health foods

The UNHEALTHY TRUTH about fermented foods

In this video by The Dr. Gundry Podcast titled “The UNHEALTHY TRUTH about fermented foods,” you’ll discover the reality behind fermentation and its impact on your health. Dr. Gundry discusses how fermentation deactivates lectins and creates beneficial probiotic bacteria, making it seem like a win-win situation. However, not all fermented foods are created equal. While sauerkraut and kimchi are excellent choices, be cautious when purchasing store-bought yogurt due to its high sugar content. When it comes to kombucha, reading the label is crucial, as some brands have excessive sugar levels. And while sourdough bread may be fermented, it still contains lectin-loaded non-fermented flour. Lastly, Dr. Gundry addresses the controversy surrounding miso, explaining that its six-month fermentation process significantly reduces lectin content, making it a great addition to your diet. Remember, not all fermented foods are healthy, so choose wisely and prioritize your gut health.

The Relationship Between Lectins and Fermentation

Fermentation is an age-old process that has been used to preserve and enhance the flavors of various foods. But did you know that fermentation also has a profound effect on lectins? Lectins, a type of protein found in many foods, can be deactivated or killed during the fermentation process. This means that fermented foods have reduced levels of lectins, making them safer for consumption.

During fermentation, sugars in food are converted into acids, gases, or alcohol. This process kills or deactivates lectins, which are known to cause digestive issues and inflammation in the body. Additionally, fermentation creates probiotic bacteria, which are beneficial for the gut and overall health.

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Fermented Foods to Avoid

While fermentation can reduce lectin content in many foods, there are still some fermented foods that should be avoided. Let’s take a closer look at these foods and why they may not be the best choice for your health.


Yogurt is a popular fermented food, but most yogurt found in the United States is high in sugar. Whether it’s from added fruit, sweeteners, or natural sweetness, the sugar content in yogurt can be quite high. As you may already know, sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut and can lead to various health issues.

To enjoy the benefits of yogurt without the negative effects of excessive sugar, look for unsweetened varieties made from goat, sheep, or coconut milk. These options provide the tangy and fermented flavor you love without the added sugar or casein a1, which is commonly found in cow’s milk.


Kombucha is another favorite fermented drink, often considered a healthier alternative to soda. However, it’s essential to read the labels carefully when choosing a kombucha brand. Some kombucha products can have as much sugar as soda, even if the sugar comes from fruits.

High sugar content in kombucha indicates that additional sugar was added after the fermentation process to enhance the taste. To make a more conscious choice, opt for the lowest sugar bottle you can find and enjoy kombucha in moderation.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread has gained popularity due to its fermentation process and lower lectin content compared to regular bread. However, it’s important to note that not all sourdough bread is created equal.

True sourdough bread is made by fermenting a starter mixed with non-fermented flour. In commercially available sourdough bread, the fermentation process may not be fully completed, leaving you with non-fermented wheat in every slice. To ensure you’re getting the full benefits of fermentation, consider making your own sourdough bread and allowing the dough to ferment thoroughly.

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Miso, a traditional Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans, is a source of controversy when it comes to fermented foods. Soybeans, in general, are high in lectins and can cause digestive issues and hormonal imbalances.

However, in the Okinawan diet, which is known for its longevity benefits, miso is a staple. This is because the soybeans used to make miso are fermented for a minimum of six months, significantly reducing lectin content. Miso is beneficial for the immune system, gut health, and overall well-being when consumed in moderation due to its high sodium content.

Fermented Foods You Can Eat

Now that we’ve covered the fermented foods to avoid, let’s explore the healthier options that can be included in your diet.


Sauerkraut is a classic example of a fermented food that offers numerous health benefits. Made from fermented cabbage, sauerkraut is rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It supports digestion, boosts the immune system, and promotes a healthy gut.


Kimchi, a Korean staple, is another fermented food that is both delicious and nutritious. It is made from a combination of fermented vegetables, typically cabbage and radishes. Kimchi is packed with beneficial bacteria, vitamins, and antioxidants. It aids in digestion, supports weight loss, and contributes to overall gut health.

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Goat’s Milk Yogurt

For those looking for a yogurt alternative, goat’s milk yogurt is an excellent choice. It provides the tangy taste and probiotic benefits of yogurt without the high sugar content. Goat’s milk is also easier to digest for many people, making it a favorable option for those with lactose intolerance or sensitivities to cow’s milk.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

Coconut milk yogurt is another dairy-free option that delivers the benefits of fermentation without the drawbacks of excessive sugar. Made from fermented coconut milk, this creamy and slightly tangy yogurt is a great alternative for those following a plant-based or lactose-free diet.

Making Your Own Fermented Pickles

If you enjoy pickles, consider making your own fermented version for a healthier option. When fermenting pickles at home, it’s essential to peel and de-seed the cucumbers before starting the fermentation process. This ensures that you’re consuming a pickled product that’s free from any lectin-rich parts of the cucumber.

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Not All Fermented Foods Are Healthy

While fermentation offers many health benefits, it’s essential to remember that not all fermented foods are created equal. Just because a food is labeled as “fermented” doesn’t automatically make it a healthy option.

When in doubt, it’s best to skip a fermented food or seek advice from a healthcare professional like Dr. Gundry. Consulting with an expert can help you make informed choices and ensure that you’re incorporating the right fermented foods into your diet.


Fermentation is a fascinating process that can yield numerous health benefits. By deactivating lectins and creating probiotic bacteria, fermentation transforms certain foods into gut-friendly options. However, it’s crucial to make wise choices when selecting fermented foods for consumption.

While yogurt, kombucha, sourdough bread, and miso can have potential drawbacks, there are healthier alternatives out there. Sauerkraut, kimchi, goat’s milk yogurt, and coconut milk yogurt are all great options to consider. Additionally, making your own fermented pickles can be a rewarding and healthier choice.

Remember, not all fermented foods are automatically healthy, so it’s essential to exercise caution and seek advice when needed. By incorporating the right fermented foods into your diet, you can enjoy the benefits of fermentation while also supporting your overall health and well-being.