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Lectins, The Newest Food Danger, or Fad Nonsense?

Lectins Are They Bad For You - Food Fad

Keeping up with the latest food trends can be difficult, and could also be potentially detrimental to one’s health. What we know as good food today could fall out tomorrow and vice versa. However, when it comes to keeping healthy, most people take notice. People are now talking about the latest food fad. Lectins are they bad for you? What are the dangers of lectins?

lectins are they bad for you, foods with lectins
Lectins, the plant protein that health experts are warning you about.

A lot of health experts can’t emphasize enough that most vegetables, if not all, are healthy. However, health reports about the dangers of lectins are still getting a lot of attention. Foods like soybeans, peanuts, wheat, red kidney beans, and tomatoes, to name a few, have lectins or plant proteins. Experts claim that lectins, a type of sugar-binding protein found in foods, should be avoided in large doses. They can cause weight gain and damage the stomach. Lectins cause inflammation and autoimmune reactions in the body.

John Miles, Associate Publisher of Bold Business, had an opportunity to interview Dr. Steven Gundry and extensively talk about the importance of a healthy gut and the dangers of lectin. Dr. Gundry authored the book The Plant Paradox where he explains that most diseases are caused by an imbalance in the microbiome. 

lectins are they bad for you, dr. steven gundy quoted
Author of The Plant Paradox, Dr. Steven Gundy, dispels the myth of whole-grain goodness.

Understanding the Dangers of Lectins

Megan Rossi, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, says a “high” intake of lectins can cause harm.

Rossi says lectins aren’t an issue for most people and insignificant amounts are not so much of a problem. Lectins can prove more harmful to those who have an intolerance to it, however.

A startling amount of foods on supermarket shelves contain lectins. This is where the dangers of lectins come in. Adding to the ones we mentioned above, grains, eggplants, legumes, peppers, potatoes, eggs, and dairy products all contain them. We must add here that each food contains a relatively small amount. The way you prepare the food can either increase or reduce the dangers of lectins.

“If a person is eating cooked legumes and whole grains, these low levels of lectins are tolerated,” Rossi adds.

So, lectins are they bad for you? Experts advise that for those struggling with their digestion or who suffer from diverticulitis or irritable bowel syndrome it’s best to cut lectins from their diet. However, before taking this drastic step it’s always advisable to seek advice from a healthcare professional or dietician before making such an important decision.

Lectins Are They Bad For You? – Debates Around Food and Health Ongoing

Lectins are they good for you, photos of foods with lectins
They’re everywhere. Lectins are they good for you?

As always, as with the debate that surrounds gluten and other foods experts tell us to avoid, the facts around lectins can be difficult to discern. Many say that cutting lectins from a diet could do more harm than good unless you have a specific intolerance to it. Rossi points out that there are in fact very few foods that are perfect.

cartoon of a farmer looking over a group of vegetables with lectins, holding signs that say plants don’t want to be eaten
Most veggies, according to many health experts, are healthy. So how do we reduce the risk brought about by consuming lectins?

According to Bulletproof, lectins are bad, suck your energy and make you weak. “Lectins matter to the performance level of everyone, but they are particularly important if you have a thyroid condition, or if you have any kind of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cystitis, or even if you are simply 100 pounds overweight. This is because lectins are tied directly to inflammation and autoimmune reactions in your body,” the website states.

Lectins are vegetables’ natural defenses to attack from predators. Experts say the best way to avoid them is by either cutting out foods like potatoes, grains or tomatoes or by soaking food in warm water before cooking to avoid the risk. Cooking itself even reduces the risk.

lectins are they bad for you?, dr. grundy quoted
Dr. Steven Gundry is a Leading Expert on Gut Health

Authority Nutrition says that repeated consumption of lectins could damage the gut wall. This means your body can absorb more, which in turn can cause major health risks. The website states that “lectins can interact with antibodies, which are a core component of the immune system. This may cause an immune reaction not only against the lectins but also the body tissues to which the lectins are bound. This type of response is known as an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system mistakenly starts attacking the body’s own structures.” This is, of course, an extreme reaction but can indeed happen.

Cutting gluten from diets has helped millions of people around the world, it’s always worth trying a lectin-free diet to see what benefits it affords you. Make sure you consult a doctor before making any rash decisions. The question remains the same: lectins are they bad for you?

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