Lectin-free diet more risky than beneficial, experts say

August 15, 2023 – In spite of claims that diets eliminating all lectins can cure some health conditions, these claims are not backed by sufficient scientific evidence—and going lectin-free may in fact do more harm than good, according to experts.

In an August 10 article in Forbes, experts said that research studies showing the potential negative effects of lectins—a type of protein that binds to carbohydrates, found in many plant-based foods including legumes, fruits, and vegetables—were only performed in cells, plants, or animals, so the results do not necessarily translate to human health.

“Lectins are not a particular health concern,” said Qi Sun, associate professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, one of the experts quoted in the article. He added that in the very few cases where lectins are known to be harmful—such as eating raw red kidney beans—Americans generally do not consume enough to cause issues.

Furthermore, removing foods with lectins from the diet could be harmful, since they also contain important nutrients. Instead of a lectin-free diet, Sun recommended following the Mediterranean diet or a healthful plant-based diet to promote health.

Read the Forbes article: Lectin-Free Diet (Gundry Diet): Benefits, Risks And More