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This post is only applicable to people with inflammatory or autoimmune issues.

The SelfHacked Lectin Avoidance Diet goes into more details about how to know if you are sensitive to lectins and what to do about it.


Symptoms of Lectin Sensitivity

See if you’re lectin sensitive.

If you have autoimmune issues or other inflammatory conditions then you are probably getting inflammation from food.

The RS diet is pretty good in general because it cuts out dairy, gluten, and a few other harmful offenders, but if you’re still having issues it means you need to take it to the next level.

Here’s a list of symptoms that are common in people with lectin sensitivity.  This list is not comprehensive.

I reckon that up to 40% of the population has some level of lectin sensitivity, but maybe only 25% have it to a level that causes significant discomfort.

Lectin sensitivity is on a spectrum, where people are sensitive to it in varying degrees. The more symptoms you have the higher the likelihood of lectin sensitivity.

  • Immune imbalances (see if you’re Th1 dominant or Th2 dominant) or any autoimmune condition-  very common.
  • Bloating— very common
  • Gut problems: Gas/Abdominal discomfort/Irritated GI tract – very common
  • Fatigue in the day – even with 8 hours of sleep.  Especially post-meal fatigue – very common
  • Brain fog – very common
  • Excessive anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination, paranoia, OCD and in an inability to let go.  These are indicative of low serotonin.
  • Skin problems (not acne) – indicative of an immune imbalance.   Skin problems can include various fungi, eczema, psoriasis, etc.. – very common
  • Not handling glucose or carbs well (getting hypoglycemic often)
  • Joint discomfort
  • Pain in random places like backaches, etc…. (that aren’t a result of a serious injury, obviously)
  • Weight problems: Inability to put on weight or stubborn weight loss
  • Water retention, puffiness around the eyes, extremities
  • Some types of headaches/migraines
  • Sleep and circadian issues

Scoring Foods

It’s a mistake to think that foods either cause inflammation or don’t. I find foods lie on a spectrum of how inflammatory they are.

So I’ve decided to make a completely subjective list of foods categorized by how much inflammation they cause me.  This will allow the reader to know what to look out for.  Obviously, this isn’t even close to an exact science, so self-experimentation is necessary.

There seem to be lots of similarities with regard to which foods lectin sensitive individuals tolerate.   I see people cutting out gluten or dairy and they are fine, so you only need to keep looking at lower scores if your inflammation continues.  This list includes the wisdom of the masses and reports from my clients but is weighted heavily to my own experience.

When I get inflammation I get extremely tired because it targets my hypothalamus.  The more tired I get and the longer it lasts after eating a certain food, the more inflammation I get from that food.

The reason I made this list is because some people have to break a strict lectin avoidance diet sometimes and knowing relative inflammatory scores of different foods is important.

There’s no guarantee that you won’t get inflammation from the least inflammatory foods on this list – it just means you’ll be less likely to and the inflammation will be less severe.  You could be more or less intolerant of these foods, but I felt a rough guideline could be useful.  If you’re getting inflammation from the 1’s on the list then you need to do an elemental diet.

Note that I’m Th1 dominant, so the list might vary if you are Th2 dominant, but much of it will be the same.  Some people have full-blown IgE-related allergies to foods in the #1 category, but this is a different type of inflammation than what I’m referring to.  This list doesn’t take into account histamine intolerance.

If I eat too much fructose or saturated fat, I get systemic inflammation, but it isn’t an autoimmune reaction.  This list is only concerned about autoimmune reactions, so coconut oil would get the best rating even though consuming it gave me systemic inflammatory problems.

I may change the categories of foods based on more experiments and  I also hope to fill it in more as time goes on, so do a recheck.

Soaking grains will generally move it to one category lower.  The more you soak the grains and legumes the better.  Sprouting may take it down 2 levels.

#1=Least Inflammatory

All oils are good, with olive oil, caprylic acid, ghee and hemp oil being the best choices.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Salmon (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Sardines (I get a stomach ache from canned sardines, but not inflammation.  I’d like to experiment with fresh sardines) (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Beef or chicken liver
  • Pea protein
  • Rice Protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Collagen
  • Raw Honey (not cloudy)
  • Hi-Maize resistant starch
  • Waxy Maize
  • Glucose/dextrose
  • Bee Pollen (too much hurts my stomach)
  • Animal fat (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Caprylic acid,
  • Safflower Oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Hemp oil (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Ghee
  • Coconut oil (from a lectin point of view)
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil
  • Romaine lettuce (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Cucumbers (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Celery (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Broccoli Sprouts (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Sunflower Lecithin
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Italian Seasoning (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Curry (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Stevia
  • Xylitol
  • Trehalose 
  • Caffeine-free kombucha (better for Th1 dominant, not for histamine intolerant)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Leafy Greens
  • Steamed kale (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Steamed spinach (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Sauer kraut (better for Th1 dominant, not for histamine intolerant)
  • Pickles (better for Th1 dominant, not for histamine intolerant)
  • Mushrooms (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Steamed broccoli (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Steamed collard greens (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Steamed green beans
  • Decaf tea (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Carob (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Mustard (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Sriracha (1.5 )(here because it makes food taste really good)
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Most spices
  • Spirulina

#2= Not Perfect, But Good Enough

  • Anchovies (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Pork
  • Eggs (exclude initially to make sure you don’t have an egg allergy, but otherwise they’re good)
  • Raw honey– cloudy (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Purple sweet potatoes (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mango
  • Avocados
  • Papaya (better for Th1 dominant) (or fresh, obviously)
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon (seedless)
  • Honeydew
  • Goldenberries (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Cooked tempeh (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Beef gelatin
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Snow peas
  • Green beans


  • Fully sprouted lentils or repeated soakings over 48 hours (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Summer Squash
  • Japanese sweet potatoes (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Arrowroot
  • Sunflower seeds (better to have Sprouted sunflower seeds)
  • Flax seed -preferably sprouted (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Coconut shreds
  • Chia seeds  (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Sesame seeds (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Soaked/sprouted quinoa
  • Hemp seeds
  • Dates  (maybe a #3. Better for Th2 dominant)
  • Grapefruit (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Oranges (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Kiwi
  • Guava
  • Pears
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Apples (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Beets
  • Kale chips
  • Kudzu
  • Jasmine Tea (because of small amount of caffeine)

#4 = Avoid If Lectin Sensitive

I don’t actually consume these at night.  When I say “I would” it means that you’re only somewhat lectin sensitive or you want to live somewhat of a normal life.  If you are as sensitive as me, then I suggest not.

  • Brown rice (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Corn on the cob  (Will experiment with Nixtamalization: soaking and cooking in alkaline water) (better for Th2 dominant) -do not consume if you have severe lectin sensitivity
  • Semi-green bananas (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Basmati White rice. Placed here because starches are important – do not consume if you have severe lectin sensitivity
  • Parboiled rice. Placed here because starches are important – do not consume if you have severe lectin sensitivity
  • Soaked lentils
  • Taro* – haven’t tried it, but anecdotes support greater tolerance to this
  • Cassava* – haven’t tried it, but anecdotes support greater tolerance to this
  • Plantains
  • Winter Squash
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Pistachio nuts (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Skinned almonds
  • Olives (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Wild blueberries
  • Tomato (better for Th2 dominant)

#5 Avoid if you have any form of food sensitivities

  • Herring (amines)
  • Sourdough bread
  • Mouldy cheeses
  • Ripe bananas
  • Figs (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Raisins
  • Sprouted buckwheat/Go Raw Granola
  • Grapes
  • Whey (different types can be more or less)
  • Hummus without additives
  • Chocolate/Cocoa (including raw cacao) (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Caffeine
  • White potatoes (I’ll be experimenting in the future eating potatoes without the skin…) (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Most legumes
  • Beta-lactoglobulin (in all dairy)
  • Oats (better for Th2 dominant) – I seem to be more sensitive than most.
  • Unmodified Potato starch.  Placed here because of high RS
  • Orange sweet potatoes (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Tuna
  • Buckwheat (unsoaked)
  • Kefir – I seem to be more sensitive than most.  Th2 dominant do better.ant)

#6 = Never Consume These

  • Yeast (found in gluten free bread)
  • Gluten-containing grains and all grains not listed elsewhere.
  • Carrageenan
  • Almond milk, nut milks.
  • Cashews (better for Th2 dominant)
  • Peanuts (better for Th1 dominant)
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Various legumes

#7 =Most Inflammatory.

Supplements and lifestyle couldn’t cure me as long as I was consuming these foods.

  • Gluten (wheat being the worst for me).  Gluten-containing foods also have WGA, which is quite inflammatory as well and hard to disentangle from the effects of gluten.
  • Casein (in all dairy)

If you have a food you’re curious about, comment below.


I can only test what I’m sensitive to and I’m Th1 dominant.  My bet is there will be small differences for Th2 dominant people.

The SelfHacked Lectin Avoidance Diet Cookbook goes into more details about this. If you would like to better understand about Th1 and Th2 dominance, check out the All About Inflammation Course.

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

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  • Cheryl

    As soon as I finished my research on what lectins are and how they are supposed to affect us, I did what I always do since I was diagnosed with h pylori two years ago. That was 38 years after I started going to doctors to find out what was going wrong with my body and how to stop it. The diagnosis was only by accident. He was looking for internal bleeding. Only my hgb was falling, not my blood volume, rbcs or wbcs. I forewent the drugs he prescribed and went home, got on my computer and quickly found that h pylori takes the heme out of iron and left me with a useless yellow iron called Hemosiderin. So I researched h pylori and lectins together and found research that shows that h pylori attaches to lectins in the stomach and uses this protein to go anywhere it wants to in the human body. I figure this is what causes pain and bloating after eating certain foods. Since I got my diagnosis for h pylori, I wondered how it moved about the body. Now I know. Plus, it attaches to collagen when it gets to where it is going, and destroys it. This is the Fibromyalgia that I was diagnosed with years ago. No tests involved with that diagnosis. And no treatment. You don’t really need to go through testing to find out if you have h pylori, just look for natural treatments for it and start eating the foods and taking the supplements that kill it. In a few days you will see the results. Your bms will turn black. You might find they are the same foods you can eat for a lectin diet.

  • Brad

    “They are finding CFS, MS , Fibro, Lyme, EBV , Lupus to be closely related.”
    What do you mean by “related”? Lyme and EBV are infectious diseases, Lupus is autoimmune, CFS is a vague set of symptoms, and I’m not convinced “Fibro” is even a thing. As a long-term Lyme sufferer, I know that all of the above conditions have overlapping symptoms, and I know from Lyme MDs that several of their patients actually had Lyme that was long misdiagnosed as MS. So, you could be saying that all of these have overlapping symptoms (true), or that the vague symptoms sets are misdiagnosed diseases that have actual known causes (like Borelliosis). I suspect the latter.

  • Alba Vaz

    Look into Gastro-Cardiac syndrome, also Roemheld syndrome. I developed arrhythmia which a knew was related to gastric problems, but doctors (cardiologist, even) know nothing of this. I started treating the gastric troubles and tested for H Pylori (positive). This pathogen is much more impacting and harmful than most believe or willing to admit, affecting more than the stomach. Mastic gum, DGL, bismuth have been helpful. Formulas I like are GastroMend-HP and Pyloricil. I’d recommend you rule out Pylori; test both blood and stool. I’m addressing the HP infection (and borrelia) with no antibiotics: Experimenting with MMS/CDS, Argentyn 23 (silver hydrosol) and Black Cumin Seed (Amazing herbs on amazon). A clean diet is imperative. I’m following Joe’s recommendations on lectin avoidance, plus relatively low FODMAP. It’s not easy, but when I ‘fall off the wagon’ my health definitely worsens. Dairy kills me, even raw, from pastured animals. The simpler my diet, the better I feel.

  • Cas Ess

    How am I to know which side of my immune system is dominant. I’ve struggled with a very intense form of cirs and MCAS and seem reactive to almost every food due to bacterial and Candida overgrowth that won’t get under control and extreme leaky gut. Been treated as non-specific autoimmune with neuromuscular problems and daily inflammation and scarring/tightening/hardening of fascia, connective tissue and muscles. My ribs basically don’t expand anymore because they grew so tight. On my fifth bipap because I suddenly desaturate all night even with machines. This causes me to always wake up tight and spastic or rigored feeling brain damaged and struggling to get my chest to push out and breathe all day There are so many conflicting ideas on what to eat, and I starved myself for almost a year out of fear and ptsd that basically led me to this state. Didn’t help that I was basically homeless due to cirs with no place to cook or decontaminate. Always struggling to breathe and air hungered. Always starved. Lost a lot of nerve function and my heart is suffering. Been trying to add good fats, but I’m always fatigued and eating takes a lot of energy. I bloat after everything I eat, even water. I want to try and feed my brain and get fat in there, but I have such malabsorption (even with enzymes and HCL). The daily cognitive problems and brain fog or dreamlike state is horrific. Because of the daily flares and inflammation, my muscles have contorted my ribs and spine this last year. I use a FIR tent and pemf, which offers some relief, but I really want to perfect a diet that isn’t so restrictive without feeding the sibo and Candida.
    Also, what are your thoughts on oxalates over lectins. Sometimes I’ll get some carbs, starch or fruit and feel amazing, but what follows is terrible. Sometimes, depending, they give me an immediate sore throat, bloat me and cause me to ache. One thing that carbs do help with is thirst and not feeling dehydrated. Tried green grapes the other day for the first time in a while and it felt like my ribs could expand a little.
    I’m just lost.
    Sorry for the very all over the place comment. Brain is mush

  • Frank M

    I had CFS and chronic epstein barr for years. I am a lot better now. You are on the right path. I did strict version of candida diet for 2 months. After that trial and error on certain foods but for sure I have eliminated a lot of sugar, and gluten, limited dairy for me and no alcohol. If you are battling epstein barr I highly recommend Olive leaf extract with Oleuripin content of 20% and also Oregano oil especially when having a flare up. Check out the work they are doing at Stanford regarding CFS and Fibro. They are finding CFS, MS , Fibro, Lyme, EBV , Lupus to be closely related.

  • Christopher

    Gundry also recommends Vegan Eggs as am egg substitute, which has carrageenan. There’s a contradictory recommendation.

  • Sadie

    What can I do to stop my A Fib?? I was eating mostly vegetables for last 4 months. I’ve stopped and feel better re: digestion but I still have A Fib. Didn’t have it during prior years. Anything special that might help me? Thanks.

  • elizabeth

    Although it’s anecdotal with n=6, my husband and 2 sons are O+, all 3 have the worst allergies I’ve ever seen. And at the opposite side of the spectrum, my mother and I are A-, and have zero allergies. I can only think of one other rh neg, he was O-, only allergic to cats. So, in my experience, rh neg confers LESS allergies, assuming, of course, rh factor has anything to do with it.

  • C. W.

    Dr. Gundry likely recommends olives and cocoa due to their high polyphenol content. He frequently speaks highly of oleuropein and other phenolic compounds.

  • Savage

    I’m wondering about bananas. Do they contain lectins ? Should I just test them and see how I feel ? I love organic bananas in my shakes and I like the cheap price of them . .

  • david goldman

    I found self-hacked after reading Dr Gundry’s Plant Paradox. I di see the reply above that SH and Gundry have some different opinions and strategies and that’s understandable. However, SH has Olives & Cocoa on the “do not eat” list yet Gundry has both of these on the highly recommended list. Is there an explanation for this as I now follow Gundry religiously.

  • Joseph McGuire

    How’s macadamia? I’ve seen on other lists that it’s low in lectin and the one of the only permissible tasty nuts. Pun intended

  • Chris

    Just wondering why orange sweet potatoes are a 5? On other pages of this site it says any colour sweet potato is fine – I’m guessing pressure cooking is the difference? Thanks.

  • Liam

    Hi- apologies if it’s mentioned, but just to check as there are differences between this and the checklist- which one is the most recently updated? I’ve switched from basmati rice to purple sweet potatoes based on this, but on the checklist they are rated the same, while eggs are a 5 on there and 2 on here.

    Also, most of the least inflammatory foods don’t provide many calories and few carbohydrates for their cost. Is there any way to get a decent amount of non-inflammatory calories on a budget?


  • Cheryl

    How do you know if you’re Thi dominant or Th2 dominant? I have Hashimoto’s, Lymes, and Epstein Barr disease and am following a pretty restricted diet avoiding nightshades, all grains except a little certified oats ( when I am starving) and a little rice ( only when I am really hungry). Mostly eating organic meats and chicken and fish and vegetables and avoiding legumes, nuts. I am already thin and am losing weight. What do you think of Dr. Gundry’s book Plant Paradox? I almost bought it but I looked at a youtube video he produced which was aimed at promoting his own prebiotic and there were some inaccuracies in the video which made me think twice about buying his book. My integrative doctor suggested it. I actually was on the elimination diet for 3 weeks and then I added back eggs for a day. It was bad timing as I had just had shoulder surgery and was in a lot of pain already. I don’t know which diet to follow… AIP is very limiting as well.

  • Lilymeerkat

    Greetings! I would like to use a spectacular boswellia supplement, True Botanica, AKBA Plus. Boswellia has really assisted in turning down Crohns inflammation for me. This supplement contains 1 mg of fenugreek (seed) powder per capsule. Is this a wholly illegal item? What about the very small amount? Thoughts, please?

  • Pam Green

    What about white sugar?

  • bob

    <50g/day is considered non fattening/leptin resistance inducing afaik

  • Alan

    Are gluten-free oats ok?

  • Vern Doria


    Where are you getting your information? It appears you are very wrong about a lot of things.

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Please elaborate.

  • Attila

    Hi! Like this portal and your books as well. Full with deep information, though sometimes I feel lost a bit.
    I liked your videos with other health enthusiasts, would like to see more of that.

    I have higher zonulin and histamin levels in stool, H. pilory positive, I had an igg food sensitivity test and it is positive to gluten/eggs/bananas/pistachios/oranges/honey and some other, however I’m not positive to walnuts and for some other nuts.

    If I were sensitive to lectin I should have had positive igg to walnuts?

  • Karen

    Has anyone had much experience using products such as Lectin Lock (sold by Vitamin Research Products) in combatting lectin inflammation? It contains a variety of ingredients that supposedly bind to the major lectins and prevent the lectins from binding to our own tissues.


    Your reply makes this even more confusing. What do you mean Gundry’s list is for a different group of people?

  • AB

    Beets are mentioned in the ‘OK’ list but in another post it says that they are not allowed in the lectin avoidance diet. Should we be steering clear of them?

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Yes if you might be sensitive to oxalate. It’s high in oxalate.

  • Attila

    What are the symptoms which if you feel, you can be sure that it is caused by the food that you eat just before?

  • Rick P.

    Article could use an update. The content is good, but lacks the context for which there is no concern for high pesticide-ridden foods for which healthy and dense foods organic must replace.

  • Elle A. Handon

    I was having so much trouble with IBS D almost 2 years, went to two different Dr.s both gastrointestinal speciallists a year apart. (So colonoscopy both times … Yuk. ) I thought I had gluten sensitivity, so avoided it for a few months , things did get a bit better, however not enough that I could safely leave my house(if I had an important meeting I would not eat dinner the night before and take Imodium the night before and the next morning. I was lucky that I could do a lot of my work from home.) a couple of months ago, I saw Dr Grundy’s video .. I actually was trying to figure out why I was always soooo tired. I bought some dried fruits ( not freeze dried) blue berries, cranberries, and cherries. I almost immediately got better, I avoided the lectins as much as possible, but made sure I had at least 1/2 cup of these berries everyday!! The specialists both told me my collagen in the intestines (apparently underneath the intestine walls tissues ) was inflamed (they took abit for biopsy) And apparently they see this a lot with people taking over the counter aspirin, ibprohine all the over the counter pain killers!! But I did have headaches, backaches, joint aches something almost every day! I can’t believe these Drs didn’t seem to know anything about lectins, or even gluten sensitivity. The first Dr did a blood test, and said I didn’t have it, but I hadn’t ate any gluten for a month before!! It pays to look things up for yourself a lot of times!! I hope this continues to work for me, it has been a life saver!

  • Lori Zitzmann

    I’ve read (Laura Power) that Rh negative people aren’t affected by lectins. Do you know if this is true?

    1. lrmarshall

      Lori, I’ve followed Laura Powers work for some time as she is the only person I’ve found to really focus on rh negative specifically as it relates to allergies-nutrition. I thought rh neg. did react to lectins. I’ve been waiting eagerly for her Biotype book to get more info on things. I know in regards to her saying rh neg’s have THE highest allergies…in personal experience, I’ve seen that to be true and suffer tremendously with various allergies even with following gut healing protocol.

  • lrmarshall

    Joe, I am curious what your blood type is and if you are rh positive or negative. Many of the things that you react to I do as well, plus some in regards to inflammation. A lot of people cannot understand why there would be a reaction to “coconut oil” or “coconut milk” being the “superfood” it is….along with various others that I see on your lists. I tend to only be able to eat pretty much from your level 1 food list, but even still several things on that which don’t work. Does that generally indicate a definite lectin issue? However, I do also focus on balancing histamine intolerance and salicylates.

  • John Prochilo

    Hi, In Dr. Gundry’s video it says that pistachios are OK on a lectin free diet. He also says almonds are not great, but OK. Help!

    Also (not from Gundry), I have read that semi-green bananas are among the best pre-biotics, but on the “no” list here.

    Sidebar: I have subscribed and paid for a few self-hacked things, but I am confused as to how and what I have access to…

    1. Nattha Wannissorn, PhD

      Our lectin avoidance diet is different from Dr. Gundry’s diet. It’s true that we both talk about lectins, but we have different takes on certain things.

      SelfHacked LAD is meant to help you figure out what foods your body can’t handle, so it avoids everything that could be inflammatory – lectins, tannins, oxalates etc. Eventually, the diet that works is different for everyone. We provide you with a start but there is no one dogma. Semi-green banana has a lot of tannins, but if you tolerate it, then great. Almonds is also a common source of food allergies and sensitivities, but again if you tolerate it, great!

      Dr. Gundry’s diet is developed for a slightly different group of people and purpose.

      There is no right or wrong. If it works for you, it works. Don’t listen to either of us. Listen to your body. Remove it from your diet for a few months and take it back. See how you feel.

  • Monica

    I’ve gone gluten free for three years, it has changed my life, however not fixed it. I still have all of the above issues. As an athlete who is always tired, my back hurts, I’ve gained weight even though I exercise like crazy… I’m sure this is my issue because I say how come it still hurts to eat corn, rice and potatoes even though they are gluten free? This makes so much sense. I do use coconut sugar as a sugar replacement. Is that Lectun free? Or low lectun? Thanks for all of the info!

  • Andy

    Does anyone know if Waxy Maize starch is low oxalate?

  • Lynne

    Hi Jo, just wondering why, as a nightshade and listed on your lectin avoidance not allowed d/l, golden berries (aka cape gooseberries) are listed here as ‘good enough’? Also why cucumbers are allowed when they’re a member of the melon group (but not listed as such on the same list)? Cheers

    1. Nattha Wannissorn

      Because Joe is very sensitive to lectins but he tolerates cucumbers. When in doubt, avoid cucumbers and re-introduce.

      1. Lynne

        Thanks Nattha, Is that the case with golden berries/cape gooseberries/ground cherries/inca berries too? I’m AI and off nightshades for joint pain etc but would like to be able to trial cape gooseberries as they grow as weeds here 🙂

        1. Nattha Wannissorn

          I would say keep it until phase 2 if you will. I don’t know about those things as they are not all that common around here.

          1. Lynne

            Thanks Nattha. I’d still be interested to know Jo’s rationale for the listing of the Golden Berries if anyone knows…

            reply icon
  • Mikey

    Have you tried grass-fed A2 protein raw milk and jotted down any notes? I’ve blasted through a whatever studies I could find and read that a majority of the lectins are likely from the heavy gmo/grain diet fed to the cows- and any remaining are tied to sugars present in the raw milk itself.

    The beta-lactoglobulin shouldn’t be a problem with the iron and lactoferrin present- especially with the A2 variant protein- and even though I’m sensitive up to stage 3 on your list, grass-fed A2 protein raw milk causes no problems.

    Curious to hear from the end of another hypersensitive TH1 dominant individual like yourself.

    1. William Thornton

      For a long time, I was puzzled by dairy. I could eat fish chowder with heavy cream but not ice cream. I wasn’t lactose intolerant. Finally I ran across the A2 milk information and realized heavy cream has minimal A1 protein because it’s virtually all fat. I also tested A2 milk and found I could tolerate that so much better. A1 beta casein protein creates a BMC-7 toxic protein fragment.

      I do think TH1-TH2 theory will end up in the waste basket down the road.

  • David

    Love this article,

    Question, how about refined cane sugar? Just wondering since I will do my best to stick to honey as often as possible.

  • Denis Gelrud

    Where does refined cane sugar fit on this from a lectin point of view? Is it refined enough to avoid the lectins from the grain it is made of like hi-maize?

  • Ron Dahlen

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the list. In category #4 you list Basmati White rice and mention that it is placed here because starches are important. What do you think about long-grain white rice if it is soaked in apple cider vinegar and rinsed before cooking?

  • George

    Is goat milk or goat milk yogurt ok?

  • Aaron

    How does what you find inflammatory compare with what the Blood Type Diet says for your blood type? Are you blood type O?

    1. Filip Riha

      im truly interested in this one too. Joe, could you share your bloodtype with us?

      1. Nattha Wannissorn

        He’s got type A.

  • Alan

    Hi Joe, have you tried dragon fruit, bean sprouts, chestnuts and macadamia nuts?

  • th

    how do you feel about bacon? and would you be worried about trace amounts of soy like say in a multivitamin, or general cross contamination (in miniscule amounts) with more harmful lectins?

  • Denis Gelrud

    Good to know. I was considering if asking restaurants to cook my food in butter (since they are more likely to have that then the more healthy oils) would be worth the risk. I will continue strict avoidance. I did notice a significant improvement when I cut out all dairy instead of just the higher protein dairy so I think I may also be very sensitive.

  • Denis Gelrud

    Thanks for the response!

    Have you tested butter? I am curious where it would fall on the list. It contains casein so from that it is a 7 but only at about .1g per tablespoon. Is casein inflammatory at extremely low doses? I know gluten can cause issues even from cross contamination so I am wondering if casein is like that or more like other lectins which are only problematic in higher amounts.

    Do you avoid the seeds in fruit or are they less problematic the other seeds?

    I have been reading up on the bulletproof diet since apart from the coffee it is also centered around a low lectin intake and is very similar. He makes a viable point on some issues being caused my the mycotoxins present in food (Limited in europe but not in the U.S.). Any thoughts?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      For me and most of my clients casein is terrible, even at doses in butter

      1. Lynne

        Yeah that’s me Joe, I tried pure grass-fed ghee recently and, while it tasted delicious, I still got my 1st line casein symptoms (pimples on face, jaw & scalp) within a week 🙁

  • Denis Gelrud

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for sharing a lot of good information! Your website helped me figure out that it is the the lectins in food I am reacting too. Finally understanding the problem made it a lot easier to deal with it. Like you I am the type of person that needs to understand why i am doing something before I can fully commit to it. I could never wrap my head around why I was having issues with a lot of paleo foods and even foods that are allowed on the more restricted diets (Bananas, Sweet Potato, Grapes). I have been reading your articles on lectins and had some questions if you have a minute:

    1. Is the only issue you have with nutritional yeast the added foiic acid? I found what looks like a good brand that has no fortifications
    2. Have you tried other root vegetables apart from carrot like fennel, turnip or swede (rutabaga)? Are the lectins concentrated in the root vegetables or just the tubers?

    3. Does your personal experience favor full elimination of dairy for those with autoimmune disease unlike Dr Gundrys recommendation of only avoiding A1 casein?


    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      1) My only issue is folic acid (some people have issues with glutamate)
      2) Root veggies can also be a problem. They’re fine if pressure cooked.
      3) Total dairy elimination

  • Remy

    What about tigernuts i.e. tigernut milk? It’s not a nut but a tuber which makes me think probably no. But I’m looking for *something* to use in coffee.

    1. Joseph Cohen

      Don’t know

  • TH

    I find chewing gum is stress relieving for me but I’ve recently noticed that the gum I buy (and pretty much all other brands..) contains ’emulsifier (322, from soy)’. Would this be a cause of concern from a lectin point of view? I know it’s a lecithin extract but still..

  • Anthony

    Would you think soaking and/or sprouting various legumes such as pinto and black beans lower there ranking on the inflammation score to a 2-3?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      It’ll probably lower it….

  • Steve

    Hi Joe, How is it that rice protein is lectin safe? All the harmful stuff in grains is in the protein part and most rice proteins are made from raw rice. So it seems like you are concentrating down the most harmful part of the grain and consuming it in its raw state.
    Also have you tried a lectin blocking product, such as lectin lock?

  • Alex

    Hi Joe. Still struggling to identify foods that cause problems. I think that my problem is not in lectins but in something different. I get extremely tired all the time… but to the point. I was wondering could you tell some more on how you identified foods that cause inflammation for you. Did you just eat every single food separately – waited to see whether there was reaction? Also, I was wondering whether you have any thoughts on the so called pulse test for food intolerances.
    I think coconut oil and perhaps oilve oil may cause problems in my case.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      You need to go through this post. You need to focus on your circadian rhythm.

  • OP

    hi boss, did you ever experience “visual snow” before you figured out how to reduce inflammation?

  • Terry Andrews

    What about lemons, pecans & lamb? I’ve read that lamb is the best meat for people with chronic fatigue and whether I’m imagining it or not, I do better on lamb than beef or chicken. Also thought pH effect of lemons was beneficial to the body. Finally, pecans are one of the few protein sources that seem to not fog up my brain. Thanks – Terry Andrews

  • Peter Sjogren

    Hi Joe! Isn’t apple cider vinegar just as bad as Kombucha if you are histamine intolerant? Love your stuff, thanks!

  • Judd Crane

    What about raisins? I remember you used to eat them.

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      never ate them.

  • Maureen

    Is there a difference in lectin value for organic grass-fed animal products vs. CAFO animal products? I haven’t seen you mention this anywhere. Thanks Joe!

  • Rollia

    Is there any advantage to the specific honey (Nature Nate) that you recommend or will any organic raw not cloudy honey do as well?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Any raw not cloudy

  • Judd Crane

    Do you have any reference for animal fat being better for Th1 dominant? Can’t find anything in the inflammation articles. Thx!

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      I don’t know where I got that from. Ignore it.

  • Jay

    Hi Joe. I was wondering if you a notice a difference from egg yolks compared to whole eggs. I think I’ve been doing well on them recently, and they seem like a more palatable and less smelly alternative to cod liver for nutrients. What do you think?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      No noticeable difference for me.

      1. Jay

        Okay. Thanks.

        I also wanted to ask, could you clarify a bit on “purple sweet potatoes”?

        At major grocers in my area it seems they label “japanese sweet potatoes” as “purple sweet potatoes”. I learned that after they gave me significant inflammation. At a local asian market, I was able to find what they labelled “purple yams” and “hawaiian(I think..) purple yams”.

        Reading Mark Sisson’s article here:, the “purple yams” seem to match “d. alata” and the “hawaiian purple yams” seem to match the second variety he talks about under “okinawan purple sweet potato”. So far I haven’t been able to find the deep purple okinawan sweet potatoes he mentions.

        Anyways, I was wondering which variety you’re talking about exactly with regards to “purple sweet potato”, and also what other, if any, yams/potatoes/roots/etc. you’ve tried that gave you minimal inflammation?

        1. thomlandia

          I second the potato question

  • Ryan

    Where would coconut milk fall and why is black bean dip ok?

    1. Joseph M. Cohen

      Added. I don’t get a reaction.

  • K Man

    Whey concentrate I mean.

  • K Man

    Hello Joe is Casein found in whey. wouldn’t whey be considered dairy? Thanks

  • James
  • Dvir

    Could you please do Coconut flour (as opposed to shreds; is there a difference between the two?) and Tapioca flour?

    I can really prepare many things from those two ingredients so I would be happy to know how safe they are.

  • Albert

    What is the maximum dosage of Trehalose I can take in a day?

    For the moment it will be my main only carb source, so i’d like if possible to be able to consume between 120-150g a day.

  • Jean

    How about spirulina?

    Just started with ACV+Spirulina in the morning for my nasal congestion (chronic rhinosinusitis). Tastes quite good actually. Almost hoping to start my days like this with an empty stomach in the future as well. I feel that the ACV somehow balances my pH in a good way also.

    I don’t have time to wait for 6 months, but I will continue to take it.

    I take Tinospora too.

    Xclear (Xylitol nasal spray) seems to be a godsend according to reviews on Amazon and iHerb. Cromolyn doesn’t really help me at all.

    And best of all, LLLT:

    And for instant and temporary results:
    Ultrabreathe/Powerlung and neti pot really removes mucous from my nose and lungs. NAC doesn’t work me either even though it sounds good on paper, probably because I have the dreadful CBS C699T mutation…

    So, yes. I just had one question and the rest are ideas that might help your clients in the future.

    1. Joe

      Didn’t experience inflammation from spirulina

    2. YimYam

      Hi Jean, thanks for this really helpful information. I’ve just googled rhinosinusitis and it says “Chronic rhinosinusitis is defined as a sinus infection of greater than 12 weeks duration that includes 2 or more major sinus symptoms or at least 1 major and 2 minor symptoms.”
      That’s certainly me!!

      Has your’s completely cleared up whilst you stay on a low lectin diet if you supplement accordingly and is your’s just allergy based or is there some other factor causing your nostrils to be constantly inflamed?

      The level of inflammation in my nostrils just seem’s to fluctuate randomly, even when I was on an elemental diet….and just randomly moves from one nostril to the other throughout the day.

      Is your experience similar?

      1. Jean


        Glad to share useful info.

        I have stayed on a hardcore low histamine diet and been using benadryl before sleep in order to increase DAO. I have noticed great progress within just a week. I would say that it’s 80% better.

        It has taken me years to realize that I have a histamine allergy/nasal congestion/sleep apnea. Yes, this also gave me “sleep apnea”, because I became a mouth breather at nights and it left me fatigued due to disrupted sleep. I actually checked this with an oximeter and it was 92-94% waking up. Now it’s 99% upon waking. I feel slighty stupid realizing it now afterwards, but it became “normal and frequent” that I viewed it as something normal that everyone experienced. However it’s hard to be sharp and notice basic stuff with brain fog.

        Some extra advice:
        Dust mites and pollen gives me a runny nose and clogs it. Put your pillow in the freezer and see how you feel the next morning. Try sleeping with an open window and see how it affects you.

  • dan

    Where would you place kelp noodles?

  • dan

    Where would you place maltodextrin, oat flour and sucralose? (Main ingredients in soylent)

  • david

    Is maltodextrin a safe carb source to consume?

  • Aaron

    What score is balsamic vinegar?

    1. Joe


  • Jamie

    Is Bee Pollen ok to eat?

    1. Joe


  • Yimyam

    Is brown rice protein ok to buy?

    1. Joe


      1. Yimyam

        Thanks. Is it the best protein source for people with Salicylate sensitivity? I feel I get a reaction from pea protein.

  • Mike

    How do you measure brain fog inflammation?
    Do you eat a given food and do cognitive tests?


  • Geoffrey

    Where does raw organic sugar come in? I didn’t see it listed or is it such a no-no that it wasn’t even addressed?

  • Judd Crane

    Have you tried Palatinose?

    1. Joe


      1. aribadabar

        What’s the verdict? 🙂

      2. Judd Crane

        I’ve been exploring alternatives for waxy maize since I can’t seem to find a good source for it. Do you have a recommended upper limit for fructose? (Low fat diet).

  • Cody

    Hi! Do you cook the “fully sprouted lentils” or do you eat them raw?

    1. Joe


  • Ross

    Excellent site. One question here though: You list almond milk as a 4, but I’m unclear on whether that’s a score for almond milk containing carrageenan. I would guess that makes a big difference after reading other posts on your site.

    1. Joe

      Even without

  • Vili Volcini

    Hello, Joe, thanks for this list, it is definitely useful 🙂

  • Judd Crane

    What about pumpkin seeds?

    1. Joe

      Will test

  • aribadabar

    Many sources suggest that for controlling psoriasis, a known autoimmune disorder, the diet should be based on lentils/ legumes and greens/vegetables with all citrus fruits,tomatoes and peppers (all nightshades really) specifically excluded. Orange sweet potatoes are also considered to be OK.

    On the other hand, it is suggested to avoid any yeast-based products. How nutritional yeast is low-inflammatory in that context?
    Diary is also a defnite no-no, so how whey (based on milk) is that much different and relatively low-inflammatory?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiments.

    1. Joe

      I’m aware of these things, but the post speaks for itself. Nutritional yeast isn’t the same as baker’s yeast, which you’ll notice is #5. Whey is much less inflammatory than whole dairy (which has casein), but is still inflammatory.

  • IntestinalIQ

    Interesting that you would include the potato starch as being pro-inflammatory. I found exactly the opposite. My overall inflammation (as measured by hsCRP score) went from 50th percentile (average) to 10th percentile (better than 90% of U.S. adult males) over a period of 8 months, while consuming 4 tblsp. of potato starch daily (along with probiotics). Everyone is definitely different…

    1. Joe

      Raw potato starch is inflammatory, but the resistant starch is anti-inflammatory, so I probably should change it to a #3

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