Lectin Elimination Plan

Since lectins found in our food can cause serious inflammation in our bodies leading to misery, pain, gas, bloat, diarrhea, constipation, dementia, brain irritability and chronic degenerative disease, we’re embarking on a journey to eliminate them from our diets. We want out of this vicious cycle!


Avoiding lectin-containing food can be difficult but highly rewarding in the measure of health you gain and the measure of pain and disability that you prevent.


Foods that contain the most problematic lectins include:

All cereal grains, especially wheat, but oats, rye, barley, spelt, corn, rice, and even some of the other non-gluten grains may contain lectins in high enough quantity to cause problems

Dairy products






Remember folks, white flour is refined wheat. For some reason people only think of wheat as whole wheat. Anything made from the whole wheat grain is still wheat.


Besides the obvious sources of wheat in our diet, these ubiquitous wheat products in our food supply hide in our food in many processed forms such as:

Soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, and various low-fat or non-fat products.

If you are only eliminating wheat as your first step, you will need to be sure to check the labels before you eat it.

Also watch out for malt, starches, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), texturized vegetable protein (TVP) and natural flavoring. Some pharmaceuticals, vinegars and alcohol can also contain gluten and/or lectins.



Since many foods other than wheat also contain problematic lectins you may need to try a:


 Lectin elimination diet


Stop eating all suspect lectin families for 7 days. That means you do not eat:

                Grains as listed above


Legumes, especially soy

Nuts and seeds


Be sure to read labels so that you aren’t consuming a part of the lectin family hidden in a food.


Notice which of your symptoms subside. Are you thinking more clearly? Does your gut feel better? Are those muscle or joint pains gone or improved? Is your headache gone? If any symptoms improve then you have eliminated a culprit food.


Next you will want to start testing the foods you have been avoiding to find the culprits.


So, on day 8 reintroduce only one lectin group at a time to see if it causes your symptoms again.


If you want to test dairy then eat milk, cheese and sour cream on day 8 only. Then on day 9 and 10 avoid dairy as well as the rest of the lectin containing foods above. Listen to your body for 2 days. Is your bowel acting up again? Did the headache, joint pain, muscle pain or any other miserable symptom recur? If so, now you know that dairy products are a problem for you.


When all of your symptoms go away after the flare from the dairy food, test legumes by eating a variety of  them such as soy, kidney beans and peanut butter that day. Then avoid legumes and the rest of the high lectin foods for 2 days and listen to your body. If it talks to you again, you know you’re on the right track to finding your food culprits. If your body continues to feel fine, then you can keep legumes in your diet.


Avoid over eating any food you are tolerating though so you will continue to tolerate it well.


Continue testing the other lectin groups one at a time and listen to your body.


In summary, here’s how to use the lectin elimination diet:

Avoid all the lectin groups for seven days or until your symptoms subside.

Then eat a variety of food from one lectin group for 1 day.

Next avoid that lectin food group for 2 days and listen to your body.

If symptoms flare, wait until they subside.

Then test the next lectin group in the same pattern.


If symptoms flare, remove that food group from your diet for 6 months. At the end of that 6 month period eat it and wait 2 days to see if symptoms recur. If you still feel good, then you may be able to once again eat from this lectin group.


Perhaps you developed difficulty digesting it because of taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, etc, or because of an infection. Now your gut has healed and can tolerate that lectin food group.


But be careful to never over eat any one food so you will continue to digest it well.


IF you still don’t tolerate that lectin food group, then retest it in 6 months. If you react again, you may need to avoid it totally.


Some additional challenges for those with severe symptoms:


Rheumatic or arthritic problems have been associated with the nightshade family, so you will also need to eliminate that group as you test.


Nightshade group of foods to avoid:






What’s left to eat?


That’s a common question since we’ve just eliminated the most common foods in the modern diet. But actually there are a lot of wonderful, delicious, satisfying, colorful foods left to eat. You just need some coaching to learn to prepare and eat them joyfully.


That’s where Dr. Jo’s Natural Healing Cookbook comes to your rescue with the Get Healthy Eating Plan. Use it as your basic eating plan since it already eliminates the most common problematic lectin food. If your symptoms don’t completely go away after 7 days on the Get Healthy Eating Plan, eliminate the legumes and night shade family.


If you still have symptoms, eliminate even the non-gluten grains. Then add the lectin food groups back as described above until you have discovered your very own healthy eating plan for life that suits your uniquely-you body.


Enjoy your newly discovered health freedom.



Dr. Jo

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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6 Comments On “Lectin Elimination Plan”

long term care

long term care

21 May 2010

Thanks for the info. do you know of any similar sources to find out more about this subject?

Dr Jo

Dr Jo

25 May 2010

Dr. Mercola provides more information about lectins on his site http://www.mercola.com
Dr. Jo

Kasandra Ginsky

Kasandra Ginsky

26 October 2010

Thanks. Thanks for putting up this. It is always awesome to see someone give back to the interet.

Dr Jo

Dr Jo

29 October 2010

Thanks Kasandra

Kristie Bilek

Kristie Bilek

19 November 2010

Thank you for this great article! It has been very useful. I hope that you will continue sharing your knowledge with us.

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Elderly Travel Insurance

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