The Plant Paradox is a book by Dr. Steven R. Gundry. It is based on the premise that some foods that are often thought to be nutritious and beneficial are actually bad for us. That includes beans, wheat, peanuts, legumes, tomatoes, peas and lentils, among others. The reason these foods are supposed to be bad for us is because they contain something called lectins.
What Are the Lectins Avoided by The Plant Paradox?
Lectins are a type of protein. They bond do carbohydrate molecules. According to The Plant Paradox, when lectins bond to cells, it is one of the leading causes of illness. In fact, the book states that people are actually “at war with plants” but that they must eat some plants because of the essential nutrients they contain, thus the paradox.
Because of this conflict, The Plant Paradox proceeds to recommend that people eat only certain precise foods in order to obtain the nutrients while taking in the lowest level of lectins. It discusses which foods should be avoided as well. Moreover, it also makes recommendations regarding how foods can be prepared in order to keep lectins low.
The Plant Paradox Pros
Many doctors have seen a positive side to The Plant Paradox. It contains many testimonials of individuals who claim to have felt better after having followed its instructions. Many people have enjoyed weight loss and a reduction in their intake of processed foods, foods that are high in sugar, and other ingredients conventionally believed to be less than helpful to a nutritious diet.
Regardless of the claims as to why The Plant Paradox is medically beneficial, it is low in calories, low in sugar and doesn’t involve eating any highly processed foods. Those are changes that could benefit most healthy adults.
The Plant Paradox Cons
While The Plant Paradox does have certain very healthful components, what has baffled many doctors is the lack of proven science behind many of its claims, particularly when it comes to lectins. Moreover, Dr. Gundry makes recommendations for spices – such as curcumin – in order to reduce inflammation. That said, it’s very important for dieters to speak to their doctors before taking these ingredients in the form of the recommended supplements as they are not necessarily appropriate for everyone and could be harmful to individuals with certain common medical conditions or who are taking other supplements or medications.
Dietitians have spoken out against this program in saying that it doesn’t necessarily offer the type of complete nutrition an average person needs. Moreover, it conflicts with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Its restrictive nature makes it unlikely that most people will follow it over the long-term or even beyond the first few weeks.