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Weight loss: what is the lectin-free diet?

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The lectin-free diet comes from the United States and has been around the world. It was Steven Gundry, a renowned American cardiologist, who sounded the alarm when his book was published in 2017 The Plant Paradox, translated into twenty languages ​​and supported by a solid scientific literature. According to this author, the consumption of lectins would cause an inflammatory response in the body and would lead to weight gain and other health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. As a result, we must revise the famous dictate “Eat five fruits and vegetables a day”. It all depends on what we put on our plate.

Where do lectins come from?

Lectins (including gluten) are part of the large family of proteins. They are found in plants. If plants produce lectins, it is to protect themselves. They want to avoid being eaten by predators in nature, but also by us humans! Bad news: the lectins generated are toxic. The worst of the lectins is castor oil, the oil of which is well known for cosmetic application to the hair and nails. Castor is said to have been used by secret services to assassinate dissidents of foreign regimes.

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Everything would be fine if we ate vegetables and fruits picked in our garden! But now, we are dependent, except for a lucky few, on a supply chain. It is not the foods that are in question here but the way in which they are produced. For cost reasons, the vast majority of vegetables and fruits are harvested before maturity and stored in warehouses, gassed with ethylene to facilitate their growth. Plants are not defenseless little beings… They have superpowers to resist their predators. Unlike animals, they cannot run away. So when they are in danger, they produce toxins that we consume in large quantities.

Once we absorb lectins from our diet, they attach to carbohydrates to pass through our digestive system without passing through the bloodstream, promoting the storage of sugar in fatty tissue. The inflammation generated increases our fat mass and more particularly abdominal fat highlights Catherine Malpas, naturopath, nutritional strategy coach, who developed the “PAL Minceur” diet (Anti-Lectin Protocol).

What is the lectin-free diet?

Detoxifying the body is an essential step to preserve our health and maintain a fair weight. When we remove inflammatory agents from our diet (in this case, lectins), our body no longer has to devote all of its energy to “putting out the fire of inflammation”. It can go into “repair” mode and release excess fat. Since we are all unique, it is complicated to define a perfect dietary standard for each individual. So much so that “eating well” can become a real headache… Especially since it is practically impossible to completely avoid lectins, as they are present in our diet.

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The protocol “ Slimming PAL is an advanced method for those who have tried everything to lose weight without success and for those who have gastrointestinal disorders . This method is adapted to each patient according to the anamnesis, that is to say according to the detailed questionnaire that I do beforehand. In general, the diet takes place over a period of three months “, explains Catherine Malpas who has concocted an anti-lectin recipe book with twelve weeks of menus that are easy to make at home. At the same time, she offers online or face-to-face follow-up at her office.

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Here is the battle plan to follow.

Eliminate (at best) or limit (at worst) lectin-rich foods

The list is quite long! Legumes, i.e. pulses (lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, red and white beans, etc.), cereals (wheat, corn, rice, and especially the complete version), bread and pasta. To this must be added vegetables from the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, squash, potatoes), out-of-season fruits, but also meats (animals fed corn), cow’s milk containing A1 casein (sheep’s and goat’s milk are allowed). And yes, lectins are hiding everywhere…and, above all, in foods that were thought to be healthy.

Choose foods low in lectins

Fill your plate with foods such as leafy green vegetables (spinach, fennel, lettuce, endive, etc.), cruciferous vegetables (all cabbage and broccoli), mushrooms, asparagus, celery, onions, tubers (sweet potato, cassava), avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, non-grain-fed organic fish and shellfish. Fresh fruit (apricot, banana, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, etc.) and dried fruit (phew!) are safe to eat.

Avoid prepared, pre-packaged meals, also rich in lectins

Which means that instead of pulling a pizza out of our freezer, we’re going to be spending a little more time in our kitchen peeling fresh vegetables. The line and good health, it is deserved!

It is not always easy to imagine appetizing dishes with foods without lectins. That’s why I made a recipe book that I tested all “, underlines Catherine Malpas whose perfect line seems to attest that it works!

Should lectins be avoided at all costs? ?

The PAL Minceur diet is a restrictive diet recommended for a maximum of three months. Our naturopath offers some tips. We can neutralize lectins by careful soaking and cooking of what we consume. An interesting solution for vegans and vegetarians! Thus, they do not deprive themselves of their usual diet. But this concerns all of us.

So how to go about it? “Legumes, cereals and vegetables should be soaked in water for 12 to 24 hours. Adding baking soda to water further neutralizes lectins, notes Catherine Malpas. Cooking is done by bringing the water to a boil at more than 100°C for at least 30 minutes. On the grill or in the oven, cooked lectins are resistant, so it is totally inadvisable! »

Should we really eliminate lectins from our plate? The nutritional benefits of cereals, pulses, tomatoes, eggplants and other vegetables are recognized. Consuming in small quantities, lectins would boost our immune system, providing us with antioxidants and fibers that promote intestinal transit. They wouldn’t be dangerous, especially if they’ve been soaked and cooked to perfection.

Lectins would participate in the prevention of cancer, type 2 diabetes and certain viral diseases, but there is a lack of complementary scientific research on these subjects. “, notes Sylvie Hampikian, pharmaco-toxicologist.

In food, what matters is the right balance! Once the “PAL slimming” diet is over, why not allow yourself to enjoy a dish of lentils and potatoes enhanced with a few cloves of shallots? Without complexes. It is good for health and morale.

Adopt the PAL cure

Catherine Malpas is the author of Adopt the PAL Minceur cure. Follow the PAL Minceur protocol on www.fitback.fr

Our expert

Former Grand Reporter at the L’Express group, Corine Moriou has interviewed 5,000 people, visited 70 countries, worn 100 pairs of shoes, shared 10,000 smiles and laughs. Today, she is particularly interested in the field of well-being and personal development. She leads a “Yoga and Sylvotherapy” course from July 24 to 29, 2022 at the Domaine du Taillé, in Ardèche. His website: www.corinemoriou.com

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