
  • Splenda 
  • SweetOne 
  • Sweet’n Low 
  • Diet drinks 
  • Maltodextrin

High-lectin Fruits and Veggies to stay away from – 

  • Tomatoes (unless peeled, deseeded)  
  • Cucumbers (unless peeled, deseeded) 
  • Peas 
  • Sugar snap peas 
  • Legumes 
  • Green beans 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Soy 
  • Tofu 
  • Edamame 
  • Soy protein 
  • All beans, including sprouts 
  • All lentils 
  • All fruits (except in-season fruit)  
  • Ripe bananas 
  • Zucchini  
  • Pumpkins 
  • Squashes 
  • Melons
  • Eggplants 
  • Bell peppers (unless deseeded) 
  • Chili peppers (unless deseeded) 
  • Goji berries
     

No-no Nuts and Seeds 

  • Pumpkin 
  • Sunflower 
  • Chia 
  • Peanuts 
  • Cashews
     

Ditch Regular Dairy 

  • Casein A-1 yogurt 
  • Casein A-1 milk 
  • Greek yogurt  
  • Frozen yogurt 
  • American cheese 
  • Ricotta cheese 
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Kefir 
  • Casein protein powder
     

Eliminate all grain or soy-fed –  

  • Fish 
  • Shellfish 
  • Poultry 
  • Beef 
  • Lamb 
  • Pork
     

No Sprouted Grains or Pseudo-grains and grasses 

  • Whole grains 
  • Wheat Einkorn 
  • Wheat Kamut 
  • Oats 
  • Quinoa 
  • Rye 
  • Bulgur 
  • Brown rice 
  • White rice 
  • Barley 
  • Buckwheat 
  • Kashi 
  • Spelt 
  • Corn 
  • Corn products 
  • Cornstarch 
  • Corn syrup 
  • Popcorn 
  • Wheatgrass 
  • Barley grass
     

Forbidden Oils 

  • Soy oil 
  • Grapeseed oil 
  • Corn oil 
  • Peanut oil 
  • Cottonseed oil 
  • Safflower oil 
  • Sunflower oil 
  • Canola oil 
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
     

Now, if for some reason you absolutely must have an item from the lists above, there are a few ways you can actually try to lower their lectin contents. One way is by trying out Lectin Shield, a supplement made by Gundry MD that aids in reducing the negative effects of lectins. There’s more information about Lectin Shield and lectin on the Independent.

 

Check out the three tips below, and see if you can knock down your lectin count. 

  1. Use a pressure cooker when you’re making beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and quinoa, and you’ll cut down the number of lectins in those foods. You won’t completely clear your plate of lectins – but you’ll significantly reduce your intake.
     
  2. Peel the hull, peel, or rind of your fruits and veggies. And deseed them too. Getting rid of the peel and seeds can help you get rid of lots of lectins in high-lectin foods.
     
  3. White over brown should be your motto whenever you’re eating rice or grain. Cultures that rely on rice as a staple food have always stripped the hull off brown rice to ditch the nasty lectins. This rule goes for bread too. 

Again, lectins are a plant’s main defense. And they’re the root cause of several digestive issues, like – 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea

Cutting out corn, corn-fed ‘free-range’ animal products, regular milk, and fruits that aren’t really in-season can really help you lower your lectin take. Approximately 30 percent of our food contains lectins, so focus on the whopping 70 percent that doesn’t. And remember, when you do intake the 30% of food with lectins, there is Lectin Shield helping your digestion. Unsure? Check out these tips on Pinterest on using Lectin Shield in your daily life.

Focus on the following foods …
 

Yes Veggies 

 

Eat as much as you like of the following 

 

  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Bok choy 
  • Cabbage 
  • Swiss chard 
  • Arugula 
  • Watercress 
  • Collards 
  • Kale 
  • Radicchio 
  • Raw sauerkraut  
  • Kimchi 
  • Nopales cactus 
  • Celery 
  • Onions 
  • Chives 
  • Scallions 
  • Chicory 
  • Carrots 
  • Artichokes 
  • Beets  
  • Radishes 
  • Artichokes 
  • Hearts of palm 
  • Cilantro 
  • Okra 
  • Asparagus 
  • Garlic 
  • Romaine 
  • Kohlrabi 
  • Mesclun 
  • Endive 
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Butter lettuce 
  • Fennel 
  • Escarole 
  • Mustard greens 
  • Parsley 
  • Basil 
  • Mint 
  • Purslane 
  • Perilla 
  • Algae 
  • Seaweed 
  • Sea vegetables 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Spinach
     

Yes Protein
 

Now, you don’t want to consume more than 8 ounces of wild-caught fish, pastured chicken, or grass-fed beef a day. That’s 4 ounces, twice a day.

 

Yes Oils
 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Sesame seed oil 
  • Walnut oil 
  • Macadamia nut oil 
  • Hemp seed oil 
  • Avocado oil 
  • Coconut oil 
  • Flaxseed oil
     

Cooking with the above oils can really up your game when it comes to preparing lectin-free meals. The following spices and condiments are also fantastic when eating lectin-free –
 

  • Fresh cracked black pepper 
  • Sea salt 
  • Fresh herbs 
  • Vinegar 
  • Mustard 
  • Fresh spices
     

The Takeaway 

Though it may seem at first like everything you like to eat is high in lectins, you’ll soon realize you’ve got a lot more options. Read, research, and experiment with recipes. Read more on lectin-free recipes on Dr. Gundry’s website. You’ll enjoy finding new ways to feed yourself and your family – and you’ll all be well on your way to optimal health. 

 

Sources 

  1. Peumans, Willy J. “Lectins As Plant Defense Proteins”. N.p., 1995. Print. 
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25599185 

 

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