Starch and Lectins

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 30, 2010 at 4:36 AM

In a recent post on Art De Vany's blog he states that starchy vegetables are full of lectins. I eat alot of sweet potato, acorn squash, etc. Should I be concerned with the lectin content in these starchy vegetables?

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2 Answers


on December 30, 2010
at 05:06 AM

To my knowledge, the only starchy vegetables with many lectins are potatoes. There might be some in sweet potatoes/yams I guess as well, but in both regular and sweet potatoes, most of it is concentrated in the skin, so peeling could get around this problem.

Also, since many hunter-gatherer groups have traditionally made use of tubers such as sweet potatoes, without any significant incidence of chronic disease, I think that they are probably benign.

Not all lectins are created equally. Even vegetables like spinach have lectins in them, it's the kind of lectins that are important. Lectins in kidney beans can kill you easily, whereas nuts and seeds, which contain lectins, can often be consumed raw without harm.



on December 30, 2010
at 05:01 AM

No. Because lectins are deactivated through thorough cooking. Other methods such as soaking, sprouting and fermenting may also help. But when's the last time someone you know ate raw beans? As for starchy vegetables (like tubers) having lectins, file this claim under "rumor", but still, people also commonly cook those.


Even Mark Sisson admits it. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-rice-unhealthy/

"While rice doesn???t have something as pernicious as the gluten lectin agglutinin, it does feature haemagglutinin-lectin, which can bind to specific carbohydrate receptor sites in the intestinal lining and impede nutritional absorption. Again, though, it???s only found in the bran, and standard steam cooking inactivates its toxicity."

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