February 20-22, 2025  •  Hilton Midtown  •  New York, NY

Session Details

Is There Such a Thing as “Anti-Nutrients”?

Feb 24 2023

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM EDT


Murray Hill

Recently, polarizing opinions have emerged in the nutrition field as to whether eating certain plant foods is considered toxic, with purported claims to suggest they can cause gut-related inflammation and be implicated in the etiology of autoimmune diseases. This information would seem to be incongruent with the preponderance of published epidemiological, clinical, and non-clinical research over many decades indicating that plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, herbs, and spices are essential features of a healthful dietary pattern, reducing the risk for a multitude of chronic diseases. While plant foods have been historically heralded for their fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content, there is the suggestion that they also contain ‘anti-nutrients’. Examples of anti-nutrients that have been called into question include lectins, oxalates, goitrogens, phytoestrogens, phytates, and tannins. In this presentation, each category of anti-nutrients will be defined, along with relevant clinical research to support their efficacy and/or safety concerns, followed by food-preparation strategies to help with optimizing the spectrum of healthful nutrients and reducing those that are less advantageous in plant-based foods for those who choose to eat them.     

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the scientific evidence on benefits and risks of eating a plant-based diet
  2. Recognize the different ‘anti-nutrients’ and any published scientific data that may result in contraindications or caution in clinical use
  3. Examine tips for cooking and food preparation to optimize certain nutrients and reduce others in plants


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