Revenge of the Beans: How Lectins Suck Your Energy And Make You Weak

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As you check out the new Bulletproof® Diet infographic (just posted in advance of the Bulletproof® Diet book launch!) you’ll notice that lentils and beans, as well as some other foods like tomatoes and potatoes, are out of the green zone. There’s a reason!

This is one area where the Bulletproof Diet does not match the Slow-carb diet recommended by Tim Ferriss in the 4-Hour Body. People often ask why they should avoid these foods. So here’s the science behind the diet…

Lectins 101: Why lentils, tomatoes, and potatoes make you weak

Some Bulletproof Diet recommendations are based on the presence of lectin in foods. Be sure to realize that lectin is not the same as leptin, the hormone that controls whether you’re fat, or lecithin, a type of fat found in eggs, sunflowers, or soy. If those similar names aren’t confusing enough, lectin has an impact on leptin too.

Lectins matter to the performance level of everyone, but they are particularly important if you have a thyroid condition, or if you have any kind of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cystitis, or even if you are simply 100 pounds overweight (like I was). This is because lectins are tied directly to inflammation and autoimmune reactions in your body.

Lectins are a form of protein found in nearly all plants and animals. They bind to the sugar molecules called polysaccharides that cover the surface of most cells in your body.

There are countless varieties of lectins in nature, and we have used them for more than 100 years in medical testing laboratories because they stick to red blood cells very effectively.

Plants evolved to reproduce. They actually have no interest in being a food source for you, or even for insects or fungi. Since they are not good at running away, plants developed natural pesticides and repellents to protect themselves and their seeds from hungry animals.  Since the cells in your body use lectins as one way to communicate between each other, plants evolved to create their own lectin to “hack” the human cell communication by disrupting it. Does this make plants the original biohackers?

The Evil That Beans Do

Take kidney beans, for example. Only a few raw kidney beans can kill you because the naturally occurring lectins will bind to the sugar coating on your red blood cells, which makes them stick together until you get abnormal clotting.

Perhaps you’ve heard of ricin, the extremely toxic poison featured in the Breaking Bad TV series. Vanishingly small doses will kill you, yet it is derived from the lowly castor bean. At the hospital, doctors test your blood type based on how your blood reacts to different types of lectins. And inexperienced cooks learn how lectins cause bloody vomiting.1

The toxicity of lectins is known to food safety experts, but you never hear about it in popular nutrition circles. It’s no surprise that the top 8 food allergens contain higher amounts of lectins, including: dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. In fact, about 20% of all cases of rheumatoid arthritis are caused by lectins in the nightshade family. Common nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers. There are perhaps 100 additional less common foods like goji berries in that family, all of which contain lectins. “Superfood” goji berries anyone? Think again.

Use Glucosamine to Bind Lectins and Improve Joint Health

Different lectins love different sugars in your body’s cells. One of the reasons wheat is so bad for you is that the lectin in wheat is attracted to glucosamine, the polysaccharide that covers your joints. You can buy glucosamine to help your joint health. It doesn’t work for some people, but for others, it’s magic. I was one of those who had constant knee pain until my mid-twenties, and my knees were always inflamed even after three surgeries. Glucosamine dramatically reduced the inflammation and pain. I had not fully embraced a zero-gluten diet, which is the most likely reason it was so helpful for me. The glucosamine in my supplements was binding the lectin in my diet before it reached my joints!

The most effective form of glucosamine for binding lectin from wheat is N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine. It’s not impossible to find in supplements, but if you have read this far, you already know that wheat is simply not a food for high-performance humans. I do not use glucosamine regularly today.

Several More Problems with Lectins

If you are still not convinced that you should avoid the more toxic lectins, check out what happens when you add lectins from edible plants, including lima beans and kidney beans, into the diets of rats.2 Scientists who did this found depressed growth, pancreas enlargement, depressed insulin, and disruption of normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate intermediary metabolism. The researchers hypothesized that it was most likely due to the hormone mimicking actions of lectins (although it may have been also related to enzyme inhibitors found in legumes). Either way, it’s not Bulletproof.

It’s not just beans, either. Gliadin is a component of wheat gluten that can activate inflammatory NF-kappa beta proteins, the ones involved in a myriad of acute and chronic inflammatory disorders, including autoimmunity and infectious diseases. High performance people avoid things that make you weak, like autoimmune conditions and rampant inflammation. One more reason to avoid wheat…

Then there’s leptin, the hormone that signals when you’re full. When your metabolism breaks, you get resistant to leptin before you get insulin resistant, and both forms of resistance lead to obesity. Guess what? Lectin is associated with leptin resistance.3

GMO foods are not on the Bulletproof Diet for lots of reasons. One primary reason is that the genes inserted into crops often increase the amount of lectin, and add new lectin to GMO strains. Lectins are one reason that GMO foods are more allergenic than non-GMO foods.

Perhaps most insidious of all is that lectins cause leaky gut.4 When they damage the lining of your gut, other proteins from food you eat enter your bloodstream and program your immune system to attack other parts of your body. That means you may have cross-reactivity with your nervous system tissue, your heart, your skin, your thyroid, or even your brain.

I believe that excessive lectins from my careful former raw vegan diet contributed to the large increase in food sensitivities that I experienced as a vegan. There are dozens of former vegans who have written in to the Bulletproof site expressing similar experiences. Lectins are not the sole cause – toxins from mold, another anti-nutrient, also may play a role.

Autoimmune conditions and associated inflammation are tied to IBS, colitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (I fixed mine by avoiding grains, molds, and many lectins), Chrohn’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, in addition to different forms of arthritis. There is even a link to autism and its little brothers, Asperger syndrome and ADHD.5 It’s no wonder that people with ADHD love the Bulletproof Diet.

I learned a lot of these things when I bought a college level biochem book about 7 years ago, called Plant Lectins (Pusztai, Cambridge University Press, 1991).6  In it, the authors cite a study from 1980 showing that 30% of fresh and processed foods contain lectins. Lectins from green salads, fruits, spices, seeds, dry cereals and nuts showed lectin activity, and some of them interact with blood serum or saliva and bacteria from the oral cavity. Ever noticed excessive salivation, or extremely thick saliva after a meal? Now you know why.

FAQ: Why is Butter Ok but Dairy is not?

If you are reading carefully, you probably noticed that dairy is high in lectin. However, grass-fed butter, a staple of the Bulletproof Diet, is not! Grain-fed milk is higher in lectin than grass-fed milk. Pasteurized, homogenized milk (the stuff I recommend you avoid) has less SIgA, an immunoglobulin that is present in raw milk. SIgA binds to dangerous lectins.  This is why I recommend you consume raw dairy, but only if you tolerate it.

Dealing with Lectins

The most obvious thing to do is to not eat high carbohydrate foods that also contain lectins, which you already do while on the Bulletproof diet. Also, limit lower carbohydrate high lectin nightshades, and test your response to them with your iPhone using the free Bulletproof Food Sense app.

The next best thing is to mechanically remove the parts of the food that have the most lectin in them.  This is why, throughout history, the higher economic classes would choose white rice over brown rice and white flour over whole wheat. Not that you should ever eat gluten if you are a high performer, but if you did, now you know why to choose the white flour! This is also one reason why white rice is ranked higher than brown rice on the Bulletproof Diet. Who needs extra fiber when it’s wrapped in lectin?

Historically, people have used a variety of techniques to try to reduce these food toxins. Cooking sometimes helps, but some lectins are made stronger, such as red kidney beans, which become 5 times more toxic when heated to 80 degrees Celsius.7 Dry heat doesn’t work very well to break down lectins, which is why baking with “gluten free” garbanzo bean flour is a bad idea. The best cooking method to destroy lectins is pressure-cooking.

You could also try fermenting. The only problem is that when you allow bacteria to breakdown proteins, including lectins, you get the creation of histamine, which triggers allergies. Oops. Still, it’s better to allow bacteria to digest the lectin than it is to allow it in your body. This is why, if you must eat soy, you should stick with fermented soy like miso, tempeh, tamari, and natto. But the histamine and phytoestrogens in soy, fermented or not, should keep you away if you read this blog! As far as I can tell, no one has ever written about how soaking to reduce lectins can increase histamine, and improper fermentation techniques can cause the formation of mold toxins.

Then there’s soaking and rinsing. Your grandmother probably soaked beans overnight, then rinsed and boiled them again, possibly with baking soda. She might have done this so you, her lovely grandchild, would have less intestinal gas, but the reason for this effect was that she was removing some lectins.

Conclusion

One of the reasons people rely on the Bulletproof® Diet infographic is because you don’t need to know any of the details in this blog post in order to take advantage of them.  This knowledge is built in so that if you are choosing foods in the green zone, you are automatically choosing to eat less lectin.

That said, biohackers like me want to understand how and why things work. So now you know!

 

Click to read the complete list of references.

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By Dave Asprey

  • I’m a former vegetarian (and ex-macrobiotic cooking teacher) who has had a change of heart. I now eschew beans and grains. Looking back it’s ridiculous that people assume there is something wrong with them (and not the beans!) when their consumption causes terrible gas and indigestion.

    This is one of the most thorough explanations of what’s wrong with beans – I’ll definitely be sharing this post with my readers.

    • Tana Lee Tolson

      Nuts and hemp seeds are a good substitute.

      • prabhat

        wait for more research ..they declare dangerous them too.

        • Charon

          Lipids

    • Nothing

      “This is one of the most thorough explanations of what’s wrong with beans – I’ll definitely be sharing this post with my readers.”

      I await your nutjob appraisal.

    • Tre Toco

      That’s real loving if you that you’re back to eating innocent animals you traitor.

      • Maliciousboy

        She didn’t say she stopped eating meat because she loved animals. She did it, most likely, for her health. And she started eating meat again — for her health. Humans are the only animals that think it is somehow wrong to eat other animals! Get over it fools!

        • Tre Toco

          Oh you wanna be a animal? Great rip off your clothes jump on a deer eat it raw like the animals. Last time I checked cows pigs chickens turkeys sheep are not trying to murder you for your stupid protein? Tree bark and ants have protein you want me to start eating that too? The only fool with no compassion is you, murderer!

        • Maliciousboy

          We are animals. Yup I eat meat and I kill animals. It’s not murder, it’s the cycle of life. Get over it.

        • Sally Brown

          Maliciousboy. You really are silly. Meat is almost number one for cancer. Just look at the preservatives, the anti-biotics and the disease of the animals. NO fibre and hardly any vitamins and minerals. It is a real strain on the kidneys as well.

    • Aleksandra Koter Kawala

      former vegetarian..what caused that u started eating animals again?

      • After 20 years of being a vegetarian I discovered I was allergic to virtually all the good sources of plant proteins including soy, legumes, nuts, and even eggs and dairy. So I really had no choice to restore my health but to start including some animal products.

        • Sally Brown

          Deane Alban. I have no problem with beans lentils etc. They are soaked properly over at least a 24 hour period and the water changed once or twice.

        • Sally Brown

          Deane Alban – sorry – and then cooked for an hour in some cases. The lentils not as long as the beans.

  • Ethan

    Just wanted to thank you for the extreme lengths you go to back up all of your posts and work with credible references and studies.
    This site is a hub to almost everything that I research related to my body and I am on here at least once a day checling out new things and listening to the podcast. Even though I am new to the site I have already listened to almost every podast in the last month.

    Thanks.

  • EricCalkins

    Dave,

    I don’t know if you still read and reply to these comments, but here goes: I really would love to have both you and Tim Ferriss on Joe Rogan’s podcast for around 3 hours to talk about where you guys agree and differ. As I’m sure you know, his 4-Hour Body diet has a huge focus on incorporating lentils and/or other beans into almost every meal, basically as a satiating agent to keep from getting hungry between meals.

    Until recently, I’d been doing BP coffee for breakfast for about a year. It’s had beneficial effects on my mood and my bloodwork, but because I haven’t been disciplined about the rest of the protocol (i.e., I pretty much ate like crap at lunch, and ate too much at dinner), I only lost about 7 pounds over that time.

    In your opinion, what (if any) kind of short and long-term risk am I putting myself in if I use 4HB to drop about 35-40 more pounds before transitioning back to being more Bulletproof? I’ve been doing 4HB for about 10 days now. I’ve dropped inches and about 10 pounds, but I’m feeling less focused and having muscle fatigue (maybe the spinach in my morning eggs and its oxalic acid?) I really miss my morning BP Coffee. I’m not trying to start a flame war between the two camps, since there really is quite a bit of overlap. I am genuinely just curious about what you think…

    • Yo Gurt

      So you where driving a Ferrari at breakfast, then a Volvo at lunch and dinner, and now you chopped off your legs?

      • EricCalkins

        Yeah, I know. Re-reading what I wrote made me realize how silly (putting it charitably) it sounded. I already knew the answer. Adjusting accordingly.

    • Lee RideFar

      It would be completely pointless for TF and DA duke it out on JRE. Both diets are substantially better than all diets out there so you really can’t go wrong with either one. The bulletproof diet and the 4HB are like comparing apples to oranges. Listening to Dave Asprey and reading his articles, it is quite technical and overwhelming at first. Where as Tim Ferriss and the 4HB is easier to understand/follow. Plus the 4HB cheat day can keep your sanity. My wife and I started out on the 4HB and lost a combined 70lbs. We felt great doing it. Now we follow the bulletproof diet and feel even better. We would have failed starting with the Bulletproof diet. The 4HB educated us and the bulletproof diet took us to the next level.

      I see no reason why you can’t have BP coffee and follow the SCD. It works just fine for myself and my wife.

  • Alicia

    Typo: “Grain-fed milk is higher in lectin than grass-fed milk.”

    • Ryan

      Not a typo, he’s saying avoid the grain-fed milk as I has more of the prejudicial lectinsz.

  • Johan

    Thank you Dave, this one was spot on.

  • ChristineLm

    I am grain-free and sugar free for 3 month and am following the bulletproof diet. I use many of your products including glutathione and collagen. I have incredible focus and energy. However, my knees and thighs are very week and climbing stairs is painful. Will glucosamine help or will my legs feel stronger in time with the bulletproof diet Thanks for any suggestions.

    • moo

      try msm

      • ChristineLm

        I have organic sulfur, which is a potent form of MSM, but I keep forgetting to take it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • AJ

    It is unclear if soaking and rinsing SCD legal kidney and black beans are bulletproof on the green side?

  • Amazing lack of real scientific references. No surprise.

    • Joe

      Did you not see orange links in the post?

      • Note I said “real” references, not references in general. Has anyone here been required to do a literature review for their job, or perhaps done a dissertation? If you came in with this paucity of peer-reviewed published references in scientific journals, you would be laughed out of the room. But on the internet – ooh it’s impressive!

        Trust me, if lectins are indeed ruining us, there will be an abundance of studies repeatedly stating such – not just one or two (noticed one was some pilot study on pigs – yeah not that relevant). Maybe those bunch of studies are there. But right now any scientifically-minded person should have their B.S. detector go off.

        • Tana Lee Tolson

          Are you assuming that studies which indicate the presence of lectins and their effect on the body would be funded…. by whom? No way to make money off of pure science. Suggestion: give up your faith in corporate ‘scientific proof.’ e.g. their are many studies showing the excellent health benefits of cannabis use. Yet, in the US it is against the law to fund a study where the benefits are investigated (see NIDA charter). So, unless you read PUBMED, or are personally interested in a subject, it’s really difficult to parse out the truth.

    • Spencer

      What’s lacking? All of the references in this article are empirical and from reputable sources; they range from sagepub — an online collection that only catalogs widely-published, peer-reviewed scientific journals — to the website of the FDA. Seems legitimate to me.

    • Luke H

      There are 7 references at the bottom of the post..

    • Bob

      Cambridge University isn’t a valid source for you?

      • Charon

        Screw Cambridge.. Their history works reads like a novella..

  • Jonathan

    Interesting… “Only a few raw kidney beans can kill you” and yet “red kidney beans become 5 times more toxic when heated to 80 degrees Celsius”. Doesn’t that mean that anyone who has ever eaten cooked Kidney beans should be very dead?

    • ixchelkali

      No, because kidney beans are normally boiled to cook them, which means they are cooked at 100 degrees Celsius. Phytohaemagglutinin, the toxin in raw beans (especially high in red kidney beans), can be deactivated by boiling beans for 10 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius. The FDA recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure the toxin is destroyed. This is why cooking beans in a slow cooker is a bad idea.

      http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/causesofillnessbadbugbook/ucm071092.htm

      • Ok

        My beans method: soak for 2 days, replenishing water 2-3 times. This seems to help reduce flatulence. After soaking: bring to boil then simmer 1hr with lid on. The boiling time is less than a minute. So far, 20 batches of this, I’m not dead.

        • Charon

          Five more days. Feeling fine? I hear you’re supposed to eat beans if you’ve had too much potato chips (and, just mentioning it, if you’ve had too much salt, you should eat watermelon the next morning). Lectins bind to sugar, and potatot is quite high on the Glycemic Index, so it makes sense. About the shrunk brain-part, I think there’s a chance you can undo the damage. The biggest thing here is that you keep your wit about you when you eat beans, since you get groggy if you try to move about. It’s a basic protein, which means you use the other foot, so to speak, to meditate it around.

        • platidude

          I eat a can of rinsed black beans almost every day. I also eat white and pintos alot. I’m a natural bodybuilder in my late 40’s and my body seems to synthesize them very efficiently. I still actually maintain very high lean muscle mass thanks in part to beans… 5’10” – 185lbs – 17″ arms, cold

        • Charon

          You don’t say, you don’t say..? Thanks! That makes it all the more clear.

        • platidude

          lol…. the ramblings of a meathead… i’m eating some beans now by the way

  • eric

    I dont know if you realize this but you have brown rice higher on the green than white rice in your diet infographic

    • Martin

      He changed that on the latest infographic:) Love that the diet is always being updated/upgraded!

  • Trent Dubois

    This blog post isn’t even backed up by the references you listed…

    “Raw kidney beans contain from 20,000 to 70,000 hau, while fully cooked beans contain from 200 to 400 hau.” (Not a toxic level)

    “How much of this phenomena were due to the lectins, and not to the inhibitors of proteolytic enzymes present in the seeds, is STILL NOT CERTAIN. It has been found, for instance, that selective removal of the lectin from soybean oil meal DID NOT improve the growth of animals fed with this meal.

    That lectins in the diet pose a real risk to humans is evidenced by outbreaks of food poisoning that have been cause BY EATING INSUFFICIENTLY COOKED BEANS”

    So just don’t chew on any raw or uncooked beans and you will be fine. Stop the fear mongering of foods or at least back your information up with research that shows your bias. The research you reference to proves your bias incorrect..

    • Tana Lee Tolson

      mmmm…. I always thought that my body was telling me not to eat beans because it is impossible to digest them properly.

      • Kelly

        Speak for yourself. Not everyone has a problem with them Tana…

        • Cheui

          She is speaking for herself.

        • Guest

          That was deep.

        • musimann

          That wasn’t

  • Yo Gurt

    For a second I thought “Revenge of the beans” was about my granny.

  • VL

    I just noticed on the infographic that brown rice is closer to the green end than white rice – although I think you mean for it to be the other way around? Thanks for all your hard work – love the site and podcast.

    • Michele Louise Moore

      No, he means that white rice is better

  • Ralph

    “Common nightshades include tomatoes … eggplant, and bell peppers.” That’s ratatouille off the menu, then.

    • Kelly

      The reason nightshades are a problem is due to their solanine content, not the lectins.

      • Cheui

        Both.

  • duffney

    As always a great read, does Glucosamine help after your joints are swollen? I would assume it does, but wouldn’t reverse the damage that was already done?

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  • Ok

    Don’t eat this, don’t eat that. I’m having trouble finding anything good to eat other than air and water! Meanwhile I keep going with my diverse omnivore diet, mainly just void of processed foods, with some cheating every now and then. Maybe I get cancer in 20 years or maybe not. Maybe I live to 90 or maybe not. However what I do know for sure is the stress of constant research will definitely gives me some stress-related conditions.

    • Charon

      Never read on an empty stomache, or a shaken heart, and try to stress one organ at a time, beginning with liver and spleen 😉

  • Cheui

    Thank yo so much. I discovered that K2 is needed to get calcium into the bones and started to make my own Natto with any beans but soy. I had gotten into a severe accident that torque my neck and shoulders and caused a shift in my jaw that cracked eight of my teeth. I was just about to get them all fixed with implants when I read a book CURE TOOTH DECAY by Ramiel Nigel, based on the theory that tooth decay is caused by diet. I could tell that as long as I followed the diet religiously, my teeth would become stronger and for some reason, if I deviate from it, the teeth would become more porous. Recently I read about the importance of K2 and started making Natto for myself. In the beginning it seemed to worked. Then I started to eat raw potato for the resistant starch and immediately the cracks became more severe. Now I know why.

    • sj

      Just buy K2 and take D3 with it. My bone scan showed I gained bone by taking that combo when previously I had been losing bone. It works!

      • Michele Louise Moore

        You can buy calcium supplements that contain K2 and D3

        • Cheui

          Thank you. I will.

      • Cheui

        Thank you. I was about to give up and just go have all my teeth pulled. The problem is the accident was so severe that it even misaligned my jaw which slowly caused many of my teeth to crack. To make matters more complicated, I was a singer when this happened and I lost my voice. I am using Chinese qi gong, energy work to realigned my jaw, neck and shoulders. I can tell my voice is getting better, but as my jaw adjust back to it’s original position, teeth that had shifted due the misalignment is now seated in the wrong position and are now starting to crack. Maybe, since my voice is aligning, it’s a sign that the jaw, neck and shoulders are shifting back to it’s correct position and this may be the perfect time to start the K2 and D3 again to reinforce them. I was so disappointed and so lost that I did stop taking the K2 and D3. Thanks to you, I will begin taking them again as they did work before. I did begin meditation and am releasing all my problems to the Quantum Field, or God, or Universe, whatever you call it and amazing coincidences have been happening. Like taking K2. I had shared my post a year ago and was just at the point of having all my teeth pulled and you tell me that you actually saw in a scan that you had gained bone. Thank you. bless you.

        • sj

          I hope it helps. My bone growth was in my hips and I do exercise. Prior to taking D3 and K2 I exercised and there was no growth so, the combo was the ticket.

          Have you consulted an orthodontist? I’ve had extensive dental procedures and I know that misaligned teeth will cause problems for all of the teeth and jaw. Jaw problems such as TMJ is hellish. I would get a panoramic x ray which shows all of your teeth and jaw bones and a consult with an orthodontist.

          Good luck.

        • Cheui

          I’m really at a lost with this teeth nightmare. I have only 1 spot where my teeth are touching to chew on and it’s right next to an achey tooth that is threatening to crack. Maybe I need to go to an orthodontist. I live in Los Angeles, do you know of a good one near there?

        • sj

          No I don’t live in CA. Make sure you get one who’s is trained as an orthodontist. Some dentist will switch to orthodontic arts without the training. Go online and find one who’s specifically trained and make a consultation appointment. You should have a panoramic x ray to bring them. You can get that at a regular dentist. Consultations are usually free.

          I made 6 consultation appts for my son (braces) and we met with everyone of them before we chose our doctor. They look at the panoramic x ray, look at your teeth, take notes and then they can either decide a course of action then or call you with it and the price. They will also give you a Plan to pay it off. I paid monthly payments.

          I do know that when people get in car accidents and it loosens their teeth, they usually have them wired
          so they will heal and won’t move around during the healing and stabilizing.

          I really think this is the right option that may save some of your teeth, if not all. If your teeth are too far gone, you’ll have to go to a dentist for advice. Go to more than one for an opinion. Pulling all your teeth should be the last resort.

          Good luck.

        • Cheui

          Thank you for your thorough and clear directions.

        • sj

          You’re welcome. Let me know what happens if you don’t mind. I will be thinking about you and sending you good thoughts for a successful outcome. 🙂

        • Chris Ellet

          Go to Loma Linda Dental School or less preferred UCLA. UCLA could not solve my tooth pain after a year of making rounds to have different pros look and talk about it. This after visiting a dozen other dental professionals for over 3 years. Endodontics would not do a root canal, which is honest because it would not have cured the pain, but less scrupulous dentists would have taken my money. It was caused by an ill fitting crown but my regular dentist would not take responsibility. It caused a growth in the roof of my mouth that caused pain anytime I ate. Loma Linda Graduate Prosthedontics fixed all my teeth – the same as yours none were touching. Dr. Winer is head of department. Don’t give in to the cracked tooth diagnosis, that is what they tell you when they are out of ideas.

        • SarahMorrow

          Honestly, Cheui, why not just have your teeth pulled? A friend of mine was facing over $25,000 in dental bills, a few years ago, and months or years of pain due to dental problems. The dentist told him that his teeth were shot, but wanted him to pay tens of thousands of dollars to make them last “a little longer.”

          He finally flew down to Mexico and spend a couple of thousand dollars, to have his teeth (most of which were a wreck) pulled. He loves his false teeth and is much, much happier with them gone. Oh, and, his teeth were also full of mercury fillings, which were leaking mercury into his system because they were so old. Yuck.

          If someone has healthy teeth, they should of course keep them. But the notion that it’s a terrible, terrible thing to replace broken, rotting teeth with a prosthetic is just silly. Just have them pulled, hon.

        • Chris Ellet

          I posted this to SJ – Try Loma Linda Dental School or less preferred UCLA. UCLA could not solve my tooth pain after a year of making rounds to have different pros look and talk about it. This after visiting a dozen other dental professionals for over 3 years. Endodontics would not do a root canal, which is honest because it would not have cured the pain, but less scrupulous dentists would have taken my money. It was caused by an ill fitting crown but my regular dentist would not take responsibility. It caused a growth in the roof of my mouth that caused pain anytime I ate. Loma Linda Graduate Prosthedontics fixed all my teeth – the same as yours none were touching. Dr. Winer is head of department. Don’t give in to the cracked tooth diagnosis, that is what they tell you when they are out of ideas.

        • Chris Ellet

          Teeth problems can wreck your entire body. Alignment, sleep, muscles. Don’t let anyone pull your teeth or you will be in worse misery.

        • DrCacao

          Not so if you have a well versed reconstructive dental doctor. You probably would be much better off than to live with cracked and infected teeth.

        • Theresa Curtis

          wow, you sound fascinating! thank you for posting

  • silkhead

    Thank Dr D’adamo 20 years ago for bringing lectins into the mainstream and remember some lectins are blood type specific…scientific fact

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  • Randa Downs

    I enjoy your recipes and think a lot of your advice is spot-on. But I think about the generations of Indians and Middle-Easterners who eat lentils multiple times a week; they are staple in indigenous recipes and it seems like if what you are saying is true they would all be incredibly unhealthy! Which is of course not the case. This is why the addition of traditional middle eastern and indian spices is important when consuming lentil beans; turmeric, cumin, coriander…all anti-inflamatories! I will continue to follow my grandmother’s wisdom on this one, sorry!

    • sj

      My thoughts as well because I eat and have eaten beans of all kinds all of my life and have had no health problems. Not exclusively but they have been staples in my diet for decades.

      • Theresa Curtis

        i think a HUGE problem is Monsanto GMO foods that are being forced on an unsuspecting public…

  • Roki Roki

    I get cold sweat, weakness and anxious few hours after eating green beans, pea, or kidney beans. That sickness lasts couple days sometimes, it’s terrible and annoying. Thanks for the heads up

  • Michael Kers

    From references 3 and 4 (leaky gut and lectin causing leptin resistance): that paper is just a hypothesis… they don’t have any proof yet. The article ends with this:

    “If an agrarian diet initiates diseases of affluence it should be possible to identify the responsible constituents and modify or remove them so as to make the agrarian diet healthier. Furthermore, in animal experiments, the possible species-specific differences in adaptation to diets outlined in this article and their effects on studied parameters should be kept in mind when choosing the animal and the animal feed for the study. Furthermore, if cereal lectins should appear to have significant effects on human metabolism, then it is suggested that other plant lectins like peanut-lectin should be investigated in this regard as well.”

    That is a lot of ‘Ifs’, meaning, they have to do a bunch of work yet to sort this out… At this time, it is just a hypothesis, with little proof.

    Not a good article to hang your recommendations for avoiding grains and beans on.

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  • Tre Toco

    I’m a vegan and all you Meat eaters have put animals through a living hell because you can’t give up your steak. Factory farming is the number 1 cause of pollution according to the united Nations !

    • Cmj

      Grass fed organic meat is raised and killed the way beef is supposed to be as well as pigs and lamb that are humanely raised. You better know what you’re doing on a vegan diet, because beans are a big source of fiber, and you’re better off getting protien from grass fed animals. Everyone tolerates foods differently and no one course is right for everyone.

      • Toby Hunter

        You have no idea what you are saying.

    • Aleksandra Koter Kawala

      so now what to eat if beans are not good and soy is not good ? I don’t eat meat too

      • Tre Toco

        I eat rice potatoes veggies and fruit.

      • Jane Lyons

        Some ideas – Loads of vegetables and some seeds, also oats ok for some people; sweet potatoes, chestnuts, avocados, leafy greens, beetroot, chicory, squash, flax/chia seed, apples and berries, almond milk. You may benefit from a B vitamin complex (everyone would as soil depleted these days). You’re right we don’t need to eat animals to thrive!

      • SarahMorrow

        Hi Aleksandra, soy is less harmful if it’s fermented first. Still, I wouldn’t recommend eating large amounts of it.

    • Michele Louise Moore

      lets eat kangaroo, thousands are murdered my farmers each year

      • Tre Toco

        Let’s turn the tables and leave the animals alone, let’s eat humans they got protein. Eating animals is just like being a cannibal anyways. You got meat, they got meat.
        You feel pain you feel love , they feel those things to. Dog’s cows humans kangaroos all have a right to live free from farm.

    • Whodunnit?

      Why do you equate eating meat with factory farming? .. Have you ever heard or read of good Animal Husbandry practices on a family farm.. and what it means to bee a good Steward of the Land ?

      • Tre Toco

        Animal husbandry on a family farm means let’s play nicey nicey with the animals and pretend we love them, that is until we show our real love to them as we murder them! Factory farm or your fake love the end always stays the same, innocent animals butchered to death for profit, or butchered to death cause stuffing your face is more important than than their lives. You wanna learn animal husbandry…. Come to sasha farms in Michigan where I volunteer and see these beautiful animals run and be free, free from your knives!!

        • Whodunnit?

          Why are vegetarians and vegans so Violent ?

        • HW13568

          They’re also very fragile and break easily, 🙂

        • SarahMorrow

          Animals are blessed to have an opportunity to live on small family farms, where they’re treated well. It’s true that they’re eventually slaughtered for food. But they live years longer, in much better conditions, than they would have lived if they were roaming free in nature. Out in nature, an animal might typically live two or three years before being destroyed by predators or disease organisms; on farms, they’re protected, loved and cared for. The trade-off is actually very good for the animals in question, assuming the animals aren’t pestered to death by emotionally volatile vegans trying to “save” them.

    • Bruiser in Houston

      Waaaaaaaah

      • Theresa Curtis

        FIGURES:
        an HRC supporter would be devoid of compassion for other living things…

        • Bruiser in Houston

          Why is it that Trumphumpers can’t figure out which way that arrow on my avatar points? Is it genetic?

        • JoeLorenzo

          Hillary ain’t left dumbo. She more right than Trump.

  • Toby Hunter

    By soaking and sprouting your grains and beans you can greatly reduce the lectin content. Also eating fermented foods and drinking apple cider vinegar can help. I even add 2 Tbsps of ACV when I soak my beans and grains.

  • sj

    I was born and raised in Louisiana where red beans & rice are a cultural favorite and staple. I have never had any problems tolerating them. I’ve also eaten tons of black beans, garbanzo beans in India food and I eat hummus every day for lunch. Never has any bean in my life caused problems. I never get sick. I eat very little meat and only chicken and salmon. I also eat tomato sauce & pasta which again, has never caused any digestion issues or health problems so, this topic is very hard to digest!

    • karan satia

      This is a bunch of BS to be honest. If you haven’t had trouble with these foods, keep eating them. People need to learn to trust their bodies. No beans? No tomatoes? And yet many countries such as India have had both as a dietary staple for centuries and tend to outlive many other groups. Go figure…I’ll opt to ignore this nonsense.

      • William Thornton

        Saw this one guy eat an entire bike in Japan. They televised it. Some people can eat a bike and others can’t. Listen to your body. What’s good for one person may not be good for someone else.

      • GoodStew

        It’s not BS karan. A lot of people aren’t even aware that lectins are creating havoc with their digestion system and their health. We’ve been told how healthy beans and pulses are but the majority of older people don’t tolerate them well at all and they cause inflammation. There is documented science that shows those who suffer from arthritic joint pain find relief when they eliminate lectins from their diet. Go figure… To “be honest” you shouldn’t speak on something you don’t have all the information on.

  • Michele Louise Moore

    Where is the research based evidence for this? If the information is based only on testimonies , even if its published by a doctor I wouldn’t take any notice of it.

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  • Mikael George

    How the Intermittent Fasting Diet Melts Excess Weight

    You get up in the morning and drink a glass of water or a cup of coffee or tea. You can use a little creamer , almond milk or a natural low-calorie sweetener like stevia, and you can take your supplements if they don’t upset your stomach. But do not eat breakfast or drink anything other than coffee, tea or water. Do 30–45 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise—walking, jogging, cycling or whatever you enjoy doing.

    After you exercise, get on with your day, but continue fasting until lunch. Drink water, coffee or tea. Don’t worry about being too hungry to make it through the morning. This fasting/exercise combo dampens the appetite, and the caffeine in coffee and tea helps blunt hunger as well. At lunchtime, break your fast and eat normally for the rest of the day. Get plenty of lean protein and low-fat, low-glycemic carbohydrates. Be sure you make healthy, sensible food choices. You don’t have to count calories, but you don’t want to pig out at lunch or dinner, either.Twenty minutes Before dinner take two spoons of Apple cider vinegar that will help your body control insulin and lose weight on a low fat and carb diet .

    But What About Breakfast?

    Yes, this intermittent fasting diet goes against the conventional wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But the difference here is that I’m suggesting that you wait to “break your fast” around noon, instead of upon arising. The caloric reduction that skipping breakfast bestows is huge. As long as you eat normal, healthy meals at lunch and dinner—without making up for the calories you didn’t eat in the morning—you will reduce your caloric intake by about 30 percent. If you do it for six days, it’s the equivalent of a two-day total fast, and one month is similar to fasting for 10 days.

    The intermittent fasting diet takes advantage of, and expands upon, the 10–12 hours you normally fast while sleeping. By morning, your body is beginning to deplete the glycogen in your liver (from the carbohydrates eaten at your evening meal) and is starting to rely more on fat for energy. As your glycogen stores are progressively exhausted, your liver starts converting fat into ketones, which the brain and other tissues use as fuel. This fat-burning state is called ketosis. Aerobic exercise while in the intermittent fasting state is a crucial part of the program because it rapidly puts you into ketosis. Overnight fasting is a start, but exercise really kicks things into high gear. The fuel used during the morning walk you’re taking in place of eating breakfast comes from burning fat, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to lose weight. Even better, if you continue fasting after exercising, you will stay in the ketotic state, further reducing fat stores.

    I hope my post can help you in some way its not easy but we must try and never lose hope .The supplements i take is 1000 mg of magnesium citrate a day 2×500 for heart and arterial health , apple cider vinegar ‘for better control of insulin and weight loss , 3 grams of L- Taurine amino acid for liver health , water with lemon , one red beat a day for heart health , spinach every day , 2 capsules of Atlantic Kelp a day , two spoons a day of Tahini for calcium .

    I also follow Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn MD diet for heart disease . Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn has may videos on you tube you can watch . If you have heart disease take 1000 mg of magnesium every day and eat a very low fat ,carb diet and watch this videos about heart disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn MD on YouTube .

    What the Research Says ; The exercise-enhanced intermittent fasting diet has been evaluated in a clinical trial that in Lvolved volunteers with an average weight of 199 pounds, BMI of 32.2 (30 and over is considered obese), waist circumference of 42.6 inches, and fasting insulin of 13.2 IU/mL (a level indicative of insulin resistance). After 12 weeks, the participants lost an average of nine pounds and an even more impressive 16 pounds of fat (25 percent of their initial fat mass) plus three inches around the waist. Additionally, the group’s fasting insulin fell by one-quarter, into the normal range. I advise all my patients with type 2 diabetes to lose weight and reverse their diabetes using my mini-fast with exercise program, or intermittent fasting diet.

    You can watch Dr. Jason Fung videos on you tube . One of the best Books on fasting ; The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss – Paperback Book – March 1, 2016 by Dr. Jason Fung .

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  • musimann

    Funny how people attack one another over ideas? Very odd. Inflammation of the brain maybe? One thing that help me was reading about eating according to your blood type. It’s based on how lectins affect people differently because of your blood type and heritage. so I can’t eat beans for the most part and lentils wil make me unwelcome in any social situation. I loved lentils too but what can you. So what works for one person may not work for another. You have to experiment and see how you feel.

  • shivagreg

    This is mostly a croc. Cooking destroys the configuration of proteins, including lectins. When you cook your beans, kidney, limas, etc., it inactivates any mechanism that lectins would have – threat gone!
    Same with canned tomatoes, which are, obviously, cooked.
    Miso, tempeh, tamari, and other fermented,- essentially “pre-digested” – soy products are fine. Folks in the east have included these items in a very healthy, long lived diet for millennium, far as I know.
    Beware of crusaders trying to sell you something; remember P.T. Barnum . . .

  • Katy

    Everyone attacking this post is being a tad too defensive. Yes, everyone’s body is different, and people tolerate food differently. However, I’ve done lots of research recently, as well as tested out how I feel when I eliminate foods that contain large amounts of lectin, and the difference in the way I think and feel is incredible. I watched a video made by a Dr. Gundry’s theory and research based EVIDENCE and decided I was going to experiment on myself. Now, as I did not buy Gundry’s supplement he was selling, I simply changed my diet into raw/cooked fruits and vegetables and lowered my meat intake to about 10% a day. Clearing beans from my regular diet, potatoes, rices, has made an incredible difference in my personal health. So, before you knock what someone is simply trying to share from her/his personal experience, you should try it…and if it doesn’t work for you, then move on. There is plenty of research and substantial evidence to back up the HUMAN DIET and how/what we should be eating, it just takes a little motivation, and google.

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  • bmwx5melissa

    I haven’t had time to read any post/info but my question is Can a Vegan (Me) do BulletProof? Thank you!

    • Rob Edwards

      That’s like walking to the pits of hell and asking if you can move in but still be a Christian! These crazy cats put meat and butter on everything.

  • Tre Toco

    I am a vegan and would never eat a innocent animal or it’s butter which is dairy made for their babies not humans.

    • JoeLorenzo

      Funny, but you will sit here and prognosticate on your coal fired computer and spew garbage into the environment which kills tons of animals. And I bet you use plastic and all those organic vegetables you are eating must be shipped to your smarmy little grocery store with refrigerated diesel trucks and ships. And you probably voted for millions of more people to come here every year and further pollute our environment.

      Your outrage and $.50 buys me a coke. Your anger is fake and self-serving.

  • Frances Lee Friesel

    I skimmed this, but will share, during a period of my life, broke, sick, I lived on black beans and anything inexpensive, thinking I was doing something healthy in spite of being destitute. I was a mess, physically, mentally. Once again, money beyond tight. Need my energy to do my job, just live the best life I can, any suggestions to keep the health and energy up, on a tight budget?

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  • Frisky Dingo

    So what exactly are people supposed to eat? Every other year there is something we eat that is going to kill us. I guarantee, some time in the near future, grass fed dairy is going to be slowly killing us too.