On Nutrition: Is it ‘nuts’ to worry about lectins? | Ap


“The same characteristics that protect them in nature can lead to digestive discomfort if consumed by humans — but there’s a catch,” the research continues. “Lectins are in all plants. Plants that we’ve been eating for thousands of years, like rice, wheat, potatoes, tomatoes, seeds, nuts, but the highest amounts are found in raw legumes (beans, lentils, soybeans, peas, and peanuts included) and whole grains…

Avoiding lectins altogether would mean avoiding almost all plant foods, which would mean avoiding a majority of the foods that the longest-lived people in the world consumed every day of their lives as well as the foods shown to reduce risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.”

So Ron, although I couldn’t find data about the exact content of lectins in nuts, here’s the good news about your favorites. They are all heated, cooked or dried after harvest, which experts say can reduce or eliminate the activity of lectins.

Pecans are heated in a 180 F water bath as part of processing. Although pistachios can be eaten raw, most commercial pistachios are heat dried before being packaged. And cashews are never sold raw. They have to be cooked, roasted or steamed to remove a toxic oil in the shell that can irritate the skin like poison ivy.

At this point, I’d say the evidence for the health effects of nuts far outweigh the threat of lectins, especially if we eat roasted or otherwise cooked products. Thanks for stretching my brain this week.

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