It was former heart surgeon Dr. Steven Grundy who coined the term ‘lectin-free diet’ after pronouncing the dangers and risks that lectins in our food pose to the diet of humans.
Grundy declares that improving our health, reducing our body weight and in general feel much better in ourselves just by removing lectin or deducing our lectin intake in our diets.
Lectins are in almost everything and do minimize the choice of foods we can eat following the diet so after reading Grundy’s book we thought we’d share some of the recommendations of the foods you should eat when following a lectin-free diet.
What Are Lectins?
Lectins are a type of protein that promotes cell development and also assists cell communication between cells. Some lectins are harmless but others have a negative effect on our bodies and could even be fatal in some cases. Lectins could cause anything from bad digestion to chronic diseases and even causing clusters in red blood cells.
All these risks have led people to change their consumption habits and begin a lectin-free diet but it can be difficult to know in the beginning what you can and can’t eat.
So what can you eat when following a lectin-free diet?
Going lectin-free shouldn’t mean you have to miss out on enjoying your favorite foods on dinners out and you won’t. Did you know you can still enjoy a juicy steak whilst following this diet? However, the steak, or any meat for that matter, must be grass-fed and finished to ensure they’re free of lectins.
When buying meat at the store or ordering at a restaurant, double-check to see what you’re getting isn’t corn-fed as that will contain lectins.
Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Lectin-free means you’re unable to eat grains so all your carby delights such as bread, pasta, rice, and oats are off the table. However, that doesn’t mean you’re going to have to follow a completely carb-free diet from now on. When following a lectin-free diet you can still enjoy sweet cooked sweet potato or else known as yams with your meals.
Be warned though, this rule doesn’t apply to regular potatoes as they’re part of the nightshade family and are high in lectins.
Leafy Green Vegetables
If you didn’t like your leafy greens before then you’re sure going to have to get to like them when following the lectin-free diet. Albeit, these aren’t the most mouthwatering food options you can have on this diet but they will help to bulk out your meals on your plate and keep you fuller for longer.
Whilst the likes of spinach and leafy kale may not spark your appetite right now, try getting creative and seasoning your leafy greens with lectin-free seasoning options like garlic powder or chili powder to give them a kick.
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower
These sorts of cruciferous vegetables should be an integral part of your green food intake anyway, but if you’re just starting to go lectin-free then even more so. They’re rich in folate and Vitamin K and even have phytonutrients called glucosinolate which can help to prevent cancer by getting rid of carcinogens in the body.
Not only this but they’re also great for bulking out a meal and also keeping you fuller for longer whilst still being low in calories, helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to sacrifice your morning eggs if you’re going to commit to this diet, however, you’ll have to ensure that the ones you buy or eat are pasture-raised. Pasture-raised is not the same as free-range, so always double-check the packaging before buying and inquire about the eggs used when ordering egg-based meals in a restaurant.
If you’re going to be out celebrating or partying then you won’t need to miss out on the fun just because you’re now following a lectin-free diet. Grundy recommends lectin-free dieters to stick to champagne or even red wine when they’re choosing to have a drink. However, you should stay clear of white or rose wines.
There are only certain dairy products that are allowed to be consumed when following a lectin-free diet and most of them come from casein A2 cows. Buffalo mozzarella is just one of these cheeses you can eat and thank god because it’s certainly one of our favorites.
Garlic & Onion
If you’re like us, then garlic and onion will be staple ingredients in your cooking. They bring so much to a dish and can take some bland green vegetables to a different level, so much so that the kids even enjoy eating them. Luckily, garlic and onion is on the safe list of foods we can still enjoy when going lectin-free
You may be thinking, what’s the point in eating avocados if you can’t enjoy it on toast or with your potato chips? Well according to Steven Grundy’s there is one type of bread that you can buy to enjoy your lectin-free spreads or toppings and that’s Barely Bread, it contains no grains and therefore no lectins so anyone following this diet can eat it.
Grundy also has a grain-free bread recipe in his cookbook that you can make to have with your smashed avo.
Avocados are also high in antioxidants, good fats, and fiber so great for your digestive system.
What To Avoid When You’re Lectin-Free
According to Dr. Grundy, some of the following foods you should limit or eliminate in your diet if you’re going to go lectin-free are:
- Meat from corn-fed animals
- Fruits (although in-season fruit is allowed in moderation)