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Vegetables AREN’T GOOD for you… Lectins

This is part one of a mini-series where I purposefully intend to challenge the narrative that veggies are good!

Plants are a live… animals are alive… both living organisms will fight to defend their life! What is the difference??? Animals use teeth and claws while plants use poison. However, in this evolutionary race, plants are trying to defend themselves from animals. One of the most prominent and outspoken doctors on the issue of plants and their damage on the human body is Dr. Anthony Chaffee. His work, and he is not the only one, sheds light on the danger of eating veggies as a result of their own defense system that is in place to help plants survive, it is this defense system that wreaks havoc on the human body through toxins, hormone disrupters, inflammation and more… but let’s focus on lectins…


Lectins

‘A lectin, also known as the “anti-nutrient” is a type of protein that binds to certain carbohydrates. Just about every organism in the world, from plants to animals to microbes, contains lectins… Not every lectin is dangerous in the same way. In fact, many types of lectins pass through your digestive system unchanged. And, while the lectins found in plants are considered edible and are usually harmless, they can sometimes still affect your health… Further, while lectins aren’t affected by digestive enzymes, they are easily broken down by heat. Boiling sources of lectins for just five to 10 minutes appears to reduce lectins’ abilities to bind entirely’. (5)


Foods that are really high in Lectin are Kidney Beans (a few eaten raw will kill you); Peanuts (they are found in the blood in large amounts); Whole Grains, such as Raw Wheat Germ; raw soy beans; and potatoes (especially in the skin). Lectin is like a defense mechanism for the plant, it will poison or kill to protect its life! The best way to reduce lectins is to boil or pressure cook it for at least 10 minutes. This breaks down the lectin to be less risk adverse and, some argue, even harmless.


Insulin issues get blamed on refined carbs and sugar but one might formulate a different conclusion when looking up what lectins do to you!!! Lectins can bind to insulin receptors, store more body fat and create insulin resistance (i.e. diabetes). Additionally, Lectin can bind to Leptin receptors and thus lead to leptin resistance. ‘Leptin is a hormone your body releases that helps it maintain your normal weight on a long-term basis. The level of leptin in your blood is directly related to how much body fat you have. Leptin resistance causes you to feel hungry and eat more even though your body has enough fat stores’ (4). Basically, Leptin is a signal to the brain that informs you that you have enough fat stores and food in your system; additionally, Lectin has been shown be involved with:

- Parkinson’s Disease

- Leaky Gut

Dr. J.H. Salisbury… he lived from 1823 to 1905… he talked about the relationship between food and disease when he did a 30-year study. He concluded that you should only eat meat and water, no plants!!


Conclusion

This is just to name a few things about Lectin and the damage it can do… plus the food that contains it, where and how to reduce your exposure to them:

  • Tomatoes... should be de-seeded and the skin removed

  • Potatoes should be peeled and pressure cooked or boiled to reduce the lectin, as much as possible

  • Peanuts… just skip them, choose almond butter if you are looking for a peanut butter replacement…

  • Whole Grains… well, the “whole” may not be as healthy as we are being told… so go with a gluten free alternative. Disclaimer, gluten free can be brutal too, depending on what is in it, but I usually look for a simple one without corn in it. Examples of whole grains are: oats, bulgur wheat, wheat germ, Farro, brown rice, millet, whole wheat couscous, whole popcorn, etc...

Yes, I realize these are common foods in our western diet, but maybe they should become uncommon. The majority of our disease and ailments are not a result of genes nor DNA, but rather because of our dietary choices. If we want to improve our health and longevity we need to start making better lifestyle choices.



SOURCES

3. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/carcinogens

4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22446-leptin

5. https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-lectins



THANK YOU FOR READING!!


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