Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
4 Jun

The Lowdown On Lectins

Little known to the public at large. Little understood by the health community. Omnipresent in our conventional food culture. Proven to be at least mildly detrimental for everyone and downright destructive for the more sensitive (and often unsuspecting) among us. We’re talking lectins today: common natural agents on the one hand, cloaked thugs of the anti-nutrient underworld on the other. Our popular health media, if they’ve heard of lectins, certainly never make mention of them. Famous health gurus never deign to speak of them. In short, lectins thrive in the American diet basically unfettered, unscrutinized. Make no mistake, however. They’re a menacing power to be reckoned with. I’ve addressed them on Mark’s Daily Apple in the past (Why Grains Are Unhealthy) and in my book (The Primal Blueprint), but I still get a fair number of emails and forum questions asking for more info. As I always say, let’s break it down….

What Are They?

Before Monsanto, Mother Nature had her own pesticide strategy. (Humans being among the “pests” to be warded off.) In order to avoid being completely decimated by insects, foraging animals and Groks, plant species evolved assorted anti-nutrients that would make said pests regret their gorges with a variety of mostly digestive related ailments. Low grade toxins, in a sense. A workable balance developed between plants that were able to safeguard their species’ survival and the “pest” patrons that were able to benefit from the plants’ nutrition but learned to partake more sensibly from their supply. Given that our primal forefolk foraged widely and ate a surprisingly diverse diet, the system worked.

Lectins are essentially carb-binding proteins universally present in plants (and animals). Just as they protect plant species from Grok-sized predators, lectins also support other immunological functions within plants and animals (against pathogense, parasites, etc.) They also assist in other functions like protein synthesis and delivery in animals. They’re relatively sticky molecules, which makes them effective in binding with their sought after sugars but undesirable for our digestion, in which their binding powers can lead them to attach to the intestinal lining and wreak havoc. (More on this in a minute…)

Given their omnipresence in nature, a certain amount of lectin consumption has always been inevitable. To the benefit of the plants, lectins are also hard to break down. Regular old digestive enzymes only do about half the job. Human ingenuity evolved across traditional cultures to “predigest” lectins through food preparation practices (fermenting, soaking, etc.). In our contemporary dietary culture, however, we too commonly skip these practices yet rely on the highest lectin-containing foods for our primary food sources.

What Foods Contain Them?

The short answer here is basically all plants and animal products (PDF) to varying degrees. Nonetheless, lectins are concentrated more in some sources than others. Foods with the highest lectin activity include: grains of all kinds (especially wheat), legumes (especially soy), nuts, dairy, and nightshade plants (e.g. eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.). Add to this list the oils and other derivative products from these food sources. And yet another, lesser known category: GMO food, since lectins are often spliced into modified varieties in order to enhance “natural” pest and fungal resistance.

What Do They Do To The Body?

Let’s go back to the intestine again. (Some field trip, eh?) Lectins’ stickiness allows them to bind with the lining, particularly the villi, of the small intestine. The result? Intestinal damage (with impaired cellular repair potential), cellular death as well as compromised intestinal villi, which means reduced absorption of other nutrients, including minerals and protein. Add to this altered gut flora, which can allow certain harmful bacterial strains like E. coli to run rampant. Furthermore, because the body is now responding full-time to the needs of the injured gut lining, proteins and other resources are redirected from other basic growth and repair processes. Furthermore, lectins have been associated with leptin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity.

Perhaps the most insidious impacts lectins can leave in their wake is this: leaky gut. Leaky gut is a term for the breach in the intestinal lining created by lectins hand in hand with other antinutrients. Once the intestinal breach exists, lectins and other particles (like partially digested food, toxins, etc) can “leak” into the bloodstream.

Once lectins open the door, so to speak, out of the small intestine, they and other fugitive particles are now free to move about the body and bind to any tissue they come across (anything from the thyroid to the pancreas to the kidneys). Of course, the body reacts to these invaders by directing an attack on these particles and the otherwise perfectly healthy tissue they’re attached to. Enter autoimmune mayhem. That’s why lectins are linked with autoimmune disorders like IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. Specific lectins have been associated with particular ailments (like wheat with rheumatoid arthritis), but more research is needed to trace and confirm these connections. What is clear, however, is the potent autoimmune destruction that can result when the intestinal lining experiences this level of damage.

Primal Advice For Limiting Lectins

As mentioned, lectins are literally everywhere. Although it’s impossible to eliminate them altogether, you can significantly reduce your intake.

  • Purge the worst offenders. That means grains and soy more than anything, but I’d add other legumes to the list as well. Eliminating the foods that contain the highest lectin activity will slash your overall lectin intake – and impact.
  • Cut back on other higher lectin sources. Not everyone wants to nix every dairy or nightshade option. Look at how you can reduce your overall intake of these items while keeping enough to enjoy their flavor and nutrient advantages.
  • Gauge your sensitivity. For those of us who are most sensitive to lectins, more dramatic measures might be needed. If you know or believe that you’ve already suffered some serious intestinal damage, you might do well to steer clear of as many high and moderate lectin level foods as possible. That means perhaps forgoing nightshades, dairy, legumes and even nuts and eggs in addition to all grains and processed foods. Reintroduce desired foods back into your diet by “family” (e.g. dairy, etc.) and be mindful of any physiological effects (however minor) that accompany them.
  • Take up old traditions like soaking, sprouting and using bacterial fermentation techniques for any moderate/high lectin foods like beans you choose to keep in your diet. Fermentation methods are especially effective, virtually eliminating lectins in one study of lentils. All those kitchen rituals you remember from Grandma? They’re adaptive, essentially pre-digestive techniques practiced by traditional cultures around the globe. Going old school on your favorite nut varieties, for example, cuts those lectin levels dramatically.
  • Don’t go wholly raw. Yes, there are legitimate reasons to enjoy raw plants in your diet, but I don’t support the practice as a movement or exclusionary principle for eating. Humans have been cooking for well over a hundred thousand years. Some nutrients are enhanced by heat. Some anti-nutrients (like lectins) are at least partially “disarmed” by it. Cooking methods with a mind toward maximizing overall nutrient value and bioavailability make good Primal sense and can lower your exposure to lectins.
  • Diversify! Restrictive diets make us even more susceptible to the downsides of our foods. (Soy formula fed babies being a dramatic example of this principle.) Make Grok proud and forage more widely for your dinner. Research shows that simply rotating primary foods was enough to limit lectin-related damage in rats that were given rounds of soy feed. A healthy, mostly low lectin diet will offer enough balance and protective nutrition to blunt the impact of the occasional moderate level lectin sources.
  • Avoid GMOs. Hidden lectin is just one more reason to leave GMO products on the shelf.
  • Maintain good overall gut health. Our modern existence sometimes seems like one giant assault against our digestive tracts. Minimize cumulative negative effects and increase positive, protective factors. Eat a healthy diet with Primal doses of probiotics, prebiotics and good fats. Limit stress and the use of medications like aspirin, NSAIDs and antibiotics (as well as secondary exposure through antibiotic-administered livestock). A healthy gut will be better equipped to weather the effects of inevitable but reasonable lectin intake.

Now it’s your turn – for your comments, questions and anecdotes about lectin impact. Let me know your thoughts, and thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. This is one of the best articles I have read on lectins…and I had never heard of them until 2 years ago. I became curious about this when I noticed I had gluten isues while trying the gfcf and SCD diets for my sons autism. He responded to the SCD. I ate his almond flour baked goodies and felt great. When I finally had time to make gf grain baked goods for me I felt tired and craved sodas. I thought it was odd until I heard about lectins. Lectin sensitivity must be a great for soda companies!

    Tracee wrote on June 4th, 2010
  2. Well for foods like Beans, and Legumes it appears that 90% of the active Lectins and offending complex sugars are eliminated by soaking, and heating above 100 degrees Celcius for approximatley 10 minutes. Besides the amount of Antioxidants, Vitamins, and other nutrients far outweigh any trace amount of Lectins left over after the legumes have been cooked (who’s eating uncooked beans?). These foods have been sustaining a thriving population in South America for thousands of years. As far as I am concerned, this is just another class act of online fear mongering.

    RD. Matthew Robert wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Yes, of course, that’s what this is. Fear mongering.

      You’ll notice I suggest soaking more than once.

      And grains feed millions…

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 4th, 2010
      • Mark, if beans are OK after soaking and boiling, why do you recommend eliminating them from the diet (as a “worst offender”)?

        “Purge the worst offenders. That means .. other legumes to the list as well.”

        Clay Nichols wrote on February 15th, 2012
        • Mark never said, “they’re ok, but purge them.” He’s giving us some valuable information and best practices so we can make up our own minds (if we have the mind to do so). His advice is for minimizing lectins in our diets to the extent that they cause significant problems for (many of) us, and dialing them back in calculated ways. For the “most sensitive among us,” that means complete elimination. For many others, switching to traditional techniques might suffice. If you’re looking for someone to tell you how to eat, SOL. If you’re looking for solid information and a foundation from which to construct a dietary plan optimized for YOU, then this and The Paleo Mom are great resources.

          Above all, think for yourself, practice mindfulness and figure out what’s right for you!

          ethan wrote on September 22nd, 2015
      • I’d go farther, and do with legumes.

        1) Rinse dried legumes in several changes of water, pausing a few minutes between each. Easy to do while doing other kitchen chores.

        2) Cover them with your best quality drinking water. Let them sit overnight to absorb it.

        3) 8-12 hours later, pour the water off (house and garden plants seem to like it). Rinse thoroughly.

        4) Let the soaked legumes sit in a towel-covered bowl in a cool, clean corner.

        Rinse them again every 4-8 hours (I do all my legume prep on the weekends). The idea here is to SPROUT them, waking up the plant embryo. As the seed itself is converted into food for the embryo, and as the cotyledons develop, the lectins plummet.

        5) Do not overcook them. I cover legumes with water, simmer them for 5-10 minutes, then pop them in a haybox.

        I never could eat legumes–back to the 1970s. Then a nonagenarian meat-eating heavy-smoking-and-drinking backpacker of my acquaintance introduced me to eating legumes as “baby plants.”

        Farmer Pat wrote on February 18th, 2012
        • PS–I don’t eat much by way of legumes, and only rarely (few times a month as I sense I need to). But I find they work very well with my genome, particularly in the autumn and early winter months when I find I do best coming off intensive spring/summer fieldwork to the autumnal addition of carbs to my diet. YMMV. Of course this is all in concert with a high fat/moderate protein way of eating. Also, in winter I don’t tolerate uncooked greens very well; this wasn’t a problem when I lived further south (of 49N). Sprouted legumes seem to fill that slot for me.

          Farmer Pat wrote on February 18th, 2012
        • #5 can actually increase the damage, at least when applied to kidney beans. Per

          Undercooking may actually increase lectin activity and increase the hazard.

          So boil them beans, please.

          jason wrote on August 30th, 2014
      • Hi Mark! Thank you for your information, I have leaky gut as well as Fibro. Have been veg for 15 years (helps fibro as well). Which beans get down to the lowest lectins?
        I know how to soak, I know how to sprout, but I don’t know how to ferment or if I should b/c my uveitis reacts to Rejuvelac, kimchis, sauerkraut, I have MCS. I do do well w/ tempeh (well, at least I used to before I eliminated it w/ the fibro- don’t know if I should bring back, one of few calcium sources I got). Do you think fermenting and cooking would then work best for me? And how do you ferment the bean sprouts?
        Also, have Sjogren’s, so leaky gut, maybe the Prednisone I was on for years after the Sjo’s went in remission at one point? Anyways, was wondering, once the leaky gut is repaired and the source noted, is that when you bring back things? Do it slowly? Not too much? As a veg, I don’t know what other source of protein I’ll get as a staple other than beans… So, right now, will do this sprouting/cooking twice a day that you suggested. Nuts, seeds, maybe a Tbsp of each a day? Never did get rid of potatoes, but other nightshades, yes, don’t feel them affect me, do they w/o knowing if I have leaky gut?…
        Thank you for your tireless effort and keep up the good work!

        Steeni wrote on May 7th, 2014
    • I think you may have missed one part of the article where Mark is suggesting the same thing as you are for eating beans:

      “Take up old traditions like soaking, sprouting and using bacterial fermentation techniques for any moderate/high lectin foods like beans you choose to keep in your diet. Fermentation methods are especially effective, virtually eliminating lectins in one study of lentils.”

      Be careful about making up your mind before you’re finished reading – there’s a lot of good info on this site that is helping a lot of people.

      Vicki wrote on June 4th, 2010
      • BTW – thanks for this information. Had a good primal day yesterday, but am suffering today and I couldn’t figure out why. This happens to me off and on. I did have a tomato salad with a bit of blue cheese with supper though. I’ll have to experiment with night shades and dairy – maybe I’m even more sensitive than I thought. Thanks!

        Vicki wrote on June 4th, 2010
        • You may be having a problem with the blue cheese because they quite often use wheat in the product..As a person with Celiac disease I can attest to the fact that I cannot consume blue cheese..

          jackson wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Perhaps to you with no food sensitivites, but for the rest of us with chronic food allergies, this makes sense. I have soaked legumes over night and over cooked them in hopes of not reacting negatively to them, and still, they cause severe skin rashes. Legumes, cooked or not, need to be avoided for me. Not everyone has the same health issues and comments such as these irritate me – just because you are fine with a food, doesn’t mean the same food is not harmful to someone else.

      Lilah wrote on May 2nd, 2013
      • Even with soaking and rinsing and cooking in a pressure cooker (which one site says eliminates lectins) I had a horrible reaction to navy bean soup. Same with lentils and quinoa, popcorn and rice. Some information says there are different groups of lectins and you may be sensitive to one but not the other… I don’t seem so sensitive to the dairy group as I do to the grains and nightshades.

        Penelope wrote on December 30th, 2015
    • In response to RD – Matthew Robert :
      Perhaps to you with no food sensitivites, but for the rest of us with chronic food allergies, this makes sense. I have soaked legumes over night and over cooked them in hopes of not reacting negatively to them, and still, they cause severe skin rashes. Legumes, cooked or not, need to be avoided for me. Not everyone has the same health issues and comments such as these irritate me – just because you are fine with a food, doesn’t mean the same food is not harmful to someone else.

      Read more:

      Lilah wrote on May 2nd, 2013
    • I’m not sure what culture you’re referencing in S.America that is “thriving” on legumes. Most of the people down there I’ve seen that lived past 60 all suffer from diseases like cataracts, type-2 diabetes, IBS, and RA. These diseases are most common in cultures with diets high in toxic lectins. Those that do find a way into the U.S. typically suffer even worse consequences because they eat the same foods they were eating down there, they consume more processed foods here (typically the highest concentrations of lectins are found in processed foods), and the foods here are higher in GMO’s. So when they leave Middle and South America to come to the U.S. they compound their problems.

      If you notice, the Asian cultures consume a high percentage of these lectin containing foods and they don’t suffer the same consequences. The reason for what seams to be an “immunity” to the side effects of lectins in the Asian cultures is FOOD PREPARATION. They consume the highest percentage of fermented foods.

      This article left out one important detail in destroying toxic lectins and that is PRESSURE cooking. Asians eat a lot of rice and they eat the worst kind (sticky rice). They have used genetic selection techniques to enhance the stickiness of their rice for centuries. The stickier the rice the higher the starch (calorie content) and lectin content. They don’t suffer the side effects of the lectins in this sticky rice for 2 reasons. #1 they soak, rinse, and soak/rinse again before cooking. #2 they pressure cook the rice. Pressure cooking destroys what wasn’t taken care of in the soaking/rinsing process.

      Jim wrote on December 8th, 2014
  3. This is a great article. Thank you.

    Archaeological evidence about the origin of cooking is mixed, but the latest thinking (albeit somewhat controversial, but becoming more and more accepted) looks at both archaeological and biological evidence and points to a date at the beginning of Homo Erectus (2 million – 1.75 million BP) as the date at which fire was managed and when cooking in the human diet was introduced. I highly recommend a recent book called “Catching Fire” by Richard Wrangham as an introduction to the totality of this object.

    PS. I’m an archaeologist who is very interested in palaeo diets from both a health and research point of view. I very much appreciate your posts, books, and website.

    Marie wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Well, then you’ll be interested in the Ancestral Health Symposium Brent Pottenger, me, and some friends are planning for August, 2011. It’s mission is to provide a forum for those interested in viewing human health through the lens of human evolution and ancestry. More info at:

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • Aaron, I would love to come! I live on the East Coast, but with some prep and planning perhaps I can make it out to LA. I joined the FB group for updates.

        I’ve been batting around the idea with archaeologist friends about editing or writing a book that compiles the latest archaeological evidence of palaeo diets, with evidence for seasonality, herb use, salt trading, small animal vs. large animal food sourcing, intermittent fasting, etc. It is only in the kicking around phase, but I am sure that the conference would help things along.

        Marie wrote on June 6th, 2010
    • I too am an archaeologist and I’ve just recently embarked on a spot of research in relation to paleao-diet and archaeological evidence.
      Was wondering whether you can give give a reading list/reference/biblio so I can glen even more good stuff for my research
      BTW my speciality is African Archaeology/Prehistory, I usually work in the Sahara Desert

      Renate wrote on March 4th, 2012
      • I have a question. I didn’t finish my archaeology degree, but I got a few years of study in. It seems to me that a truly Paleolithic diet should include insects and grubs pretty frequently, yes? I remember from my studies of living African tribes that for most of them, actual meat is more of an infrequent gorging thing, and they mostly subsist on starchy tubers and grubs. I realize the climate has changed since it was the “cradle of civilization”, and that game was probably more readily available back then. But it still takes a lot of energy to catch, and bugs do not, so it seems like they still would have been a good food source. As a former vegetarian wannabe who has been pushed into a paleo-type lifestyle because of food sensitivities, I am concerned with the amount of meat I am now consuming. It’s not a sustainable lifestyle for the whole world. But I’ve heard some say that insect protein is the wave of the future for that reason, and I’m thinking that sounds a lot more paleo than eating meat every day. What do people here think?

        Heidi wrote on January 25th, 2013
        • i think you might be focusing on the idea of trying to emulate exact paleo living as opposed to looking to paleo life for indications of what works best for humans. humans can survive on wheat based diets too, but it isn’t optimal. daily meat consumption is optimal for nutrition. you could survive on more insects than meat, but you’ll be better off with the meat.

          josh wrote on October 19th, 2013
    • Great article! Learning much.
      Have a lot of the symptoms but according to gastroenterologist I tested neg….don’t know what test he did….my question ism that this issue must be revisited.
      I have a rare autoimmune disease along with SPinocerebellar Ataxia..having incontinence multiple system atrophy was suggested. Going t a urologist soon….what should I ask? Was put on Detrol by my primary care and it was a miracle drug for 7 years but it now no longer works…even when doubling and tripolling the dosage. This needs further investigation…!

      Lynn Ball wrote on February 22nd, 2013
  4. I don’t get why milk should have significant lectin levels – shouldn’t the babies of any species be fed food which won’t fight back?

    Melodious wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Maybe it serves an immune/digestive system development function, given that they’ll eventually need to develop some level of tolerance?

      Erin wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Lectins are not always bad. The thing Mark didn’t spell out about them (and I don’t fault him, he provided lots of good information) is that a lectin is simply a protein molecule with a sugar molecule attached to it at one end. The sugar molecule behaves as an antigen molecule–really, that’s all an antigen is, is a sugar shaped a specific way. So, a milk lectin would be useful to aid in lining the gut of the offspring to protect it from microbial invaders until the offspring’s immune system develops far enough to take over bodily defenses on its own.

      I already knew milk did that for offspring, including human offspring (which is why, among other reasons, it’s terribly, terribly important to do everything you can to nurse your baby if you give birth to one), but knowing now that there are lectins in milk gives me a clue as to how.

      Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
    • Cows are fed grains. Grains contain lectins. If you can get milk from cows eating grass, then you will be fine. But do you live next to such a farm?? Most of us don’t.

      Yvonne wrote on December 1st, 2013
  5. great article…i was a bit confused when it was mentioned that dairy contains lectins (i assumed since it is meant to be consumed by a growing mammal, there wouldnt be too many toxic substances in it), but a quick google search confirmed that dairy does contain lectins but the amount depends on the cows (or other dairy animal’s) diet.
    So ceonventional corn and soy fed dairy is clearly going to contain troublesome lectins, so logically shouldnt grass fed dairy have much less lectins?
    No data on grassfed dairy (go figure) but i assume this would be true.
    Plus fermented dairy would likely reduce any lectins further?

    reamz wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Goat milk does not contain them and is safer than cow milk. That goes for cheeses from goat milk.

      E Pearse wrote on February 24th, 2013
      • Cow dairy makes me sick but I can tolerate goat dairy very well. This helps explain it!

        Aed wrote on September 2nd, 2013
  6. I wonder how many people suffering from severe digestive ailments go to their doctor’s office, and they just get some pills. “Here take this expensive chemo rat poison for your chrohn’s, but don’t worry about having pizza hut for dinner.” It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    zach wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • I actually went to a gastro once and I explained right off the bat I hated meds, I would rather switch up my diet and habits if he could give me some direction. The doctor outright told me he doesn’t believe in diet changes. Within 5 minutes he was trying to write me a script, I tried to stop him twice, but eventually just took them and never returned.

      Erin wrote on June 4th, 2010
      • I had exactly the same experience. Had the tests and was told I have collagenous colitis, which sucks but good to know its not just in my mind! Went to see this guy a few times and he just wrote a different script each time which never really helped much. The last time, I said Id been doing some research on controlling it with diet and before I could get any further he’d rolled his eyes and told me it was probably all bullshit. Needless to say I havent gone back.

        Havent fixed the problem yet tho.. Have cut grains, legumes, pretty much all nightshades and soy. Have cut down but not eliminated dairy. And still eat heaps of eggs and nuts. I dont wanna cut them out too!! :( but looks like i might have to give it a go.

        emma wrote on June 4th, 2010
        • Sorry to hear you’ve been having problems. I found when I went primal that I ate a lot more eggs and it really upset my tum. Eventually I had to cut out all dairy and eggs for three months. Everything was completely fixed by that, then I reintroduced them slowly. Now I can eat well cooked eggs (not runny scramble!) and cheese and little bits of yoghurt and cream, which is enough to enhance the diet. I would really advise you to cut out everything possible and give your intestine a few weeks to heal. After that it’ll be stronger and you’ll be able to reintroduce at least some of the foods that are currently causing you problems. Good luck!

          PaleoMum wrote on June 5th, 2010
        • Hidden GMO corn additives may be your problem. Most eggs on the market are contaminated with corny additives during the washing process plus the hens are fed GMO corn in the form of vitamin supplements (even from pastured hens fed organic feed). Look for a local farm with free ranging and foraging chickens for the best eggs.

          Most conventional (and even some organic) fruits and vegetables are treated with some GMO corn derivative during processing. Any bagged or prewashed produce will contain citric acid (GMO corn derivative) and most peppers, cucumbers, squash (some are GMO), apples, eggplants and citrus will be coated with a corn wax (GMO corn derivative) to help them survive travel. Potatoes, avocados and bananas are all shipped green and gassed with ethylene gas (GMO corn derivative) to ripen them once they arrive at their destination. Hawaiian papayas are genetically modified. Berries are often packed in GMO corn derived plastic containers and sitting atop a soaker pad full of citric acid. Grapes are sprayed with fungicidal GMO corn derived spray. Most consumers are unaware that these preparations are allowed on organic produce as well. Buy produce from the farmers market from local farmers to avoid these tactics used on produce that must travel long distances to get to the grocery store.

          Vitamin D milk has GMO corn derivatives in the form of the vitamin fortification and GMO corn oil as the carrier for the vitamins (even organic milk). Drink only raw whole milk from grassfed cows or local pasteurized whole milk (not homogenized or vitamin fortified or ultrapasteurized). American made cheese (and some imported) are made with GMO chymosin (enzyme) which is grown on a GMO corn medium. Kerrygold cheese is still imported from Ireland and GMO-free.

          Iodized salt contains GMO corn, so do a lot of spice mixes. Mushrooms are grown on a corn medium and frozen vegetables and fruit are often dusted with GMO cornstarch to prevent sticking. Cornstarch is used in a lot of packaging thus is undeclared on the label of sandwich meat and cheeses and the like. Buy only raw nuts and seeds to avoid GMO corn derivatives and bring them home to soak in salty water and dehydrate.

          kc wrote on June 22nd, 2010
        • Don’t hafta drop the nuts, just soak ’em for 7 hours [and sprout them if they’re sproutable] then dehydrate them in the oven at lowest temp. Even more crunchy and tasty like this…and no lectins! I do this with almonds, walnuts & pecans.

          Caroline wrote on August 31st, 2012
        • I would suggest reading The Vicious Cycle book by Elaine Gottschall
          You may have already read her book, but if not, it is a great read explaining how everything works in the digestive tract all the way down the little villi in our intestines. Here’s a review on the book by Weston Price Foundation.

          And for all of you who have had the GI and Internal Medicine Doc’s just want to hand you pills, Elaine had 15 different specialists tell her that her 4 year old daughter’s ulceritis colitis was uncureable and that food had nothing to do with it. She healed her daughter’s UC through proper diet that her daughter was able to properly digest, finally with the help of one GI doc (Dr Sidney Haas)who knew how food related to stomach disorders. Elaine wrote her book back in the 1980’s, and this was before a lot of the big changes in our food industry as it is today, so she did not focus a lot on healthier fats, and etc. but in one of her video’s she does say that with the time she had, this was the Best she could do, She says her hypothesisis is based on Dr. Haas years of work and research. She wanted to get the information out to people. She also says that Maybe someone will come up with a better hypotheses, and to be her guest! You’ll have to watch her you tube video’s. I love her spunk!

          dkaj wrote on July 30th, 2013
      • I went to the doctor and was told that someone misdiagnosed me with celiac disease. Wrote me a script and told me to eat gluten. I tore it up gave it to him and said I was staying on my diet so I would not have intestinal flue. Last time I saw him

        Schneider wrote on August 12th, 2011
    • I would be one of those that always mentioned my digestive problems to the doctors whenever I went in for something else…and the same answer was given to me: Add more Fiber to your diet. Then of course colonoscopies were recommended (which i never went to because of fear what they might find) like there was something wrong with ME.

      I have pictures of me around the age of 5 standing with a giant belly, but scrawny as hell, I looked like some kid from a 3rd world country that’s starving of hunger.
      My bloated belly never went away. I grew up in central Europe and oats and rye (breads) are basically being eaten every day. Until Kellogg’s introduced it’s first cereal back in the 70’s to our country.
      The condition got worse as time went on… by the age of 20 my gut was wrecked.
      All this had an impact on my school grades, social life and my thoughts of goals for the future.
      I didn’t realize it at the time but grains have pretty much determined my future.

      I’ve been eating primal for about 8 weeks and haven’t felt this good in like forever! Not only physically, but also emotionally and digestive wise.

      Here is some more good reading FIBER MENACE.

      Whoever is suffering from digestive distress, severe PMS, constipation, painful periods to the point of passing out, please don’t listen to any doctors advice. Just stop the grain madness. That also counts for all the ‘healthy’ Soyspreads in the organic isles.

      Suvetar wrote on June 4th, 2010
      • When I was a kid, my mom was constantly telling my brother and I to “suck in our guts” and made us self-conscious about our little potbellies. We weren’t fat kids but we ate the SAD, with a bit more emphasis on vegetables, low fat and high protein, but unlimited sugar and wheat.

        I bet we were constantly bloated. Though I don’t have full-blown (pardon the pun) IBS, I feel much much better without wheat. My bro on the other hand, lives on mountains of pasta. Yep, he has “Wheat Belly” and is considering bariatric surgery. I hold my breath hoping someday he will ask me for dietary advice.

        Shebeeste wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • Send him a link! It’s not preachy if he’s considering surgery o.O

          Sofie wrote on June 2nd, 2011
      • RE: Corn being used as a wash, I had never heard this until the other day when one of my colleagues was telling me it was really really hard to find meat that hadn’t been washed with citric acid, because in this country it is a legal requirement! And there is a certain organic food company that also washes their vegetables in citric acid! I couldn’t believe it, was totally shocked… I do my best to avoid GMO and “conventional” foods and end up finding this out… I was a little disillusioned after that to say the least. :p

        Mary wrote on January 13th, 2011
        • Please, could you tell us WHO is that “certain organic food co.”…?

          Zal wrote on May 10th, 2011
        • This is probably the most valuable post I have ever read. I am allergic to citric vitamin C and citric acid has caused me problems as it is so often hidden. Even in contact lens solution ! I am in agony because I ate chicken last night. I could never tolerate chicken breast and I ate a chicken curry for a change. As my allergy runs in the family I have known about it for ages and have been told by a hospital doctor it is the 2nd most common allergy in the UK, to different degrees.Many thanks

          Yve wrote on August 16th, 2013
        • Hey Yve and everyone else,

          Yeah.. it’s unfortunate about citric acid… but the stronger and cleaner your gut flora is, the less these chemicals should affect you.

          Chicken: Chicken actually contains a lectin that reacts pretty badly with Blood Type B and AB.

          Chicken isn’t the best protein source anyway, so it’s not particularly bad if you just don’t eat it….

          Steve Beisheim wrote on August 16th, 2013
        • AB’s tend to best with Lamb, mutton, rabbit, turkey and most vegetables… Beef and Chicken.. not so much.. Shellfish.. not so much…

          If you’re having sensitivity issues I’d suggest reducing the frequency of eating from like 3 x a day to 2x a day and allow your body to realign a bit….

          Many of the people I talk to can eat a whole variety of foods once they allowed their digest track to heal (by spacing out meals as well as avoiding grains)

          Steve Beisheim wrote on August 16th, 2013
    • Quite a few! The best gastroenterologist I ever worked with was quite comfortable with my holistic approach to restoring my health, which was unusual. Still, he did not generate such discussions in the course of treatment (for Crohn’s).

      Symptoms have been remission for 5 years with minimum medicine intake, more through energy management than gut maintenance. I’ll explore the information shared here with interest, because I do still detect sensitivities and inflammatory tendencies.

      Joan Friedlander wrote on July 20th, 2011
    • Long before I was diagnosed with food allergies, (in my 30s), my digestive problems, which were sporadic before then, gradually escalated. I went to a GE and had the requisite panoply of tests. According to the doctor, they all came up negative – he had the gall to suggest I consider psychotherapy.

      By my late 40s, my problems had escalated to the point of becoming debilitating. Luckily, a met a clinical nutritionist who ordered a blood test, and revealed allergies to wheat, most beans, some berries, fruits and spices.

      I cut out the sensitive foods, and the change was dramatic! Increased energy, weight loss without any effort, even increased clarity of thought!

      Consequently, I have no faith in AMA doctors who either discount the problem or prescribe a medication cocktail that causes more ailments than it cures.

      David Lynch wrote on July 10th, 2013
  7. Great post Mark! I’m hispanic & grew up eating rice & all kinds of beans every day for dinner. Since I left rice & beans last yr, I feel so much better & don’t have that bloating, & full feeling or even have pain inside due to gases & you get the point. I also ditched all the grains too. Gald I did. No more cramps either. My only regret is not knowing this many yrs ago. I’ve could of prevented so many problems like IBS & other digestive issues I thought would never go away or thought was “normal”.

    madeline wrote on June 4th, 2010
  8. I basically live on eggs and greek yogurt. Will definitely need to look up more info on lectins (in my defense, I never have digestion issues/get sick!). Thanks again Mark, for your Daily dose of enlightenment!

    Gary-A wrote on June 4th, 2010
  9. Great post Mark.

    I guess this is one reason why I enjoy nuts in moderation as in 1-2 servings a day, usually 1. If I eat too much then I have gas. I enjoy all nuts but go for almonds more so than others.

    And, another great article to show people who doubt grains are bad for you, even whole grains!

    Primal Toad wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Don’t hafta drop the nuts, just soak ‘em for 7 hours [and sprout them if they’re sproutable] then dehydrate them in the oven at lowest temp. Even more crunchy and tasty like this…and no lectins! I do this with almonds, walnuts & pecans.

      Caroline wrote on August 31st, 2012
  10. Good post Mark. Paul Chek has also been warning about lectins for a while now and includes this in his book, “How to Eat move and Be Healthy, first print 2004. Paul also resides in Southern California, I’d be surprised if you were not aware of him since most of your topics in your book reflect his writings so much. You can get access to all his links by visiting . He has in his books and courses all your latest posts on the spine, hips, and shoulder as well as the abdomen. He has been talking about going Primal for many years now and teaches primal movements, eating, and lifestyle.
    Do you know of him and if so, what do you think?

    Mike Buron wrote on June 4th, 2010
  11. THANKS for the advice; needed this warning

    Katherine wrote on June 4th, 2010
  12. Hi Mark – awesome article…

    I just have a question… I didn’t get to watch my grandma in the kitchen (we didn’t live near our grandparents)… so can I ask with regards to nuts what do you mean by “Going old school on your favorite nut varieties, for example, cuts those lectin levels dramatically”…

    What is “Old School” with regards to nuts… didn’t our hunter gatherer forfolk just pick them up and eat them whilst they foraged? Or is there some extra ritual I have missed from the hunter-gatherer technique?

    I have found nuts a great substitute for the rubbish snacks I used to eat, but I now wonder with this lectin info, should I just be nibbling on a carrot like a rabbit, although they likely are stuffed full of lectin too!?



    Luke wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • Check out this:

      Typically, soaking/sprouting nuts/seeds (and beans/legumes and grains) will help them to be digested and the nutrients absorbed more easily.

      FairyRae wrote on June 4th, 2010
      • Yes, I soak almonds, walnuts & pecans for at least 7 hours then rinse and dehydrate them in the oven for a day at lowest temp. They come out crunchy and delicious, and sans lectin! If they don’t get thoroughly dehydrated, though, they will not keep well.

        Caroline wrote on August 31st, 2012
    • Luke,

      Hopefully an expert will chime in here, but I will tell you what I do.

      I buy nuts raw and soak them for 8-12 hours in water with a little sea salt for flavor. I am not sure if this is the correct amount of time. It should help remove some lectins and the like. It can also start germination or sprouting, which increases nutritional value. I don’t see any physical evidence of true sprouting, so don’t know if this is happening or not.

      Then I spread them on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven. I think 150 degrees or lower is best so as not to destroy nutrients, but my oven is limited to 170 degrees. I tried a dehydrator but didn’t like the flavor. Walnuts usually take around 18 hours with an occasional stir, and almonds take roughly 24 hours.

      I test them by taking a few out and letting them cool. They are good warm, but it is harder to tell if they are dried enough to get crunchy, which is what I want. The almonds will snap, crackle, and pop as they cool.

      Once cooled I store them in an air tight container. This all avoids the lectins in raw nuts and also avoids the bad veggie oils most nuts are roasted with, plus you can control the salt to your taste and needs.

      It is really much easier than it sounds and I HIGHLY recommend you give it a try!

      Rodney wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Check out the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon of the Weston Price Foundation. Lots of amazing recipes using old-timey cooking techniques. There are recipes for soaking and sprouting legumes and nuts, fermenting dairy, fruits and veggies. It’s all surprisingly easy, and helps to boost nutrients and healthy gut bacteria.

      Vicki wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • I second the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ option. Fallon has a really good comparison of commercially prepared beans vs. traditional long-soaking. Since using her recipes, my family has completely eliminated the gastrointestinal problems of beans, including lentils. If you don’t have Fallon’s book yet, get it.

        Mary Anne wrote on June 9th, 2010
        • I second, third, fourth, and fifth the Nourishing Traditions recommendation. Since adopting the basic beans process we have NO gastrointestinal distress at all. My sister will only eat beans at my house as she cannot be sure that others will meticulously follow Sally Fallon’s process. If you don’t have a copy of Nourishing Traditions, get one.

          Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
      • I love “Nourishing Traditions” as well. It takes some to get into the habit of soaking and fermenting, however, the health benefits are well worth it. It also helps connect us to our food as we take time to slow down in both preparation and consumption of products! It’s a must have for any healthy family!

        Robin Green wrote on August 17th, 2011
  13. Hi Mark,
    Great article. How do you feel about Soy Lectin- or Choline? Choline is a great supplement for your brain and heart. Many people use it as an additive in their smoothies or nutritional drinks. Would you say Soy Lectin is as exception, or is it a case of bad for digestions/ absorption but contains good qualities if youve got an iron clad GI?


    WhitsKitch wrote on June 4th, 2010
    • @WhitsKitch, I think you are confusing “lectin” with “lecithin”. Lecithin provides a source of phospholipids that may (or may not) have some benefit. I might discuss those in depth at a later date.

      Mark Sisson wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • AHHH YES– that clears it up. I was running to my smoothie cupboard in a panic!
        I will keep soaking the nuts and keep adding the lecithin to the smoothies!

        THANKS MARK!

        WhitsKitch wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • You don’t have to eat soy to get lecithin. It’s present in eggs. Probably a lot better for you too, as long as you don’t have an egg allergy.

      (If you *do* have an egg allergy, double-check and make sure it’s not a reaction to the chickens’ soy feed. It’s possible to find eggs from chickens not fed soy but just about worth your life to look. Here’s a site that sells them: Some of us who’ve fanned them on Facebook are trying to convince them to sell the coconut feed to folks who raise their own chickens.)

      Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
      • I wish I had kept the citation I found on a very interesting look at soy. An archeological find showed that soy was a cover crop; people only started trying to eat it because they were starving. Since the plant is quite prolific, it ‘feeds’ many. But the problems with soy are mind-boggling. especially since Monsanto has been GMing and, with the help of the US Supreme Court, setting up their products as intellectual property…. just don’t eat soy.

        Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
        • I have read in several places that MEN should not eat soy in any form! It is a phytoestrogenic compound that destroys testosterone and makes a man less…masculine. I have YET to see anything to the contrary.

          rodney burke wrote on June 18th, 2012
        • The problems with soy is that over 91% of US grown soy is GMOoed. Soy is also high in estrogen, so much so that an 8 oz. glass of SILK milk is equivlent to 5 to 6 birth control pills. Vegans giveing this SILK milk to their babies are finding early signs of puberty at age 3 to 5 years, which is causing great concerns for pediatricians.

          dave wrote on December 4th, 2012
        • Mary Anne, maybe this will help with your answer?
          Back around 1450 BC the Chinese learned to ferment soy. The thousand or so years before that they grew the soy crop, know as the ‘golden bean’ mainly to turn back into the soil as a nitrogen fertilizer for their spring crops. Prior to that they would not eat soy for they knew it was detrimental to their health. They knew this because at that time they had plenty of slaves, prisoners, and pi’ons to experiment on.
          One story was that farmers were running away from invadeing warriors and their bag of precious soy beans got wet and later fermented in the bag during the time of their escape. With nothing else to eat they were hungry enough to eat anything that resembled a food. So about 3500 years ago the Chinese and a little later the Japanese learned to ferment soy and use as a food. The ferment process is slow in Asia, unlike the speedy money making process big co-ops used today. Also in Asia, soy is used as a side dish, such as we would eat peas, but in the US it is used as a main dish. We seem to eat a lot of soy with a fermenting process that is questionable.
          To add to that, ‘soy oil’ is a concentration of soy beans, and has it been fermented, or are we to make the leap of faith? There are many chemicals used in the process, and claims are made that all these bad chemicals are removed in the final oil process.
          At this point, since it is your body, I’ll leave that truth in your hands.

          dave wrote on December 4th, 2012
      • The term lecithin is derived from the Greek lekithos, egg yolk.

        ossian wrote on May 29th, 2011
        • Lecithin is made up of Choline and Inositol, and the best source is from egg yolks. Choline helps to process, or break down fats and helps produce HDL, or high density liprotiens. Inositol is important for signal transduction between cells, including nerve impulses. The bottom line is that eggs are great for the brain.

          dave wrote on December 4th, 2012
  14. Dear Mark,
    Thank you so much for all the hard work you and your team put into this site. I enjoy it so much. It really has given me a new lease on life. I have a question? I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 12 and in your ubove article and several others says that eggs can cause inflammation with those with autoimmunne diseases. Should I limit or even just cut out all together? i havent had any heavy symptoms in years but I do occasionally have artheritis. Only when I dont carefully follow primal I do.Thanks again for eveything you and yours do.

    Amanda wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Hi Amanda,

      great to know there’s another primal lupus-oide out there! I have mctd, and I’ve just started going primal a couple of months ago. Do you find it makes a big difference? I have seen some concrete benefits already, but I have been told it will take at least 6 months for diet to take effect on connective tissue/autoimmune problems.

      Deborah wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • I noticed a big difference in how I felt within just a few days. I no longer was sore or extremely exhausted after my workouts. Before I would drag home struggle to just get home eat and gp to bed because mt workouts wiped me out. Chronic cario is god bye forever. I was starting to become unwell again due to a lot of stress lately and I have found upping my fish oil intake using rob wolffs formula very helpful. Just dont know if in the long run

        Amanda wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Amanda, If you haven’t started already, stay away from all processed foods, simple carbohydrates, and sugars. Just a teaspoon of sugar will shut the immune system of an adult for up to 6 hours.
      You may want to look into taking Krill oil, Astaxanthin, and extra Vitamin D3, and (P-5-P) or active B6 daily, along with your other suppliments. This also goes for people with MS, Leukemia, and many other immune deficiency diseases. If your are not supplimenting, remember that it is a human impossibility to get all the nutrients from the food we eat. Also, depending on our age and health, we are only digesting approx; 3 to 35 % of the nutrients from the foods we eat which includes suppliments. Our lands are too depleted for ourselves and animals to get all of our nutrients on a daily basis.

      dave wrote on December 4th, 2012
  15. Hey Mark,
    I’m sitting here reading your article enjoying a good cup of coffee. Would coffee contain lectins since it comes from a bean? Because if it does you might as well shoot me, cause’ I’m not giving up my coffee. :)

    daniel wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Coffee beans grow on trees. Beans grow on fines. They’re roasted and ground and EVERYbody knows that when you grind a coffee bean lectins die in fear. Yeah, that’s it. Coffee beans are safe. No, they’re HEALTH food. A dietary requirement. No lectins here, move along folks. Yeah, that’s it. Coffee’s just fine… (If this turns out to not be true, just keep it to yerself, will ya?)

      PJ wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • Legumes can grow on trees too. Black locust is a legume. You’ve probably seen the big trees with the bean pods on them in the fall.

        That said, since coffee beans are seeds, they probably do contain lectins, or some other kind of self-defense against being eaten.

        Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
    • Coffee “beans” are not beans. I believe they are actually a fruit – a berry. Most fruits have a significantly lower lectin level. Plants don’t “guard” fruits, they “guard” the seeds within the fruits. This is also why olives and avocados are “safer”, because they are also fruits.

      Kansas Grokette wrote on June 5th, 2010
      • Coffee “beans” are actually the pit of the coffee cherry :) I learned this back in the day working for Star Shmucks.

        Chandra wrote on June 5th, 2010
  16. The popularity of lectins has increased ever since Dr. Peter Dadamo’s research in Eat Right For Your Blood Type came out back in 1996. It’s heavily researched and lectins can both be beneficial or harmful depending on blood type. If you want a personalized work up just contact me. You can heal from anything!

    Steve B wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • I was going to comment that I first heard of lectins from the blood type diet. Mark had this to say about it:

      Fortunately I’m type O, and those recommendations are the most primal, so cutting out wheat and eating lots of red meat were a big part of the diet for me.

      I think D’Adamo is onto something with the lectins (I think if recommends wheat at all for any type, it should be sprouted) and has helped a lot of people, but he accidentally stumbled on the primal/paleo diet and I’m not sure blood type has anything to do with it.

      Shebeeste wrote on June 6th, 2010
      • Honestly,

        I hold Dr. Dadamo in the highest regard. As we know in life, there is usually no “one size fits all.” One man’s food seems to literally be another man’s poison.

        Notice all the fat people eating tons of meat, and the unhealthy looking vegans.. Maybe Vegan O types and Carnivorous A Types should switch places…

        Dadamo actually thinks WHEAT is harmful for ALL TYPES.. It’s inhibits metabolism, has a harmful lectin, and has proven harmful consequences for anyone suffering from most all diseases of civilization…

        Since you’re a type 0, you’d thrive on RED MEAT (again, not pork) and most all greens and many veggies (except cucumbers, coconut, cauliflower, potatoes). Red Meat has been shown to be beneficial for type 0 diabetes.. Lamb, Venison, Bison, Veal are A + too…

        Pork products clump red blood cells of all types and every persons blood reacts as if it was a foreign invader and creates antibodies against all pork products. Your level of sensitivity will be determined by your overall state of health…

        Cashews, Pistachios are to be avoided by all types too, because they are known for their high mold content.. Yet people love them… Remember, people eat food for stimulation often and not for nourishment.. Your body gets a high when you ingest food not ideal for you (think alcohol).

        Anyway, I’m glad you found the primal way of eating works for you. It’s unfortunate Mark thinks there is no evidence for the Blood Type way of eating because there are tons of medline documents related to lectins and blood type. I’m suprised he even has an article on lectins even…

        I’m sorry about your brother, hopefully you can be a positive example for him and become radiantly healthy and happy. Tell him you don’t eat harmful foods like Wheat, Corn, Peanuts, Navy Beans, and crappy refined processed foods and oils.. (Olive Oil, Ghee, and BUtter is best for us type 0’s..

        If your brother is overweight and eats tons of Wheat, he is most likely an 0 as well. Go around asking about people’s blood type and notice what they eat.. You’ll notice a huge correlation between the people who intuitively follow the Blood Type recs and their state of well being and health…

        Many schizophrenics go into remission if they go on a Gluten Free diet. Unfortunately sooo many of them are addicted to wheat.. The red meat replaces the wheat cravings because you get the L Tyrosine which is very calming and helpful for up-regulating dopamine levels…

        Anyway, best of luck!!!

        Steve B wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • Thanks for the advice, I’ve actually read and mostly memorized the blood type book, but I go by Mark’s recommendations now, with a few tweaks for my own sensitivities and preferences. I won’t preach at my brother, and I won’t talk about the blood type diet if he asks me for advice, I’ll tell him about primal/paleo. He will want scientific proof of what works.

          I know you mean well, and I know Mark enjoys a good debate, but dispensing blood type diet advice in the comments section of a primal lifestyle blog? Probably not such a hot idea. I’m glad it works for you and that you’re enthusiastic about health. Cheers!

          Shebeeste wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • There is no vegetarian blood type. I have read most of D’Adamo’s books. Type A CAN be vegetarian because allegedly they respond best to soy, but there are meats recommended for that blood type. I should say vegetarianism is not demanded or enforced in any way for any of the types.

          Of course there are fat people eating lots of meat. And bread. And beans. And rice. And potatoes. I have yet to run into a thousand-pound person, though, who ate nothing BUT meat. If you find one, be sure to let us know.

          Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
      • You are 100% correct – he stumbled onto Lectins, and decided to wrap t up in Blood Type… But this has nothing to do with it.

        IIt is NOT heavily researched by anyone but Dr Dadamo, who has a clear conflict of interest in a positive outcome for the diet. If he gave his diet advice away for free (like Mark does here), and didn’t sell the woeful refined food he now sells, that relies on the people believing in the blood type diet to sell – then I’d be less skeptical.

        Independent research does not support the Blood Type Diet.

        It only works because of placebo effect (30% of people when given any “medical” intervention get a positive response) and that for a large chunk of people it actually proposes the paleo diet. When you put these two percentages together you get enough people that “believe” in it.

        An analogy – the world looks flat to us, so,based on that observation it is easy to believe that the world is flat – but that does not make it true!

        Dr Dadamo has never done any placebo controlled studies (where you can eliminate the placebo effect).

        With the exception of his advice to avoid lectins and in particular wheat (which is a common theme for many diets, including paleo/primal/gluten free) his diet is bogus.

        It is funny someone is spruiking his diet on here saying “one size does not fit all”, but apparently one size fits all for your blood type?!

        Any peer reviewed science has repeatedly called this “diet” out for what it is – bogus.

        The advice for AB’s is the most out there – no wheat, no dairy, no meat except turkey – please explain how people that were born AB in places where turkeys didn’t exist survived eating other meats!!??

        If this works for you (most likely because you are following a version of the paleo diet), then all well and good.. but don’t force this diet on unsuspecting people that may then go out and pay money to be conned.

        Luke wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • I haven’t noticed that there has *been* any peer-reviewed experimentation on D’Adamo’s claims. The typical response is “oh that’s B.S.” and laughing it off. That’s not science.

          D’Adamo says that the blood type antigens line the gastrointestinal tract which is why he makes the recommendations he does. The supplements are an extra, and not required for the diet. You could go to his websites and find 90 percent of what you need to know to follow the diet properly.

          I just looked on Wikipedia and a cursory glance does not out and out tell me that ABO lines the GI tract, though the article does state the blood type antigens are found on various tissues–but you could ask around and see if it’s true. That is a verifiable claim without having to run any research studies at all. It’d be an important clue to avoiding the most gut-damaging lectins in one’s diet, if it were true.

          Dismissing something as B.S. without looking at it too closely yourself is not what I’d call an intellectually rigorous approach to obtaining knowledge. I’m not saying D’Adamo is absolutely right, but you never know, he could be right in the same way that people were who believed you could get malaria from the night air. Shutting the windows against the night air still prevented a lot of malaria cases simply by dint of shutting out mosquitoes. Maybe following D’Adamo’s advice might help people preserve their health for reasons other than the placebo effect.

          I know that when I followed his type O diet, even though I was still eating seed foods such as quinoa and amaranth and NOT soaking them, I lost thirty pounds. For what it’s worth.

          Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
  17. Damn Mark . . . how did you get so smart. Thank you!!! You really have a gift. My husband and I feel GREAT!!! Grok on!!!

    Ginger Hancock wrote on June 5th, 2010
  18. I have a question. If you stop eating “nightshades, dairy, legumes and even nuts and eggs in addition to all grains and processed foods”, what the hell do you have left to eat? Wouldn’t you end up with a horribly one-sided diet?

    Andre Sanchez wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • I must admit my reaction to reading that was similar. However you are left with seafood, poultry and meat with fruits and vegetables… Which is quite varied. And as suggested, you then reintoduce one at a time to see if any causes you issues… If no issues, you can enjoy them. Especially eggs, nuts (properly prepared though), and nightshades… All of which feature in primal recipes

      Luke wrote on June 5th, 2010
  19. You’d be left with all animal proteins (try to avoid pork though), seafood, vegetables, fruit (healthy nuts = walnuts and pumpkins seeds and almonds). You don’t need this hugely diverse food array to choose from to be healthy. The food industry’s goal is to sell more food. Some people survive on just meat and fat and do great.. Plus, calorie restriction increases lifespan and improves your quality of life.

    Steve B wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Why avoid pork? That’s not a Primal Blueprint recommendation.

      Shebeeste wrote on June 6th, 2010
      • Because Pork has been shown to clump red blood cells of EVERY blood type. It does the same thing as a lectin and acts as an agglutinate.

        This may sound racist, but African Americans have the shortest lifespan out of all races and they’re obsessed with pork products. The south is the heart attack capital of the U.S. practically. It’s not prime rib in on the menu, but bacon, pork. rinds. etc…

        Try beef for a week and then switch to pork products only for a week… You’ll probably be able to tell in the way it makes you feel and your energy levels. It will cause inflammation in more sensitive individuals. Try it out for yourself…

        Steve B wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • I won’t judge whether you sound racist, but deeming any one group of people “obsessed” is no way to win friends and influence people.

          Shebeeste wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • I hope you aren’t referring to blood type diet rules?

          This has been proven to be total nonsense.

          Also, regarding your assertion that African Americans have the shortest lifespan out of all races, and then attributing that to pork… sorry mate, in Australia Aboriginal peoples have the shortest lifespan, and they don’t eat pork to any great extent.

          To say a food group is responsible for the short life span of one ethnic group may not be racist, but is a bit far fetched.

          This view ignores factors like social disadvantage, resulting in lower levels of schooling (not by choice), less access to healthcare (not by choice), exposure to more violent crimes (resulting in injury and death – again not by choice), and when they do get arrested for a crime, higher levels of incarceration compared to caucasians for the same crime (I’m going out on a limb here – but I reckon that’s not by choice!).

          I’m sorry, but to reduce the complex problem of the health issues of a minority and largely discriminated against race to the consumption of pork is a bit out there!

          Funny how you seem to be oblivious to “the south” being a factor due to any of the issues I raised above – please do not tell me you think there is no longer racial prejudices in “the south”?

          There is also a silly stereo type that African Americans are obsessed with chicken – is poultry now off the menu too?

          Or perhaps the solution to the health issue for African Americans (and Australian Aboriginals, and any minority group with poor health) is to convert to Judaism!? 😉

          Sorry, this white Aussie could not leave that one alone!

          Grok on


          PS – the majority of Grok’s were African or very close decent, racial differences also started accelerating with agriculture!

          Luke wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • Why do aboriginals have the shortest lifespan? What kind of diet do they eat? Thank you :)

          Msfit wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • Europeans eat a lot of pork too. Do they die as often and early as African-Americans? Way to completely ignore the history of African-Americans and the effects of epigenetics on an ethnic population.

          Southerners love beef. I guess I would know, as I am one. And they also eat lots of bread, rice, and sugar. Those go farther to explaining heart attacks than the presence of pork on one’s menu.

          Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
        • I just have to chime in on this thread. Perhaps the problem with pork has nothing to do with the animal but how it is grown in America. As someone with a corn allergy, I can attest to the fact that pork is the most GMO corn dependent animal species that we eat, even edging out chickens for the lead. Not only is pork raised almost exclusively on GMO corn feed enriched with GMO corn vitamins, but it is contaminated with GMO corn in every step of processing. While it is possible to buy exclusively grassfed cow, bison and lamb, it is not possible to find grassfed pork. Even most “heritage” pork is fed GMO corn or soy to some degree.

          During processing, the carcass is sprayed with lactic acid or citric acid (GMO corn derivatives) and pork is routinely injected with a broth solution (GMO corn or soy derived) or treated with nitrates and chemical preservatives derived from GMO crops. Pork is not simply pig meat anymore. Would anyone care to guess if GMO corn is linked to heart disease and obesity?

          Perhaps the rate of obesity and heart disease is higher here in the South because income level is the number one indicator of risk for both conditions. Low income = high GMO diet.

          kc wrote on June 22nd, 2010
        • My sweet mother-in-law could not eat pork, except very occasionally. That means once or twice a year. She loved ham, but ‘paid’ for it if she ate it more often. She also had ‘undiagnosed’ lupis, reumatoid arthritis, and severe other food allergies. My sister-in-law, similarly afflicted, will not hear of changing her ‘lifestyle.’ I’ve even offered to be a personal chef, to no avail. It breaks my heart the pain these two women in my life suffer (suffered in the case of my mother-in-law) because they won’t listen…. each of us has a choice, I suppose.

          Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
        • Racist? You? YES. Uneducated too.

          Jeremy wrote on May 17th, 2012
        • Can you share a link to what study demonstrated this? Thanks

          honeyrose wrote on July 28th, 2013
    • Avoid pork….are you kidding…..bacon is the food of gods.

      Aaron Curl wrote on June 7th, 2010
      • Gosh Luke, I just love it when someone who lives 15 timezones from the South is expert in its ways. Please do not tell me about residual racial prejudice in the South. If you have something to report about residual prejudice among white Aussies toward Aboriginals, I’d be more inclined to view your opinion as having a modicum of credibility.

        As for Southern blacks being denied educational opportunity, as one who teaches part-time in secondary school following retirement, it has been my observation and experience that blacks have exactly the same opportunity as every other student. The ones who misbehave and make little attempt to learn are treated with ‘kid gloves’ lest a charge of ‘racism’ be automatically leveled.

        Your stereotypes need an update: Southern Gothic is increasingly a literary genre, not a societal norm.

        JimInSouth wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • Ah Jim – I did acknowledge prejudice against Aboriginals in Australia.

          And as an educated man, you should know that you don’t have to love somewhere to know about it.

          I also did not confine my comments about education to just the South.

          I have no stereotypes about the South of the US… I do however not live in a state of denial that not all human beings treat each other equally (and that also goes for African Americans (or any other race) towards people of another race.

          In your rush to defend yourself (why is that?) you missed the point I was actually making… you can’t attribute the health of African Americans (even those in the South) to the consumption of pork.

          As an educated man from the South, do you REALLY believe that this is why African Americans (anywhere in America) have lower life expectancy?

          I was in no way pretending to be an expert, I simply and quite honestly stated that there are still people in the South (and in the North, East and West if it helps you feel better) that are racially prejudiced… and YES there are those type of people in Australia… I can admit this, I always wonder about people that can’t see prejudice and/or racism AT ALL…

          One of the stereotypes we do have in Australia is that people from the South are very sensitive about the topic of racism, you have at least confirmed that for us.

          And Msfit, Aboriginal diets vary, however most of their health issues are due to not consuming their traditional hunter gatherer diets, combined with alcohol consumption (which prior to european settlement they did not consume – so they are susceptible to its effects) and also lack of access to decent health, as many live in some of the most remote places on the planet (not a lot of people in the middle of Australia, and even less doctors/nurses/teachers as a result). Also, like many indigenous cultures that did not evolve eating grains (like those from the pacific islands), when exposed to a diet containing grains they get diabetes – some pacific islands have up to 90% of the adult population with diabetes, Aboriginal Australians range between 30-40% depending on where in Australia.

          Getting back on topic – NONE of it has anything to do with PORK!

          I’m with Aaron on this one – food of the gods!


          Luke wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • “love = live” apologies for the typo

          Luke wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • You only see black kids in the classroom. That’s not exactly being knowledgeable about the whole of their lives and history. Nice try though.

          And if there are any black folks here reading this who feel an urge to stick up for this guy, don’t bother. Yes, there are black kids who are slackoffs. There are even black people who take advantage of racism in American history to get away with bad behavior. So what? We still have racism in this country, and white kids are still overwhelmingly advantaged over black ones. If I as a white person can see this plain as day, we’ve got a looong way to go.

          Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
        • Racist teacher. Shame on you!

          Jeremy wrote on May 17th, 2012
  20. Deborah & Amannda

    Following a Primal Diet is definitely the first and most imporant step when dealing with an autoimmune condition. I would recommend dropping the eggs for a while due to the fact that they are known to be a common food sensitivy even people with healthy GI/immune systems. Cordain has done quitit’s bit of research linking eggs, grains and dairy to autoimmune conditions.

    I don’t have an autoimmune condition but, I have worked with quite a few who have. I have found that they all had extensive GI issues that were confirmed by stool testing and other lab work. I would highly recommend getting your diet in order like you are and working on healing your gut with a targeted supplement protocol.

    Aaron wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • As far as targeted supplements what besides fish oil,Vit D and lots of leafy veggies would I need to start with? I dont go to Doctors they cause more confusion and and money.My mother has lupus at least she did and now she has Fibromyalgia. Her Doc first mentioned Paleo to her to try since she is a diabetic as well, which got me curious and here I am 6 months later and 30lbs lighter.My thing is she is stuck on CW like most and doesnt know where to start. I try to explain but I am just going to have to print out all the info I can and mail it to her to convince her otherwise.She wants to try this just scared and hasnt a direction because she would have to change her whole life and routine.

      Amanda wrote on June 6th, 2010
      • Amanda, I have seen wonderful improvement in autoimmune issues with turmeric and cinnamon in capsules. I make my own by buying the spices in bulk and the gel-caps separately to make them more affordable.

        Marie wrote on June 6th, 2010
        • One of my mottos: Everything tastes better with cinnamon. Sprinkle some on your apple, add to your salad dressing (esp Asian styles), sprinkle on salsa (less on hispanic style; more on asian styles), dump some in your almond drink-based smoothie. If you don’t like cinnamon, I’m sorry…all the more for me!

          Mary Anne wrote on June 9th, 2010
        • I hadn’t thought about making my own gelcaps with spices. I even have the equipment to do it. I’ve been stirring in cinnamon and 100% cocoa with my morning coffee but a lot filters out with the french press. I have however noticed that my joints get really hot in a good way, like soaking in a nice warm bath, instead of really hot in an inflammation and pain way. (I have fibro/CFS and am really dreading the fact I might need to cut more out of my diet now since a lot of the stuff I’m reading here are things I use the most in my primal/whole30 lifestyle at the moment)

          Rayn wrote on August 30th, 2013
      • She may not have to change her lifestyle as much as her diet… People with autoimmune tend to thrive on more animal protein.. (They’re usually Blood Type 0 or B).

        I highly doubt she is A, but I bet she eats tons of carbs right?

        Steve B wrote on June 7th, 2010
      • Do you and your Mom live close by? Cook for her. Invite her for lunch and prepare primal. or dinner and prepare primal. I Guarantee if you feed the wonderful primal recipes, you can win over practically anyone. Oh dear, I re-read and assume you live in a different town. Send recipes. MORE importantly, send MENUS. Recipes by themselves can be intimadating in a sterile sort of way. The MENU, however, gives a lovely picture of the whole meal.

        My ‘meat-and-potatoes’ husband looks forward to primal dinners. Ok, he still likes potatoes, but I’ve managed to reduce serving them to once or twice a month.

        My vegetarian sister and spouse share fantastic recipes. They know we have no intention of becoming vegetarian, but having a stunning beet casserole recipe is totally primal…we LOVE pairing their beet casserole with bison rib steak!!!!!!

        Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
  21. Waah! A dude can’t eat much anymore, without knowing it’s harmaful for you. Guess it’s just grassfed protein and leafy veggies with very few fuit selections for me. How boring!

    David wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Boring???? May I offer my services in creating menus for you? My husband was a bit depressed by cutting so much carbohydrate, but now is quite enthusiastic about a menu of, for example, bison rib steak, khol rabi-tomato-basil salad, plums (combination of heirloom Green Gage and Brooks) for dessert.

      Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
  22. Logically, it’s hard to imagine eggs would be a problem for Grok. Grok would surely have eaten all the eggs he/she could find. Because they don’t even have any claws or fangs and they run quite slow! (unless they are on a steep hill that is..) Perhaps there is something specific in eggs currently available that is causing the problem.

    Eva wrote on June 5th, 2010
    • Eggs would have been a seasonal food, like any other. Birds only lay eggs in specific seasons, so the eggs would have been plentiful for a short time and then not part of the food supply for 11/12ths or so of the year. Turtle and aquatic egg layers have a different seasonal trend, so perhaps that would have increased egg consumption, but I’m unclear whether lectins are a problem in roe or other aquatic eggs.

      Marie wrote on June 6th, 2010
      • Eggs foraged in the wild by the likes of Grok would have always been fertile – eggs in our markets now days are unfertile.

        Anti-nutrients like avidin(and possibly lectins)are mostly deactivated in fertile raw eggs(even more so than in well cooked unfertile eggs).

        Fun fact: Feed an egg eating pet snake fertile eggs and they will thrive, feed them unfertile eggs and they will not only get ill they will soon die if not returned to a diet of raw fertile eggs.

        Scotty Boy wrote on June 19th, 2012
    • Birds were not fed GMO corn and soy and the eggs of yesteryear were not washed with GMO corn detergents. Why would they be? Eggshells come with their own protective coating that is destroyed by washing. Besides, eggshells are porous and anything you wash the outside with ends up on the inside.

      kc wrote on June 22nd, 2010
      • Wild birds eggs will have a roughly balanced omega 3:6 ratio. Grain fed chickens produce omega 6 rich eggs. Big bad trouble! If I didn’t feed my free range chickens grains they would eat no seeds of any note. They eat grass, though like the wood pigeons they much prefer clover, worms, slugs, snails, cow pat grubs, mice (often whilst still alive. Nature is hard!), frogs, newts, apples, pears and plums as they fall off my orchard trees (yes they free range) and they love cherries and strawberries (they get the ones I reject). My Guinea Fowl love onions, leeks, garlic and can fly into the veg patch to do so. Netting helps. I try to feed as little grain as possible. It is easy though! Read Dr Artemis Simopoulos’s book The Omega Diet. It describes chickens in her native Greece scratching around for grubs and eating purslane (high in omega 3 ALA) then the American corn/grain fed chicken. Great book.

        Mike wrote on January 22nd, 2013
  23. So basically lectins are in everything but some fruits?

    thehova wrote on June 6th, 2010
  24. I am a little confused about the source of lectins: what about canned beans, home-cooked beans and (this is odd) pea protein powder?

    Katherine wrote on June 7th, 2010
    • Prepare dry beans according to ‘Nourishing Traditions.’ The will clear up any canned vs. home prepared issues and will render your recipes primal friendly.

      Mary Anne wrote on September 5th, 2010
      • I always find it useful to have a can of beans in the cupboard, but can anyone tell me if these have been through the soaking phase before being cooked, as I guess this is crucial to reduce lectin?

        elinoir wrote on April 2nd, 2012
  25. First off, if you’re really eating primal, beans aren’t really on the table right?

    But anyway, I digress. Beans have the highest amount of lectins after grains. Some lectins are good, some are not..

    There is a lectin in the banana that actually binds to the HIV virus.. SO this is good for some people… I believe the castor bean lectin (ricin) was used for assassination purposes. (bad bad bad)

    The soy lectin helps prevent cancer (in certain blood types). The primal diet works for me because I’m genetically wired (through Blood Type) to benefit. Almost half the population is….

    This is all documented on medline so I’m not just repeating what Dr. Dadamo says..

    You can’t say “everyone has to eat this or that to stay healthy.” That is just not true and is all or nothing thinking…

    I’m thriving on red meat and animal fat alone.. I bet not everyone could…

    Anyway, if you’re truly wondering about lectins, find out your blood type and I’d be glad to help you out.. Because the negative ones mess your gut up and take away from your happiness. Avoiding (negative) lectins frees up tons of extra energy….

    Steve B wrote on June 7th, 2010
    • The Blood Type Diet simply works because it moves people toward a paleo diet, not because of the flawed blood type theory it contains. Loren Cordain has just published a great review of this diet in one of his latest newsletters. Dr. D’Adamo doesn’t even list the blood types in correct order. The first bloodtype was A (not O), the second B, then O, then AB. Furthermore, all bloodtypes were established roughly 240,000 years before the advent of agriculture (not right before or after). Negative lectins don’t take away from my happiness – Bad science does.

      Dan B wrote on June 7th, 2010
      • Dan,

        Dan, first off, please list your blood type. I think Loren Cordain is great, but one size doesn’t fit all…

        Lectins have a profound impact on all of us and I’d challenge you to eat the exact opposite of your blood type every day for two weeks, lectins and all and then tell me how happy you are….

        As an 0, I’ve been a vegan and i can tell you that was not very good for me… Now that I’m a primal eater, the whole physiology has changed and I’m loving it…

        Steve B wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • So you admit to following a primal diet – and yet you think this is due to blood type?!

          So explain the sudden development of the genotype diet – which one is it – blood type or genotype?

          I’d say it’s the laughing all the way to the bank type, as the blood diet faithful cough up more $$$ for the newest variant of bogus science… I note the guy is selling food now too (and it is highly refined artificial food! – Anything for a $, health is not the aim here)

          Convenient that 43% of population are O – and so should follow what is essentially a paleo diet…

          Another 12% of population are B – and are prescribed a slightly less stringent primal type diet (although grains are included – WHAT about lectins here? Even though science has proven regardless of blood type, lectins are not good for us

          The best part though is the 40% of the population that is A, which are given a recommendation to be vegetarian!? Are you kidding – 40% of the human population evolved to be vegetarian?! Without meat consumption we wouldn’t have evolved that much from apes!

          And then finally the poor 5% of the population that is AB – and get the ridiculous advice that you should ONLY eat limited amounts of turkey and lamb, perhaps rabbit, but not chicken and beef or other meats, peanuts are highly beneficial (oh the lectins!?) etc etc

          What about the ABs born where there were no turkeys or lambs? How did they thrive?

          The focus of the blood type diet is weight loss, and in the end it works due to:

          1) Placebo effect
          2) a large % of people being told to go paleo/primal (which is a proven health strategy)
          3) restricting food choices so much that the person becomes conscious of what they are easting – which is the 1st big step to weight loss

          Now if due to the above 3 things it works for you fine – but that does not mean it is real science or even real period.

          And it should not be spruiked in such a way that leads other people to think it is a scientific fact, so that they hand over money to a very rich man that is self-perpetuating the evidence for his theory.

          For example Mark does sell health supplements and his books, but you can get the information he has in those on here for free with effort, and on other sites again through effort.

          Personally I’m always suspicious when someone has “scientific proof’ of their own (not independently verified), published in their own journals/websites that give a result that help that person sell something else.

          If he EVER shows a placebo controlled trial, that is then published in a peer reviewed journal (not his own publications), then I’ll eat my hat!!! I’m AB – I’m sure that is OK?! 😉

          Luke wrote on June 7th, 2010
        • I am type A+ but can’t eat fibrous foods such as veggies as well as meats because of my Crohn’s Disease. I’ve never had problems eating meats, even crispy, salty bacon which in theory you’d think would irritate my intestines just from being overcooked and dried out/hard/crispy but it doesn’t… unlike say, leafy vegetables which if eaten alone I don’t even seem to be able to digest (because my intestines don’t like it as much which is in direct contradiction of my blood type diet – in fact, if I were to have a severe bout of inflammation the only safe foods would be 0 carb 0 fiber meat. After my first surgery when they found out that baseball-sized absces they removed from me was from Crohn’s they gave me aprintout of suggested foods to eat and avoid – recommending a low GI low fiber diet. You’d think as a type A my consumption of meat would mess me up or make me fat and yet it hasn’t.).

          I’m not surprised you failed at veganism since you sound like the gullible type – maybe you believed veganism to be primarily a health-based diet when in reality it is healthy but primarily an ethical-based diet that limits your choices of certain essential micro and macronutrients – you need to really know what you’re doing to thrive on a vegan diet, it’s too easy to make yourself unhealthy by not paying attention to what you’re eating.

          Speaking of gullible – you DO realize that red blood cell types exist so your immune system can identify them as being a part of your own body right? because they are essentially dead cells with no DNA – just an iron core – I really don’t see how they can have any effewct on your immune function – blood type is for red blood cells, not white immune cells. And why wouldn’t it be your gene phenotype that plays a role in metabolism? There are countless variants of gene expressions. There are only 4-8 red blood cell phenotypes. Sure, red cells can clot sometimes, and some things can make them clotty-er, but in your above posts you also talk of immune responses which I hate to tell you but your red blood cells play not real part of (even when it comes to clotting to heal wounds, it’s mostly your white blood cells such as macrophages that will clot together to heal the wound). Your red blood cells are there to provide oxygen, that’s about it. Worst case scenario, they clot up and induce strokes/cut off blood flow to organs until they’re un-clotted… fSo, in theory according to you I should have died of a massive stroke by now….

          Do me a favour and never preach this garbage to people like me who have serious health issues – it makes us cynical about other potential more useful things like the Paleo diet – you do realize that if I were to seriously try out your little blood type theory I’d be putting myself at risk again of another flare-up, possibly even once again having another part of my intestines permanently removed and being able to process certain micronutrients just a little less efficiently. Have you ever even been hospitalized for health problems? Probably not or else you’d try to do more research before getting behind something like this – what’s next? you’ll tell me I just need to see a chiropractor to fix my spine to heal my immune system and that will take care of all my ailments?. Or let me guess, I need to consume diluted toxins – so diluted in fact that they aren’t even there….. Or maybe my Crohn’s Disease is caused bya bacteria in milk that magically survives pasteurization and affects even non-milk drinkers (or was that a virus?)… or maybe the fruitarians had it right and I need to stop eating proteins from animals and plants because they create evil mucous!

          You yourself admit to going Primal while going on the blood type diet – I don’t see how you can not seriously see the major flaws in that diet when the benefits you gained from it can be better explained with the primal diet which appears to make a lot more sense… waaayyyy more sense that that other diet. That’s the thing about alternative medicine/health: There’s a LOT of bullshit you have to sift true to get to the good stuff…

          mm wrote on July 16th, 2010
      • Exactly Dan – he has made this stuff up – and when science has proved that his hypothesis is incorrect, he just changes it, or just drowns out the science with marketing dollars, so that his disciples don’t lose their faith.

        Luke wrote on June 7th, 2010
      • Loren Cordain says paleolithic people ate low-fat diets. Pardon me if I don’t exactly trust him to know which blood type developed first.

        Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
  26. I am always suprised that you continually post articles on lectins and hardly ever discuss the fact that they are neutralized by soaking/sprouting/fermenting. I t was nice to see it mentioned in this article, but you still left it out of the section on how to deal with lectins. It is not necessary to completely eliminate grains and legumes from the diet if they are germinated first.

    mandy wrote on June 7th, 2010
    • oops, jusr re-read, and you did mention it in that section. good for you.

      mandy wrote on June 7th, 2010
      • Yes, and the ‘Nourishing Traditions’ book. There was an interesting article out of Japan a few years ago where researchers discovered that brown rice goes through a chemical change resulting in more proteins (think Ezekial sprouted grains) when soaked in warm water before cooking. I forget the soaking time, but at the time I thought that was pretty cool.

        BTW, I have cut out grains and feel MUCH better. At this point, I’m ready to go to my doc to have my prescription drug needs re-evaluated. Fully expect to change docs soon….

        Mary Anne wrote on June 9th, 2010
  27. Hi, I am new to your site–have a question.that improved my health greatly–someone told me that the same kind of lectins in cows milk is also in beef which could explain why I can’t eat beef. Is this true? I was a Macrobiotic vegey for many years but in recent years have started a gluten free diet and then started adding more animal protein–eggs, fish, poultry but still dislike red meat–just cannot do it except for occasional bison when my husband makes it. Bison seems better than beef for my digestive system though still don’t like it much. I have thought about trying rabbit as it seems like something paleo people would have eaten and thought maybe I could stand it better than larger mammals. I love almonds and am planning to try the soaking first for those. I do eat quinoa, amaranth and millet and sometimes rice but I do soak all of them overnight.

    Debrah wrote on June 7th, 2010
    • Somehow not all of my post came through–I thought I wrote: I quit eating dairyproducts many years ago–that improved my health greatly.

      Debrah wrote on June 7th, 2010
  28. Good article – one point I think it highlights for everyone is that just because a food has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, does not necessarily make it 100% ‘good’ (even if most are when added into our diets in the proportions that nature intended). All plants have some methods of defending themselves are are not just here for our consumption… our ancestors worked this out (sprouting/soaking/etc), we should too.

    Marek London wrote on June 8th, 2010
  29. I’m African American, from the South, and the diet is horrendous. People can afford to eat whatever they want but choose the worst foods because of tradition. I know prosperous, educated people who still serve chitterlings (hog guts) at special occasions and load everything down with lard, salt, starches, fried foods, etc. It is true that we looove pork and fried meat. It’s not racist to be truthful; let’s talk about food and health.

    Monica wrote on June 8th, 2010
    • Organ meats are good for you. Lard is good for you. (Read the label. As long as it is not hydrogenated, it is mostly mono-unsaturated fat, just like olive oil.) Salt’s only a problem in salt-sensitive people which, to be fair, there’s reason to believe applies to African-Americans. The starches and sugars are the main problem, from what I can tell.

      He was still incredibly rude to speak of you the way he did. And I doubt he will be able to explain how Europeans can eat so much pork and still have lower heart disease rates than we do.

      Dana wrote on June 9th, 2010
      • Isn’t lard mostly saturate fat? That’s why it’s sold at room temperature and is ok for high temp cooking.

        Charlie wrote on November 27th, 2011
        • Lard has slightly more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat. The composition is 40% saturated fat and 45% monounsaturated fat. The rest is polyunsaturated fat. I found this info here:

          Bonnie G wrote on April 22nd, 2012
      • Having read this site for the last half hour it would appear that your food is grown/ fed and processed in a totally different way from Europe. I actually see the crops growing and the animals grazing before I buy the food locally. I always feel best on a high meat/ fish protein and animal fat especially, ALWAYS butter NO spreads, some veg. I tried to eat more varied and carbs make me feel and look awful. Having read about grains here I now know why.I’d never heard of lectins before today. Re the blood group issue I’m AB NEG so have given that one a miss.

        Yve wrote on August 16th, 2013
  30. In the last 6 months I have started getting severe hives from the lectins in all grains, legumes and dairy (I am blood type A, the ‘vegetarian’ type for those in that debate!). Unfortunately, I also get a histamine reaction from all protein foods not freshly cooked from caught/ frozen and am at work 10 1/2 hours per day with only a microwave to cook food, which I won’t use. I have therefore been left very hungry as I try to just eat vegetables all day until 8pm when I get home. This very interesting article and comments have inspired me to experiment a bit with soaking and sprouting grains & legumes. I know that promoting this wasn’t the purpose of your article, Mark, but its a possible solution for this very hungry person!

    Helena wrote on June 9th, 2010
    • I’d at least attempt the B-type diet to see if you notice any improvement… Chicken, Turkey, and Soy at least.. If it doesn’t help try Emotional Freedom Technique or Neuromodulation Technique (NMT.MD) (google them). or even NAET. These are “alternative medicines” that people who never suffered from severe enough problems to change usually discredit and call quackery. Suffer enough and you will become open to these treatments pretty quick. Just my opinion….

      Steve B wrote on June 10th, 2010
      • I wish I had a figure for all the NAET clients that come back to the avoiding corn forum after a while when it no longer works. These techniques teach the body to stop making a fuss about allergens or toxins, that isn’t the same thing as being cured.

        The problem sounds like an allergy or intolerance to preservatives (maybe citric acid). The solution is to cook in bulk from whole, fresh meat and veggies and then freeze portions for later. I don’t eat anything that I haven’t cooked from scratch and I don’t cook whole meals three times a day.

        kc wrote on June 22nd, 2010
    • Hello Helena – have you considered histamine intolerance – which I am. It can be successfully managed through eliminating histamine rich foods. Only a thought.

      Alison wrote on March 15th, 2013
  31. Great information. I’ve been gluten free for the last 10 months, but have noticed I still get sick occasionally and was really disapointed that my energy level never improved. Looks like I have a lot to learn (or unlearn) about what’s healthy. Thanks for the education.

    lynn wrote on June 9th, 2010
    • Focus on your wellbeing and the health you do have for a week. Put your intent out there that a solution is yours and one should come. Best of luck in your well being. Some people are just more sensitive than others, but inevitably it’s a lot about belief and our thoughts, so fighting about what is healthy or not does become pointless (to a point). : )

      Steve B wrote on June 10th, 2010
  32. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally convinced by the ‘evil lectin’ science, but can we not get a bit more specific? For instance, which lectins are found in which foods and in what quantities? Which lectins are most and least harmful to your health? I can’t seem to find a breakdown anywhere on the web.

    I think that sort of information would really help people to establish any correlations between diet and the state of their health.

    I seem to be able to tolerate eggs, soy protein chunks, gluten free oats, and certain beans like cannellini and black eyed, but not wheat, rice, buckwheat and millet and would love to know if there’s any logical behind this.

    PlaydohYeti wrote on June 10th, 2010

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!