Low Lectin Foods List
If you're looking for a comprehensive list of foods low in lectins, you've come to the right place.
Below is compiled a big list of foods that are low in lectins, which brings about a number of benefits, the biggest perhaps being that these foods are least likely to set off hypersensitivity reactions in sensitive individuals.
50 Foods Low In Lectins
Shanghai Baby Bok Choi
Baby Bok Choi
Chard (Swiss chard, green chard, rainbow chard, red chard)
Mint (peppermint, spearmint, etc.)
Beef (steak, etc.)
What Are Low Lectin Foods?
Lectins are a kind of protein that can be found in many types of foods. Recently, it has become apparent that people can have sensitivities to many different foods, especially when they have some sort of digestive problems. It seems to be the case that many high lectin foods cause all sorts of negative food sensitivity reactions. These proteins (not all proteins, in general) have been found to be very hard to digest and that they may leak past the gut wall, an increasingly common condition also known as leaky gut, which thereby sets off immune system reactions and food sensitivity reactions.
As a result of this, low lectin foods are typically much safer to eat for people who have food sensitivities and by implication, leaky gut. On this page, you'll find a big list of foods which are likely to be great additions to a lectin-free diet.
What other ways are there to get foods lower in lectins?
There are many factors in the number of lectins and anti-nutrients in foods. Here are some other ways that will make the quantity lower.
Lectins are a natural defense against bugs and critters and have been said to be even higher in quantity in genetically modified (GMO) foods. Some foods are even said to be engineered to purposely have more lectins, so as to further defend against bugs and animals. Unfortunately, however, this also means an increased amount for humans.
Sprouting, soaking, and fermenting
The processes of soaking, sprouting, and fermenting have all been shown to decrease the number of anti-nutrients and lectins in foods. Fermenting has been said to cause difficulty for some people due to histamine, however, generally speaking, sprouting and soaking have been revered as highly beneficial.
The process of soaking before cooking is far less intensive than sprouting and has been done in many cultures as a means of increasing the digestibility. Beans, for example, are a food that is often soaked before cooking.
Sprouting is a process by which you soak the food until it begins to sprout as if it is ready to grow like a seed in the ground. This reduces the number of anti-nutrients in the food and also increases the nutrients. This process also has been done historically in many cultures as a means of increasing the digestibility. You can often buy certain foods sprouted, such as sprouted brown rice.
Cooking & Certain Methods Of Cooking
Cooking, of course, can reduce lectin count in foods, depending on the temperature and length of cooking. Lectins in beans, for example, are high in quantity and beans can be highly toxic unless cooked properly. Another example would be pasta. The issue is that cooking tends to not completely wipe out the number of lectins and thereby can still cause food sensitivity reactions in certain individuals.
Other less common methods of cooking have also been said to decrease lectin count in foods. For example, pressure cooking has been said to dramatically reduce the count, and more information on that is mentioned in the lectins in beans page.
Buying Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Foods
Foods that are grass-fed are likely to be lower in lectins and generally speaking better for you. Lower quality meats, for example, may be fed low-quality, GMO grains, corns, etc. that are unnatural and less healthy for the animals and may cause the meat to contain lectins. Other products like butter can also be grass-fed and that implies the cows are grass-fed. Grass-fed and Grass-finished is a term that refers to when the animal continues to eat grass, whereas a grass-fed animal may be started on grass but then fed grains, etc. later on.
What is lectin sensitivity?
Lectin sensitivity, in short, is when someone is sensitive to lectin foods and can have significant negative reactions which often can occur the following day. Typically, a person who is very sensitive to lectin foods will be able to tell that they are sensitive to foods if they remove them completely for at least 72 hours and then add them back in, only to feel significantly worse, like the food is definitely affecting them.
It can be difficult to determine that a single food is causing problems if the person has multiple food sensitivities and is still eating them. In this scenario, it could be difficult to notice any improvement. Therefore, people often will adopt a diet that includes a lot of the foods on this page and after seeing how much better it helps them feel, can then add potential problem foods back in one by one, essentially trying very strict at first and then building back up.
Who can have lectin sensitivity?
Research has indicated that lectin sensitivities are food sensitivities which appear in conjunction with leaky gut. This means that it is of particular interest to anyone with digestive disorders or autoimmune conditions, both of which leaky gut has been connected to.
There are many benefits to eating low lectin foods since they have been found to have multiple negative attributes. Of course, as mentioned above, possibly the biggest benefit would be if lectin foods are causing you to have sensitivity reactions – whereby removing them could create a very quick turn of improvement in well-being.
Some examples of reported benefits of eating a low lectin diet in sensitive individuals include massively improved energy levels, significantly better clarity, plummeting joint pain, and inflammation levels, better mood, and more. If you'd like to get big wins with this diet, check out the ultimate lectin-free diet guide by joining our powerful insider's list (just click the button below).