So sim­ple, so ef­fec­tive

First For Women - - Nutrition -

Min­i­miz­ing your in­take of harm­ful plant lectins can stop fat stor­age in its tracks and cause the weight to fall off your frame, says Yale-ed­u­cated car­di­ol­o­gist Steven Gundry, M.D., au­thor of The Plant Para­dox (Harper Wave, 2017; Hard­cover $28). To lose up to 4 pounds in 3 days and ex­pe­ri­ence a wealth of health ben­e­fits—in­clud­ing in­creased en­ergy and fewer aches— put these strate­gies to work:

In the su­per­mar­ket…

Make low-lectin picks. The first step for many of Dr. Gundry’s pa­tients is nix­ing pro­cessed foods and fa­vor­ing or­ganic pro­duce, which isn’t grown with the GMO seeds that gen­er­ate high lev­els of un­healthy lectins. Dr. Gundry also ad­vises his pa­tients to nix lectin-loaded grains (like brown rice, quinoa and wheat) in fa­vor of sorghum and millet (which are nat­u­rally free of lectins) as well as In­dian bas­mati white rice (which is nat­u­rally low in lectins and high in lectin-low­er­ing re­sis­tant starch).

Fa­vor these pro­teins. “Even or­ganic and so-called ‘free-range’ an­i­mals con­tain harm­ful lectins be­cause they are fed soy and corn,” as­serts Dr. Gundry. “As a re­sult, some of the most dan­ger­ous plant lectins now lurk in the meat of our fa­vorite animal foods.” To avoid them, look for “pas­ture-raised” poul­try (not “free-range”), “wild­caught” fish and “grass-fed and grass­fin­ished” beef, lamb and bi­son.

Ex­plore fermented grains. “Fer­men­ta­tion sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces lectins be­cause bac­te­ria and yeast ‘eat’ lectins,” shares Dr. Gundry. That means com­mon fermented foods like dill pick­les, sauer­kraut and pick­led pep­pers are smart picks. And the rec­om­men­da­tion also ap­plies to wheat. “In Europe, bread is tra­di­tion­ally raised through fer­men­ta­tion with yeast or sour­dough, un­like shelf-sta­ble Amer­i­can bread,” says Dr. Gundry. Even most “fresh-baked” store-brand breads in the U.S. con­tain GMO wheat and the dough is rarely fermented. An ex­cep­tion: La Brea Bak­ery Re­serve breads ($8 per loaf, su­per­mar­kets and Walmart stores) are GMO-free and the dough un­der­goes a fer­men­ta­tion process that re­moves harm­ful lectins.

Get a help­ing hand. “Our ben­e­fi­cial gut bugs have evolved to ef­fi­ciently con­sume lectins be­fore they can cause dam­age, but with­out these bugs, you don’t have this de­fense against lectins,” ex­plains Dr. Gundry. Fac­tors like tak­ing an­tibi­otics and eat­ing ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers can dam­age ben­e­fi­cial bugs, so many women don’t have enough help­ful mi­crobes to fight the ever-ris­ing tide of lectins in the mod­ern Amer­i­can diet. To nurse your ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria back to health so they can help elim­i­nate harm­ful lectins, Dr. Gundry sug­gests tak­ing a tar­geted pro­bi­otic that con­tains the strain Bacil­lus co­ag­u­lans (we like Schiff Di­ges­tive Ad­van­tage, $18 for a 50-day sup­ply, drug­stores). Also, aim to con­sume at least two daily serv­ings of foods that con­tain re­sis­tant starch— a class of unique carbs that fuel the growth of ben­e­fi­cial gut bac­te­ria. Good op­tions in­clude green (not ripe) ba­nanas, pota­toes, as­para­gus, okra, ar­ti­chokes, onions and gar­lic.

In your kitchen…

Prep veg­gies this way. While it’s not pos­si­ble, prac­ti­cal or even ad­vised to elim­i­nate all the lectins in our diet, Dr. Gundry says most of the harm­ful lectins in seeded veg­gies (es­pe­cially con­ven­tion­ally grown egg­plants, pep­pers, toma­toes, cu­cum­bers, sum­mer squash and win­ter squash) lurk in the peels and seeds.

“Re­mov­ing the skins and seeds from toma­toes, pep­pers and squash greatly re­duces the lectin load,” he says. “Amer­i­cans have been slow to adopt these tech­niques, but the Ital­ians and French al­ways do this.” To quickly peel toma­toes, drop them in boil­ing wa­ter for 60 sec­onds or roast them un­der a broiler for 15 min­utes, then once they’re cool, pinch off the skins. Pep­pers can also be roasted then peeled or care­fully de­skinned with a veg­etable peeler. To de-seed a tomato, care­fully cut it in half hor­i­zon­tally, then use a small spoon to scoop the seeds and pith out of the four seed cav­i­ties in each half.

Try a pres­sure cooker. “A pres­sure cooker will de­stroy al­most all lectins,” Dr. Gundry as­serts. That makes it the best cook­ing method for beans (which con­tain harm­ful lectins), toma­toes and grains—al­though Dr. Gundry notes that pres­sure cook­ing can­not elim­i­nate the harm­ful lectins in wheat, oats, rye, bar­ley or spelt. While tra­di­tional stove­top pres­sure cook­ers do the job, Dr. Gundry rec­om­mends a mod­ern pres­sure cooker, like the In­stant Pot DUO60 ($99 for a 6-quart model, Ama­zon.com), for ease of use. “It’s one-touch, like a rice cooker. And it makes meals so much faster.

For a busy fam­ily, pres­sure cook­ing meals is an amaz­ing help.”

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