Recently I started reading “The Plant Paradox” by Steven R. Gundry. In the book, Gundry presents a theory which I’ll endeavor to share in a very oversimplified way. Essentially,
he asserts that certain plants produce a substance called Lectin which alot of people have trouble digesting. It is said (by Gundry) that Lectin can cause “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which in turns leads to a host of ailments. He believes that plants produce lectins as a sort of defense mechanism ie “you’re going to eat me, well, I’m going to poison you.”
His book tries to talk us through how to deal with lectins in our diet. If you can imagine a gluten free diet (and I’m sure you can); think of that diet, but more so. You see gluten itself is a type of lectin. So not only do you have to limit your gluten intake, you have to limit the intake of a host of other lectin containing products such as: all grain, legumes, rice, potatoes, nightshade plants, out-of-season fruit … and so on.
I guess the good news is that if you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, the high heats produced by the pressure cooking technique will kill most lectins (except in grain – drat!).
He cites a lot of anecdotal evidence from his medical practise as well as a few studies. That being said, I don’t know whether to give his theory credence or not. The only review I read of the book; indicated that test results are inconclusive as of yet.
As a grocer, I think about trends like this. I wonder whether it will “catch on” and whether we should be stocking, in this case, low lectin products. I also wonder whether a low Lectin diet will be the next food “fad”. If that’s the case, we’ll no doubt be seeing more products in the marketplace and bringing them into the store to meet the demand for them. If it does become a trend, its a real opportunity for us to get ahead of the curve.