The lectin-free diet is a diet that removes all major sources of this protein, which is found mostly in plants, but also some dairy products and conventionally raised meats. Lectins bind with carbohydrates, and they are also sugar-binding, becoming the “glyco” portion of glycoconjugates. The rise of GMO or genetically altered plants have increased the quantity of lectin in most Western diets. While the lectin-free diet does have it's skeptics, the diet does not harm anyone and may have positive health benefits for some people, especially those with cardiovascular disease.
Foods high in lectins include vegetables, most notably tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, as well as grains like quinoa and beans. Meat raised conventionally is also high in lectins due to the diet fed to the animals. If you wish to eat meat and follow a lectin-free diet, you should only buy pasture-raised or grass-fed meat and poultry. Peanuts and cashews are to be avoided as legumes have high lectin counts. One food people might have trouble avoiding on the lectin-free diet is corn, which is one of the most common food additives. Most Americans eat some form of corn every day.
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