The Plant Paradox

The Plant Paradox

The Hidden Dangers in "healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain

Book - 2017
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"From renowned cardiac surgeon Steven R. Gundry, MD, a revolutionary look at the hidden compounds in "healthy" foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that are causing us to gain weight and develop chronic disease. In the deadly game of predator versus prey, an adult gazelle can outrun a hungry lioness, a sparrow can take flight when stalked by a cat, and a skunk can let loose a spray of noxious liquid to temporarily blind a fox. The stakes aren't always rigged against the prey. But when the prey is a plant, the poor thing is helpless, right? Wrong. Plants actually have an impressive array of defense tactics to protect themselves from predators of all shapes and sizes--including humans. Dr. Stephen Gundry explains that these defense strategies make the seemingly virtuous plants that we consume every day--fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds--far less "good for us" than we assume. Plants may use physical deterrents (think : the spine-tipped leaves of an artichoke or the hard outer coating of a seed) as well as chemical warfare to repel predators. One of the most common forms of plants' chemical defense system comes in the form of proteins called lectins. Found in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of most plants, lectins act as smart bombs in the human body, causing toxic or inflammatory reactions that lead to serious conditions such as leaky gut, autoimmune disease, chronic digestive disorders, heart disease, and weight gain. In The Plant Paradox, Dr. Gundry outlines the health hazards posed by lectins as well as the ways we can avoid them. The main sources of lectins in the American diet include conventionally-raised dairy products, beans, and other legumes, wheat and grains, and specific vegetables and fruits. The simple (and daunting) fact is, lectins are everywhere. But in The Plant Paradox, Dr. Gundry provides simple hacks we easily can employ to avoid this insidious plant toxin, including : Vegetables like tomatoes and peppers are full of lectins--but most are contained in the skin and seeds. Simply peeling and de-seeding your favorite veggies makes them safer to consume. Plants want us to eat them when they're ripe to disperse their seeds! Eating fruit at the peak of ripeness--that means fresh, local, and seasonal--ensure that you will consume fewer lectins. Think "whole grains" are healthy? Think again. All of those grains and seeds with hard outer coatings are designed by nature to cause digestive distress--and are full of lectins. In fact, wheat contains one very famous lectin: gluten. With a full list of lectin-containing foods and simple substitutes for each; a step-by-step detox and eating plan; and easy lectin-free recipes, The Plant Paradox illuminates the hidden dangers lurking in your salad bowl--and shows you how to eat whole foods in a whole new way"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062427137
Branch Call Number: 582.13 Gundry 2017
582.13 GUNDRY
Characteristics: xvi, 399 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 22, 2018

Definitively read this book. Or even better, listen to it, because it is much easer to “digest” this newest and hottest diet on the market. I am confused and you will be too. Do your reasearch before you start any drastic change first.

And keep this quote on your mind:
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. “
Mark Twain

“Moderation in all things.” That is my mantra and I hope it’s yours too.

Jan 04, 2018

The pitfalls of food these days seem too numerous to contemplate, however this book is a sound read with information we should probably all be aware of.

Dec 21, 2017

Beware of any nutritional expert who claims to have unique knowledge, particularly when they sell supplements reinforcing their unique knowledge. See for in depth analysis of claims in this book including deep diving into many of the specific footnotes showing they are not at all credible. Also see The Atlantic: This book is beyond a waste of time. For sound advice based on real world comparison of dietary and lifestyle practices of communities of ultra-longevity around the world, see The Blue Zones or any of its sequels.

Nov 26, 2017

Gundry is part of the low carb revolution, but he goes further. That is because he reduces or eliminates most animal proteins, especially meats. He indicates there is a strong negative correlation between health and the amount of animal protein people eat. Red meat is a trigger in aging, heart disease, and cancer. A diet low in any animal protein has been shown to extend life. He advances further criticisms of the Keto-, Atkins-, and Paleo-diets because of their heavy reliance on meat protein and fats.
Gundry starting point is the gut structure and its microbiome. He indicates this system has not changed in tens of thousands of years. The second key concept is our interaction with our environment. Plants, to defend themselves from predators emit lectins (toxic protein). The lectins penetrate the small intestine wall, when they should not be able to. Other large proteins do not. This causes “leaky gut” when substances can now cross the small intestine wall and triggers all our health problems, including: cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, auto immune disorder, diabetes, weight gains, etc.
Our current gut and microbiome structure was made to eat plants from our hunting and gathering days. And, we have not adapted to digesting the new plants with their lectins (that cause leaky gut) from the agricultural revolution. According to Gundry the Agricultural Revolution was only one of several “cataclysmic changes” in the human diet. Another one is the onset of the agribusiness revolution with processed GMO foods including omnipresent corn, corn syrup, and soy in our food supply. This includes the shift of our cattle being fed corn and soy instead of grass. So, when we eat cattle we eat GMO corn and soy packed with lectins and herbicides.
The mentioned agribusiness revolution and the “7 deadly disruptors” he mentions have contributed to our health deteriorating over the past decades (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.). The seven disruptors include:
1) Prevalent use of antibiotics in medicine, agribusiness to grow cattle, soaps and other products. This has caused bacteria resistant to antibiotics and contributed to the decimation of good bacteria within our microbiome;
2) Chronic use of NSAIDs. These were invented to substitute for aspirin which hurts the stomach. But, the NSAIDs attack the small intestine wall which facilitates toxic lectins passing through that wall;
3) Stomach-acid blockers (Zantac, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix). These reduce stomach acids and allow bad bacteria to thrive.
Together, these disruptors have contributed to a decrease in good bacteria, increase in bad bacteria, increase in lectins passing through our gut wall, an increase in leaky gut and related diseases.
Throughout the book he gives nutrition recommendations on how to avoid toxic lectins, restore the health of your gut and its microbiome. He also discloses many success stories on how many of his patients reversed an amazing array of different chronic diseases they had not been able to resolve by any other means.

tarauaine Oct 11, 2017

I wasn't very impressed with this book, there are many on this topic that are better. The authors Sarah Ballantyne, Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt present their ideas far more coherently. However some of the basic premise holds true in my experience, that with some people their autoimmunity or inflammation does respond well to cutting back pretty hard on lectin load. For me my joints become so free moving and my skin so much less itchy. Nothing else has achieved that but the autoimmune protocol. Oh, and way better sleep occurs too!

Sep 17, 2017

If you are thinking of reading this book --- you should see what Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.Org has to say about it. Here are quotes from his review:

"let me guess: he sells a line of lectin-blocking supplements. And, what do you know? “Assist your body in the fight against lectins” for only $79.95 a month—that’s only like a thousand bucks a year—a bargain for “pleasant bathroom visits.” And then, of course, there’s ten other supplements. So, for only like eight or nine thousand dollars a year, you can lick those lectins. Oh, did I not mention his skin care line? “Firm + Sculpt” for an extra 120—all so much more affordable when you subscribe to his “VIP Club.”
"First citation. Chapter 1,“Eating shellfish and egg yolks dramatically reduces total cholesterol.” What?! Egg yolks reduce cholesterol? What is this citation? This is the paper he cites. And, here it is. By now, you know how these studies go. How do you show a food decreases cholesterol? You remove so much meat, cheese, and eggs that overall your saturated fat falls—in this case, about 50%. If you cut saturated fat in half, of course cholesterol levels are going to drop. So, they got a drop in cholesterol removing meat, cheese, and egg yolks. Yet, that’s the paper he uses to support his statement “egg yolks dramatically reduce cholesterol.”"
"I mean, that’s unbelievable. That’s the opposite of the truth. Add egg yolks to people’s diets, and their cholesterol goes up. I mean, how dare he say this? And, it’s not like some, you know, harmless foolishness like saying the Earth is flat or something. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women—this can actually hurt people."

"this was written by an M.D., which, if you’ve seen my medical school videos, you’ll know is effectively an anti-credential when it comes to writing diet books—basically advertising to the world that you’ve received likely little or no formal training in nutrition. Dr. Atkins was, after all, a cardiologist. But look; you want to give the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that it doesn’t even seem to pass the sniff test."
You can read Dr. Greger's (who is not just an M.D. -- but actually has made it his life's work to read and analyze every English Language peer- reviewed human nutrition study he can get his hands on, for the past 20 years) full review at:

Aug 18, 2017

I started the diet recommended by Dr. Gundry in his new book, The Plant Paradox. After only one week on the diet, my daily brain fogginess is gone, I have more energy, I am much more limber, my skin rash has not recurred, the 6-month split in my thumb nail appears to be disappearing, and I'm thrilled by all of these improvements. I'm a 69-year-old woman who figured that stiffness, fatigue, skin rashes, and a slow brain were normal signs of aging. Not true! It depends what you eat!


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