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Nathalie has done a fair bit of re­search into lectin-free eat­ing in re­cent months. While she doesn’t agree with Dr Gundry’s diet, she does think there’s some va­lid­ity to the points he makes. ‘Lectins are con­sid­ered an antin­u­tri­ent, as they can bind to parts of pro­teins (and other nu­tri­ents), block­ing di­ges­tion,’ she says. ‘It is, how­ever, im­por­tant to note that soak­ing and cook­ing some food on Dr Gundry’s No List can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the lectin con­tent – just be­cause food con­tains lectins in their raw form doesn’t mean that the level is the same after cook­ing.’

Abby agrees. ‘Legumes, as an ex­am­ple, should al­ways be soaked and cooked – raw legumes are not rou­tinely ad­vo­cated as part of a healthy diet; but when soaked, cooked or canned, the amount of lectins in legumes is in­signif­i­cant.’

‘The very lim­ited num­ber of foods that are on Dr Gundry’s Yes List have to be pre­pared at home,’ ex­plains Nathalie, ‘so it re­quires prep­ping and plan­ning, and means that fast foods or easy meals are ex­cluded. In my opin­ion, it’s the ab­sence of un­healthy foods – rather than the avoid­ance of lectins – that’s help­ing peo­ple to lose weight.’

Abby adds that in­clud­ing dark choco­late in your diet can be good for its an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties and that av­o­cado is in­deed a good source of mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats. ‘But it’s im­por­tant to en­sure that these are in­cluded to com­ple­ment a bal­anced diet. Dr Gundry’s long list of foods to avoid – in­clud­ing all grains, legumes and many fruits and veg­eta­bles – can cre­ate the pos­si­bil­ity of nutri­ent de­fi­ciency due to lack of va­ri­ety.’

Peo­ple who suf­fer from au­toim­mune con­di­tions like pso­ri­a­sis may in­deed bat­tle with night­shade veg­eta­bles as Dr Gundry points out, says Nathalie. ‘But these are the ex­cep­tions, not the rule, when it comes to au­toim­mune dis­eases – Kelly Clark­son may be one of those ex­cep­tions who’s found a so­lu­tion by elim­i­nat­ing night­shades from her diet. I al­ways rec­om­mend that peo­ple with au­toim­mune con­di­tions seek the help of a pro­fes­sional be­fore lim­it­ing their food in­take.’

She points out that Dr Gundry’s diet could as­sist those who suf­fer from food al­ler­gies. ‘Again, how­ever, I’d dis­cour­age peo­ple who suf­fer from food al­ler­gies from cut­ting out all lectin-con­tain­ing food as a so­lu­tion; it’s im­por­tant that they test their food tol­er­ances un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a pro­fes­sional.’

Sar­dini­ans' Mediter­ranean diet con­tains legumes, toma­toes, pasta, dairy and more.

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