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What Are Lectin-Free Eggs?

posted on

September 27, 2023

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In the past few decades, more and more clinical research has been devoted to better understanding the connection between the foods we eat and the incidence of disease.

Several vital food-disease relationships have been discovered and communicated to the public on the news, in books, podcasts, and more. A few familiar such food-disease relationships include:

  • Diabetes & Obesity: Consuming a diet high in added sugars may increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
  • Gluten Sensitivity: Some individuals do not tolerate foods containing protein or gluten.

...and there are many, many others.

One such potential food-disease relationship is being championed by Dr. Steven Gundry, who suggests foods that most would consider healthy options (e.g., beans, lentils, grains, potatoes, and tomatoes, to name a few) may be associated with inflammation and autoimmune disease.

He outlines anecdotal evidence and preliminary findings in his book, The Plant Paradox.

In it, he espouses living a low- or lectin-free life, and advocates for the complete avoidance of many foods.

This caught our attention. At our regenerative family farm, we’re deeply committed to serving families the most nutrient-dense food they can find.

So, let’s explore the question of lectin, and how to find eggs you can enjoy with confidence.

Originally published in 2019, this article was updated and republished on September 27th, 2023.

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What Is a Lectin-Free Diet?

To understand what a lectin-free diet includes, first, you need to know what lectin is. Lectins are a kind of “anti-nutrient,” a type of protein that binds to carbohydrates and makes it more difficult to absorb vitamins and minerals in food.

In nature, plants use lectins to protect themselves. The highest sources of lectins are grains and legumes, but the proteins also exist in some other plants. 

Some studies indicate that active lectins in foods can interfere with digestion and trigger inflammatory responses. For example, people with inflammatory diseases often find relief by limiting or removing lectins from their diets. However, other studies suggest that they may play a helpful role in some contexts.

All types of animal proteins are permitted in a lectin-free diet, including eggs; however, savvy consumers strictly following the Plant Paradox diet are seeking Lectin-Free, Pasture-Raised Eggs laid by hens fed a GRAIN-FREE diet.

This has posed quite a challenge for consumers.

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Benefits of Lectin-Free Eggs

According to Dr. Gundry, the benefits of lectin-free eggs are similar to those of the lectin-free diet. A lot of care goes into feeding chickens a lectin-free diet – ensuring that the hens receive the proper nutrition without the grains that would typically make up chicken feed.

Benefits of lectin-free eggs include:

  • Higher ratios of omega-3 fatty acids, which support good health
  • It is more suitable for people with soy and grain allergies since the chickens don’t receive soy or grains in their feed
  • It can help people suffering from inflammatory diseases to reduce their symptoms
  • It is rich in nutrients, including vitamins and minerals

Are You Eating Quality Lectin-Free Eggs?

When shopping for lectin-free eggs, there are a few things to consider before you buy. The most important consideration is how the hens are raised and how they live, since this has the most significant impact on egg quality.

If you care about quality, looker deepr than the label any time you want to make sure you’re getting ethically-sourced meat and eggs.

  • Know what you’re buying: pastured eggs are generally lower in lectins than standard, commercially farmed eggs, but pastured hens still often have access to many lectin-rich foods.
  • Know what the hens are eating: making a lectin-free diet for chickens that’s also nutritionally complete is tricky. Make sure you know how your egg farmer ensures that the hens have a nutritionally complete diet.
  • Stick with someone you trust: instead of going strictly by labels, get involved. Buy your eggs from a trusted source, preferably directly from farmers, so you can be confident in what you’re getting.

Where Can You Buy Grain-Free, Lectin-Free Eggs?

At Seven Sons, we’re fortunate to partner with our friends Willis and Isabell Loftin from the Endless Knot Community (EKC) Farm to connect customers with Grain-Free, Low-Lectin Eggs.

At EKC Farm, they highly value and understand the interconnected nature of how foods are grown and personal health, as they have experienced the results firsthand. You can meet EKC Farm Co-founder Willis Loftin, in this short video:

We appreciate the love Willis and Isabell are putting into this project and the fact that they are truly pioneers in this area.

Are Eggs Okay in a Lectin-Free Diet?

Yes, eggs are allowed on the lectin-free diet, but there’s a catch. According to Dr. Gundry’s guidance, choosing eggs that are lectin-free or low in lectins is best. 

The standard supermarket dozen isn't the best choice since most grocery store eggs are raised on grain and legumes. Instead, choose eggs from pasture-raised chickens, especially from chickens fed a lectin-free diet.

Are There Lectin-Free Grains?

Although most grains have high amounts of lectins, there are some lectin-free grain product options. “Ancient” grains, or pseudo-grains as they’re sometimes called, often have lower lectins or no lectins at all. 

Dr. Gundry’s list of accepted foods includes grain-like options like sorghum and millet. Teff and Fonio are also lectin-free, though they don’t get the nod from the doctor.

What Do Grain-Free Chickens Eat?

As described in the video above, EKC's Heritage breed hens get about 1/3 of their diet from diverse forages on pasture, 1/3 insects, and 1/3 supplement non-GMO feed.

To not compromise on the quality of their eggs, the Loftin's have partnered with Kraut Creek Natural Feeds in Ohio to create a grain-free, low-lectin supplemental chicken feed that nourishes their birds.

This feed is balanced to provide the chickens with the nutrients they need to produce the best eggs that are formulated according to Dr. Gundry’s Yes List (a list of low-lectin foods).

Their healthy chickens never receive growth hormones or antibiotics, so they’re able to produce the highest quality eggs on the market naturally.

Low Lectin Grain Free Chicken Feed

Are Cooked Eggs High in Lectins?

Cooking destroys many lectins, including those found in eggs. But the process is only complete if you pressure-cook the food in question. 

Since cooking your eggs in a pressure cooker is less than ideal, it’s best to start with low-lectin or lectin-free eggs.

How Do I Get Grain-Free, Low-Lectin Eggs?

[UPDATE:] We may seasonally offer these low-lectin eggs in our Roanoke, Indiana farm store throughout the year. :) Otherwise, we now offer delicious pasture-raised eggs (NOT related to a low-lectin protocol) shipped to your door within 24-72 hours after being laid by our sister company, Fresh Egg Co., when you visit fresheggco.com.

Are Pasture-Raised Eggs Lectin-Free?

Whether or not pasture-raised chickens lay lectin-free eggs depends on what those chickens eat. Most pastures feature grain and legume plants, especially the healthiest pastures. 

Dr. Gundry advises that pasture-raised eggs are more likely to be low in lectins, especially if farmers keep the chickens away from grain plants that have gone to seed. 

What to Pair With Lectin-Free Eggs

Eggs are a versatile ingredient, and while you can eat your lectin-free eggs solo, pairing them with other healthy, nutrient-rich foods can help you round out a meal and keep your food interesting. 

Some ideas for pairings include:

I hope you've learned something in reading this article, or if you’re living an egg-less life on a Lectin-free diet, that you've found hope you'll be able to enjoy eggs again!

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A Complete Guide to Pork Cuts and How to Cook Them

Pork is a versatile meat rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a great addition to a healthy diet, and you can cook it in various ways. Which cut of pork you choose and how to cook it, depends on a few things.  Before deciding which cut is right for you, consider the source. Pasture-raised, heritage breeds produce more flavorful pork with better nutritional content[1] than standard grocery store products.  But can you tell the difference between pasture-raised pork and industrially produced pork? Yes! Our pork is firm and darker pink in color (indicating the animal was pasture-raised). Pork meat that is pale in color, soft, or damp was most likely factory-farmed. As a bonus, all our pork is sugar-free and free from GMOs, nitrates, and antibiotics. Now that we’ve sorted that out, let’s talk about the different pork cuts!  1. Bacon  Bacon is a breakfast staple for a reason, and it’s our #1 selling product of all! These thin slices of pork are quick to cook–making them a great, tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner option! We recommend frying, baking, or grilling your pork bacon until it turns dark pink and the fat is crispy around the edges. Bonus: You don’t need to stop at breakfast with your bacon. Wrap a tasty filet mignon, top your favorite hamburger, or make bite-sized pieces to mix in with oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus, or Cobb salad. 2. Pork Sausage Another breakfast staple – pork sausage – is made of cuts from the shoulder and loin of the pig. We season our sausage with black pepper, red pepper, rosemary, and sage to give it a rich, hearty taste.  For the healthiest option, grill or oven-bake your sausages until browned and cooked through–or fry them in a skillet for 10-12 minutes. Then, serve with eggs, in a breakfast sandwich, or with a side of sweet potato hash. 3. Ham Ham comes from the hind leg of the hog. 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How to Cook Pork Sausages: Top 3 Methods

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Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 12 minutes Servings: 6-8 What You'll Need One of the appeals of cooking pork sausages is how quick and easy the process is. Because the meat is so naturally flavourful, all you’ll need is a tablespoon of oil, and you’re ready to go:  1 tbsp oil (Avocado or Extra Virgin Olive) 1 lb. Sugar-Free Pork Sausage All our pastured pork sausage is made from the highest-quality meat raised on our regenerative family farm or within our trusted partner farm network. With the cooking methods below, enjoy a variety of flavors, including kielbasa, Italian, bratwurst, and breakfast patties. Instructions Now, it’s time to explore our three favorite methods for cooking pork sausages: on the stove, in the oven, and on the grill. Cooking on the Stovetop This is the classic way to cook pork sausages–and it’s quick and easy.  Heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place four sausages in the skillet, cooking for 5 minutes on each side or until the middle of the patties reaches 160°F.  Once cooked, remove the sausages from the skillet and let stand for five minutes.  Repeat the process until all sausages are done.  Baking in the Oven If you’re looking for an oil-free or low-effort cooking method, baking your pork sausages is the way to go.  Preheat oven to 375°F. While it warms, line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper and place the sausages or patties on it. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until sausages or patties reach 160°F. Halfway through baking time, flip so they’re nicely browned all over.  For extra crispy results, cook sausages in a skillet on high heat for two minutes after baking.  Option: You can also use a cast iron skillet as an alternative to a baking sheet. Cooking on the Grill In the mood for a barbecue? Pork sausage links also cook wonderfully on the grill. Here’s what to do:  Preheat grill to medium-high heat and gently oil grates. Place sausages on grill, cooking for roughly 5 minutes on each side or until the middle of the sausages reach 160°F.  Remove sausages from the grill and let stand for five minutes.  Why Sugar-Free Pork Sausage? If you’re watching your carb intake, sugar-free is a given. But even if you don’t mind a touch of added sugar to your diet, it's a good idea to be mindful of the sugar content in products like bacon and sausages. Added sugar in pork products indicates they’re highly processed, and highly processed foods have been linked to a variety of health problems, including increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To ensure you choose a healthy and tasty option, look for nutrition labels that are free of sugar and contain only a handful of ingredients: pork, water, and natural herbs and spices. All our pork product labels look like this because they’re all sugar-free! Side Dishes to Pair with Pork Sausage Pork sausages make for a hearty, delicious meal any time of the day. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve them for a mouth-wateringly tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner:  Breakfast Gooey egg, sausage, and cheese breakfast sandwich Colorful fried sausage, veggie, and potato hash  Old-fashioned sausages, biscuits and gravy  Lunch Sauteed peppers, sausage, and onions laced with red pesto  Grilled sausages with creamy coleslaw and a dressed summer salad  Spiced, baked eggplant stuffed with herbs and sauteed sausage  Dinner  Sweet, zingy tomato and sausage penne pasta  Grilled sausages served with baked sweet potato wedges and roasted vegetables  Crumbled spicy sausage and caramelized onion pizza  Expert Tips & Tricks Before we dive into the cooking instructions, here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind to get the perfect sausages every time:  Before cooking your breakfast sausage patties, gently press your thumb down into the center of each one. This will help the sausage to retain its circular shape during cooking.  When it comes to sausages, slow and steady wins the race. That means cooking them on low to medium heat. Otherwise, you risk a burned outside and undercooked inside.  While cooking as many patties or links as you can in a skillet might be tempting, it’s better to cook them in manageable batches. If you don’t, you may accidentally steam the sausages instead of browning them, and lose out on the crispy exterior. Once your sausages are cooked, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will make every bite more juicy and tender.  For the perfect pork sausage, a meat thermometer is your best friend! You’ll want to ensure the sausage's innermost part reaches 160°F–that’s how you’ll know it’s ready.  Recipe FAQs Is it better to cook sausages in the oven or pan? How you cook your pork sausages depends on your preferences. The oven, skillet, and grill are all great options. The oven is the best option if you prefer a more hands-off approach to cooking, but we'd recommend the pan if you enjoy sizzling your sausages to perfection.  What’s the difference between Italian sausage and breakfast sausage?  Seven Sons’ Italian and breakfast sausages are both beautifully seasoned and sugar-free. The major difference between the two is our selection of herbs and spices in each. While the breakfast sausage is milder and lighter in flavor, with hints of sage and rosemary, the Italian sausage has a lightly spiced flavor thanks to the addition of paprika.  How should sausages be cooked? Pork sausages are versatile and delicious. For best results, you can cook them in several ways, including in the oven, on a skillet, or on a grill.  Can you pan-fry pork sausages? Absolutely! Heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat to pan-fry pork sausages. Next, cook your sausage patties for five minutes on each side or until the middle of the patties has reached 160°F. Don’t forget to let them rest for a few minutes after cooking, so they’re extra juicy and tender.  Should I add any seasonings to the sausage patties? Seven Son’s breakfast and Italian pork sausages are already perfectly seasoned with a delicate blend of herbs and spices, meaning all you need to do is cook them!  Can I store leftover cooked pork sausage? Yes, it’s easy to store leftover pork sausage. First, let the meat cool completely. Then, transfer it to an airtight container. You can refrigerate it for up to 4 days.  Ready to Cook?  Try Seven Sons’ delicious, sugar-free pork sausage range today. As always, we’d love to know what you think! So, let us know if you tried our recipes and how it turned out!