Are Lectins Bad For You?

As a vegan, one of the few criticisms you don’t regularly hear is that all those nuts and seeds are destroying your health.  Vegans are pasty, uptight, annoyingly righteous and smug, sure. But most people grudgingly admit your diet choices are likely more healthy than drive through food.

Not Dr. Steven Gundry. He believes you’re killing yourself with all those plant lectins.

Dr. Steven Gundry hates lectins. In his own words, “I’ve become convinced that plant lectins and the havoc they promote are the root causes of almost all diseases.” But keep in mind his claims are directly opposed to people who’ve spent their lives researching in the field, like Dr. Campbell (The China Study). Unlike Dr. Gundry, Dr. Campbell bases his recommendations for an entirely plant-based diet (just chock full of lectins) on the largest population study ever done in human history as well as a lifetime dedicated to food research. So we’re not comparing apples with apples here.

There’s a second issue with Dr. Gundry’s current focus on lectins. Back in 2008, Dr. Gundry published another book called Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution. In the first chapter of that book, he talks about, you guessed it, “The Real Cause of All Our Modern Diseases.” (p. 20) The culprit in 2008 is the Standard American Diet (SAD), lots of refined carbs, and lots of sugar. Dr. Gundry claims this combination turns on “killer genes” that will destroy you. 

Fast forward ten years, and now Dr. Gundry is convinced that the very diet he recommended, low calories and high vegetables, is responsible for all diseases? Really? As far as I can tell, we didn’t suddenly get thinner as a nation. The fast food franchises are still thriving, and here in Maine ice cream, not lettuce, is sold at every corner.

I’m unconvinced. (Read the complete reason why, with lots of footnotes, here.)

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Avoid these lectin-containing foods and green things like them?

Tell me what you think!

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