Lectins are probably one of the most significant sources of food sensitivity (there are more). Therefore, the lectin avoidance diet has many proven benefits.

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Executive Summary of the Lectin Avoidance Diet

My lectin avoidance diet has a simple formula: Eat meat and seafood, as much as you want, mainly during the day. Supplement with the Life Extension Mix Powder for basic nutrition.

The lectin avoidance diet excludes grains, beans, nuts, seeds, most potatoes, and all dairy.

Allowed foods include all seafood, meat, chicken/turkey (all fowl), eggs (if not allergic), and most fruits and vegetables.

Romaine lettuce, cruciferous veggies, cucumbers, and celery are the best vegetables to include. Raw honey, citrus fruits, berries, and pineapple are the recommended fructose-containing foods.

Japanese and purple sweet potatoes are the best starch to include in your diet, but it’s probably better if they’re pressure-cooked. Other sweet potatoes, nightshade vegetables (like tomatoes), and squash could be consumed if pressure-cooked.

However, even if you get rid of lectins, you won’t get rid of all the anti-nutrients. For example, tannins are found in many plants and are considered anti-nutritional because they can alter nutrient digestion and absorption (R).

The Lectin Avoidance Cookbook

Due to frequent queries about how to implement this diet, I have released the Lectin Avoidance Cookbook. This cookbook will help you overcome autoimmune issues, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, histamine intolerance, chronic inflammation, or simply make you feel optimal.

In the Lectin Avoidance Cookbook, we have 51 84 recipes and counting. The price is $27.

After you pay for the book, you will be redirected to a link where you can download it. The redirect takes about 5-10 seconds, so be patient. If you have any issues, email [email protected]

Try the cookbook, and if you don’t start feeling better within 30 days, I will give you 100% of your money back!

If you are not happy with the cookbook for any reason, email me within 30 days of your purchase, and I will refund your money!

What Are Lectins?

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Do not confuse lectins with leptin, lactose, or pectin.

Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrates or glycoproteins (proteins that contain carbohydrate chains) (R).

Proteins termed lectins (from the Latin legere, “to select”) have the ability to bind to specific carbohydrate molecules (R).

Lectins allow cells to bind or communicate with each other (R).

They are found in every living organism, including viruses, bacteria, and most foods, to one degree or another, but most of them are harmless (R). Scientists have been studying lectins since 1884.

Some scientists believe that lectins are part of a plants’ protection mechanisms (R). Plants also use lectins to communicate with their environment, for cell organization, and as reserve proteins, among other functions (R).

Different Types of Plant Lectins

In plants, lectins are concentrated in seeds, early stage leaves, and roots. Leaves typically contain fewer lectins, although this may vary from plant to plant (R). A great example of a leaf is romaine lettuce.

The types of lectins that are often found in foods and can produce sensitivity include (R, R2):

  • Legume lectins such as white kidney beans. On average, 15% percent of a bean’s proteins are lectins.
  • Cucurbitaceae lectins, found in the sap or juice of cucumber, melon, and squash.
  • Prolamins, such as gluten and gliadin, are the alcohol-soluble lectins found in cereal grains.
  • Agglutinin or hemagglutinin is so-called as it can cause blood agglutination (clumping of blood cells). Examples include wheat germ and soybean agglutinins (R).

Plant agglutinins have been characterized by testing their ability to clump blood cells of certain blood types (R), which suggest that people with certain blood types may be more susceptible to health problems due to lectins than others.

Some plant lectins, such as castor bean ricin and white kidney bean agglutinins, are very toxic to humans and rats. Ricin can cause blood agglutination and might be used in chemical warfares and genetically engineered herbicides (R).

White kidney bean hemagglutinins can cause acute nausea, followed by vomiting and diarrhea (R).

Other plant lectins are less toxic, but they can cause damage in other ways.

Are You Lectin Sensitive? Genetic Factors That Predispose You to Lectin Sensitivity

To learn if you are genetically susceptible to lectins, sequence your genes with 23andme ($99) and use SelfDecode.  SelfDecode is the best genetics app out there and is the market leader in giving you recommendations based on your genes, symptoms, and (soon) blood tests.

With our new system in place, we can tell you which systems in your physiology are not working and how to fix it.

You can see how substances interact with your problematic genes, which genes you should be careful about, and which substances best fit you.

Most important, you can see if you have the lectin sensitive gene, and if you do, find out ways to reduce lectin sensitivity.

With using SelfDecode, I’ve been able to figure out that the cannabinoid gene is the most important for lectin sensitivity. I drew on multiple lines of evidence to figure this out. After seeing the gene in all of my clients with this food sensitivity (and I have 2 bad alleles), I was able to confirm the important role of this gene.

It’s a perfect fit when it comes to the evidence implicating this gene. SelfDecode (with 23andme) will tell you if you have it.

Table: Genetic SNPs that Contribute to Lectin Sensitivity

Gene Name (Gene Symbol with SelfDecode Link)SNPsProblematic
Allele
or Genotype
Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CNR1)rs1049353T
Methyl Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR)rs1801133 and rs1801131C677T and A1298C
MHC (MHC)rs2395185
rs10484554
rs3135388
rs3135391
TT
CT
AG
AG

Read this post to learn more about other markers and symptoms of lectin sensitivity.

Harmful Effects of Dietary Lectins

1) Lectins Are Resistant to Digestion and Are Absorbed Into the Bloodstream

Lectins can withstand heat and digestion in both rats and humans. Plant lectins have also been recovered intact in human feces (R, R2).

They can be readily transported through the gut wall into the blood (R).

In the blood, lectins may stimulate the immune system and modify hormone functions or get deposited in blood and lymphatic walls (R, R2).

2) Lectins Damage the Gut Lining Causing Leaky Gut

Lectins bind to surface glycoproteins and gut lining cells causing damage to the villi, increasing the uptake of intestinal content by the cells, and shortening the microvilli (R).

Some dietary sources of lectins, such as wheat, can directly break tight junctions in gut cells (R).

Lectins cause leaky gut, allowing increased exposure of both dietary and bacterial antigens (inflammatory agents) to the immune system (R, R2).

Lectins can also interfere with nutrient absorption (R).

3) Lectins Stimulate the Immune System

As lectins cause leaky gut and are readily absorbed into the bloodstream, most people develop antibodies against dietary lectins (R, R2). These antibodies don’t necessarily protect you from harmful lectins. Whether this causes disease depends on individual susceptibility.

In mice, administration of lectins through the nose or by feeding stimulates IgG and IgA production similar to that of the cholera toxin (R).

Lectins can potentiate the immune response to antigens that wouldn’t be inflammatory by themselves. For example, mice fed with wheat germ agglutinin and egg white protein develop much stronger antibody responses to egg white protein than if they are fed egg white protein alone (R, R2). Therefore, consumption of lectin-containing food concomitantly with other products can increase the likelihood of developing sensitivity to other food products.

As lectins can potentiate the immune response to other antigens, it is proposed that lectins might be used along with oral vaccines (R).

Lectins can induce mast cell reactions suggesting that they can aggravate allergies (R) and histamine intolerance.

4) Lectins Causes Autoimmunity

As lectins can act as immune system and leaky gut triggers, lectins can cause autoimmunity in susceptible people (R).

Lectins trigger autoimmunity by binding to glycoproteins and glycolipids (sugar molecules attached to proteins and fat), such as sialic acid, on the surface of the cells. Interestingly, the brain and gut are rich in sialic acid (R).

In humans, sialic acid is present in body fluids (blood, breast milk, gallbladder excretions, synovial fluid, sweat, gastric juices, and urine) and tissues (red and white blood cells, platelets, salivary glands, throat, stomach, cervix, colon, cartilage, etc.). In the blood, it’s found in fibrinogen, haptoglobin, ceruloplasmin, α1 -antitrypsin, complement proteins, and transferrin (R).

Lectins also increase inflammation by stimulating IFN-gamma, IL-1, and TNF-alpha production as well as HLA class II expression in gut cells (R).

5) Lectins Affect the Gut Microbiota

The presence of lectins affects the composition of the gut bacteria and may cause dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) predisposing to autoimmune diseases. However, the mechanism by which lectins affect gut bacteria is not fully understood.

Lectins reduce intestinal heat shock protein (iHSPs) levels, an anti-inflammatory protein that is important for the healthy interaction with the gut bacteria. Also, lectins interfere with iHSP functions, thus reducing the gut lining’s sensitivity to oxidation and inflammation (R).

In rats, dietary lectins increase gut levels of E. coli and Lactobacillus lactis, both of which have proteins similar to HLA and are associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (R).

Kidney bean lectins can cause E. coli overgrowth in the gut, while snowdrop lectins and mannose-specific lectins can block this effect (R).

6) Lectins Causes Abnormal Cell Growth

Lectins can cause enlargement and overgrowth of cells in many tissues, including the intestine, pancreas, and liver (R, R2).

They can trigger lymphocyte growth and activation in cell-based studies (R).

7) Other Links Between Lectins and Health

In addition to autoimmunity, there are also other links between lectins and health.

However, most of these studies are cell-based or model organism-based, so additional animal or human studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

Lectins and Insulin

At low doses, wheat germ agglutinin can mimic the insulin function in fat cells. However, at higher doses, wheat germ agglutinin can cause insulin resistance in a cell-based study (R).

Enlargement of the pancreas due to dietary lectins may reduce insulin levels in rats (R).

Lectins and Obesity

Wheat germ agglutinin and ricin from castor oil can increase fat synthesis in fat cells (in a cell-based study) (R).

Lectins and Brain Functions

In roundworms, lectins can be transported from the gut to dopamine neurons, and interfere with neuronal and dopamine functions, suggesting that it may contribute to Parkinson’s disease in humans (R).

Lectin Avoidance Cures Autoimmune Disease

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A study of 800 autoimmune patients evaluated a diet that avoided grains, sprouted grains, pseudo-grains, beans and legumes, soy, peanuts, cashews, nightshades, melons and squashes, non-Southern European cow milk products (Casein A1), and grain/bean fed animals.

Most of these patients started with elevated levels of TNF-alpha (an inflammatory molecule), which were reduced to normal after 6 months on this diet.

The study concluded that increased adiponectin is a marker for lectin and gluten sensitivity, while TNF-alpha can be used as a marker for gluten/lectin exposure in sensitive individuals (R).

Dr. Steven Gundry, the author of the study, frowns upon foods that originated from America.

See my podcast with the author of the study: Dr. Steven Gundry.

To download a list of allowed and banned foods on the lectin avoidance diet, click on the bottom below.

A Diet To Avoid The Most Harmful Food Compounds

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I see myself as a canary in a coal mine as I’m sensitive to many foods.

Over time, I’ve built up a list of food products that cause an insignificant level or no inflammation.

At some point, I realized that many of my health problems resulted from lectins.

I understand that not everyone is the same, but I notice that others who are very sensitive to foods can handle these foods as well.

This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to eat anything else for the rest of your life.

This diet is just to inform you about the foods that are relatively safe. Personally, I live off of these foods and try not to stray.

I mention to cut out some products if after a few weeks you still have inflammation. It takes around five days of total abstinence to unmask a food or chemical but at least two weeks to remove the residual traces. It can take longer for autoimmune disease symptoms to normalize.

Lectins are mainly concentrated in the skin and seeds of plants.

19 Major Compounds That Can Cause Inflammation

The name of the diet is somewhat of a misnomer because there are many compounds in food that can cause inflammation.  But I believe lectins are the worst culprits. The key here is to eliminate the items that cause you problems. Read this post to see a full list of this 19 compounds.

Proteins

You should get a good amount of protein in the morning – about 30 grams.

Your diet should consist of 20-30% protein if you are suffering from an autoimmune or chronic inflammatory disease.

  • Fish – My top 5 are frozen wild-caught salmon, fresh wild sardines, roe (fish eggs), oysters, and anchovies (any low-toxicity seafood is ok)
  • Meat products
  • Beef – Preferably grass-fed
  • Chicken – I eat the whole chicken except for the sharp bone fragments, which I chew to get the marrow out
  • Pork
  • Cricket Flour
  • Hemp Protein
  • Liver – Beef or chicken (without additives)
  • Bone broth – Best to make your own
  • Brewer’s Yeast or Nutritional Yeast (without synthetic folate)
  • Glycine
  • Cooked tempeh – Some people can’t handle this.  This is probably not allowed on Dr. Gundry’s diet.

Eggs are fine from a lectin standpoint, but people easily develop egg allergies in stages of chronic gut inflammation.

Carbs

My favorite source of safe carbs is raw honey. Not all raw honey is good. Two of them that work for me are Clover Honey and Orange Honey.

Fruits aren’t rich in lectins, but they have tannins. I eat fruit occasionally, even though they spike my immune system. My favorites are pineapple and citrus. Dr. Gundry looks at melons unfavorably.

  • Starch – I find purple sweet potatoes the least inflammatory whole food starch. Japanese sweet potatoes aren’t too bad either. Any sweet potato is fine as long as they are pressure cooked. I would still pressure cook the purple sweet potatoes.
  • Fruits – Blueberries, pineapple, citrus, golden berries, papaya, mulberries, and mango
  • Fiber – Hi-Maize resistant starch is my main source of resistant starch these days. Nice, clean, hypo-inflammatory starch. 25 g/day to start.
  • Trehalose
  • Carob
  • I use Raw Honey and Hi-Maize for all of my carbs.

Fats

Use Caprylic acid, Black Cumin Seed Oil, extra virgin olive oil and ghee for your oils.

Cut omega-6 oils out (except black seed oil).

Try to have a couple of tablespoons of caprylic oil daily. Space it right, and you shouldn’t have gastrointestinal effects. Use 1 tbsp Black Cumin Seed Oil and extra virgin olive oil daily.

  • Caprylic acid – The best oil. Try to have 3-5 tablespoons daily (1-1.5 with each meal). Reduce dosage if you get gastrointestinal problems and work up. MCT oil is also good.
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil – Anti-inflammatory oil with thymoquinone.
  • Avocados or guacamole (without additives)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ghee – In moderation for sauteing, stir-frying, and using for sleep.
  • Avocado Oil
  • Hemp seeds – This is the only seed that I tolerate.

To some people seeds cause problems, but they are better than nuts. In the beginning, stick with the above mentioned and eventually try the seeds. I don’t eat seeds since I get some degree of inflammation from them. 

Vegetables

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Steamed or boiled or stir-fried cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or brussels sprouts)
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Sprouts – broccoli, alfalfa, etc.

Other non-night shade vegetables are fine.

Condiments/Other

  • Dulse Powder or Nori for iodine
  • Sunflower Lecithin – After meals for PS and PC
  • Mustard
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Stevia
  • Xylitol
  • Nutritional yeast (no folic acid)

Other spices are ok in general.

Chili, paprika, or cayenne pepper are part of the nightshade family, so some people might react to them.

Nutrients To Add

For missing nutrients and copper excess as a consequence of a lifetime of plant-based diets, you can use the Life Extension Mix Powder.

If you need more calcium and potassium (which will be missing if you don’t eat dairy and plant-based foods), you can take the following supplements:

Food Groups Excluded on the Lectin Avoidance Diet

  • All grains
  • Nightshades including tomato, peppers, potato, and eggplant
  • Gluten from wheat, rye, barley, malt, and maybe oat
  • Legumes – All beans including soy and peanut. Cashews are part of the bean family and are not allowed. The Pythagorean code prohibited the consumption or even touching any bean (R). People with an enzyme deficiency that increases oxidative stress can’t eat certain beans such as broad beans (R).
  • Dairy including milk, and milk products as cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir
  • Yeast (except brewer’s and nutritional)
  • Fruits should be avoided during the trial period but can be added back in.

Look for symptoms of intolerance: bowel, sleep, or mood changes, memory impairment or any other significant changes you can relate to the ingestion of the food group. It may take a week or so for the symptoms to appear.

To download a full list of foods to eat or avoid on the lectin avoidance diet, click on the button below.

Food Groups to Pay Special Attention To

Seafood

Seafood is an important dietary component for lectin-sensitive people. Like any food, it may cause health issues to a minority of people. However, the DHA from fish oil is critical in the modulation of the immune system and decreasing lectin sensitivity.

I do well with very mildly cooked wild-caught salmon (less well with fully cooked), fresh very mildly cooked wild sardines (not canned), and fresh oysters. Other kinds of seafood are good as well.

To reduce the risk of parasites, I buy frozen wild salmon, defrost it in your fridge over 24 hours, and warm it up or cook it lightly. Industrial freezers should kill all the parasites, and if they don’t, 145 degrees for 5-10 minutes will. I also use a lot of spices. Additionally, the immune system protects against parasites as well, so I’m personally not concerned about them.

I’ve experimented with having up to 18 oz of wild salmon a day, without any problem. I currently take 6 oz a day.

If you’re worried about mercury, you can take NAC or R-Lipoic acid to prevent heavy metals accumulation and to activate detox pathways to eliminate toxins.

The point of the diet is to get good quality DHA, iodine, less omega-6, adequate protein quantity, and nutrition.

Raw Honey

Raw Honey has some great benefits that starch doesn’t have. It’s the healthiest carb source for lectin-sensitive people.

  1. Is a mucilage, which means it coats the stomach.
  2. Is a very powerfully anti-microbial, which means it should help SIBO.
  3. Has beneficial prebiotics, such as FOS and GOS.
  4. Has low glycemic index.
  5. Contains little lectins.
  6. Has both immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
  7. Combats mold toxins.

Hi-Maize

Hi-Maize has two different types of starch. Approximately 40% is slowly digestible starch, which is digested in the small intestine and slowly absorbed as glucose. More importantly, it contains approximately 60% resistant starch, which is digested in the large intestine and produces butyrate. Butyrate works magic for the brain. I’ve been using this for a year off and on, but I am a big fan.

Eggs

Eggs are extremely nutritious and are considered a superfood. However, in some people, eggs can cause other health issues – not from lectins, but because it has proteins that you can easily become intolerant to if you’ve been on a heavy lectin diet for a while or if you suffer from excessive stress.

I developed an allergy to eggs in my early 20’s, but most people are fine with them. If you feel fine, then indulge because eggs are a truly healthy food. If you can include eggs, you can reduce your need for supplements.

How to Reduce the Lectin Levels in Food

  • Soaking for 2 hours and cooking destroys bean lectins. In common beans, the lectin content declines from 820 to 3.2 (hemagglutinating activity), while in fava beans it declines from 51.3 to 6.4 (R).
  • Pressure-cooking destroys lectins in some foods, such as beans, sweet potatoes, and some squashes.

Technical

Classification of Plant Lectins

There are 4 different types of plant lectins according to its overall structure and specificity in carbohydrate binding: merolectins, hololectins, chimerolectins, and superlectins (R).

There are 7 botanical families of plant lectins (R):

1. Legume lectins
2. Monocot mannose-binding lectins
3. Chitin-binding proteins containing hevein domains
4. Type 2 ribosome inactivating proteins
5. Cucurbitaceae phloem lectins – Most Cucurbitaceae species contain high concentrations of lectins that bind to oligomers of N-Acetylglucosamine.
6. Jacalin family – from jackfruit seeds
7. Amaranthaceae lectins
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10884708

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10884708

Chemical and Biological Properties of Some Plant Lectins, source: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/mioc/v86s2/vol86(fsup2)_196-203.pdf

Chemical and Biological Properties of Some Plant Lectins, source: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/mioc/v86s2/vol86(fsup2)_196-203.pdf

Animal Lectins

Examples of animal lectins include snake venom (another agglutinin), lactoferrin receptors, and blood-type antigens.

Selectins, a type of lectins, bind to injured sites and mediate immune cells binding (R).

Galectin-3 plays a role in obesity and impairs blood sugar control (R).

Influenza virus infects humans by binding to sialic acid, a type of glycoprotein that is present in many human cells.

Want to get started on the Lectin Avoidance Diet? Get a copy of the cookbook for $27.

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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456 COMMENTS

  • Leandro

    Could someone from Selfhacked Team put this link about what toothpaste Joe uses available again?
    I would really appreciate it.

  • Ricardo

    Sorry for hearing that. Try a group on facebook called protocolo vitamina D cicero galli coimbra or something similar. It is not expensive. You dont have to go that far, but might be insightful.
    a couple of tips: avoid mixing meat and carbs when you eat, especially red, pork, chicken as they take much more time to digest than carbs. (eggs arent that bad, as well as fish – but eggs are still better).

    in general, roots are the healthiest foods (potato is not a root), including carrrot and beetroot juices .

    third, read about water fasting (you can hack it with coconut oil, vitamin c, lemon, acetil L carnitine) (see jason fung videos)

    fourth, read about activated charcoal (and second option bentonite clay with vitamin c powder),

    fifth, type collagen gelatin weston price foundation on google (buy powder / cow’s gelatin should stink less than porks’) (mix with vitamin c to liquify – collagen itself is too expensive)

    sixth, coconut milk (without fillings/additives ) to make coconut kefir milk (you can add a sugar spoon to help the fermentation process)

    seventh, read about digestive enzymes (maybe the only expensive item here). My favorites: health origins, dr. best and now

    eight, try a cleansing protocol (fasting with salt water is a good start to read about). i bought kroegen herbs candida kit and wormwood kit (around 50 euros each) (it is really strong, do not use them both at the same time). pau darco/Ipe roxo/lapacho is also helpful but strong. check dr. axe videos with jordan.

    good luckk

  • Cindy

    Fagor 8 quart Duo is recommended by Cook’s Illustrated magazine. About $100 and works great.

  • An-Marie

    Thanks for the advice. It did help.

  • Sabine

    POST:
    PMALOWE Submitted February 24, 2017
    In Joe’s interview with Dr. Gundry, Gundry says white rice is ok if pressure cooked. But Joe says it’s not ok to eat. Why is that?

    RESPONSE:
    Quote from Joe’s article above: “Some plant lectins, such as castor bean ricin and white kidney bean agglutinins, are very toxic to humans”

    wiki “castor oil”:

    Food and preservative
    In the food industry, castor oil (food grade) is used in food additives, flavorings, candy (e.g., polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR in chocolate), as a mold inhibitor, and in packaging. Polyoxyethylated castor oil (e.g., Kolliphor EL) is also used in the food industries.
    In India, Pakistan and Nepal food grains are preserved by the application of castor oil. It stops rice, wheat, and pulses from rotting. For example, the legume pigeon pea is commonly available coated in (castor) oil for extended storage.

    Perhaps “food grade” should not be a term applied to castor oil?
    (nor carrageenan) [cornucopia]

  • Jessy

    Probiotic and digestive enzymes (vitamin world product is really good) will help you with bloating and constipation. I have digestion problem with beans and grains and now I realized it is because of lectin. when I want to eat some of the grain food I take 2 probiotics (vitacost – 14billion) and 1 digestive enzyme and it will help me and also I am using lactose free milk. I thank God for whoever invented the probiotic and digestive enzymes.

  • Scott

    Are you cooking these vegetables? The three you listed should never be eaten raw.

  • Julie Lueken

    This is a reply to the person concerned about not getting enough protein. Plant protein is a complete and excellent way to meet your protein needs. Meat and or fish is not the only source of protein.

  • ElinCT

    After researching and checking out various pressure cookers, I bought a Fissler Vitavit (not the same thing as Fissler VitaQuick). Like you, I didn’t want to buy something made in China. I ordered my German Fissler online from Williams Sonoma. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. I truly love it and highly recommend it.

  • Heather

    Other than avoiding the lectins, what steps are needed to heal all the symptoms he mentioned that lectins cause (I have every one of them…. hypothyroid, joint & muscle pain, excessive mucus, bloating, abdominal pain, severe chronic constipation, anxiety, perfectionism, sleep issues, etc)

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Even though you have all the symptoms, you might still be sensitive to other substances in foods than lectins. You’d only know if you know what you are sensitive to.

      Aside from avoiding lectins, you’d need to take care of the 8 big factors we address in SelfHacked Secrets. You can see it listed on the page: http://selfhacked.com/book.

  • Gøran

    I’ve read The Plant Paradox. His protein recommendations are 0,37 grams / kg bodyweight, which for me is a daily intake of just 30 grams. I’m Working as personal trainer and I’ve never seen any study recommending that little protein – not even close!

    You recommend 20-30% of protein which is what I’ve found for my self and clients is necessary to build muscle. Even if sedentary, daily 30 grams of protein I’m sure will cause muscle wasting.

    What do you think of his recommendations? He didn’t refer to any study in hos book regarding this recommendation.

  • Shaundra N Robinson

    Anna, I LOVE my Instant Pot it does have all the bells ad whistles (which I love because it makes it so easy) and is stainless steel. I got mine for a great deal on amazon on Black Friday.

  • Shaundra

    Ali, I also have that problem and have found great relief doing a low FODMAPS diet. You may have SIBO which can potentially be treated through various means.

  • anna burns

    Does anyone on here have a pressure cooker recommendation? I don’t want teflon lined or aluminum lined. I would prefer stainless steel. Even better, not made in China. Has anyone use the old time ones that don’t have all the bells and whistles? They are stainless steel and not nearly so expensive as the more modern ones. Your input is appreciated. Thanks

  • Larry Bohs

    Beth, thanks for noticing that — it wasn’t all that easy to find on his website. OK, I’ll try some cukes that way. Don’t expect to notice anything different as they’ve never given me a problem before anyway. In fact, just about nothing does now that I’ve eliminated all grains. Thanks again, — Larry

  • Beth S

    On Dr. Gundry’s “Plant Paradox Food List” on his website, he lists cucumbers as a food not to eat. However, he says “Cucumbers (unless peeled, unseeded). Perhaps you can still eat them 😉

  • Larry Bohs

    Yes, it is sad that he advocates for a food like that. I can’t help thinking the ‘450 team members at GoldenHippoMedia’ that he thanks at the end of his book put him up to it.

    I also get the creeps reading the ‘reviews’ of his supplement products. I read through 10 pages of reviews for Primal Plants, and they are all 4 and 5 star. NOTHING even close to “it tastes crummy” or “it’s expensive”. ALL glowing. Who wrote these?

    I still have great respect for his research and book, and want to believe that the content is critically important.

  • Anna

    Everyone has heavy metal toxicity.

  • crosswind

    LARRY — I would eat “real food” before I would eat anything Dr. Gundry peddles for profit. Have you seen the ingredients in the cooking recipes he demos? Avoiding lectins is one thing, but he lost all credibility as an educator from me, after all i see him promote is QUORN (fake vegan meat made with Fungus protein with excitotoxins, like yeast extract and CANOLA OIL). He seems like a walking commercial for them. Sad. – – [QUORN Imitation Turkey Ingredients: Mycoprotein (59%), Water, Onion, Natural Flavors From Non-Meat Sources, Canola Oil, Rehydrated Egg White, Milk Proteins. Contains 2% or less of Potato Maltodextrin, Salt, Tapioca Dextrin, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Sage Extract, Garlic Powder, Gum Arabic; Sunflower, Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil. Contains Egg & Milk.]

  • Larry Bohs

    I just finished Dr. Gundry’s new book. He says to not eat cucumbers, as they are in the squash family. But you list them as one of the best vegetables.

    I’m a farmer and have TONS of them now — they’re typically one of my staple foods in the summer.

    Do you think it’s really OK to eat cucumbers from a lectin standpoint?

  • Diane Althaus

    How is the level of lectins in foods determined? I notice a great difference in the amount of time nuts are to be soaked, and wonder if this is an indication that there is no technique to precisely measure lectin levels.

    Diane

  • Crosswind

    OMGosh. Can you believe how long this thread continues to grow?! This is Awesome & helpful. Obviously you’re not alone. MANY people are dealing with these sensitivities. I recently added NUTS back into my diet (the raw food bars i ate had “organic” nuts and almonds and the company told me “not” sprayed with chemicals. They buy organic raw almonds (from a grower in CA that only uses radio frequency technology, not heat, to unshell the almonds), BUT, i am suddenly reacting badly to something. I recently had some dental work and it was MORE Painful and now my TMJ was triggered and my Jaw LOCKED up for 2 weeks. I could not even bite a little blueberry!! I’ve been on SOFT foods for 2 weeks. I thought it was just Caffeine, but it was only when i eliminated the NUTS from my diet, that my jaw started to relax. I might still be allergic to Nuts OR maybe it’s the anti-nutrients in them. I have read on several blogs how people get ((severe joint pain)) after eating Nuts.

  • Lyn

    From what you are saying I think you are having a Herxheimer’s reaction. If you have ever taken antibiotics of any kind, then you have damaged your gut flora and killed off your beneficial bacteria. Because the beneficial bacteria is gone, Candida Albicans will over run the body causing all kinds of symptoms like fungus infections that won’t go away, eczema, ring worm, psoriasis, etc. With irritable bowel syndrome it works in tandem with Lectins causing inflammation. Like Lectins, Candida Albicans can also burrow into the gut lining causing horrible inflammation. So if I were you I would treat both. By sticking to the Lectin diet for the most part, (I can still eat cooked nightshades without issue in moderation) and avoiding all grains, dairy, and meat I ham better than I have been in years. The Herxheimer’s is something that takes time but it will get better. You can boil water with Cilantro and make a tea. This will help your liver tremendously. But I can say hands down that Kombucha tea hands down was the biggest help getting rid of Candida Albicans of anything I tried. at one time I had complete immune system failure, allergies, 3 times a year with pneumonia and always on antibiotics and steroids not knowing they were killing me slowly. My diet was THE number one problem. I now take zero meds and have few symptoms, but it takes time and I am 1 year in so be prepared to make a life change. Hope I have helped. Have a nice day.

  • crosswind

    I think GLYPHOSATE herbicide has messed all of our Guts up!! It’s sprayed in neighbor yards, city parks, near schools and sprayed in excess on our foods now and some foods area allowed to be sprayed up to 3 DAYS before picking—so you can’t wash it off. Make sure to eat ORGANIC now to reduce our exposure & try to heal our gut some.

  • anna burns

    Ali,
    If you are having trouble with cruciferous veggies, I think it’s probably because your gut is not in good shape and not used to getting the fiber that it needs. You should get Dr. Gundry’s latest book. It is amazing and has helped me immensely. Start making the daily green smoothie like he suggests. It will make your tummy happy. As far as cruciferous veggies, make sure they are cooked, not raw. Eat a very small amount, like 1/4 cup (or even less) and work up gradually. The cruciferous veggies hurt my stomach also and it was because my stomach was so not used to getting nearly as much fiber as humans really need. Also, read about fiber. There are all different kinds and benefit the body in different ways. Dr. Gundry explains a lot in his book.

  • Ali

    But what if the allowed foods cause a reaction? I get excruciating stomach pain with broccoli and cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables??? What am I meant to do?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Don’t eat them.

  • Leandro Oliveira

    I don’t know where to write this, but I just need to unburden myself.

    After some period of time, I finally understand and especially feel what is to do a Lectin Avoidance Diet. I feel like it was the first time in my life I was feeling ‘normal’. What most felt good to me was to be walking on the street without the constant feeling of anxiety, fear from other people. Jesus, what a feeling! Also, I was able to have eye contact to people while talking to them. It’s so amazing!
    Gosh!, I wish I had the consultation with Joe having this mental clarity.

    The unfortunately part is that I am confirming over and over that I am exactly like Joe or at least in most of his issues and in being a canary of the coal mine,
    I really feel the results cutting every single food possible except meat and fish.

    Now the problem:

    I think I’ve already said something similarly here, but it’s just I don’t have anyone to talk to about this issue that actually believes in what I am saying.

    I am 26 years old, unemployed, the type of person that is seen by society as lazy, awkward, that it’s all in my head.
    I don’t know what to do to follow this protocol alone… I feel like it’s just impossible in my country. I live in Europe, Portugal. I mean, I can do it, but I always end up under eating and losing weight rapidly… I seem to not digest fat well or perhaps I have some problems in my liver and/or gallbladder. I am just hoping my body is not used to eat fat even though I know in childhood I always had some issues regarding gallbladder pain and having sulfur burps easily (my mother has this also).

    In the past 6 months I am being doing another protocol from a doctor because my parents wanted to me to do. Basically it’s detox, probiotics, chelation and ozonotherapy IV. The classic. But guess what, the doctor doesn’t even remove lectins from my diet… And if I start explaining to her, she thinks that I am crazy and it’s all in my head. She says to me to eat peanut butter :(. And she wants me to do hypnotherapy…
    I am literately putting my mum crying because I am telling to her that this protocol isn’t working and it’s a waste of money (seriously, so expensive these treatments!). I tell to her that I can’t eat normally and I need to do what Joe said to me and that here in Portugal it will be very hard to do it. She looks at me and thinks that I am becoming crazier and crazier. In her perspective I am starting to get obsessed with foods and that I have a food disorder. Everything I do is crazy for other people. That moment when I put the blue blocking glasses. They look at me like an alien. Crazy alien, of course.
    The main problem is money. Always the money. I am still dependent from my parents, I do not work or have a status quo and because of that I will never seem credible to others.

    I am writing here because I am always hoping someone that is in the same situation as me that will reply. That struggles to follow Joe’s Lectin Avoidance Diet either because of money, inaccessibility to foods and supplements and be able to help each other. Or someone that actually has been on the same situation and had success.
    I will put here my email address if you people from Self hacked don’t mind: [email protected]

    And, lastly, I want to ask two questions:

    -> as Joe ever thought about opening a clinic or something like that? What I mean is, a place where people could be followed with a closer approach/guidance. But even if that happens to exist, it will be in the USA though…

    -> Regarding my liver and gallbladder digesting fat.
    I hope the problem is that my liver and/or gallbladder seems to not be used to digest fat. I also feel immediately tired when I eat fat which can suggest the same issue. Too much EVOO gives me loose stools even thought Joe said this in the past

    “JOE clock icon Submitted September 7, 2014 03:59PM
    Consume this diet with lots of EVOO – you’ll gain weight if you do that.”

    I am hoping that I can titrate to the point I can digest it well. The worst scenario is that if I am some kind of problem in my gallbladder or something like that since I remember in my past to have always issues on digesting fat.
    What’s your opinion on it Nattha?

  • Sam

    Michele, I also have broad food intolerances like you (plus also multiple chemical sensitivities & weed, grass, terpene allergies). It real drag. Anyway I just thought I’d mention something in relation to alcohol & parties. I also have issues with booze, When it comes to spirits Scotch & Whisky are especially bad, but one spirit that I actually enjoy and feel a good with is Ouzo – not the cheap local made stuff, but the good quality Greek stuff made with aromatic herbs. Something to try

  • Michele

    I am allergic to all grains, legumes, eggs, shellfish, potatoes, sesame seeds, kiwi & grape seeds. Nightshades, alcohol – including sugar alcohol, lactose & seeds/nuts/coconut trigger microscopic colitis flares. Seeds, nuts and coconut trigger eczema. I’m super fun at parties! 😉 I am permanently on a diet like this one, except I am fine with fermented dairy (have cut it out for months/years and saw no benefits) and actually feel slightly worse without it. I can eat chocolate and carob (through sheer will alone!). I hope one day to find a way to at least be able to eat seeds/nuts & nightshades without problems. Thank you for this article!

  • Attila

    I have several food sensivities based on igg test ex. egg (yolk, white), bananas, barley, gluten, honey, oats, some cheese and more. The test is negative for rice, potatoes, other dairy (milk, kefir, yogurt), and some other grains (quinoa, millet). Before the igg test I consumed all of them but based on this test I’m not reacted to all lectin foods.
    I’m eating an elimination diet based on igg test for the last 6 months. I’m still have issues, loose stools or diarrhea, sometimes fatique after meals. I can’t gain weight. It seems that after the elimination diet I’ve become more sensitive to everithing.
    What do you think? Should I avoid all lectines or not neccesarry becasue based on igg testing I’m not reacting to all of them.How these two things: lectin and food sensivity are connected?

  • Tyler

    the week before the brain fog began i went out a weekend with my friends. We drank quite a lot of alcohol and mixed with mdma. Could this have also been the cause of a 4 month brain fog? If so is there a way to reduce the inflammation or to possibly try anything? i have read the link you shared but there wasnt much on this area.

  • vince

    Get your teeth checked, especially if you have had root canal done. I developed a fistula on my gum last year from a tooth that I had root canal done on 20 years ago and since I had the tooth pulled last year, all my symptoms have been clearing up. I was diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome (yellowing of the skin) years ago and since the tooth removal I no longer have the problem. I researched all of this and it seems root canals provide a constant supply of bad bacteria to the body, weakening the immune system. I was so sick for a number of years and I was getting allergic to most foods. I am just about back to normal. I also take a daily probiotic which seems to help.

  • Tyler

    Hello, I am experiencing extreme brain fog every day! A naturopath diagnosed me with candida and a leaky gut. I have been given some prescribed meds from the naturo to clear the candida and detox my body aswell as alkalise it. After some analysis my leaky gut has shown to be healing and my body is absorbing more nutrients which is good but I still have brain fog. I was eating spelt bread every day and gluten free wheat free pasta for my carbs as well as a lot of the vegetables you mentioned however, the pasta was made from corn flour and rice flour which are grains etc. I am trying to sit on a high calorie diet for gym, around 3800 cal also high carb diet to bulk. Is it okay to make most of the carbs out of sweet potato and the rest a mix of others mentioned here? Can I steam the vegetables if I don’t have a pressure cooker?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Try one thing at a time. Either you fix the brain fog or you bulk. Don’t attempt both at the same time.

      Read our brain fog post http://selfhacked.com/blog/the-cause-of-brain-fog/.

      And, no, you can’t steam it instead because pressure cooker will destroy lectins.

  • Seth

    Are beets and peanuts ok to eat?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      No

      1. Abuawad, Tito

        Natta
        Please would you be so kind as to explain me why red beets should be avoided?
        Thanks

        1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

          Roots contain lectins.

  • Martha Ray

    I was just getting into the Blood Type Diet for A Blood Type because of concerns over Lectins, I was already eating pretty Paleo/Whole 30 plant based Diet avoiding gluten, nightshades and most caffeine, most dairy and avoiding processed foods. I am mildly hypothyroid and also experience Histamine Intolerance seasonally and have a sensitivity to nickle.

    I am wondering how this lectin avoidance diet may be the same or different from Blood Type Diet and a Keto diet.

    So which is really more healing a plant based low carb or a meat based low carb.. or perhaps they are both right for different blood types A for the plant based and O for the meat based. If either stay low lectin I would think that would be a plus.

    Commenting here is helping …

    Oh yes, almost forgot, I had mentioned the nickle sensitivity since I am shopping for a pressure cooker. If any one knows of one that is safe, good quality materials for me like Stainless 18/0, (18/8 18/10) with no BPA or BPS plastic touching the food- please let me know.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      While we do think that certain blood types may be more likely to react to lectins, we don’t go by the blood type diet as we don’t think there is any science behind it. Life is already complicated so don’t make that worse.

    2. myri

      A good stainless steel pressure cooker that I’ve been using for last 5 months is the Midea. I think Amazon has it. A lot of pressure cookers on sale say they are stainless steel, but the problem is the outer part of the cooker is stainless steel and the inside pot is non stick toxic teflon crap. This Midea is stainless outside with plastic handle and the inside and the pot are stainless steel. Its more expensive but worth it.

      1. John Macgregor

        One of the cheaper & better-known pressure cookers is the Duo.

        My heart sank a week or two after I bought it when I watched their How-to-use-it video: it talked about the “aluminium inner”.

        I emailed them about that: they replied that “inner” meant the aluminium they put between the stainless steel outer & the stainless steel inner surface (that touches the food).

        So because no aluminium touches the food (after all), I can recommend the Duo, which I picked up for under $AU200.

    3. Becky

      Hi Martha, I have a programmable Instant. It is stainless steel. You can brown in it & use it as a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

  • anna burns

    What is your opinion of lectin blocker supplements? I did not know that they even existed until I was reading online about lectins and the supplement suggestion came up.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      If you know that your food sensitivity problems are from lectins, you can use it. But I would use it in cases of emergency or when it’s absolutely necessary, not routinely.

  • An-Marie

    I’m now 4 months on the lectin avoidance diet. My gut has really improved, years of diarrhea have come to an end apparently. On the other hand, my other symptoms like anxiety, brain fog, depression and fatigue (after meals) have noticeably worsened. I’m desperate and don’t know why this isn’t working for me. I experiented with protein/fat ratio, tried all kind of (hi-maize) recipes from the cookbook but everything I do seems to weaken me further more. I eat every day about 1.2 kg of vegetables, mainly cruciferae and I wonder if this has some impact on one’s thyroid ? I also added the adviced multi and many other supplements to support me, gathered within two consults, but there is no positive outcome. Most of the supplements made me really feel awful. In december leaky gut and gut infection have been diagnosted, could this be the reason form my fatigue after meals, but the longer I do the diet, the worse the symptoms get. I assumed once my gut was healing, and keeping on a strict diet, the rest would follow, such as neurotransmitters, hormones, possible infections. But now I’ve the impression that the diet really has some negative impact on me but I don’t have the courage to introduce any new kind of food. So within these months, shouldn’t there have been more improvements ? Is there an other kind of problem going on ? What to do next ?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Your issues are beyond diet, and you should try consuming less vegetables.

      1. crosswind

        Nattha, This is a great article. I’m learning a lot from the thread and comment updates too. I’ve been wondering ….what if some of these anti-nutrients in vegetables have some benefit to us, like they protect themselves from predators. Couldn’t they protect us too? or is that a silly thought? So, if we start avoiding so many veggies with phytonutrients, maybe we could end up causing deficiency. Hmmm.

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Yes, it’s a “good stress” or hormesis to our bodies. Whether you should avoid it depends on your genes and biochemistry. If you don’t feel anything bad then don’t avoid them. You only live once.

          1. crosswind

            Oh, okay. Thx Nattha. Good description with “good stress”. That’s not something i need more of with autoimmune. My gene pathways need less burden, not more. I’m just trying to find more pieces of the puzzle. I recently tested positive as an over-methylator with Pyroluria, which is tougher to treat & get balanced, but i hear it can be done slowly with patience, but we definitely need to caution with anti-nutrients. Problem #1 is me–I need to stop disbelieving plants are harmful & have anti-nutrients 🙂

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          2. crosswind

            I have one more question. Something i keep hearing Raw Food Community educators say is that if people just “Detox” more & Fast our lymphatic & organs, we wouldn’t be have so many of these sensitivities or histamine issues. What do you think about that? Thx to 23andme (which I have had done), we now know that gene mutations play a big role and we can’t change that. But, will Detoxing reduced the issues with nightshades & histamines too? They think that bacteria, parasites, fungus, metals, toxins can also make us more sensitive etc..? I doubt that detoxing will cure these sensitivities for some of us or i would have been able to do it by now.

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          3. Nattha Wannissorn

            I do think detoxification is a real biological phenomenon, and infrared sauna helps tremendously with my Th2 dominant and histamine problems. However, the “detox” that the raw food community talks about is likely nonsense. In some people, those things can make us more sensitive, but it depends on the cases. If the bacteria, parasites, fungi are a problem then you’d need to remove those. But for a lot of people, killing those things do absolutely nothing to their symptoms.

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          4. crosswind

            Thank you. I tend to agree, after I have tried detoxing on and off for years, both light and deep detoxes caused severe symptoms for me due to many gene mutations in detox pathways. I think it can help some, but not rid of us of these genetic “sensitivities”. I get tired of the raw food community trying to guilt people about this. I appreciate your feedback.

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    2. Annie

      Dear An-Marie, You are eating a lot of cruciferrace veggies? Know that these SLOW Down the Thyroid….a slow thyroid is linked to depression, weight gain, hair loss and more. You many want to not eat them for a while and return to eating small quantities.

    3. John Macgregor

      I was having symptoms from lots of high-oxalate vegetables including beets & spinach – and crucifers – including fatigue, joint pain, anxiety & a weird, very ‘inward’ mood.

      So removed most of them from the diet & got a lot better. Oxalates can cause anxiety, depression & leaky gut, & can crash your thyroid. A link to autism is suspected.

      Not your whole answer probably, but may be worth looking at. On the LAD one seems to get sensitive to things one wasn’t sensitive to before – tho that’s possibly because you’re just eating more of them.

      1. Sean

        I’m no expert but you need your energy from fat while in ketosis or carbs if you are not in Ketosis. If you are not eating enough carbs and you rely on carbs for energy then you will feel tired. I’ve been there. I’m trying to juggle keto and low lectin diet now. Energy is great but I have to take away some foods now that I am learning about the effects of lectins.

        1. Pk

          I’ve tried Keto and got horrible stomach pain. I’m guessing because I ate lots of lectin. What foods do you eat that are Keto + low lectin? I ate lots of eggs and dairy on Keto. Apparently I have developed an egg allergy with all this gut inflammation.

    4. Brenda

      What are the other supplements you added? Rhodiola for mood, 5-HTP for mood and energy,huperzine a for memory, theanine to calm the mind, glycine for racing thoughts……I stack quite a few to get through the day. Start with one or two at a time to monitor results.

      1. crosswind

        before you take Rhodiola or 5-HTP, just know that it can cause anxiety to increase in people who have MAO gene ‘mutation” because Rhodiola and 5-htp suppress MAO pathway. It gave ME anxiety, so i will not take it. If you have MAO mutation(s), you could already be suppressed. So if you don’t know your 23andme.com results yet, I would start with a small dose first and if you get symptoms of anxiety, you’ll know why…. and you can stop taking. Reducing Oxalates helps my anxiety too. It also depends on if you are an over-methylator or under-methylator. Dr. Mensah explains at [liveto110]

    5. pip

      I think raising your cars should help this An- Marie

  • An-Marie

    In a few months I will have to travel (by car) for three days and will stay overnight in hotels, so I won’t be able to cook my lectin free meals. Any suggestions how to survive? Fruit, nuts and seeds are no option for me and I can’t handle protein powders.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      It’s only a diet for people with significant autoimmune issues, not for everyone. Also, it’s not the strict diet that everyone should follow long-term either. Wait until you are settled down before you can really do this diet. We go over how to figure out the diet that works for you in the cookbook.

  • John Macgregor

    Day 27 of the diet; big improvements in gut, mood, psoriasis & food craving – thanks! Energy slow to recover; & no weight gain (which I need).

    Now preparing to reintroduce foods. I think I’ll need some fruit & nuts, as I react to vegetables in quantity (joint pain from greens, gas from brassicas).

    1. Any fruits I should not eat, other than New World ones?

    2. Any nuts I should not eat, other than legumes like peanuts & cashews?

    3. Any good ways a skinny Th1 dominant person can gain weight?

    Thanks so much.

  • R.Noke

    If you find that you’re sensitive to corn, is Hi-Maize still okay? I’m getting the impression that it’s processed in a way that’s dissimilar to corn, much like the pea protein. I’m still in the process of trying to figure out all the things I’m sensitive too, but I know corn causes some digestive upset and makes me bloat. Thanks!

  • pmalowe

    In Joe’s interview with Dr. Gundry, Gundry says white rice is ok if pressure cooked. But Joe says it’s not ok to eat. Why is that?

  • John Saunders

    I follow a Paleo diet around 70% of the time. I’m just learning about Lectins now and I’m finding most posts (this one included) caveat their title with “people who are sensitive to everything” or some derivative. What about people that aren’t sensitive to any of these foods, save maybe one or two? Are the same avoidance lists applicable?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Just stick with what works for you. Paleo isn’t bad for healthy people

    2. Lana

      That’s a really good question John. My take would be that there are lectins that are more troublesome (those in grains and legumes) and steps should be taken to avoid these and/or prepare food to minimize them. I equate it to someone with a healthy immune system. You can deal better than folks with issues but you still wouldn’t want to hang around with infectious people without taking precautions. One of my favourite quotes is “the purpose of life isn’t to be healthy – the purpose of health, is to find purpose in life.”
      So as a healthy person you do what’s reasonable to stay healthy and live you life. If you become obsessed with every detail – not so healthy.

  • John Macgregor

    Hi Nattha.

    Day 7 of the LA Diet: Mood & gut are better, I’ve stopped nibbling my nails (calmer). OCD symptoms vanished. Psoriasis 50% faded. My huge appetite (especially for carbs) has vanished. So I’m really impressed.

    But my energy has crashed. Today I slept 12 hours & still felt tired. I’m moving very slowly. I feel more tired after I eat. Plus some inflammation in my knee is much worse. So I figure I’m reacting to something I’m eating? Because the diet is narrow, so I’m eating the same things too much?

    I eat modest amounts of pork (sometimes lamb or beef) at each meal; and carrots, sweet potatoes, swede/ratabuga, radish, turnip, parsnip & beetroot (all pressure cooked), and cabbage, kale, silverbeet, brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, onion, leek (steamed). Plus garlic, ginger, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, seasalt, pepper, kelp, fennel. Alfalfa, red clover & mustard sprouts.

    I eat a BIG plateful of some combination of the above 3 times a day.

    I haven’t got the cookies happening as I’m too tired to organise importing Hi-Maize to Australia. Could I use green banana flour? (Bit nervous of potato starch as it’s a solanum.)

    I’m really pleased by the quick changes – but obviously something needs tweaking…?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Possibly it will get better over time, but it’s also possible that that’s as far as dietary changes will help you. There are other factors at play. If you are well versed with the content on this site by now and want some personalized recommendations, consider booking a consult with Joe at selfhacked.com/contact. Even better if you have your genetic data (run the $99 ancestry one at 23andme) and put it into SelfDecode.

      1. John Macgregor

        Thanks Nattha. On scrambling thru Joe’s new book, my guess is that this is oxalate sensitivity. Going off oxalates half a day has improved symptoms.

        I’m in SelfDecode, & fully intend to make a time with Joe – just wanted to finish the book, see what the Phase 1 diet produces, etc – so I know what to tell him & ask him.

        Green banana flour in place of Hi-Maize?

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          I don’t know because you’ll know when you try it. Glad you like the book.

          1. John Macgregor

            Thanks Nattha. I finally tracked down Hi-Maize in Australia. Turns out it is an Australian product (!) – grown & manufactured here – but is not well-advertised. Nor does the manufacturer, Ingredion, return phone calls or emails.

            But I eventually found a scientist inside Ingredion who helped develop it (it was developed by the Australian Govt’s CSIRO), & he put me in touch with the distributor – HJ Langdon 07 3827 8920. For the benefit of Australians, that’s the only way to order it.

            If what Brett just posted about the lectins in banana flour is true (?), it’s probably time to switch anyway.

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          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            Somehow my grass-fed butcher told me that we import off-season grass-fed beef from NZ and Australia because corn doesn’t grow in Australia, so this is interesting. But glad you find a source and hopefully for a better price.

            I don’t know about banana flour.

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        2. Brett

          Bananas have lectins that are not destroyed by cooking. I think I am slightly but not highly reactive to boiled green bananas. Never tried banana flour. Have tried lots of Hi Maize and have zero issues with it – highly recommend Hi Maize.

    2. Susannah Sulsar

      the symptoms you mentioned (energy crash, achey joints, etc.) also sound like ‘keto flu’ – or what happens when your body shifts from burning mostly carbs to burning mostly fats.. It’s possible that your carb intake has reduced drastically enough for this to be a thing. if that’s the cause, it should pass in a day or two and you’ll feel like a rockstar. or if you really want to know today, get some ketostix at the pharmacy and measure the ketones in your urine stream — any presence at all (even small amounts) means you’re body is in ketosis (Burning fat instead of sugar). (Not to be confused with ketoacidosis which is indeed a bad bad thing.)

      1. John Macgregor

        Thanks Susannah. A week has passed & I’m afraid the energy collapse remains. (It long precedes the lectin avoidance diet.) Several things have improved – mood & skin for example. But energy is zero – I’m mostly couch-bound.

        I tried the cookies (green banana flour & coconut flour), but they made me feel worse.

        What seem to be oxalates also made me feel worse, so for a few days I’ve just been eating chicken or beef + cabbage.

        1. Auspicious B

          You could be sensitive to uric acid (purines) if you are eating a lot of fish. This causes me a lot of inflammation problems.

  • isaac

    Hi, I am starting the lectin avoidance diet and I see that in the allowed foods list is garlic, but i go on a different part of selfhacked.com and it clearly says that garlic HAS lectin. basicly half of the lectin free foods list is aslo listed has food that HAS lectin… why mislead people that much, I don’t get it. please enlighten your visitors as it takes away the credibility of your articles…

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      The dose makes the poison.

      All living organism has lectins. Humans have lectins. Not all lectins are toxic, and we only list the ones that most people tolerate. It’s not avoiding lectins per se because if you avoid all lectins you will be left with water.

  • Trina Starnes

    Aren’t lecitins hamful to our health also soy products that makes fatigue no c energy causes alot of health problems life out digestive :'( sluggish metabolism immune system

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      that’s because you are sensitive to it.

  • Denis Gelrud

    I noticed there has been more of a shift recently towards grass-fed beef on this page. Has there been any new research about grain-fed vs grass-fed as far as lectin sensitivity? Have any of your clients seen a difference?

    I used to eat exclusively grass-fed but have switched to grain-fed due to my digestion improving when eating fatty well-marbled meat over lean. I also don’t digest oils or rendered fat well so require the cut itself to have adequate fat in order to meet my needs.

    I agree with your opening line of basing the diet off of meat and seafood. I originally tried to fit as much of the low lectin plants into my meals as I could but that did not do me any favors. I continue to check back to see what new information develops. Thanks for all of your hard work, especially on lectins and circadian rhythm. A lot of great information.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Hi Denis,
      I do much better on grass-fed meat than grain-fed meat, and we generally focus on the fattier cuts of meat here at SelfHacked. You can also add fats in other ways than what is already in the meat.

  • John Macgregor

    Bought the book, & the next book, & Selfdecode – thanks. Now starting lectin avoidance diet. But 5 questions:

    1. If I eat 20-30% animal protein & “modest amounts” of vegetables, & no nuts or fruit, I’ll be eating a lot less than normal. What do I make up the difference with? Pressure-cooked tubers?

    2. I’ve asked a few pasture-fed chicken places, & they all feed their birds grains (as well as grass etc). Does that mean chicken is out?

    3. Do I just pressure cook things in your tubers column? Or other veg & meat too?

    4. Carrots – raw? pressure-cooked?

    5. Why are guar gum & carob & pea flower in the diet when they are beans, legumes, etc? (Ditto re Hi-Maize/grain.)

    Thanks a lot for some eye-opening info.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Hi John – thank you for your enthusiastic support and I’m glad you are starting the diet.
      1. You do need to fill up the remaining calories with carbs and/or fat, so if you tolerate them, add some fat. And cookies, the hi-Maize cookies. This is necessarily a restrictive diet. Yes you can do pressure-cooked tubers if you tolerate them.
      2. Grain fed birds are okay, preferably free range and definitely no antibiotics or hormones, but for beef you’d really want grass fed.
      3. Yes pressure cook the tubers. I often cook a roast or stew so technically all my other things are also pressure cooked, but it’s not a requirement.
      4. Pressure-cooked
      5. Because Joe tolerates them. If you are curious, leave them out and add them back. The Hi-Maize is so stripped off of things that it’s just resistant starch.

      1. John Macgregor

        Thanks so much Nattha – that’s nice & clear. 5 more, if I you’d be so kind:

        1. Where do I find fat? (There isn’t much on grass-fed meat.)

        2. Is organic, pastured, grain-fed pork allowed?

        3. When you stop high-lectin foods, is there typically a detox reaction?

        4. So only roots & tubers need pressure cooking?

        5. Is the list of permitted vegetables just “examples”? You can actually eat any non-nightshade vege (in moderation)?

        I’ve 40 years of AI, every symptom on Joe’s lectin sensitivity list, & lots of Th1 dominant symptoms. I’ve cured a lot my AI with grain- & dairy-free. But I still have psoriasis, fatigue & histamine intolerance – so now I’d like to finish off AI & inflammation.

        Thanks again…

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          1. I think we have it in the food list in the cookbook. There are grass-fed beef tallow, lard, lardons, duck fat, pork cracklings, coconut/avocado if you tolerate them. If you have a whole-animal butcher, maybe you can ask them to grind more fat into the ground beef. There are also fattier cuts like ribs, chuck roasts, osco bucco, marrow etc.
          2. The answer is always “if you tolerate them.” Joe says he does better with beef than pork, but generally it’s fine as a food. There are also many more fattier cuts of pork, too.
          3. I wouldn’t think so.
          4. And squashes, plus anything else that contain significant amount of plant lectins. There’s the pressure cooked tomato sauce in the book, too, but not everyone is going to tolerate that.
          5. Again, it’s “if you tolerate them.” Everyone is different so it’s hard to tell. Most leaves are low lectins.

          To be clear, Joe doesn’t rely only on whole foods (at least in the beginning). He does use a lot of supplements and the Hi-Maize cookies to make sure that he gets enough nutrients and carbs that he needs. It’s a very restrictive diet for a purpose.

          1. John Macgregor

            Thanks for your clear & concise answers, Nattha.

            1. No Hi-Maize here in Australia – is there a more generic substitute?

            2. Sweet potato is native to the Americas. Does it make the list because pressure-cooking removes most lectins?

            3. I’ve had histamine problems, so am avoiding histamine foods – including fish. Any problems there? (I take 5ml cod liver oil/day.)

            Thanks again…

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          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            1. I would try to import it. If you tolerate potatoes then potato starch might work.
            2. Yes, as would any tuber.
            3. The diet is also meant to exclude high histamine foods. I have histamine problems too but I can do fish, so if you remove and re-introduce without any problem then you should be fine. The fish should be really fresh, though.

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  • Susan Wilkerson

    After several months of self experiencing, I think my weight problem is associated with lectin. If I eat foods high in lectin I gain two pounds the next day. If I eat foods in the mid range of lectin content my weight will go from gaining about .2 to loosing .2 pounds. I think it varies due to exacting how much total lectins I eat that day and calories count maybe. If I eat foods low to none in lectin I will loose .8 to 1.5 pounds the next day. I say I think it is due to lectin because I can eat foods that have been reported as having high lectin and can’t eat some that isn’t suppose to have lectin with out it causing me to gain. I can eat dairy and meat though I do think maybe the lectin in dairy may cause my arthritis and maybe the lectin in some meat may cause some joint problems I have. I can eat white flour as long as it is unbleached. At first I thought it was the yeast in certain biscuits, rolls, and donuts but I found that white loaf bread has yeast and I can eat it as long as it doesn’t have bleached flour. So since I can eat these foods that are suppose to have lectin and still loose can it be something besides lectin causing the weight gain and loss? I have only developed this sporatic weight loss and gain within the last couple of years or so. I went to the doctor and she thinks it may have to do with my diabeties but never mentioned lectin. I stumbled across and article talking about lectin affecting the receptors of insulin causig them to stay on to producing fat. But why do I loose a whole pound if I don’t eat those foods? It has little to do with fat content and calories, I have pigged out on a hugh breakfast of bacon eggs and toast, eat a ham and cheese sandwhich for lunch a normal dinner with meat and usually spinach broccoli or a salad and in between snack on cookies, cake, ice cream as long as I didn’t eat more than a normal serving at a time I still loose usualy a pound and why doesn’t the lectin in white flour, dairy and meat cause me to gain? Can it be just certain types of lectin aggrivate the receptors? By the way pressure cooking will allow me to eat some foods high in lectin without gaining but it won’t let me loose so evidentally it doesn’t deactivate all of the lectin.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      It looks like the 2 lbs you gain is just water from inflammation. Overall, if someone is overweight and diabetic, they have some background levels of inflammation (some from lectins, but there may be other causes). Once they reduce the inflammation, it will be easier to lose the weight and control the diabetes, but they still need to eat less and burn more calories to lose the weight. Lectins alone doesn’t cause weight gain or loss.

      Yes, some people are more sensitive to certain lectins than others, as you may have noticed for yourself.

      1. Susan Wilkerson

        Thank you so much, Nattha, for your reply, it does help to make sense of of this sudden weight gain and loss. I wonder why my doctor doesn’t know this. However, there are several articles that refer to lectins causing fat gain the following link gives a simple explanation:

        “Another system they set of f is the insulin receptor system. The problem here is that lectins attach and don’t let go. Insulin tells a cell to take up glucose and then it falls off the receptor when its deed is done. Lectins attach and stay there, making the cell continue to take up glucose, and take it up, and take it up, and take it up. Can you see the problem with that? Lectins force you to keep storing sugar as fat, way beyond any normal feedback loop. Your blood sugar falls too far! You feel hungry! You eat more! You store more calories!”

        My daughter is a nurse and she told me the same thing, it is water. Funny how you tend to not listen to your children, but will listen to a stranger, but she had never heard of lectin which in a way I was right also, lectin is causing the weight gain and loss whether it is fat or water.

        I have lost about fifty pounds over the last year trying to stay away from lectin. Maybe it is mostly water and if it is then eventually I will run out of water and then I will concentrate of cutting calories. Loosing a pound a day is more than satisfactory for now, though I know you aren’t suppose to loose more than two or three pounds a week but I believe they are talking about fat. However, if it was that easy I would have lost it all by now. Eating a high lectin food sets me back two to three days. Eating out of the normal routine gives me trouble…so I am constantly going up and down. With the holidays and other out of the norm situations behind me and a good bit of testing what I can eat and not eat over the last year should help me loose it faster now.

        Yes, lectin doesn’t seem to affect hardly anyone I know as far as I can see as in weight gain. My husband can eat anything which makes it difficult for me to cook for him and and me and convince him about lectin . It is amazing how easy it is to stay away from foods I love knowing I will add two pounds to my weight over night if I eat them, whether it is water or fat. So in a way my high sensitivity to lectin is a God send. As in my husband case he can’t see lectings affecting him so he doesn’t think they do. Hopefully once I rid myself of this weight I will also rid myself of all my other health issues caused from the lectin, the arthritis, diabetes, etc.

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          There are genetic and individual factors that influence how one responds to lectins.

          (As someone who once struggles a lot with my weight at some point) I would say maybe it’d be easier for you mentally if you weigh yourself less often? In the end it’s really body fat that really matters. I work out to build muscles so my weight doesn’t change much when my body fat goes down. Focus on the girth and % bodyfat that you measure once in a while so you don’t get confused with natural fluctuations of water or who knows what. If your husband is not too picky perhaps it’s really possible to make delicious dishes sans lectins, isn’t it?

          1. Susan Wilkerson

            I have been weighing every morning in order to determine which foods I can and can’t eat. Now that I pretty much know I will probably try to get out of the habit. My husband loves everything lectin…about the only thing we have in common is meats and spinach but I do pressure cook his dishes and it will help once I can eat them. Even salad aren’t compatible. I was wondering if there was an accurate way to measure body fat without having to go to the doctor. I Googled it and I can’t imagine how measuring with a tape measure can tell the difference between water and fat. I plan to use my stationary bike once I can loose enough to be able to stay on it long enough to do some good, my knees won’t let me do much walking. But I am working on healing them too…:) Thank you for your comments.

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          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            If you don’t get bloated, tape measure around the belly button is a reasonable way to see that things are going up or down. You can also pay a personal trainer to use the body fat caliper to estimate body fat. There are also scales that can estimate body fat like the Tanita scale. And then there are bikini pictures. None of them is accurate on its own so I would use 2 out of 4 ways. If both are going down then it’s going down. It’s hard to find exact % body fat unless you are in a lab, and it’s not necessary.

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  • Chris Drozier

    I have looked at getting the 23andme genetic profile but it seems the expensive version ($199) is needed to assess Lectin sensitivity + selfdecode. Correct? or the the “ancestry” profile good enough ($99)?
    Is sefdecode free?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      If you are going to use selfdecode, the $99 23andme is enough. Here‘s our link. SelfDecode is $19/month and it’s well worth it.

    2. John Macgregor

      Nattha, I am Th1 dominant and histamine intolerant – I have ~3/4 of the symptoms of both.

      Which regime should I follow? If both, where they clash, which way do I go?

  • pmalowe

    Are coconut aminos ok for the histamine reduction diet? They are made from aged tree sap.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      no

  • Susan

    Hello
    I am happy with the peace in my gut since starting the lectin avoidance diet. I didn’t realize how much rumbling and discomfort I was experiencing until it stopped.

    However since starting this diet I have been very irritable and aggressive, even angry. It is also hard to sleep. I had been eating purple sweet potatoes, and fruit for carbs but the other night I added some rice back in so I could sleep. Is there a way to stick to the diet without these aggressive feelings and insomnia? Thanks! I am a middle aged female if that matters.

    1. Kate

      Hi Susan, I’m a 48 year old woman. If it’s any help I’ve noticed that certain foods cause me to be extremely irritable, very sad and even aggressive the next day. Through trial and error I’ve noticed they are all phytoestrogens — foods that cause an estrogen spike. At my age I’ve become super sensitive to phytoestrogens, and now have to avoid in particular anything containing soy, flax seeds, chia seeds, and garbanzo beans. I’m still on the hunt for more, black beans may get added to the list. But jeez the morning after accidentally consuming any of these things I’m an absolute crying, sometimes shouting mess. Look up phytoestrogens, keep a track of what you eat and your mood response, and you may see a connection.

      1. Susan

        Thank you, that’s good to know. But none of those are on the Lectin Avoidance Diet which I have been trying to follow. I only started feeling this way when I started the Lectin Avioidance Diet. I feel more alert but also tense in my whole body and I’ve become very pushy (literally) and snappish. I will have to start eating grains again if this continues because i don’t want to hurt anyone or say something I’ll regret.

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Is it possible you are sensitive to something you just introduced that you were not eating before? Anything else you changed?

          1. Susan

            The Japanese Sweet Potatoes were new to me. Could that be it? I suspect that I’m getting less carbs overall since I am not eating grains. Honey and fruit is fructose, plus two servings of Japanese sweet Potato and some non-starchy vegetables is how I am getting carbohydrate. Could it be some kind of withdrawl from grains?

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          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            Just try getting off the sweet potatoes and see what happens. I don’t know why but sweet potatoes give me really bad hypoglycemia, while potatoes and rice do not.

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  • Josie Carlevato

    I have been unable to find Hi-Maize. Where can I purchase it?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      on Amazon.

  • Tomita

    Is Mackerel fish excluded or just forgotten? Though they tend to be high in histamine (not lectin).

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      If you don’t have any symptoms with it, then it could be safe to include. If you want to know, avoid for a while and take it back.

  • Jernej

    Hi. Love your book. This research about hi-maize is for anybody who can “decode” it:
    http://www.rug.nl/research/pathology/medbiol/pdf/bermudezbritoetal2015.pdf

    (TW) stands for transwell coculture system (of IECs and DCs in this case). If I am getting it right hi-maize is pro-inflammatory when it comes to dendritic cells but has some anti-inflammatory popertis in intestinal epithelial cell – dendritic cell coculture system? So what do you make out of this? E.g. is this good for leaky gut and gut inflammation? Is it really hypo-inflammatory?

    *https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4959002/

  • Kate

    Hi, first I’d like to say that your website has been incredibly helpful for me, thanks so much.

    I’m 48 years old, and 5 years into severe auto-immune illness. 5 months ago I went vegan, since it’s the only thing I hadn’t tried. No animal protein, with no other restrictions. I thought I’d hate it, but I love it, and so does my body. I’ve made the most progress and improvements while on the diet.

    What’s interesting to me after reading this post about Lectin Avoidance is… I’m eating pretty much everything that I would avoid on that diet. Grains (brown rice and steel cut oats), beans, cashews, potatoes, blueberries, etc.

    So I’m wondering if this tells me something… the fact that eating everything on the Lectin Avoidance Diet… seems to make me feel so much better! Thanks.

    1. Kate

      Hi again Joe, I’d be really grateful to hear your thoughts if you get chance to respond. I commented that by accident, I’ve realized I’m eating lots of lectins on my vegan diet, and my auto-immune disease has improved much more than with any other kind of diet. So I’m wondering what this tells me, the fact lectins seem to help me, rather than being something I should avoid. Thanks.

  • Sheian

    Hi there I have noticed my allergy to lectins has increased since having my daughter… I would like to try a “lectin free” cleanse however I am vegan so not sure what my diet would look like…. Anyone assist me?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      It is not possible to do it vegan, because most plants contain lectins (the harmful ones). Consider animal products medicine and try it for a few months.

      1. Leandro Oliveira

        When a person removes completely all the carbs, should we be concerned about entering ketosis?
        For instance, I am not used to drink that much water during the day (I am never thirsty). But one should careful and drink plenty of water after removing carbs right?

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Hi Leandro,
          It depends on what they replace it with. Amino acids can turn into glucose as well, so if someone is eating only lean protein, it’s unlikely they will get into ketosis. The lectin avoidance diet isn’t made to be a ketogenic diet.

          I don’t know what the drinking water comment comes from.

          1. Leandro Oliveira

            Yes, I know about gluconeogenesis.
            Well, I think it was because my first attempt on meat only diet made me wonder about water. I was on a High Carb diet before and when I switch to meat only, in two days, my skin got wrecked (dry and very flaky). I was assuming it was due to the water loss (indeed, that day I was excreting more fluids than drinking. Mineral supplements possibly may have triggered this also). And that’s why the drinking water question… I’m sorry about it.
            I don’t know… Perhaps, the abrupt change triggered this reaction.

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          2. Douglas

            Excuse me Nattha, I fear you have misspoken. Isn’t eating lean protein HOW one gets into ketosis?

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          3. Nattha Wannissorn

            No. You also need to restrict both protein and carbs to get into ketosis. If someone is eating lean protein AND very low in calories, then they might get into ketosis, but too much lean proteins will kick the person out of ketosis.

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        2. aaaafffffsssdd

          There will be a water loss in a ketogenic state. One must actually increase sodium intake via an enhanced sodium source like Himilayan salt (READ: no table salt) No need to go bonkers, just use a little here & there. Get a blood chemistry test done & you can see where you are at

          1. Doug

            From Wikipedia: Himalayan salt is chemically similar to table salt plus mineral impurities. It consists of 95-98% sodium chloride, 2-4% polyhalite (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, oxygen, hydrogen), 0.01% fluoride, 0.01% iodine, and micro-amounts of numerous trace minerals.[2][3]. Numerous claims have been made concerning ingestion of himalayan salt, but there is no scientific evidence that proves it provides more health benefits compared to common table salt.[6]

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  • parkham

    Raw honey has a low glycemic index compared to what?!

    1. Rian Jacobson

      raw honey has a GI of only 30, compared to table sugar, brown sugar, and other commonly used sweeteners, the glycemic load of raw honey is half that of most other sugars. HFCS is also above 60 with commonly used table sugars.

      1. parkham

        Whoa, I stand corrected. What exactly is raw honey as opposed to “regular honey”? 30 is about 1/2 as much as I thought it would be. Regular honey has the number I thought it would be (around 60). Why is this?

        1. Leandro Oliveira

          It’s very unfortunate the fact on my country they really don’t make a distinguish between raw honey and regular honey. It’s just “honey”. The only thing they said is that is “pressed” nothing more…
          I have been probably been eating regular honey in the past convinced it was raw…

        2. BeaM

          The honey you buy in supermarkets is cooked and strained which is why it’s clear. Commercial honey often is adulterated with other sweeteners too.
          Unfiltered raw honey will be opaque, it may crystallize (turn solid instead of fluid), and is best found from local beekeepers at a farmer’s market or health food store.
          NEVER HEAT raw honey or you destroy its beneficial enzymes and other properties (anti-bacterial, etc.). Also never give honey to infants under 1 year of age.

  • Mark

    I found that grapefruit before my meals was most beneficial to me as it stops insulin spikes and really fill me up. This helps control junk food urges.I substituted Egg noodles for wheat so I get carbs + protein at same time with lots of steamed veggies and all seems good so far..

  • Mike

    I just bought Dr. Gundry’s book. Too bad he didn’t give us the real diet. I have 2 autoimmune problems, and stubborn belly fat, plus my genes are trying to kill me off. Your cook book and diet, will it do the things the three phases in Dr. Gundry’s book claim to do? Or do I need to do both, and eliminate from his diet the things your diet says not to eat?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      You only know when you try and see whether it works. Nattha @ Team SelfHacked

    2. Jessica

      There is a Facebook group for Dr. Gundry fans who practice stricter guidelines than in his Diet Evolution book. It’s called Dr. Gundry Matrix Group I think of you want to search for it and request admission. It was started by fans and Dr. G is in the group and occasionally replies to comments.

  • crosswind

    Very enlightening and educational article. I find the comments educational too. THX for keeping up with the comments by answering questions!

  • alan

    What about tooth problems with this huge amount of honey?

    1. Rian Jacobson

      you would be wise to use honey on moderation, just like other sugars, and keeping up with regular hygiene is just fine. Raw honey doesn’t have a higher incidence of tooth decay

  • Linda

    FYI
    Yes golden berry, golden Aztec berry, cape goose berry are all nightshades.
    Carob is a legume, but an old world tree.
    Cashews are not a legume but related to poison oak family.

    Carob has been called locust. John the Baptist was said to live on locust aka carob and honey.

  • Leandro Oliveira

    How I find it so hard to reach 2000-2300 kcal?
    I still didn’t find the best source of Carbs for me… So one must eat tons of fat? For example, I have to eat > 150 mL of EVOO to almost reach those calories (I wanted to have some Coconut Oil also, but I seem to react to it…)

    Is that really ok?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Joe reacts to coconut too, and I have clients that react to coconut oil. There’s lard, tallow, butter, uncured bacon (if you tolerate it), crackling, fattier cuts of meat, ghee etc. It takes some experimentation, but sometimes you really need to tackle the gut bacteria as diet really isn’t going to fix everything.

      1. Leandro Oliveira

        Now that statement “but sometimes you really need to tackle the gut bacteria as diet really isn’t going to fix everything.” confused me a lot.

        I thought that path would be another unsuccessful story to tell to others.
        Also, I thought Joe had already tried that without any success (I may be wrong, since I’m just guessing),
        Nevertheless, if tackling the gut bacteria will probably solve all the problems, then what’s the point of doing a Lectin Avoidance Diet?

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Both. You need to do both, not either.

          1. John

            For someone like myself who struggles with SIBO. Would a probitoics enema make sense and would the bacteria make its easy to the large intestines?

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          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            I’ve helped some clients with SIBO. Generally, the protocol is to kill off the bacteria that are in the wrong places first, then re-train the gut to move correctly (by increasing stomach acid, using prokinetics, and increasing the vagus nerve tone). I wouldn’t introduce more probiotics until their gut is moving correctly. ~Nattha @ SelfHacked

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          3. Leandro Oliveira

            Ok… I… I don’t know what to say anymore.

            I just wish I had enough knowledge to do all this to myself alone. Or a therapist with some good knowledge that could help me and follow my situation attentively.
            Every weird symptom that appear when I am trying to do something different is enough to make me scared and kill my motivation to go on.
            I’ve tried somewhat of an Elemental Diet (Meat, Fish, Chicken, Olive Oil – it would be “funny” if I get inflammation from Olive Oil also…) and, on the second day, my skin and muscles started to become very flaky. They started to become easily marked when I did some pressure on them and the blood was taking too much time to cover the pressured area (it would remain pale). Seemed like my blood flow was not the same. Actually, my skin/muscles under my feet started to become so thin and flaky, that I was literately walking with my feet bones. In shower, they would become all purple (bruised color) because of the pressure. I also had some vivid sticky blood inside my nose.
            I had to stop.
            I was very confused: I didn’t known if it was because I was going very low/zero carbs and literally drinking tons of olive oil that would make my skin became like this? Or if it was because of all the supplements and I was reacting to some? Or was I entering ketosis? Was I losing too much water even though I was drinking it? I simply don’t know the answer.

            Unfortunately, now, even today (after eating “normally”, this is, putting Carbs back), my skin doesn’t go back to what it was.
            I wanted to somehow manage to ignore all these symptoms, but the question is: is my body showing me some signals to stop? If I continue, would they disappear or would they become a lot worse?
            I just can’t deal with this insecurity.

            Btw, is the SelfHacked forum still working? Or is it something that it will eventually disappear?

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          4. Nattha Wannissorn

            We are working on the forum to make it better, so it’s not working right now. You should see your doctor.

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          5. Leandro Oliveira

            I’ve registered on the forum, but I still can’t post because it says “You have insufficient privileges to reply here.”. So I guess my registration still didn’t get approved. And I’ve registered a long time ago, that’s why I asked if it was something that was going to eventually disappear due to is lack of activity.

            See a doctor…
            Seeing a doctor, a conventional one, equals to take antidepressants (and I’ve taken those during 10 years. Some of them on extreme high doses). Or saying that I am completely fine and healthy: just take a pill for sleep and if you have GI issues, just take a laxative.

            If I check an alternative doctor, he will use some biofeedback/bioressonance machine to check my health status; give me a detox kit to take and then supplement me with probiotics, vitamins and fish oils. Regarding diets, the last one I’ve checked said to me that “I am too young to be already limiting my foods. A young person should be eating everything (except gluten and dairy products).”

            This is something that frustrates me. There isn’t anyone (or at least I can’t find) in my country that has this open minded knowledge / “selfhacking” approach. They will follow their protocol no matter what is the person’s case in front of them.

            Sorry if the conversation went a little bit off-topic. I must apologize for that.
            Though, I really believe there are some readers here that are on the same situation and that they feel the same as me.

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          6. Nattha Wannissorn

            Oh yes. I understand. I went through a lot of finding doctors useless myself. I was just thinking maybe it’d have something to do with anemia, which you can get tested for with your doctor.

            Ughhh… try the diet and see what happens. Anyone can do anything for a few months. You are also too young to feel like crap for the rest of your life.

            If anything, you can book an appointment with Joe at selfhacked.com/contact. If he can’t help you he will refund you.

            Edit: the forum is getting migrated to another place so it’s discontinued right now. Sorry about that. ~ Nattha @ SelfHacked

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          7. Leandro Oliveira

            Perhaps, anemia… But still, I don’t understand how could I develop such side effects just by trying it during 2 days. For example, my nails immediately also started to form vertical ridges. I guess with the supplements I’ve start taking, it messed with the homeostasis of my body and it reacted this way…

            I’ve already had a consultation with Joe already. Like you, he said to me to try the diet and to be brave about it. Otherwise my life will continue the same if I don’t do anything different. But, of course, doing it alone, it’s completely different on having someone supervising me, to help me understand and especially to deal with these symptoms.
            I will try it again… I wanted to see my skin to go back to what it was first, but it seems it doesn’t going to happen any time soon…
            It’s always like this: easy to destroy, hard to repair and rebuild 🙁

            I’d certainly appreciate if you could manage to validate my registration on the forum.
            Thank you very much for your attention and support..

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          8. Leandro Oliveira

            Just one question: the recommended dose of the Life Extension Mix Powder is 12 grams (3 scoops).
            I’m not an expert, but aren’t the doses of each nutrient too high? Could this be potentially dangerous?
            When I read things like 8333%, 10000% than the RDA, makes me wonder about its safeness.

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          9. Nattha Wannissorn

            Depends on which one it is.

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          10. Leandro Oliveira

            Oh, of course, that makes sense.
            I think I don’t need to put here all its supplemental facts, because they are quite some, so I will do the question on a different way: is the Life Extension Mix Powder a safe supplement to take?
            Obviously, if Joe advises it, I guess it is safe.
            But it’s just these huge numbers that I am not used to see on a supplement. When I was taking B-Complex, for instance, there weren’t any 4 digit number on the % Daily Value. And great quantities doesn’t always equal to be healthier.
            I feel like I don’t want to mess up my body by overdosing such quantities (especially when I am probably deficient in some nutrients. It will cause somewhat of an impact, I guess. I’ve already experimented it though…).
            I know our bodies usually can handle high doses like these, but still…
            As I said before, I am not an expert here. I am simply asking according to my naive thoughts and worries.

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          11. Nattha Wannissorn

            I would say try it and titrate it up from a lower dose to see how you feel. Simply because it works for him doesn’t mean it works for you.

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          12. Leandro Oliveira

            Dear Nattha, I am also concerned about one thing, if I may ask you.
            Usually, I have low cholesterol levels on my blood tests (and when I mean low, I’m saying around 100-120 mg/dL).
            Eggs was always a way to go to increase my cholesterol, but if I’m going to do an animal products only diet (minus eggs), should I be concerned if I will get even lower levels?
            I mean, I’ve already read it is actually plant based foods that lower our cholesterol (due to fiber, for instance); and that meat usually raises it. However, I know there is always a but… So should I be concerned about it?

            Of course, there are always ways to counteract this like supplementing Sunflower Lecithin right?

            Thank you very much for your attention and support. I really appreciate your help, especially regarding these “simple” questions.

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          13. Nattha Wannissorn

            There are plenty of other sources of cholesterol from animal sources, like liver, ghee, lard, tallow etc. If your cholesterol is abnormally low like that I would investigate what caused it in the first place. Are you taking anything that could lower cholesterol? I wouldn’t take sunflower lecithin just for this reason.

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          14. Leandro Oliveira

            No, I am not taking anything to lower cholesterol 🙁
            The only reason I could think about is High Carb (fruits only) / Low Protein Diet I was doing before…
            Still, in the past when I wasn’t that much into diets and I was eating all the foods (including dairy and gluten containing foods), my cholesterol was also this low. But, I must say, my diet was horrible there though.
            There was one time I had better cholesterol levels (179), but it was when I was eating 10 raw egg yolks a day.

            I am little worried, because Joe seemed to have high cholesterol levels in the past and, in my case, it’s just the opposite.
            Let’s see… After all, animals sources are indeed better to get cholesterol (and I have been excluding them).
            Or perhaps, I should be checking my cholesterol levels more often.

            By the way, regarding Ghee. The one I’ve found in my country says 99.3% dairy free. It’s clearly a “don’t buy it”, right?
            To be honest, I seem to not find any good Ghee here in Europe…

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      2. Brett

        To get up to the 2000 – 2500 kcal per day, I eat some avocado, Hi-Maize, honey and coconut milk in a smoothie for breakfast with 3 eggs and MCT oil and usually a pound of beef per day.

        I sometimes will cheat with a Kirkland Nut Bar from Costco for an easy 210 calories. While this isn’t lectin avoidant, I don’t seem to react too badly.

  • Mary Crayola Gunson

    I use coconut oil for cooking, is this ok as it’s not mentioned above?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Yes if it doesn’t cause you any problems. In the end it comes to if something works for you. ~Team SelfHacked.

      1. Ian

        Should use clarified butter for cooking

        1. crosswind

          I can’t use Coconut oil OR butter OR Ghee. Dairy allergies & sensitive to coconut. I do best with Organic Olive oil grown local in the southwest. Plus Olive oil helps the body make more DAO enzyme to help process histamine, a good thing for those of us with DAO gene mutations causing DAO enzyme deficiency.

          1. Leandro Oliveira

            I think I am the same as you… Sometimes I even wonder the quality of my Olive Oil to be honest.
            Do you follow a strict Lectin Avoidance Diet?

            P.S.: Sometimes I wish there was a place where people could talk about their experiences, their improvements, to share ideas, about doing a diet like this.
            I feel like doing this all alone without enough knowledge, I am constantly putting my health in danger.

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  • Jean Rehbein

    Question: Can you eat “sprouted” grain breads? While reading “Eat Right for your Type” it states that the sprouting process destroyed the gluten lectins. Do you believe this to be true?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Sprouted grains still do contain other lectins than gluten. However, do what works for you. ~ Team SelfHacked.

      1. John Macgregor

        Nattha, what about sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, mustard & clover? Thanks…

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          It has some, but less. I think alfalfa is a legume so it’s not a cruciferous vegetable. Mustard and clover seeds and sprouts do have sulforaphane.

    2. Ian

      The sprout still contains the shell of the grain therefore still high in lectins. Avoid all grain.

      1. Benjamin de Menil

        How about sour dough bread? Isn’t it mostly gluten/lectin free?

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          It might be gluten free but not lectin free.

          1. crosswind

            Very interesting & educational article AND thread you have going here.

            reply icon
          2. Nattha Wannissorn

            Thank you ~ Team SelfHacked

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          3. Benjamin de Menil

            I thought Gluten is the main category of Lectin in wheat. If sour dough fermentation destroys gluten, wouldn’t it also affect other lectins?

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          4. Nattha Wannissorn

            Maybe, but what I’d try is eliminate it at first for a few months as gluten reactions can last months. Then, bring it back for a few days and observe the symptoms. If it works for you then it works for you.

            reply icon
  • Steve LO

    If you stop eating lectin heavy food for a while, will you be able to eat eggs again? You have so much knowledge about autoimmune diet, but will you be one day be “normal” by eliminating gluten, lectins, and refined sugar long enough? I think the gut can be repaired to the point where allergens no longer irritate the gut. Just now I am drinking a broccoli and green bean broth (first boiled them and then blend it in vitamix) and I added some collagen powder into it to hopefully repair my leaky gut.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Hi Steve,
      It involves a lot more than diet to heal the gut. Many people are more sensitive to lectin containing foods when they are stressed, for example.
      Some people (like Dr. Gundry) believes that humans are not evolved to eat high lectin foods like grains. But some people are more sensitive than others. And it’s true some people eventually can introduce eggs after a while, but they would only really know if they try it.

      Gluten always causes leaky gut within the next few hours of consumption in everyone. Now, whether it causes symptoms depends on other things. For people who are susceptible to inflammatory problems, it’s a good idea to avoid it permanently.

      ~Team SelfHacked

    2. Ian

      Read up on prebiotic. Gundrymd.com

  • Alan Feldman

    No bread?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      That’s right.

    2. Brett

      No bread! I feel 10x better without it.

  • Liz W

    Which thyroid hormone medication has least amount of lectins?

  • Gretchen Dean

    Has any professional dietitian or naturopath, for example, devised a lectin-avoidance diet appropriate for people who are committed to vegetarianism for ethical reasons so don’t eat flesh?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      The lectin avoidance diet is to help people manage their chronic health problems. Most lectins that cause inflammation are found in plants, and animal-based foods are better tolerated. It might be a spiritual choice to choose not to eat flesh, but I tell people to consider it a medicine to heal themselves and stay healthy. ~Nattha @ Team SelfHacked

      1. Ian

        Awesome. Well put.

  • An-Marie Verdeyen

    For 6 weeks I’ve been eating according to the lectin avoidance diet, using the recipes from the cookbook.
    I’m eating for lunch and dinner meat, fish or eggs with vegetables [high pressure cooked], I use proteinshakes for breakfast, Hi-Maize cookies for snacks [see cookbook] and fruit.
    Initially this worked for me very good and I experienced some digestive improvements, but after 3 weeks my sleeping problems and anxiety increased profoundly, maybe because the protein powders set my neurotransmitters more out of balance.
    My question is how to still my hunger without having to cook 3 dinners a day ? I’m having troubles with coconut and its derivatives … and need to avoid grains.
    Thanks, An-Marie

    1. Natcha M

      Hi An-Marie,
      If you have trouble with the protein powders, then it is probably wise to avoid them. There is no need to use protein powder when there is other food. You also don’t need to eat coconut.

      How about batch cooking? I personally do eat like dinner 3 times a day. I cook a few times a week, and really peruse tools like the Instant Pot and the toaster oven. Gotta experiment with maybe a little more fats or more carbs, or just more foods in general to make you feel satiated and stable. But also other issues like poor sleep will make you hungrier, so you gotta fix those. From the look of it, just try and see if not using the protein powder will help. Some protein powders cause me anxiety and insomnia, too.

      If not, you’ll probably need a more customized plan, so you can contact Joe or I for a consult at http://selfhacked.com/contact/. Sometimes a special diet will fix the problems, but other times you do need more than the diet. ~Nattha @ Team SelfHacked

  • Emily Porter

    Would you avoid the honey, sweet potatoes, and fruits, if you have known candida overgrowth?

  • Shae

    I have 2 kids they both love milk and sandwiches. What can be used in place of milk and bread?

    1. Natcha M

      It might not be necessary to do such restrictive diets with your kids unless there are health issues or obvious lectin sensitivities. Milk and bread are not healthy foods either way. ~Team SelfHacked

  • B. Moore

    Nutritional yeast is a natural source of free glutamic acid (MSG) and should be avoided.

    1. Joanna

      Is this all nutritional yeast? Or just certain brands??? I’m having so many health issues from over production of Lectin in my system.

      1. Ian

        Lectins are not produced in your system. Do your research.

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          Lactoferrin receptor is a type of lectin, which is found in humans. However lactoferrin receptor doesn’t cause the same problem plant lectins do. http://selfhacked.com/blog/lactoferrin/ (I didn’t know this until I did this article.)

  • Dale Almond

    I had a disastrous reaction to resistant starch (I used potato starch) and it took many months to recover. I have severe celiac disease, due to a lack of diagnosis until I was 53. I have subsequently read that celiacs should NEVER use resistant starch. I would strongly suggest you add a warning to celiacs about this.

  • Bryan

    Is white rice lower in leptins than other grains?
    I don’t want to completely eliminate starches from my diet. White rice is one I’d like to keep.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s more safe, relatively

    2. Ian

      Leptins and lectins…so similar that auto correct can be a challenge when trying to write about them.

  • An-Marie

    Thank you for all this information and the work you put into it.
    Can I eat on a daily base chicken or beef broth when following the lectin avoidance diet ?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      I would exclude that as well in the beginning and bring it in later.

  • Ray Petroski

    Hey Joe,

    I bought the cookbook and have used the Hi-maize cookies and the Maple Turkey Sausage recipes multiple times and have gotten inflammation every time even though the score you gave them both were “10s”.

    I was curious to know if there were any specific ingredients in either of those recipes that might be triggering the immune response that I could cut out of either recipes to prevent such a reaction. Also I’ve gotten inflammation from both whole chicken recipes and I’m confused as to why this might be?

    Thank you!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s probably from food increasing leptin, not the specific inflammatory agents in food.

      1. Ray Petroski

        So does that mean keep consuming and it will eventually go away or stop consuming??

  • Ray Petroski

    Hey Joe, I’ve tried the Hi-Maize cookies and Maple turkey Sausage recipes multiple times and have gotten inflammation every time. Are there any ingredients that could be creating these reactions in either of these recipes?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Any individual can have a reaction to anything, but keep in mind it might be food or macronutrients (carbs) rather than the specific food.

  • David

    Can steaming be just as effective as pressure cooking in breaking down lectins?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      no

  • an-marie

    When significant opioid peptides from dermorphin are found in a urine sample is the lectin avoidance diet sufficient enough to get rid of it?

  • Mohammad Abujazar

    Dairy products (especially cheese) are naturally high in sulphur. Shouldn’t at least cheese be allowed?

    1. David

      Not to mention that yogurt is a fermented food

    2. Natcha M

      The protein in cheese, especially casein, can be an issue. Cruciferous vegetables are high in sulfer.

      1. David

        Good to know, thanks

  • anna burns

    hi Joseph, you mentioned not eating squash.
    When I search online, I can not find any lists for nightshades that contain squash.
    Will you expound on this please? thanks

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s not a nightshade. See Gundry interview.

  • Julia

    This diet and dr.Gundry diet is high histamine which I seem to have a problem with. Do you think the histamine is the issue or lectins? What do you think of histamine intolerance in general? I also have treated SIBO 3 times, lupus and biotoxin illness/CIRS so have been on many different diets and don’t know what one to do anymore. Would this be best for auto-immune and inflammation?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen
  • framistat
    1. Angela Greenfield

      i have lupus and was told alfalfa sprouts are a no-no. Just sprouts in general as the risk for contamination is high,also, I am hesitant being immuno compromised to eat anything unpasteurized such as raw honey.

      1. am

        I am immuno compromised (lymphopenia) too and have no problems with raw honey or raw milk, though of course all you need is one bad batch. I cant say I noticed any difference with raw honey but I definitely was able to tolerate the raw milk better than regular milk.

        I did a raw milk diet for 6 weeks at one stage. Nothing but milk breakfast, lunch & dinner. I did not get diarrhea at all like with regular doses of regular milk. In fact I was the total opposite for the first time in my life. I never really felt any pick up in my health or digestion or weight gain on the raw milk diet which was a real shame, though I had a week of great health when I switched back to a normal diet. It was a shame it did not last longer. The milk diet certainly made life a lot simpler,

      2. TeddieMarieInLight

        Angela, honey has its own antibacterial, antimicrobial properties. Pasteurization of honey only destroys what is good and is of no consequence to any bad guys. Which is why the FDA approved honey for skin infections.
        There were sealed jars of honey found in some Egyptian tombs. The honey had, obviously, crystallized, but once warmed up was completely edible. No spoilage, no toxins, and perfectly fine to eat.
        I keep raw honey in my disaster supplies, one of the best for illness fighting and instant energy. Research it foir yourself, you will be amazed.

  • Celine

    Joseph, thank you for being one of apparently the only online resources about foods containing lectins!

    I have two quick questions, if you ever are looking through this and have the time to answer. I have a question about the dairy- if I understood correctly, goat/sheep/A2 dairy is okay from a lectin perspective, right? And also, how reliable is the adiponectin test as a marker for lectin sensitivity, in your opinion? Thank you so much.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Gundry allows.
      Not that reliable.

  • Derek

    Hey Joe, I appreciate the info. How do you feel about coffee and chocolate?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Everything depends on individual, but for me, they don’t work.

  • paperpartition

    I notice that in the fats section there is no mention of coconut milk/yoghurt. This is a great way for me to get calories in during the day, as my local stores sell organic coconut yoghurt (COYO). I’ve never experienced symptoms from it, do you have any thoughts?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’s fine if you don’t have negative experiences. We have it in the lectin avoidance cookbook.

    2. P. Shepherd

      I just purchased Dr. Gundry’s Vital Reds powder. Are you familiar with this product and if so what is your opinion of it? At first glance it does not look lectin free.

      1. Dorothy K Atyeo

        According to his presentation online he says it is lectin free.

  • Denis Gelrud

    In the squash or in cucumbers as well? If you skin and seed the cucumber to remove the lectind I don’t remember reading about many other problems with cucumber.

  • Marj Engle

    How much daily nutritional yeast do you recommend? Also, is coconut okay on a low lectin diet?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      1-2 tbsp

      Yes

  • Dee

    Seem like EVERYTHING is dangerous to eat!

    1. Viktoriya and Oksana

      lol

  • Lana

    1) If I remove the seeds from Winter squash and zucchini and cook them, are they OK?

    2) If I remove the seeds from cucumber and eat raw, is that OK?

    Thank you.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      There are other immune stimulants, but you’re better just pressure cooking

  • Chris

    What nuts should be used as a replacement for peanuts?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      none, unless you know you do fine with them

    2. Viktoriya and Oksana

      We are very sensitive to peanuts. Most peanuts have fungus. They are dirty nuts! You can find many replacements for peanuts that have many minerals and protein, such as pumpkin seeds (high in the most important mineral magnesium – protects from heart disease, helps with liver problems, help detoxify, helps you sleep better, helps with muscle soreness..etc etc etc), hemp seeds (high in protein), chia seeds (clean up the intestine, high in omega3), sunflower seeds (also high in protein), flax seeds (great omega6;3 ratio).

      All nuts should be bought raw and soaked overnight for optimum health and nutrition.

      You can purchase any raw sprouted nut or seed butters, which are a lot healthier for you. They are available everywhere nowadays. Check out our website for more info.

  • Fran Przybylowski

    You never addressed the question about what changes pressure cooking certain items makes and why we should go and spend the money to invest in one…is it worth it…please respond
    Fran Przybylowski

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Pressure cooking breaks down lectins

      1. JJ

        Joseph,
        I use beans as one of my main sources of protein. Eliminating them would be really hard for me.
        If I pressure cook beans, how often can I include them in my diet? Does pressure cooking breaks down essential proteins and nutrients of beans, making them nutrition-less?
        Also, what type of beans are on the lower end of lectin spectrum?
        Please advise.
        JJ

        1. Joseph M. Cohen
  • Joel

    Sounds interesting. Celiac with chronic headaches. Have had some success with Keto but still not optimal. Always ate lots of nuts and nightshades. Wondering about butter, coconut oil, coffee, tea, lemon juice. I noticed pork is not listed under proteins – why is that?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Pork is fine

      1. Bẹnjamin Robinson

        I hope this also helps for better health since pork was mentioned. I myself also eat pork yet these days less and less because of the phytotoxic levels . My reference is included at the chart on clip at 22:00 for meats and for fish at 32:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9UjzFoE1FI&t=1316s

    2. framistat

      Try autoimmune paleo (AIP) for celiac – delete nuts, seeds, coffee (most has mold). Try tea as kombucha (GP’s is a good brand; easy to make your own as well).

  • Debra Shultz

    Why is pea and rice protein ok if beans and grains are high in lectins?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      They are processed enough to take out most of the immune stimulators, although there are some people who have some issues. This is why there are other options.

      1. Flora Van Orden

        free glutamic acid?

  • Alex Hemmings

    Olive Oil is rather an omega-6 oil, but it is still included.
    Perhaps is it for its polyphenols content ?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It has oleic acid, a mufa, it’s not considered an omega 6 oil

  • Erik Swanson

    Hello sir I have a question about the protein choices you chose. Wouldn’t pea and rice protein be full of lectins? Why are you recommending that?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Processing takes it out

      1. Aminah

        How about green beans, does cooking destroy their lectins? Also are bananas really not good, hoe about the ripe ones with brown dots?

  • Steve

    Joe thanks for the great info I just ordered the book. Would vit C be considered a fruit, thus be avoided? during the trial period? Also at what point can things like fruit be added back in.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      no

  • Charlie

    Is there a blood test or a test of some kind to test for Lectin intolerance? Charlye

  • Camila

    Why not canned sardines?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Canning destroys dha

    2. crosswind

      and canned fish is HIGH in histamines. I am reacting myself this week to canned sardines. Fyi for anyone with DAO gene mutation that causes histamine sensitivity. I have DAO +/+ (2 mutations, so i am Very sensitive to histamine overload.

  • Doro

    I´m definetely in the lectin-sensitivity team. I even got an asperger´s diagnose due to my anxiety, sound and light sensitivity and brain fog. Today I´m a totally different person and just starting to discover who I really am. Thanks to people like you who give us these great information. But, even though it´s improving very slowly, I´m also very sensitive to histamine, citric acid and fructose, so lemons and honey are not perfect for me. Also protein on the go is always a big problem so that I sometimes have to eat rawbars with nuts. The perfect sweetener for me is date syrup. Xylitol gives me GI symptoms. One important question, I discovered a German provider for cricket flour, but I´m suspecting it to be high in histidin like seafood? Does anyone know if people with histamine intolerance can tolerate insects?

    1. AMarsh213

      Doro,

      I am afraid we are suffering from identical symptoms and diagnoses. I believe I developed Asperger’s over a period of time. Once I lost my gut, I lost my mind. The brain fog is particularly bad. I have diarrhea from fructose and get extremely spaced out with high histamine foods. Gluten, diary, red meat, coffee all cause massive reactions that knock me out for several days with terrible sleep. It’s all related to HISTAMINE. My eyes are always slightly red and sleeping some nights is a nightmare. I am not diagnosed Asperger’s but I am likely borderline. The neural inflammation is what I believe is causes my degradation. The H3 receptor in the brain(histamine) down regulates norepenhrine in the brain. Which causes the brain fog we are experiencing. I am lucky enough to tolerate chicken. Do you have any advice?

      1. John Macgregor

        Interesting posts – I think I’m in this club too: histamine-reactive, lectin-sensitive, gut problems & suspected borderline Aspergers.

        I’m just beginning on correcting things tho.

  • Benjamin De Menil

    Should the skin be removed from cucumbers?

  • Candy

    This diet does not seem compatible with histamine issues….fish, citrus, most meats are aged, egg whites (maybe be from whites not cooked enough?)etc. It’s hard to figure out where to begin. What came first the chicken or the egg and how to undo it. I think stress got me here. Don’t know how to undo that either.

    1. B. Latherings

      I’m in the same place; need to avoid histamine big time and also avoid lectins. there seems to be not much left to eat. My sensitivities came from a toxic mold exposure that went years without being diagnosed. Now that i’m out of mold exposure, I still have the mess to clean up that it left behind.

      1. chad miles

        Try taking a seaweed suppliment like Laminara Japonica it should help detox your body of the mold toxins.Coffee enemas help alot also. Oregano and peppermint essential oils combat the mold in the body as well. N Acetyl Cystine at about 1200-1500 mg daily helped me tremendously. Manuka honey is the best honey I have found yet to combat mold issues.

        1. winston

          “Manuka honey is the best honey I have found yet to combat mold issues”
          Manuka honey comes in a number of different grades, and it gets successively more expensive with the higher strengths. What strength (UMF) did you use and how soon did you start to feel better? Also was the benefit you got from NAC was it immediate or did your health improve over time?

      2. Laura

        I’m like some of you. Not knowing what to eat. I’m 54 and my body is changing fast. I can’t eat dairy or shrimp anymore. OMG, I bloat, get sick feeling, no energy, can’t get rid of my gut and the other unpleasant things you can imagine. I just read up on what you can eat. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html
        Seems we need Polyphenols and not Lectins. I’m going to try this and see what happens. Good luck everyone and hope ya’ll feel better soon also.

        1. Allison

          thank you for sharing the web site.

        2. Brenda Maloney

          Yes, thank you! Great information!

  • Adam

    Is there an easy way to know how much lectin something has?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      No

  • Kristen N

    thank you so much for this informative post. Having autoimmune joint symptoms and fatigue, I am eager to try this approach. I have 2 questions about foods I take for biotoxin (mold) illness that I hope to keep taking if possible while I try this approach: Do you know if either potato starch (is pure starch and contains no protein so I assume no lectin?) and/or Coconut Activated Charcoal (made from ground up coconut shells) would be safe for me to continue or would either be too high in lectins?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      no, yes

      1. Thorunn Sleight

        That’s a bit vague…

  • terri

    Eggs said to have very high glyphosate residues (herbicide some call worse than DDT), considered to disrupt the gut. Wondering cost/benefit.

    1. Irene shaver

      What is harmful in eggs?

  • Mike Chandler

    What are your thoughts on Amaranth – a GF pseudo-grain and barely mentioned in lectin avoidance lists?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Not good

      1. Mike Chandler

        Thank you for the response and all you are doing to help so many of us. Given that Amaranth seems the least problematic and still not ideal, might the processes of pre-soaking and / or pressure cooking make it a candidate for those of us looking for feasible flour alternatives?

  • Mark

    I tend to wonder if the success of Gundry, Paleo Moms’ AIP, The Perfect Health Diet, etc… is do to what specific foods are being removed or the overall caloric reduction that tends to accompany the removal of grains/legumes/dairy.

    There is ample evidence that caloric restriction lowers inflammation which would improve many autoimmune conditions.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16713232

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962912

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Not in my experience.

      I eat double the calories and feel much better than when I had these foods.

      1. John Macgregor

        I wonder if that’s because if you eat inflammatory food, reducing the quantity reduces inflammation; but if you eat non-inflammatory food, the quantity matters much less, or very little.

  • Mark

    Thank you for the site. I have ragweed allergy/intolerance thus have to avoid stevia along with dandelion, echinacea.

  • John

    I can’t thank you enough for this blog!
    For 12 years now it’s been a downward health spiral. First dairy intolerance, then bread/wheat, then grape products, next up was tomatoes, followed by peanut butter, nuts and berries. At first I got a small rash, then more, then 3 months ago it spread over large parts of my body. Several doctors, dermatologists, Chinese herbal doctors and allergists – but Nothing helped! Horrified, I’ve tried to Google so many different possible causes, but nothing added up. Until my wife found your blog and it was a LIGHT BULB moment.
    Yes, Lectins is the issue. I’m left wondering why no doctor or specialist has any clue.
    I’ve just been on this Lectin free diet for about 2 weeks, but things are slowly turning around. As some of the other people noted – you really need to meal plan. That’s been difficult for me, but I’m improving. And I’m glad I have a good health food store down the street.
    P.S. I’m putting together my own Lectin foods diagram tonight to simply the information, mainly for memory and shopping purposes.
    Wishing you all the best!

    1. Danell Powell

      Would love a copy of your diagram, if possible, thanks! I am thinking lectins are an issue in my son….

    2. Gail

      Hi, John! I like ur idea of a Lectin foods diagram, but I can’t quite picture what that would look like. Any chance I could get a copy of that? Gail …
      thx for considering this request!

      1. Nattha Wannissorn

        Yes, Gail. Here’s where to get yours: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/x9j0j9

  • Brett

    I have been following the Lectin Avoidance diet (95% of the time) for about 4 weeks now and I think it has been helpful at lowering overall systemic inflammation and brain fog for me. I think Joe has identified many of the worst food culprits that may have subtly affected me before. Lectin avoidance did not cure all my inflammation and issues but I think its giving me a nice “clean slate” to run other selfhacking experiments with. The only major downside to the diet has been that is has been extra time shopping and cooking – everything I make is fresh and I’m always running to the store or washing dishes – and the social incompatibility. But overall I am feeling better even for it to be worth it.

  • Alan

    Are fruits and veggies in your 30 Day Reset Diet Plan enough to prevent hypoglycemia?

  • Debra Shultz

    Why no hemp seeds if youre still suffering from inflammation? High amylose?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Hemp seeds are probably the most benign.

  • Dennis

    You recommend grape seed extract on some posts… sounds like it could make problems. and can medicinal mushrooms like reishi makes problem to lectin sensitivy people??
    thanks for the free infos

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Reishi is a problem for Th1 dominant

  • Remy

    It would really be helpful to have a starting point here for the liquid! I’m a terrible cook when I have to improvise…thanks!

  • Dennis

    what is your opinon on cacao . i react to most kinds of lectins from seeds grains and nuts . cacao is delicious but belongs to the nuts seeds category or ? ur experience with cacao ?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Cacao is ‘healthy’ but it does have lectins and it should be avoided on the lectin avoidance diet, unless you can pressure cook it somehow.

      1. Tara Barger

        Can you point me in the direction of finding out more info about why pressure cooking helps with lectins? Thanks so much!! t

  • Remy

    What’s the liquid in the shake? Water? How much?

  • Stefan Bauwens

    What should i eat after the 30 day reset dieet? Can i follow this dieet for a longer time?

  • brandonadams

    Why do you recommend ghee only in moderation?

  • jazzm44

    Brown rice protein powder and pea protein powder? How do you figure these are not chock full of lectins. It doesn’t make sense with your earlier premise.

  • Christine

    I have an auto immune muscle/joint desease Drs still trying to identify. Got tired of testing and waiting and feeling horrible. Started high alkaline diet and inflammation went down drastically within a month. Many alkaline foods are similar to your list except meats are considered inflammatory producing and almonds considered ok to eat. I eat as much raw veggies and leafy greens as possible . And while inflammation is down and I feel way better than before, my body still attacks itself, (but not to the same extent). I eat like a rabbit so when I feel the tingling coming on and aches and pain, I get a little disappointed of course. The Alkaline diet has given my life back, but not eliminated the desease entirely. What are your thoughts on similarities and differences between the two diets, yours and the Alkaline diet. Ty. Christine

    1. Tara Barger

      Do you have ankylosing spondylitis? If so, I have a lot of information on that!

      1. Misha

        My dad has ankylosing spondylitis. Would love to pass along some info to him!

      2. Deb Gerber

        Would you please share information on ankylosing spondylitis

        1. John Macgregor

          I cured ankylosing spondylitis 20 years ago by going off grains, not much fruit, & reducing meat intake at times. Plus supps & herb teas & exercise. My ESR went from 43 to 1.

          Having said that, if I were doing it now I’d ask Joe Cohen what to do, as the science is so much better now, & he seems to know it.

  • Jj

    Are Herbs like Thyme, Basil, Oregano Ok? And spics like Curcumin?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      ya

    2. Viktoriya and Oksana

      these herbs are very good for you! Some of these have more antioxidants than berries!

  • James

    For vitamin D I take a capsule with sunflower oil will that contain lectins

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      no

  • TH

    should colostrum be avoided if you suspect an intolerance to lectins/casein?

  • Denvill

    For the 30 days reset diet there appears to be no source of carbs – is there?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Raw honey

  • Zambumbu

    Thanks for sharing these information about lectin food intolerance, I have skin pigmentation and I tried everything, as a B blood type, I ‘m going to try this lectin free food diet and will let you know the out come.

  • linda

    Joe, your work here is impressive. I found you via searches for more info on Dr. Gundry’s diet modifications for autoimmune disease, specifically hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. Originally following his program to lose weight, As a dedicated ovo-lacto vegetarian for 38 years (I’m 60), eliminating grains and legumes and initially fruits is a new challenge. Want to do it, though with 40 or so pounds to lose and bp meds to kick, hopefully.

    Now just learning about lectins and finding even less variety in food choices with the elimination of soy especially, which I’ve relied on heavily for so many years as a protein source. Can find dairy from the right (a-2) cows, goats and sheep no problem. But I’m going to go the pressure-cooker route for a few days from time to time.

    Questions regarding the also-problematic nightshades. Besides seeding and peeling them, what do you know about cooking them with miso to neutralize the solanine? Roasted red peppers good?

    On my way to getting 23andMe, can’t wait to plug into Decodify. All the best with that heroic effort!

    1. Tara Barger

      From everything I’ve read, nothing neutralizes solanine, removing it from your diet was my impression of the only option. Let me know if you hear something else?

    2. Benjamin De Menil

      Hi, I am on 23andMe. How can one use this to know their food sensitivities?

  • Walter Sobchak

    Hey, Joe:

    I found a Freudian slip in the above post. 🙂

    ==========================================================================

    Food Groups to Pay Special Attention To

    Seafood

    If you’re worried about lawyers, you can take 5g MCP, 600mg NAC, Chlorella and R-Lipoic acid to prevent heavy metals, toxins and to activate detox pathways to take care of toxins.

    ==========================================================================

    Lawyers?!? HA HA HA They are considered a toxin by some!

    Another great post! Exceedingly informative, as always!

    Walt

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Lol

  • Melissa Christie

    Is Plantain Flour for RS lectin free ? if no what is the best RS that is Lectin free I saw waxy maze in your article but then saw it has no RS content, confused 🙁 Thank you in advance !

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Hi-maize

  • Melissa Christie

    Hi Joe, HELP I have Hashimoto’s and believe I am lectin sensitive, because my inflamation w just GF is not working, I am also vegan except for seafood, i.e. ( sushi)

    I was eating a metagenics shake in the am, later
    a smoothie w banana, avocado, blues, and spinach, spirulina, coconut milk, sometimes Bob Red Mill GF oatmeal w ground flax, Hemp and dries cranberries, in between I have been having nuts, cashews and almonds as well as popcorn and kettle GF potato chips, fyi this is just examples of what I may eat I don’t consume it all in a day. I have a fast paced life and commute so need things I can have on hand when hungry. I am so frustrated about the lectins and what foods have it or not.
    DO you have any ideas with what I can eat to replace popcorn, Kettle potato chips and what nuts I can have ??
    I would so APPRECIATE the recommendations of food I could eat w in my GF, Vegan, seafood diet help. I have been trying for over 2 yrs to heal myself, very frustrating for sure !
    Thank you,
    Melissa

    1. Josh

      Melissa, nobody is going to take the time to review your particular case. Luckily you just have to read the article properly and you can take those shortcuts towards hacking your own biology.

      1. Melissa

        dosen’t hurt to try to get help when u r so frustrated, and sick………..

    2. sam

      Melissa have you had allergy testing?
      Do you know for sure that corn and oats and potatoes are good for you?
      I thought those foods had a high strike rate when it comes to people who have food intolerances and they are also high in lectins When you are run-down and/or live a fast paced life and have a lot of diet restrictions its ‘very’ frustrating..

  • Nate

    4g of disodium EDTA the same as tetrasodium EDTA?

  • michelle v

    The maize products you recommend, do you have any idea if they’re safe for people who have an antigen reaction to corn?

  • Anonymous

    A more comprehensive list of veggies allowed would be nice. There’s a boatload more of them than just the cruciferous ones & leafy greens Also what about mushrooms? No other fruit than what’s listed?

    Always found that part somewhat unclear. Are veggies actually that important if you supplement nutrients? Are the various non nutrient compounds found in fruits n veggies crucial or just a nice bonus ?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Mushrooms are good. Other fruits are fine.

  • Scott

    Fantastic website Joe

    I can relate to a lot of your health issues. I have started down the path of the lectin avoidance diet for the last 2 weeks and have been feeling a bit better brain fog wise. This currently is my most distressing symptom. The next most distressing issue is my inablity to put on weight. It has confounded me how it is so difficult to put on weight with high
    calorie diets and body building…yet there have been times I have been able to do so but it never lasts and I end up having a health crash (chronic fatigue episode. So far I have lost wieght on this low inflammation diet.

    My questions are:
    * how long did the turn around take for you to really get good cognitive boost from this low lectin diet?
    * have you put on weight from doing this diet and how long did it take before you saw that?
    I was amazed to read you only go to the gym a few times a month. I really want to put on another 12kg.

    A few years back I did a exclusively raw milk diet for 6 weeks. I was amazed that my weight did not alter despite varying the number of litres I drank a day. I thought a diet exclusive in grass fed milk would be a great diet for someone with lots of food intolerances and IBS. I actually became constipated on it, but no real health improvement except for the first 2 weeks after I switched back to a normal diet and felt great and put on some short lived weight. I am also surprised that milk is a bad thing given the purpose of lectins in plants, that they are in diary. I love diary but know it not good for me, but I also felt that the alternate milks like soy, almond, oat, coconut were not good for me either having drunks lots of them and not feeling so well for it.

  • Mike

    it’s called the blood type as some lectins preferentially bind to certain antigens or sugars…Dr D”adamo wrote the book on diet and lectins and not one mention…shame on you

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      I don’t believe in his shpeil where blood type determines the kind of lectins you’re sensitive to. No evidence for that..

  • Lynne

    FYI, golden berries are nightshades.

  • Ole

    Joe, is the Pea protein by NOW lectin free as well. I live in Norway and iHerb does not stock Swanson. Buying swanson pea protein from the UK would cost me 100dollars per week.
    Any other brand that works? Ive done fine with the NOW brand for both pea and rice but i did horrible with bulkpowders.co.uk pea protein isolate.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      If you look at my supplements page, I have links for Iherb as well…

      http://selfhacked.com/supplements-amazon-us/

    2. Scott

      I also don’t feel so crash hot on pea protein either. Sprouted Rice is better for me but not ideal either. I find Hemp Protein the best for me. Pea I thought would be a problem coming from the legumes family. I guess it could be said that the protein is pure and does not have any of the allergens like is also said for Whey Protein Isolate, but it doesn’t quite work out so ideal for me. WPI is great protein source for me when I go to the gym..but only initially then an intolerance to it forms.

    3. Danus

      hi Ole as you mentioned i have tried bulk powders rice and pea protein when i was lifting and since from that i’m having a leky gut issues and getting intolrance to many foods that i normally ate before. did you had any issues from these product. also i heard that myprotein sells rice protein as well, check that out..

  • JeNK

    All of the signs and symptoms of lectin sensitivity overlap with SIBO. Shouldn’t this be ruled out first?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      If you have sibo, then you prob have lectin sensitivity anyway.

  • rob

    Is post meal fatigue a direct responce to eating something you intorrant to . Or is it just cause of the damage the lectins have done to the gi

  • c

    Hey this artical is very helpful quick question Would a waxy maize with these ingredence cause trouble…
    Maltodextrin, Fructose, Glucose, Chromium Picolinate.

    1. Sally Austin

      Your page is wonderful. So helpful I ordered Butyrate, sailic acid, and high maize. I plan on adding the maize to my coconut flour pancakes. Now I’m not sure about the sailic acid. What is its purpose? I have Celiac and have been GF for 15 years. I just read that high maize is bad for celiacs, but I don’t believe it. Help? Thank you.

  • Nina Chrumov

    Hi Why do you recoommend having 1 cap of b-complex a day? Is it not too much?

  • c

    Hey joss what do you brush your teeth with?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen
      1. c

        And just one last question whats your experience with white rich and also bananas . Thanks in advance.

        1. Amna

          wanted to ask the same question, also fruits and veg have to be limited to those mentioned or can have other fruits and veg?

  • Fritz.Harber

    What’s better – canned cod liver or really well done (slightly burnt) wild salmon (my work place can offer only the latter)

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Latter

  • Rylin Hansen

    You should be aware that rice, especially brown rice, is being shown increasingly in studies to contain higher concentrations of inorganic arsenic (a carcinogen that builds up in the system as it is is only slowly eliminated from the body). Here’s a search list of scholarly articles on the topic: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=arsenic+in+rice&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C34&as_sdtp=

  • Denvill

    Joe, you used to recommend chewing gum in the evening for followers of a mostly-liquid diet (like the 30 day-reset) – do you still recommend it?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Sure

  • Lesamsung

    What about lectins as a fighters for HIV virus in humans? Isn’t the idea avoiding lectin disadvantageous in this aspect?

  • Zed

    Are you at all concerned about the level of omega 6 in black cumin seed oil? It’s about 59% omega 6, which means that you’re ingesting 8.26g supplemental omega 6 just from 1 tablespoon.

    Also, given the evidence regarding fructose’s harmful effects on metabolic health, AGE production, inflammation, etc especially when combined with PUFAs, how do you justify consuming so much honey? Even though honey does have some unique medicinal qualities, there is not research suggesting that honey will negate the damaging effects of excessive fructose.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Honey: If I am consuming a good amount of honey, I don’t consume other fruits…50g of fructose daily is perfectly fine….

      Omega-6: It’s the dose that matters…

  • Peter

    Why not cloudy honey?!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      I don’t know, but I just do better with flowy, and some other people have said the same.

      1. Judd Crane

        Flowy is supposedly of a higher fructose content. Maybe the lower GI?

        1. Joseph M. Cohen

          I was thinking that…it’s a possibility…

  • Frankie Bingo-Dinkle

    This is well off the mark, cut out the hemp oil and omega 3
    and try to lower serotonin not increase it
    please do yourself a favour and follow Ray Peats recommendations

  • john r

    For chicken, I eat organic, which they are fed a corn a soymeal diet. considering it is bean/grain fed, is it still ok from a gluten/lectin free view?? I see the study says no grain/bean diet for animal products…

  • Eddie

    What If you don’t have any gut problems but have all the other symptoms? Is it possible to still be lectin sensitive?

  • Sam

    Hi Joe, what do you think above oxolates? http://www.lowoxalate.info

    1. Dorothy

      I only WISH I could eat the foods on this & a million other diets I’ve tried. I must have every sensitivity known, including histamine, salicylates, oxalates, gluten, etc.plus SIBO.. I’m very concerned that there is NO source of carbs I can tolerate & the adrenals need some carbs. Mine are low as is, & getting more so the longer I go without any carbs. It’s maddening when you’ve tried so many diets & have so few foods to tolerate, & react to almost every supplement, herb, etc. known, even the so-called pure ones–if they have any additives or