Lectins: Do They Cause Health Issues?

Playing Lectins: The New Diet Enemy?

Is there a new item to eliminate from your diet? One doctor claims certain foods, usually considered healthy, may lead to diseases.  

Heart surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox,” claims foods like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, legumes, bread, crackers (which contain small plant proteins called lectins) can lead to issues like inflammation, digestive issues, and autoimmune diseases.

The Doctors ask Dr. Gundry why he believes lectins are the enemy. "Plants don't like us. They were here first They don't want to be eaten. They don't their babies eaten and they defend themselves by lectins," he says, explaining that most animals learn this quickly, but humans have not. He contends that instead of eliminating these foods, we treat our health issues with drugs. He also claims that a lectin-free diet can help with autoimmune diseases and also lead to weight loss.

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"What I want people to do is eat and party like it's 9,999 thousand years ago," he tells The Doctors. "We didn't have grains then. We didn't have beans then."

Cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn disagrees and says there has not been enough research done in this area to change our dietary intake. Dr. Kahn says items like beans, peas, and lentils -- which are removed in a lectin-free diet -- are what people who lead the longest lives eat regularly.

Dr. Kahn says of the lectin-free diet, "It's a bad fad diet. Because we're going to eat more butter, more eggs, and he's got 20 [kinds of cheese] you can eat and almost no fruits you can eat, sorry that's not medicine."

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ER physician Dr. Travis Stork's takeaway is that individuals dealing with inflammation, digestive issues, and autoimmune diseases need to find what type of diet works best and to seek guidance from a nutritionist, dietitian or doctor to find the best solution.

See more from this spirited debate in the video below!