400+ Foods High in Lectins and Lectin-Free Food List [PDF]

Dieser Artikel basiert auf wissenschaftlichen Studien

Foods High in Lectins | Lectin-Free Foods | Remove Lectins | PDF List

Although one of them, gluten, has already gone viral, most lectins are unknown. Nevertheless, they exist in rough quantities and variations in foods.

However, since the heart surgeon Steven Gundry landed a bestseller with The Plant Paradox, the interest in lectins has been growing.

As many recent studies will show us in this article, these plant toxins do impact health.

What Are Lectins in Food?

Lectins are large proteins that plants use as toxins to defend themselves against predators.

While animals have teeth and claws to protect themselves against predators, plants are not handling such weapons.

Moreover, they are usually rooted so that they cannot run away.

Therefore, plants have evolved to produce chemical compounds called lectins to ward off insects, microorganisms, and other predators (Dolan et al. 20101).

Somewhere the natural resistance to parasites must come from, right?

Accordingly, the concentration of these plant toxins is often exceptionally high in new pest-resistant crops (Macedo et al. 20152).

Since they bind to carbohydrates in the body of predators, lectins are also known as “sticky proteins.”

Accordingly, lectins adhere to sialic acid in the nerve endings of the intestine and brain, which inhibits communication and causes brain disorders.

These sugar molecules also exist in body fluids and blood vessel linings. Therefore, lectins can cause inflammation and toxic reactions (Freed 19993).

Although people do not digest lectins, the sticky proteins can often sneak into the bloodstream via the gut.

Lectins also facilitate the attachment and binding of viruses and bacteria and help them to reach their targets.

Therefore, some people who are more sensitive to lectins are more susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections than others.

Moreover, lectins, for example, in potatoes, promote the release of histamine, which can lead to excessive production of stomach acid (Pramod et al. 20074).

What Foods Are High in Lectins?

It is the seeds, grains, leaves, barks, and shells where lectins are hiding.

You may have heard that people used to place tomatoes in front of the pantry to keep insects away.

And with good reason. Tomatoes are among the foods highest in lectins. Hence, the concentration of lectins in the skin and seeds is exceptionally high. For example, these lectins can paralyze smaller insects.

When an animal eats a plant, lectins contained in the seeds help to keep the seeds intact as they pass through the digestive tract of the predator. After the animal has excreted the seed, it ensures the survival of the plant’s species.

However, lectins also bind to carbohydrates, especially to complex sugars (polysaccharides), in the body of the predator after it has eaten the plant.

Accordingly, lectins target sugar molecules and attach themselves to them on the surface of the cells of other organisms, such as fungi, insects, and other animals.

Nevertheless, humans are predators to many plants as well.

Since we are significantly larger than insects, the effects of lectins are usually not immediately noticeable. But they appear over more extended periods.

Grains are foods high in lectins

Are High Lectin Foods Bad for You?

As we will examine in more detail foods high in lectins can unfold quite health-endangering effects according to current studies.

With this in mind, a lectin-free diet is associated with the improvement of the following health conditions (Gundry et al. 20175):

  • Acne
  • Age spots, skin markings
  • Allergies
  • Alopecia
  • Anemia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease)
  • Bone loss (including osteopenia and osteoporosis)
  • Brain Fog
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Colon polyps
  • Cramps, tingling, and numbness
  • Cranial Nebula
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes, prediabetes, insulin resistance
  • Exhaustion
  • Fat in the stool (due to poor digestion)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gut problems (bloating, pain, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease, coronary heart disease, vascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle, miscarriage
  • Irritability and behavioral changes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Joint pain
  • Little testosterone
  • Low levels of immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, and immunoglobulin A
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Lymphomas, leukemias, multiple myeloma
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Memory loss
  • Migraine
  • Nutritional deficits due to malabsorption
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Reduction in dental health
  • Reflux or heartburn
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Skin rashes
  • The slow growth of infants or children
  • Vitiligo
  • Weight gain or loss

How Do Lectins Affect Gut Health?

The understanding of lectins fills some dark spots in conventional medicine that were unexplained for a long time. And like so many diseases, the harmful effects of lectins begin in the second brain – the intestine.

Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut Syndrome means that the barrier separating the outside world – the contents of your gastrointestinal tract – from your body leaks.

As a result, there is a loophole in the gut mucosal lining through which bacteria and toxins can enter the bloodstream from the gut and cause inflammation and diseases.

If you want to keep Leaky Gut Syndrome in check, it is crucial to eliminate the cause of the holes in the unicellular intestinal wall: Foods high in lectins.

According to studies, it is precisely lectins in grain that can cause injuries to the intestinal wall.

Above all, it is gluten that can cause a “leaky gut,” because it makes up an incredible 80% of the proteins in wheat.

And this concentrated load of foods high in lectins, such as wheat, can cause considerable damage to the intestinal wall (Haupt-Jorgensen et al. 20186).

What makes gluten so dangerous is that it can trigger a process in the cells of the intestinal wall that destroys the proteins holding it together (Sturgeon et al. 20167).

Hence, they create a gap in the intestinal wall. Besides gluten, it is mainly wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) that damages the intestinal wall.


Because it is not a large protein like other lectins, but a tiny one, it passes through loopholes in the intestinal wall more easily.

Therefore, bacteria and viruses, such as influenza, can overcome the barrier of the gut mucosal lining with the help of lectins (Dalla Pellegrina et al. 20098).

Thus, lectins contained in grains make it possible for a wide variety of harmful substances and pathogens to trigger a multitude of diseases.

Whole grain bread is full of aggressive lectins

Weight Gain

Besides diseases, foods high in lectins can trigger weight gain. Again, it is wheat and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) that causes additional pounds on your scale.

For this reason, wheat has helped humanity to hibernate successfully over and over again. Due to WGA, whole grain bread is extraordinary fattening.

Because, unlike gluten, WGA is a lectin primarily contained in the bran. For this reason, white bread contains gluten, but no wheat germ agglutinin.

Accordingly, it is the supposedly healthy wholemeal bread that is among the foods highest in lectins.

Since WGA can bind to insulin and leptin receptors, it promotes weight gain. Therefore, it promotes the effectiveness of the storage hormone insulin and helps store body fat more efficiently (Shechter 19839).

On the one hand, WGA increases insulin resistance, leading to even more weight gain (Kamikubo et al. 200810).

On the other hand, insulin resistance is a condition that sooner or later leads to type 2 diabetes and other modern diseases.

As if this vicious circle of weight gain was not enough, some physicians suggest that WGA also prevents glucose from entering the muscles.

As a result, the body stores glucose as body fat instead of burning it in the muscles. On top of that, wheat germ agglutinin is also a significant cause of inflammation in the body.


Not only does it penetrate the intestinal wall more quickly, but WGA can also bring free radicals to the gut mucosal lining, which can damage this thin wall.

Besides WGA, peanut agglutinin (PNA), jacalin in jackfruit, and other lectins in legumes can cause kidney inflammation. Thus, these lectins promote nephritis (Engel et al. 199711).

Since they trigger an immune response, lectins have also been linked to autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.

Autoimmune Diseases

According to recent studies, lectins can induce the formation of antibodies against healthy cells. Thus, lectins can cause autoimmune diseases (Saeki et al. 201412).

Since immune cells confuse proteins on healthy cells with lectins, these antibody attacks are called molecular mimicry.

Since they are pretty new to our nutritional cycle, some assume that lectins contained in foods from the New World, such as tomatoes, are more likely to cause this confusion.

Accordingly, lectins are associated with the following autoimmune diseases:

  • Arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’ disease)
  • Lupus
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjögren’s syndrome (dry eyes and dry mouth)
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Ulcerative colitis

The surgeon and bestselling author Steven Gundry goes even further and claims that lectins promote all autoimmune diseases. Therefore, he thinks autoimmune diseases can be treated with a lectin-free diet in general.

According to Gundry, it is also drugs and especially antibiotics that can change your gut microbiome and intestinal mucosal lining in the long run.

They weaken the barrier of the intestinal wall daily, allowing lectins to penetrate (Gundry et al. 201713).

With this in mind, the current state of science suggests three factors to be causal for the development of autoimmune diseases (Ferroli et al. 201214):

  • Genetic preconditions
  • Leaky Gut
  • Lectins

Therefore, not everyone can get an autoimmune disease from lectins, but everyone with a genetic precondition will.

Nevertheless, it is interesting that lectins cause two of the three factors.

Hence, the reverse conclusion is that a lectin-free diet can improve or even cure autoimmune diseases.

Parkinson’s Disease

Lectins can cross the blood-brain barrier and migrate from the gut to the brain.

How does this work?

Scientists have discovered that lectins can climb the vagus nerve from the gut to the brain and accumulate in the brain’s control center.

The vagus is the longest of our cranial nerves and represents a direct connection from the gut to the brain. Hence, the gut is called the second brain for a reason.

And this damage to the substantia nigra, the switching point in the midbrain, causes Parkinson’s disease (Zheng et al. 201615).

Accordingly, patients who had their vagus nerve cut had 40 percent less Parkinson’s disease since lectins could not reach the brain directly (Svensson et al. 201516).

For this reason, Parkinson’s disease also occurs more frequently among vegetarians, since they eat more plants and thus more foods high in lectins.

How to Reduce or Remove Lectins

Since the food industry jumped onto the vegan hype train, the consumption of foods high in lectins has increased enormously.

Because straight vegetarians and Vegane often build their diets on legumes and nightshades due to limited alternatives and lack of protein sources.

So is there a way you can reduce lectins in your diet?

Yes, there are methods to reduce them effectively. However, it’s not easy to destroy lectins.

But watch out: Some methods circulate on the net that promise to neutralize lectins, although they cannot.

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Removing Lectins From Tomatoes

Like other nightshade plants – eggplants, potatoes, peppers, or goji berries –- tomatoes come from the New World.

Therefore, as late as 400 years ago, after Columbus discovered America, they could enter our food chain and our guts for the first time.

Moreover, Europeans did not want to eat tomatoes for more than 200 years – and rightly so, as they contain countless lectins. It was not until the end of the 19th century that dishes such as tomato sauce and pizza were adapted and made popular in Italy.

However, even today, real Italians still peel and seed tomatoes when preparing tomato sauce. Since peels and seeds contain the most lectins, this is still an effective way to reduce lectins.

And this is how to remove lectins from tomatoes:

  • Add tomatoes to boiling water
  • Peel them
  • Cut the fruits in halves
  • Squeeze out the seeds

This peeling and coring of tomatoes reduce lectins. However, this does not mean that the tomatoes are entirely free of lectins.

Pressure Cooking

A pressure cooker neutralizes lectins in beans, which are an essential vegan source of protein.

In this sense, the pressure cooker can help to destroy lectins in the following crops:

  • Legumes
  • Nightshades
  • Cucurbits
  • Fruits

However, the pressure cooker cannot destroy lectins in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. And yes, that is foods high in lectins containing gluten.

However, steam cooking under pressure neutralizes lectins in other grains and pseudo-grains, such as quinoa (Gundry et al. 201719).


Numerous cultures worldwide use the fermentation of food as part of their traditional diet.

For example, the Japanese have fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh, and natto. Eastern Europeans also have sauerkraut or kvass, a fermented drink made from beet.

Indians make dosas by fermenting lentils and rice dough, and lassis with fermented milk. Similarly, Incas use bacteria to reduce lectins in quinoa.

For this reason, Tabasco and other spicy sauces are fermented, and chilies are traditionally pickled without skin and seeds.

There is also strong evidence that fermentation reduces lectins. For example, fermentation in sourdough neutralizes gluten (Rizzello et al. 200720).

Accordingly, fermentation in lentils also neutralizes almost all lectins (Nkhata et al. 201821).

During fermentation, beneficial bacteria metabolize many indigestible compounds, including lectins. However, not all lectins are entirely destroyed by fermentation, and some particularly stubborn lectins in beans are retained no matter how long the treatment takes.

So how are foods fermented to neutralize lectins?

Since there are countless fermentation methods for food, I will not explain them explicitly.

Nevertheless, many fermentation methods use the addition of bacteria or so-called “starter cultures” leftover from a previous batch of fermentation to start the process.

For example, a vinegar mother represents such a starter culture.

Soaking and Sprouting Does Not Work

When it comes to neutralizing lectins, some myths circulate on the Internet about methods that do not work:

  • Soaking grains neither destroy gluten nor WGA
  • Sprouting legumes cannot reduce lectins

Instead, sprouting even seems to increase the lectin content. Furthermore, feeding animals with sprouted beans and grains show that this method can even cause cancer (Buchmann et al. 200722).

Foods High in Lectins

More important than having all lectin-free foods in your head is to know which ones are highest in lectins and can harm your health.

Accordingly, with this foods high in lectins PDF, it is better to avoid them strictly rather than consume them here and then (Gundry et al. 201717):

Lectin-Rich Vegetables

In the case of vegetables, it is particularly important to avoid legumes that contain large quantities of lectins. Some supposed vegetables are not included on this list, as they are actually fruits:

  • All beans, including sprouts
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Green beans
  • Hummus
  • Legumes
  • Lenses
  • Pea Protein
  • Peas
  • Soy Protein
  • Soy
  • Structured vegetable protein
  • Sugar Peas
  • Tofu

Fruits High in Lectins

Among fruits, especially the families of nightshades, cucurbits (both fruits, not vegetables) and melons are highest in lectins:

  • Chili’s
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Goji Berries
  • Melons (all types)
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins (all types)
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Processed Foods High in Lectins

Lectins are not exclusive to whole foods. On the contrary, it is precisely industrial processing that makes lectins – usually in the form of refined carbohydrates – even more concentrated and thus harmful:

  • Margarine
  • Milk
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Flour
  • Cookies
  • Cornflakes
  • Cereals
  • Tortillas
  • Potatoes
  • Potato Chips
  • Sugar
  • Agave syrup
  • Acesulfame K
  • Sucralose
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Energy drinks
  • Diet soda
  • Zero Beverages

Grains and Pseudo-Grains High in Lectins

As we have already pointed out, it is precisely grains that contain various sorts of lectins.

Furthermore, you will find pseudo-grains, such as quinoa, among these foods highest in lectins:

  • Barley
  • Barley Grass
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Corn
  • Corn products
  • Cornstarch
  • Einkorn
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Kamut
  • Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Wheat Grass
  • White basmati rice
  • White rice
  • Wild rice

Nuts and Seeds High in Lectins

Besides seeds, it’s – strictly speaking – legumes such as peanuts and cashews that are exceptionally high in lectins:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews

Oils High in Lectins

The following oils contain not only lectins but also omega-6 fatty acids that promote inflammation:

  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Grapeseed
  • Peanut
  • Safflower
  • Soy
  • Sunflower
  • Partially hydrogenated

Dairy High in Lectins (Casein-A1)

Northern European cows give milk that contains the milk protein casein A-1 instead of casein A-2. And this casein A-1 is converted into a lectin-like protein called beta-casomorphine during digestion.

Beta-casomorphine is considered one of the primary causes of type 1 diabetes. It attaches itself to the insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas, where the immune system attacks it.

Unfortunately, Northern European cows are mainly used for milk production, as they give more milk and are therefore more profitable than Southern European cows. You can find this milk in dairy products such as:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Ricotta
  • Yogurt (incl. Greek)
  • Yogurt ice cream
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Lectin-Free Food List

Although Dr. Gundry’s original positive list inspires this lectin-free food list PDF, I had to adapt it (Gundry et al. 201718).

For example, it makes absolutely no sense to eat fructose bombs like dates if you want to improve your overall health, lose weight, and prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

Lectin-Free Vegetables

Besides leafy greens, most sorts of cabbages are native to Europe and low in lectins:

  • Algae (Nori)
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beet
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard leaves
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Pak Choi
  • Parsley
  • Perilla (Shiso)
  • Purslane
  • Radicchio
  • Radish
  • Radishes
  • Salad tips
  • Sauerkraut
  • Seaweed (Kelp)
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Watercress
  • White and red cabbage

Lectin-Free Fruits

Although most fruits are fundamentally bad for health, that is not true for avocados, which shine with healthy fats and nutrients. Additionally, berries and citrus fruits are tolerable in moderation:

  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberry
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberries
  • Citrus fruits (no juices)
  • Lemon juice

Lectin-Free Nuts and Seeds

Besides the lectin bombs already discussed, there is also a variety of foods among nuts that do not contain lectins:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Coconut (not water)
  • Coconut milk
  • Flax seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Psyllium
  • Sesame
  • Walnuts

Lectin-Free Oils

Among lectin-free oils, coconut oil should be the first choice for frying, as it has the highest proportion of stable saturated fatty acids:

  • Algae
  • Avocado
  • Cod Liver
  • Extra Virgin Flaxseed (cold-pressed)
  • Extra Virgin Olive
  • Hemp seed
  • MCT
  • Macadamia
  • Red Palm
  • Shiso (Perilla)
  • Virgin Coconut
  • Walnut
  • Fish
  • Krill

Lectin-Free Fish

On the lectin-free foods list, the following fish is ideal, if not farmed:

  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Carp
  • Clams
  • Crabs
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Lobster
  • Mackerel (North Atlantic)
  • Mullet
  • Oysters
  • Prawns
  • Saithe
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Sea Wolf
  • Squids
  • Trout
  • Tuna
Fish and meat are foods low in lectins

Lectin-Free Meat

If the animals were not excessively fed with grains, corn, or soy and treated with antibiotics, the following options represent foods low in lectins:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Pigeon
  • Quail
  • Ostrich
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Wild boar
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Bison
  • Prosciutto

Lectin-Free Dairy

In contrast to Northern European cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, and Southern European cows still produce casein A-2 milk, which is contained in the following lectin-free foods:

  • From France/Italy/Switzerland
  • Buffalo (Italy)
    • Butter
    • Mozzarella
  • Casein A2
    • Cheese
    • Cream
  • Heavy cream cheese
  • Ghee
  • Coconut yogurt (no dairy product)
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino
  • Sour cream
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Goat and sheep
    • Kefir
    • Butter
    • Yogurt
    • Cheese
    • Milk
    • Cream

Lectin-Free Resistant Starch

Whether resistant starch is the most efficient choice for losing weight is arguable. Nevertheless, the following foods are free of lectin:

  • Baobab fruit
  • Celeriac
  • Green bananas
  • Green papaya/mango
  • Khaki
  • Konjac Tuber
  • Millet
  • Palm lily blossoms
  • Parsnips
  • Plantains
  • Sorghum Millet
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tapioca
  • Taro root
  • Tigernuts
  • Turnips
  • Yam bean
  • Yams

Lectin-Free Flour

Not only in the low-carb and keto cuisine but also generally, the following lectin-free foods enjoy great popularity as flour substitutes:

  • Almond flour
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Chestnut flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Flax flour
  • Flour from green bananas
  • Hazelnut flour
  • Manioc flour
  • Sesame flour
  • Sweet potato flour
  • Tigernut flour

Lectin-free Spices and Dressings

Besides these lectin-free spices, you can also enjoy Tabasco sauces in moderation:

  • Vinegar (without added sugar)
  • Herbs and spices (not chili)
  • Mustard
  • Pepper
  • Sea salts (pink Himalayan, Celtic, Redmond)
  • Miso

Lectin-Free Beverages

As with losing weight in general, no juices are allowed in a lectin-free diet – no matter how often they are marketed as organic or natural:

  • Water
  • Mineral Water
  • Lemon water
  • Herbal Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine (one glass a day)
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Foods High in Lectins Are Not Vital Anymore

In summary, lectins were able to ensure the survival of humanity in ancient times.

When food was scarce, the lectins in grains and beans could provide body fat to survive rough winters.

However, today, in times of abundance, the same effect works against us.

Since the supermarket does not close from November to March, the fattening effect of foods high in lectins is redundant.

Especially since they promote a variety of diseases, it makes sense to avoid foods high in lectins.

Besides harming gut health, lectins can cause autoimmune, Parkinson’s, or mental diseases, such as depression and anxiety.

Although they are not the only factor in developing diseases, a lectin-free diet can be decisive for curing them.

foods high in lectins and lectin free food list pdf

Foods High in Lectins FAQ

What foods are the highest in lectins?

Nightshades (e.g., potatoes, tomatoes 🍅), cucurbits 🎃, legumes, grains, and processed foods are highest in lectins.

What foods contain lectins to avoid?

Nightshades (potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes 🍅, …), beans and lentils, peanuts 🥜, all sorts of grains and bakery 🥨 contain lectins to avoid.

Are eggs high in lectin?

🥚 Eggs aren’t high in lectins – especially not if they are pasture-raised.

Are lectins bad for your gut?

Lectins can damage the gut mucosal lining causing a leaky gut. Furthermore, they can bring bacteria and viruses into your body when overcoming this intestinal barrier. As a result, lectins can cause inflammation, autoimmune and other diseases.

Studies and Books


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2Macedo ML, Oliveira CF, Oliveira CT. Insecticidal activity of plant lectins and potential application in crop protection. Molecules. 2015 Jan 27;20(2):2014-33. doi: 10.3390/molecules20022014. Review. PubMed PMID: 25633332; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6272522.

3Freed DL. Do dietary lectins cause disease?. BMJ. 1999 Apr 17;318(7190):1023-4. doi: 10.1136/bmj.318.7190.1023. PubMed PMID: 10205084; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1115436.

4Pramod SN, Venkatesh YP, Mahesh PA. Potato lectin activates basophils and mast cells of atopic subjects by its interaction with core chitobiose of cell-bound non-specific immunoglobulin E. Clin Exp Immunol. 2007 Jun;148(3):391-401. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2007.03368.x. Epub 2007 Mar 15. PubMed PMID: 17362264; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1941928.

5Gundry SR, Buehl OB. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.

6Haupt-Jorgensen M, Holm LJ, Josefsen K, Buschard K. Possible Prevention of Diabetes with a Gluten-Free Diet. Nutrients. 2018 Nov 13;10(11). doi: 10.3390/nu10111746. Review. PubMed PMID: 30428550; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6266002.

7Sturgeon C, Fasano A. Zonulin, a regulator of epithelial and endothelial barrier functions, and its involvement in chronic inflammatory diseases. Tissue Barriers. 2016;4(4):e1251384. doi: 10.1080/21688370.2016.1251384. eCollection 2016. Review. PubMed PMID: 28123927; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5214347.


9Shechter Y. Bound lectins that mimic insulin produce persistent insulin-like activities. Endocrinology. 1983 Dec;113(6):1921-6. doi: 10.1210/endo-113-6-1921. PubMed PMID: 6357762.

10Kamikubo Y, Dellas C, Loskutoff DJ, Quigley JP, Ruggeri ZM. Contribution of leptin receptor N-linked glycans to leptin binding. Biochem J. 2008 Mar 15;410(3):595-604. doi: 10.1042/BJ20071137. PubMed PMID: 17983356.

11Engel U, Breborowicz D, Bøg-Hansen T, Francis D. Lectin staining of renal tubules in normal kidney. APMIS. 1997 Jan;105(1):31-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1699-0463.1997.tb00536.x. PubMed PMID: 9063498.

12Saeki Y, Ishihara K. Infection-immunity liaison: pathogen-driven autoimmune-mimicry (PDAIM). Autoimmun Rev. 2014 Oct;13(10):1064-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2014.08.024. Epub 2014 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 25182200.

13Gundry SR, Buehl OB. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.


14Ferroli P, Caldiroli D, Acerbi F, Scholtze M, Piro A, Schiariti M, Orena EF, Castiglione M, Broggi M, Perin A, DiMeco F. Application of an aviation model of incident reporting and investigation to the neurosurgical scenario: method and preliminary data. Neurosurg Focus. 2012 Nov;33(5):E7. doi: 10.3171/2012.9.FOCUS12252. Review. PubMed PMID: 23116102.

15Zheng J, Wang M, Wei W, Keller JN, Adhikari B, King JF, King ML, Peng N, Laine RA. Dietary Plant Lectins Appear to Be Transported from the Gut to Gain Access to and Alter Dopaminergic Neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans, a Potential Etiology of Parkinson’s Disease. Front Nutr. 2016;3:7. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2016.00007. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27014695; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4780318.

16Svensson E, Horváth-Puhó E, Thomsen RW, Djurhuus JC, Pedersen L, Borghammer P, Sørensen HT. Vagotomy and subsequent risk of Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2015 Oct;78(4):522-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.24448. Epub 2015 Jul 17. PubMed PMID: 26031848.

17Gundry SR, Buehl OB. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.

18Gundry SR, Buehl OB. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.

19Gundry SR, Buehl OB. The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. New York, NY: Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.


20Rizzello CG, De Angelis M, Di Cagno R, Camarca A, Silano M, Losito I, De Vincenzi M, De Bari MD, Palmisano F, Maurano F, Gianfrani C, Gobbetti M. Highly efficient gluten degradation by lactobacilli and fungal proteases during food processing: new perspectives for celiac disease. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Jul;73(14):4499-507. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00260-07. Epub 2007 May 18. PubMed PMID: 17513580; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1932817.

21Nkhata SG, Ayua E, Kamau EH, Shingiro JB. Fermentation and germination improve nutritional value of cereals and legumes through activation of endogenous enzymes. Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Nov;6(8):2446-2458. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.846. eCollection 2018 Nov. Review. PubMed PMID: 30510746; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6261201.

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Stephan is a writer and a true man of science, holding multiple diplomas and master's degrees in different research areas. His greatest passion is closing the gap between the conventional perception of health and the latest scientific evidence – always following the data.

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Deirdre

    Thank you so much for this very comprehensive information – as an Auto Immune person I had NO idea of this deeper Lectin problem. Thought my Quinoa was being very healthy. Shall refer regualrly to educate and also make sure I am not causing myself more health problems in the future. Doctors caused problems with the wrong Diagnosis and Self-Diangosis/food based synergised treatments have made my recovery possible and my innards incredibly youthful after 23 years of undiangosed Systemic Candidiasis.

    But to have this information to make sure i am not tempting a new set of health problems is crucial to well-being.

    Sincere appreciation for all you work.

    D Ryan

    1. Thank you so much, Ryan!

      Your appreciation means a lot to me! I’m pleased my work turned out helpful to you 😊
      With this in mind, I aim to put up lots of new articles in 2021, providing helpful knowledge to my readers.

      Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get informed when new stuff is up.

      I wish you a great and healthy start in 2021.


    2. Shane

      I just started studying lectins this week. It has been an eye-opener and has definitely created that “AHA!” moment for me. I have been sharing this information with anybody that I think needs to hear it. This was a great article. It was very well written for the layman. Thank you!

      1. Hi Shane,

        Great that the information in this article was helpful to you! Thanks for the cheerful words and sharing 🙂


  2. Yevette

    Thank you for the information I will put it to use immediately

  3. Israel

    Food and food-like Industries constantly bombard us with misleading marketing and wrong information. I am so thankful that right information like this can be found.

  4. Sam DiFrancis

    Great work. Truly appreciate your well presented, worthwhile and useful observations about diseases linked to lectins. I can favorably agree with your deductions because you back them up with references. Now you got me curious; where are more links to more sources of information ? Seeking a bigger lectin listing including more spices.

    1. Hi Sam, great to hear the content could help you out.
      I really much appreciate that you share this idea with me. Although it will be tough to back up the lectin content and impact of exotic spices by science, I will check if I can tackle the topic in the future. In the meanwhile, I would avoid spices based on seeds.
      Have a great day!

  5. Joey

    My doctor just said that I have a lectin build-up in the hollows of my pelvic bone and that is compressing my bladder causing me to feel like I need to urinate all the time. I’ve had the urination feeling on and off for years but always thought it had something to do with Gluten ( because I’m allergic to it ) or sugar. I would never have thought that my issue was coming from foods that I thought were good for me. What you wrote about will help me a lot. Many thanks, Joey.

    1. Hi Joey,
      thank you for sharing your story with us, showing that we have to be aware of that there is actually harmful plant-based food. I am flattered to hear that my article is helpful to you.
      Get well soon! 🙂
      P.S.: Keep us posted how diet changes affect your quality of life

  6. john marshall

    dang! i’m a cheesy rice and beans person from who flung the chunk! Guessing rye is bad too? thought fiber was supposed to be good for you….no wonder im fat. this list is depressing….but so very appreciated. ive got a lot of dietary changes to make. what about garlic and onions? corn starch? you didnt really touch much on fish. (sigh…all those years i spent learning to cook quality italian). Thank you so much for this. going to give it my best shot.

    1. Hi John, I very much appreciate your friendly comment 🙂

      While the common perception of health is depressing, we can actually do something about it leveraging better knowledge.

      Fiber in whole foods has its point since it dampens the blood sugar and insulin response. If you remove the fiber from natural carbs you will get processed carbs. So fiber is a necessary thing in natural whole foods, but has no point as additive. In contrast to common belief too much fiber is causing constipation since it’s the non-digestible part of plant foods adding bulk to your stool.

      Well, rye and other grains are full of lectins and great to gain fat fast. However, garlic and onions are great and versatile parts of healthy dishes – have a look:
      10 Health Benefits of Onion
      13 Health Benefits of Garlic

      Since cornstarch is the thing used to make high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) it’s super fattening – better eliminate it from your menu.

      Fish is great in general – the fetter the better since you exclusively find the most potent omega-3 fatty acids in seafood 🙂

      I the information above can help you, thanks for your time and have a great day!

      Br, Stephan

  7. Kathy

    Thanks for this helpful information. I’m trying to find out if locust bean gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum contain lectins. I assume they do because locust bean gum is extracted from ground seeds, guar gum is from a legume, and xanthan gum may be fermented on wheat. And what about sunflower lecithin? It’s a fatty acid but comes from sunflower seeds – would there be any lectins lurking that weren’t removed during processing?

    1. Hi Kathy, locust bean gum, guar gum and sunflower seeds are high in lectins as you already concluded. There is a chance for xanthan gum to be lectin-free if it is not based on barley, corn, dairy, soy, or wheat. But you have to be lucky to find the substrate on the ingredients list.


  8. Leopold Gering

    What a well written and informative article, I have bookmarked it and will be sharing with friends and family. Also, great job on responding to your readers questions, many authors post and then abandon their work.

    Great Job,


  9. Em

    What about acacia senegal soluble fiber? It’s from tree in the legume family.

    1. Hi Em,
      According to studies, Acacia Senegal is generally considered a safe dietary fiber, and its probiotic effects increase Bifidobacteria, Lactobacteria, and Bacteroides (*).
      There is no evidence of high lectin content, and even Dr. Gundry uses it in his products. I hope that helped.


    2. Carol

      I have a book which says acacia is lectin free.

  10. Nati

    Hallo, wie bekomme ich die PDF-Liste. Mehrmals versucht durch mail angabe die zubekommen, leider ohne Erfolg!
    Leide an MS und weiss das dies mir weiterhelfen kann.

  11. DentalDraconianismDefier

    Thanks for the detailed list! Tomato puree is low in lectins right?

    1. Hi Kyle,

      please check out the section about “How to Remove Lectins From Tomatoes” above. If you buy processed tomato puree, it will be very likely high in lectins. You have to do it yourself, if you want to get a proper result.


  12. Preeti Bhengra

    Thankyou for all the information here. I thought I was healthy on my diet until recently diagnosed with Psoriasis and then now arthritis…. could not figure out the cause. I had thought legumes and sprouts and spelt flour , quinoa were all good options for me but I know why I am in so much pain. Thanks a million

    1. Hi Preeti,

      Thank you so much for your appreciation! I am delighted that the information on this site is helpful to you!


  13. Rob Padgett

    Well, after seeing Dr. Gundry on YouTube and peaking my interest , I find this article highly informative, and have passed in on to several friends with serious health issues lectin free would definitely help (certainly including me – RA and Insulin resistant). A comment on pressure cooking. I love beans, Though I’m not vegetarian, I see them as a valuable source of Protein. I have found the Brand Name Eden (I have no monetary attachment to them) says their beans are pressure cooked pre-canning. So, ergo, can I consider this a good source for beans lectin free or lectin reduced? – primarily black-eyed peas and garbanzo beans)

    1. Hi Rob,
      Thanks for your appreciation. I am delighted that the information on this was helpful to you and your friends.

      My opinion on beans: Legumes are one of the worst protein sources out there, and I would not eat them. According to this study, black beans have a protein efficiency of 0. If you want highly bioavailable protein, eat eggs – it’s that simple. They are also full of healthy fat and vitamins. Legumes, on the other hand, are full of antinutrients. And that’s not just lectins. Their phytic acid content even inhibits the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins. The whole “beans are a healthy source of proteins” thing is just marketing. They are not.


      1. Will

        Thank you does not come close. I appreciate you for your work, this is the most comprehensive article I’ve come across ever. It is a life changer. I’m no one , but I know this will change everything for me and my family. I will lift you up and let him know. Every good deed covers a multitude of sin. Will This article will be a blessing to so many

        1. Hi Will,

          I am delighted that the article was that helpful to you. Thank you for the cheerful appreciation – it made my day! 🙂

          Kind regards,

  14. Hi Matilde,

    What’s your purpose for substituting gluten? I need to understand the context to answer the question. There might be better options as well.


  15. Laurie Rasmussen

    Thank you for the information on Lectin. My life changed over night. For the first time in 30 years I feel amazing.
    Doctors, hospitals and dieticians could not not treat my reflux, my weight gain, my swollen painful stomach or my incredible joint pain. I lost my sore stomach and 15 Kilos in 5 weeks and my weight settled at 68 kilos, the same as when I was 40, now 73. thank you Dr. Stephen. god bless you.

    1. Hi Laurie,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! Hearing that the information could help to change your life for the better is terrific 🙂

      Feel free to share more of your experiences and ideas with us – here or by emailing me: [email protected] 🙂

      Have a great day,

  16. Niamh

    I’m a bit confused about natto and tempeh. Are they considered to be too high in lectins? I find them more convenient than meat because there are no bones stinking up the kitchen (although I don’t eat them every day.)

    1. Hi Niamh,

      Thanks for the question!

      Most cultures knew how to prepare food not to upset your gut. Fermentation is part of a detoxification process like the Incas used to prepare low-lectin Quinoa (soak, ferment, cook). In like manner, fermented soy products are way better for your gut. Tempeh, Natto, and Miso should be fine 🙂


  17. Lissa

    Wow I’m three weeks into a paleo, keto, lectin free diet
    It’s hard.
    Unbelievably so but like everyone here you have to be been quite poorly to undergo such a radical change and I don’t say this lightly as I was already gluten and dairy free …100 per cent for 2 and a half years.
    I can’t wait for the weight loss to happen . Weight that I’ve gained from what I thought was eating healthily as so many here have stated.
    This new eating plan has occurred on account of gut issues that have been becoming more and more severe.
    How did I get into this mess?
    God alone knows but I’m hoping to revert now to becoming a healthy human being once again.
    I’m in for the long haul
    Thank you for such a detailed plan

    1. Hi Lissa,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂

      I hope you are doing well on your journey. Keep us posted with some updates 🙂


  18. Tess Talley

    Hello Stephan!

    Thank you so much for gathering all this data! When it comes to cucumbers and other pickled items. Does the pickling process or the vinegar remove the lectins? We are just starting on this diet change and looking to see if some of our pickled foods can be included.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance!

    Mrs. T. Talley

    1. Hi Tess,

      In my opinion, pickling is a start. To have an impact, Lacto-fermentation is the better option.
      The simplest method of Lacto-fermentation is to submerge a food that naturally contains lactic acid bacteria, such as cucumber (or cabbage, i.e., kimchi), into a brine of water and salt.

      So if you put your cucumbers into a brine of water, salt, and vinegar, the lectin content was lowered drastically. Fermentation reduces lectin content (i.e., fermented soy like natto).


  19. Kathleen Hay

    This is very interesting and informative. I will consider it seriously. Thank You.

  20. G. R.

    I don’t understand how industrial processing ” makes lectins.”
    Is there a link that explains some of the process relating to the items you’ve listed?

    1. Hi G. R.,

      Thanks for the exciting question 🙂

      As the text above says, “processing makes lectins more concentrated.” Industrial processing alters natural foods, for example, by removing plant parts like fiber. As a result, you can get unnatural high doses of plant compounds that may harm your health. The best example is table sugar.

      Best regards,

  21. Paul Schneider

    Have you considered writing a blog on the topics of phytic acid and oxalic acid? They are found in edible botanical products and can be quite harmful to human health.

  22. Dani

    Thank you for the full and comprehensive article on lectins! I appreciate the care you put into your work and the many good references! Also, the lectins list, as I will need to refer to it often now that I am trying to heal my autoimmune self. I am new to lectins, and so sad to see all my squash friends on the list. I do have a question: do you know how much lectins remain in oil, since those are pretty refined? Also, not to sound silly, but is “dishpans” (on the resistant starch list) a type of vegetable? I can’t find it on the web, but there are many vegetables I haven’t heard of before. I’m not trying to be a jerk at all, but I can’t tell if it was a joke or not!

    1. Hi Dani,

      Thanks for the appreciation and for mentioning the typo 🙂

      Refined vegetable oils are among the worst things for health. Do yourself a favor and never buy inflammatory seed oils again. Here’s a list of healthy fats you can use instead.


  23. Judy

    I’m keen to source not only the list of foods high or low in lectins, but more specifically the amount. Is there a database similar to the USDA Food Central database for micronutrients, that for a certain quantity of food item it precisely provides the lectin constituent amount?

    1. Stephan

      Hi Judy,

      thanks for your question. Unfortunately, there is no such database.

      Best regards,

  24. Kate

    Thankyou very much for all the helpful information. Scrolling on the internet–one site says such and such food(s) have no lectins and then just below that site another site lists the same foods and states they have lectins. And there is even a site that says you should eat lots and lots of lectins/the more the better. Is there a definitive laboratory that is totally precise/accurate in determining which foods have lectins!

    1. Stephan

      Hi Kate,

      I am pleased that my content is helpful to you. Contradictory diet advice is the reason I started this site 🙂


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