The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain Info

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"I read this book... it worked. My autoimmune disease is gone
and I'm 37 pounds lighter in my pleather." --Kelly
Clarkson

Most of us have heard of gluten—a protein found in
wheat that causes widespread inflammation in the body. Americans spend
billions of dollars on gluten-free diets in an effort to protect their
health. But what if we’ve been missing the root of the problem? In
The Plant Paradox, renowned cardiologist Dr. Steven Gundry
reveals that gluten is just one variety of a common, and highly toxic,
plant-based protein called lectin. Lectins are found not only in grains
like wheat but also in the “gluten-free” foods most of us
commonly regard as healthy, including many fruits, vegetables, nuts,
beans, and conventional dairy products. These proteins, which are found
in the seeds, grains, skins, rinds, and leaves of plants, are designed
by nature to protect them from predators (including humans). Once
ingested, they incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing
inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health
conditions.

At his waitlist-only clinics in California, Dr. Gundry
has successfully treated tens of thousands of patients suffering from
autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and
neurodegenerative diseases with a protocol that detoxes the cells,
repairs the gut, and nourishes the body. Now, in The Plant
Paradox
, he shares this clinically proven program with readers
around the world.

The simple (and daunting) fact is, lectins are
everywhere. Thankfully, Dr. Gundry offers simple hacks we easily can
employ to avoid them, including:

  • Peel your veggies. Most of
    the lectins are contained in the skin and seeds of plants; simply
    peeling and de-seeding vegetables (like tomatoes and peppers) reduces
    their lectin content.
  • Shop for fruit in season. Fruit contain
    fewer lectins when ripe, so eating apples, berries, and other
    lectin-containing fruits at the peak of ripeness helps minimize your
    lectin consumption.
  • Swap your brown rice for white. Whole grains
    and seeds with hard outer coatings are designed by nature to cause
    digestive distress—and are full of lectins.

With a
full list of lectin-containing foods and simple substitutes for each, a
step-by-step detox and eating plan, and delicious 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.


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Reviews for The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in "Healthy" Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain:

1

Jul 02, 2017

To put it generously, I am not the intended audience for a book like this, and I would not normally seek out, let alone read, a diet book. Nonetheless, someone whose opinion and educated intellect I deeply respect recommended the book to me, and so I read it.

This book was, at the very least, easy to read, condensing scientific (and pseudo-scientific) terms and concepts into easily digestible chunks with cutesy analogies. Of course, for a fad diet to catch on, it has to be something that people To put it generously, I am not the intended audience for a book like this, and I would not normally seek out, let alone read, a diet book. Nonetheless, someone whose opinion and educated intellect I deeply respect recommended the book to me, and so I read it.

This book was, at the very least, easy to read, condensing scientific (and pseudo-scientific) terms and concepts into easily digestible chunks with cutesy analogies. Of course, for a fad diet to catch on, it has to be something that people can intuitively and easily grasp, and so the book succeeds on that count. It is definitely a book that intends to persuade, and it often comes at you with a feverish snake-oil pitch. Would you like to know how to cure autoimmune disorders, coronary artery disease, cancer, migraines, and even hair loss? Would you be willing to believe that only a few (extreme) dietary (and lifestyle) changes (plus maybe some supplements) could get you the perfect life all the way to age one hundred? Dr. Gundry, or perhaps writing partner Olivia Bell Buehl, loves to pack in the rhetorical questions promising shocking revelations just on the other page. This performance is repeated ad nauseum throughout, and information is only slowly fed out to the reader, often repeated amid more assurances of shocking success. Just to drive this home, the book is littered with alleged success stories of many pseudonyms and a couple special celebrity guests/friends; we are apparently supposed to accept vague anecdote as legitimate proof.

I actually started the book with an open mind--the recommending party's opinion is one I trust a great deal--but the above nonsense quickly soured me. Just as importantly, there are a couple elements regarding Dr. Gundry himself that make his opinion suspect.

First, this man is a cardiologist, and his focus on nutrition and the microbiome in the gut represents a fairly late-life shift guided by research he did as an undergraduate student. He sounds like an excellent cardiologist, well-respected and quite successful and even innovative in his field, but he does not appear to have any special qualifications as, for instance, a gastroenterologist or rheumatologist or neurologist, especially in the clinical research space, which is significant given (a) the number of claims he makes regarding those fields and (b) his insistence that his method is superior to the accepted field of knowledge of those specialists and that his advice has often proven superior to that of the relevant specialists.

Second, and far more troubling, Dr. Gundry is promoting a diet that he believes requires (or at least strongly benefits from) supplements. He makes and sells those supplements, and he promotes his own name-brand supplements in the book. While he is careful to offer alternative supplements and to note that supplements are not absolutely essential to at least some success under his diet plan, he harps on their great values and often casually highlights how some aspect of his supplements is superior to the alternative. In fact, Dr. Gundry repeatedly name-drops products (his own and others') throughout the book, and far more frequently than he name-drops celebrities.

In short, whatever legitimate insights Dr. Gundry may have to offer, they are highly suspect because of the above credibility issues.

Additionally, Dr. Gundry often cited interesting dietary research, but many of his most important or controversial claims lacked similar citations (or vaguely referred to multiple studies). He seemed to have a habit of dropping readily acceptable factoids with citations, only to culminate in a tangentially related conclusion that was not similarly supported.

For instance, Dr. Gundry discusses how some research has suggested that lectins can climb the vagus nerve to the brain, then points to another study that found lower incidences of Parkinson's disease in patients who had their vagus nerves surgically cut; he then summarily concludes that this "also explains why Parkinson's is more prevalent among vegetarians," claiming that it is because they consume more lectin-containing plants. This last alleged fact is not cited. I can find some claims out there that vegetarian diets do increase the risk of Parkinson's disease, but I can also just as easily find the hypothesis that, based on some general observations, a vegan diet may actually reduce the risk for Parkinson's disease (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...). Needless to say, if there is some evidence that vegan or quasi-vegan populations have a lesser incidence of Parkinson's disease, then highlighting plant-based lectins as the source of the problem seems suspect. I'm not a medical researcher, not a scientist, not a doctor, and I don't have ready access to a university to scour medical journals, but that's kind of the point: I have no easy way to verify the claim, and it's at best lazy and at worst dishonest to dish out a claim like this without any citation.

I also feel like Dr. Gundry is willing to play up risk factors and cherry-pick data points to make lectins seem like scary killers at the source of all our problems. At another point in the book, he bemoans the existence of severe food allergies, which he at points attributes to lectins, and says, "Peanuts didn't kill us back in 1960." For one thing, I think he is overemphasizing the really quite low levels of severe food allergies in the general population; a casual reader might nod in agreement, but the extent and severity of food allergies seems to have been over-extended in the public consciousness thanks to news media frenzies and the marketing of certain pharmaceutical products. Plus, from what I can tell, food allergies like peanut allergies have been around for quite a while, but it's only been in the past few decades that there has been more medical research (and resultant media attention) surrounding the allergies (https://www.princeton.edu/news/2013/0...).

I would stress again that I am not a medical researcher, a scientist, or a doctor. I have no qualified science background or experience in scientific research. So it would be very difficult for me to address the main thrust of Dr. Gundry's book, that lectins are bad and can outweigh the health benefits of certain plants. The few instances where I can detect an apparent flaw or lazy argument are therefore significant to me because they make me suspect flaws even in Dr. Gundry's larger (non-sourced) points. But there are a couple of people with the adequate experience who have written critically of Dr. Gundry's book, bringing up some of the same concerns I have. For instance, see https://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar... and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/d....

Dr. Gundry does not just have a problem with lectins, though. He is also concerned about GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, antacids, and the factory farm model. In most of these areas, I actually think he does a more convincing job of highlighting concerns, except for with GMOs. His argument is that GMOs alter produce by, for instance, adding more lectins to the products and are therefore bad. This once again requires the belief that lectins are, on their face, bad things that should be avoided. To the extent that he notes that GMOs are altered to allow for greater use of pesticides, I can get on board, I suppose.

I have probably derailed enough, so I'll try to quickly wrap up. If I had one final, large concern for why I thought this diet was overblown, it would be that Dr. Gundry never really convincingly addresses the dietary Blue Zones. It would seem that the minimal animal consumption would be an area of overlap that Dr. Gundry can get on board with, but he does not so readily explain, for instance, the presence of scary lectin-containing legumes in these diets (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2...). I had heard about Blue Zones in passing before, although Dr. Gundry's book has prompted greater interest on my part in Dan Buettner's writings on the subject. Dr. Gundry's book has not made me particularly more interested in Dr. Gundry's diet, though.

It also annoys me that the diet is rather time-and-money-consumptive. Perhaps truly desperate people or those living in Palm Springs will be excited to throw more money at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, but I don't see how this does anything for lower-income people leaving in urban food deserts, for instance. Not every diet has to be for every person, but this diet smacks of privilege and does not offer real, sustainable solutions for a good deal of people, I would say. The number of appliances he expects one to regularly use simply would not work within my limited cabinet and counter space, for instance!

I do believe that Dr. Gundry may have found something very useful for individuals suffering from, for instance, severe autoimmune disorders. I think that, despite his credibility issues, he probably does have a number of success stories to point to and probably genuinely believes in what he is marketing. And his book did get me to think more consciously about the food and lifestyle choices I currently make. I certainly want to make a greater effort to eat more vegetables and to remove as much processed foods as possible, to replace desserts with fruit, to limit consumption of meats and eat a greater proportion of wild-caught fish as part of that more limited animal protein intake, and so on. But I do not have any intention of adopting Dr. Gundry's diet or ordering his supplements. ...more
3

Jun 28, 2019

I'm always leary after reading books like this, because by the time you're done reading it there really isn't much left to eat. I found some of it interesting, but still unsure of the 'lectin' scare. I won't stop eating whole foods like tomatoes and potatoes which don't seem to be a problem for me anyway. This diet is very different from Medical Medium's protocols, and who doesn't love fruit all year round? Fruit is something I can't live without. This doctor's diet just isn't for me. I'm a firm I'm always leary after reading books like this, because by the time you're done reading it there really isn't much left to eat. I found some of it interesting, but still unsure of the 'lectin' scare. I won't stop eating whole foods like tomatoes and potatoes which don't seem to be a problem for me anyway. This diet is very different from Medical Medium's protocols, and who doesn't love fruit all year round? Fruit is something I can't live without. This doctor's diet just isn't for me. I'm a firm believer that everyone's different, so go with a diet that works for you.

I did still enjoy the book and there's a lot of interesting information here and some good recipes. I'm just not sure if I believe all of what he states.

3*** ...more
2

Jul 22, 2018

A book could be written on "The Plant Paradox" -- so much so -- I have put off writing anything.
"The Human Microbiome" and how it works --and a diet for 'gut' health -- (related to other diseases --such as heart disease is a 'big' buzz topic in health these days) - Gundry is a Cardiologist -- and while he may have had success with many patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, repairing the body --there is a slant A book could be written on "The Plant Paradox" -- so much so -- I have put off writing anything.
"The Human Microbiome" and how it works --and a diet for 'gut' health -- (related to other diseases --such as heart disease is a 'big' buzz topic in health these days) - Gundry is a Cardiologist -- and while he may have had success with many patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, repairing the body --there is a slant to his "clinically proven" writing I don't like. Its also not an easy diet to follow - because it explains how eating the wrong plants at the wrong times hurts our health --(but there was so much confusion.....because one 'can' eat these same foods 'sometimes' (at the right times) -- Who wants to eat 'thinking' about which 'phase' you are in? Phase 1, 2, or 3? If I take out beans in phase 1 --I'm 'rewarded' to add them back in phase 3...
I got a few headaches reading how wishy-washy he was on one page and restrictive on another. --I yelled at him a few times --(to myself of course) > "make up your mind Mr. Dr. Gundry"!
THERE is SOME GOOD INFORMATION -(learning basic information about Lectins and inflammation. ... but -- I have a dozen other books MUCH BETTER --easier to follow-- (no yelling back at the book) --
And when it comes to Autoimmune disorders -- I'm not going to bounce back experimenting (testing) when to eat beans -and when not to -(rewards is such a yucky word anyway) --Gundry drove me bananas!

I'm now reading "Genius Foods" by Max Lugavere. Its 'friendly-readable' - written so that anyone can understand it. AND ENJOYABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 'calming for the brain' --so it must be better for my immune system too! ...more
2

Jul 23, 2017

As a scientist, the claims presented in this book struck me as over-confident. Science almost never gives clear cut, black and white answers, and dietary science is certainly no exception.
1

Jan 20, 2018

This is a book that will find you at the doctor's office with a host of problems. I can't believe a medical doctor with a Yale degree can actually go out there and say these things and still sleep at night. Despite being professionally packaged by a big publisher, this book is simply a cheap TV infomercial in print. A simple Google search reveals all the refutations and links to real studies. Gundry's claims were a conference presentation, not a peer reviewed study published in a journal. On This is a book that will find you at the doctor's office with a host of problems. I can't believe a medical doctor with a Yale degree can actually go out there and say these things and still sleep at night. Despite being professionally packaged by a big publisher, this book is simply a cheap TV infomercial in print. A simple Google search reveals all the refutations and links to real studies. Gundry's claims were a conference presentation, not a peer reviewed study published in a journal. On page 55 Gundry claims that "most" of his stage 3 and stage 4 cancer patients got better, all without a single publication, or case study? Don't buy these infomercial claims. To dismiss fast food, fatty meats, and sugars, and blame vegetables is outrageous and Harper Collins should be ashamed of themselves for publishing this junk science collection of fictional conspiracy theories. Just go to your public library and look up the real studies in the databases that advocate for a plant based diet. You won't find any of Gundry's claims in the scholarly journals and studies, actually you won't anything by Gundry at all. What a sad attempt to rake in profit, as if medical doctors in America don't make enough cash. ...more
2

Jun 11, 2017

Not a big fan. The diet seems incredibly difficult to maintain. Plus, I think there's some contradicting information. He states that research shows that the longest living people are vegans, followed by vegetarians, and so on. Yet he says all of these fruits and vegetables are so bad for you. Well, those are the foods those vegans are eating! There were a couple of interesting things that I took away from this book, but it's incredibly wordy and something better left to skimming, rather than Not a big fan. The diet seems incredibly difficult to maintain. Plus, I think there's some contradicting information. He states that research shows that the longest living people are vegans, followed by vegetarians, and so on. Yet he says all of these fruits and vegetables are so bad for you. Well, those are the foods those vegans are eating! There were a couple of interesting things that I took away from this book, but it's incredibly wordy and something better left to skimming, rather than reading word-for-word. ...more
5

August 10, 2017

A nice gradient education about details you probably would not otherwise bother to learn, which puts you in much more control, in fact it makes it possible to understand what he is saying and why his proposed diet is so workable. There are over 50 different metabolic body types, which is why some...Full Review
1

Oct 02, 2017

One of the most pretentious books I have ever read. The author seems to have no scientific self-criticism. His word are (his) truth and the ONLY truth. That's the feeling I get when reading. He talks down other diets and presents what now seem to me to be unsubstantiated evidence. Just search the internet for reviews of the book, there are really good ones, totally disecting his so-called 'scientific studies'. Many of the studies don't even concern the topic he's talking about, others are done One of the most pretentious books I have ever read. The author seems to have no scientific self-criticism. His word are (his) truth and the ONLY truth. That's the feeling I get when reading. He talks down other diets and presents what now seem to me to be unsubstantiated evidence. Just search the internet for reviews of the book, there are really good ones, totally disecting his so-called 'scientific studies'. Many of the studies don't even concern the topic he's talking about, others are done by amateurs and so on. The list goes on. Please, be a bit humble. Yes, maybe this diet has worked for many people. But yes, as one reviewer says... of course you'll loose weight and maybe heal many problems - but that's no wonder since the diet cuts out almost any food you can imagine and only leaves a short list of relatively obvious things. I do believe that there IS truth and good advice in the book. But the way it's served - like an infomercial - it just sounds like somebody's trying to sell me something. It's a nice preaching, some useful information, some obvious non-truths (check the reviews). Also some facts presented as obvious truths, but with no reference to studies or anything to prove that. Again, just search for and read the excellent reviews done. Not recommended because of the amount of questionable content and the format of infomercial. ...more
1

Nov 13, 2017

Current seems-scientific-but-is-really-crap du jour. Oh, and the author sells expensive supplements, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence!

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-g...
http://nutritionstudies.org/the-plant...
0

Aug 14, 2017



It's not just what you eat, it's what you DON'T eat. Gundry, a heart surgeon slash nutritionist slash researcher with a lot of experience in autoimmune disorders, arthritis cases, heart issues, stomach issues, and neurological problems, brings his practice and his patients and his research to fruition in this well-written, easy-to-understand text.

In a nutshell, the focus is on lectins, found in plants that don't like to be eaten (not only by little insects but by big ones like you and me).

It's not just what you eat, it's what you DON'T eat. Gundry, a heart surgeon slash nutritionist slash researcher with a lot of experience in autoimmune disorders, arthritis cases, heart issues, stomach issues, and neurological problems, brings his practice and his patients and his research to fruition in this well-written, easy-to-understand text.

In a nutshell, the focus is on lectins, found in plants that don't like to be eaten (not only by little insects but by big ones like you and me). Chief among them are the nightshades and New World veggies (really fruits) like cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. Think seeds.

In his view, fruit are a no-no, too. Fructose = sugar = candy. And if you're eating chicken or beef or free-range eggs but are avoiding GMO corn and soy, don't kid yourself. You are what the animal you eat, eats. Period.

Helpful advice not only on food but supplements. A specific 3-day cleanse start followed by Phase 2 and 3 plans. Definitions are provided on things like "free-range" which simply means a door must be open 5 minutes a day. (How many chickens go out of that huge barn.) Like the word "natural," it's meaningless.

Informative and humorous. Doc Gundry seems like the kind of guy you might have a beer with -- only you're only allowed red wine, and that in a very small dose.

All that said, before you buy it, you owe yourself a look at Dr. Gerger's rejoinder (basically calling the book so much horseshoe). See Jamal's link in the comments.
...more
2

Aug 11, 2017

I thought this was going to contain some interesting history on the interactions between humans and foods, maybe some fun botany facts -- and it did, for about 50 pages. Thereafter, I found it to be a self-congratulating, Santa Barbara-style food fad book. I pretty much gave up after seeing the phrase, "My good friend, Tony Robbins" twice in 20 pages. Stop. Just stop.

People. Eat food that isn't processed, and try to keep it local and organic. Cook your food at home. Limit grain intake, possibly I thought this was going to contain some interesting history on the interactions between humans and foods, maybe some fun botany facts -- and it did, for about 50 pages. Thereafter, I found it to be a self-congratulating, Santa Barbara-style food fad book. I pretty much gave up after seeing the phrase, "My good friend, Tony Robbins" twice in 20 pages. Stop. Just stop.

People. Eat food that isn't processed, and try to keep it local and organic. Cook your food at home. Limit grain intake, possibly legumes if you find they upset your stomach or skin. Oh, and nightshades are kind of toxic. Now, pay me millions. ...more
3

Jun 03, 2017

This was a very interesting read and the science was very enlightening. i however found a lot of inconsistencies. For example he cites that billions of Asians eat rice and have no significant levels of obesity and diseases yet his diet categorically excludes rice with no real explanation why. Also he offers no real advice of how to ease in and maintain his extremely restrictive diet. This is very off-putting. I will definitely take some of his advice to heart but I don't know if his anecdotal This was a very interesting read and the science was very enlightening. i however found a lot of inconsistencies. For example he cites that billions of Asians eat rice and have no significant levels of obesity and diseases yet his diet categorically excludes rice with no real explanation why. Also he offers no real advice of how to ease in and maintain his extremely restrictive diet. This is very off-putting. I will definitely take some of his advice to heart but I don't know if his anecdotal evidence is really that compelling ...more
4

Jan 23, 2019

Not sure how to review this since I haven't made any of the recipes before but the content of the book was insightful and does make you question everything we are not putting into our bodies that didn't exist even 60 years ago.
2

Jul 27, 2018

I was ready to be convinced and I sort of was early on--I know that plants have toxins that protect themselves and I do think we've moved far from the diet we were evolved to eat. But then the book falls into hucksterism. He stops acting like a doctor and a scientist and his sources are bad. I did just a little bit of research and it seems like he's wildly mischaracterizing his studies. It's too bad. I think everyone is looking for a magic bullet these days to weight loss and maybe if you cut I was ready to be convinced and I sort of was early on--I know that plants have toxins that protect themselves and I do think we've moved far from the diet we were evolved to eat. But then the book falls into hucksterism. He stops acting like a doctor and a scientist and his sources are bad. I did just a little bit of research and it seems like he's wildly mischaracterizing his studies. It's too bad. I think everyone is looking for a magic bullet these days to weight loss and maybe if you cut out half the food groups, you can lose weight, but I doubt there's all that much real science in here.

Having said all of that, I buy most of the advice when it comes to cutting out sugar, whole wheat, etc. it just doesn’t consider all the ways in which we’ve adapted to these fruits and plants. Also, the book assumes everyone came from Europe and that new world plants will make us sick. But what if you’re from the new world? ...more
5

May 11, 2017

Impressive and convincing book. Dr. Gundry revisits his earlier diet recommendations but this time he does so based on some convincing biochemistry research. His work with thousands of patients over decades has validated his food recommendations but this recent book adds the information about the actual biochemistry underlying his recommendations. His earlier book relied on a "Paleo" argument which I found less convincing than the material in this book. His recommendations require a major shift Impressive and convincing book. Dr. Gundry revisits his earlier diet recommendations but this time he does so based on some convincing biochemistry research. His work with thousands of patients over decades has validated his food recommendations but this recent book adds the information about the actual biochemistry underlying his recommendations. His earlier book relied on a "Paleo" argument which I found less convincing than the material in this book. His recommendations require a major shift in diet even for Vegans eating what they consider a "healthy" diet. The proof will be in whether it produces the results he suggests that it will. I have lost 100 lbs in the last 5 years following the recommendations from the book "Eat to Live". Dr. Gundry suggests that in addition to all the things I have had to give up eating (sweets, meat, pasta) to get where I am now, I have to give up grains, legumes, and fruit. I decided that I would give him the 6 weeks he asks for to become convinced of the health benefits he suggests that will result. If I can resume my weight loss (I want to lose another 50 lbs) and eliminate my Fibromyalgia and my Polymyalgia Romantica it will all be worth it. ...more
5

July 21, 2018

Great book opened my eyes on "healthy food" he really explained a lot.
4

Sep 13, 2017

Hard to rate this book, but it won't be hard to explain why. In terms of thought-provocation, I'd have given it a five. I think it's very possible (maybe even very likely) that the medical information here is true. Dr. Gundry's background and research do qualify him to know what he's talking about. There is no doubt that Western culture has a huge problem, and we've probably brought it on ourselves with diet and lifestyle. If feeding our food-animals GMO corn, if using Roundup on crops and Hard to rate this book, but it won't be hard to explain why. In terms of thought-provocation, I'd have given it a five. I think it's very possible (maybe even very likely) that the medical information here is true. Dr. Gundry's background and research do qualify him to know what he's talking about. There is no doubt that Western culture has a huge problem, and we've probably brought it on ourselves with diet and lifestyle. If feeding our food-animals GMO corn, if using Roundup on crops and harvesting grains earlier in their cycles than ever before, if disrupting our endocryn systems with our make-up and deodorant and BPA plastics is all adding to our endemic obesity and inflammation and related auto-immune diseases, then this book must be one of the most important pieces of health care literature out there. Again, five stars.
But here's why I only gave it four: the repetition, the sometimes contradictory declarations, and the book's irritating tone. I felt let down by the "but wait! There's more!" infomercial tone, and the barrage of promises. By following Gundry's plan, you may cure yourself of cancer, diabetes (both types), Crohn's, Parkinson's, obesity, anemia, acne, Alzheimer's, ALS, psoriasis, beer gut, stomache aches, and male-pattern baldness... among many others. I hope it does improve people's plights with every one of these awful diseases, and Gundry is right to list them. But the book is 400 pages long, and I think 300 of that is repetition. Less is more, with persuasive writing.
Dr. Gundry addresses serious issues throughout the book, in an accessible manner. I wanted to believe he's delivering very useful, important information. I was primed to pay careful attention, and I imagine many of his readers would be primed like me. Therefore, the shouty repetitive urging that we believe his discoveries felt shallow and manipulative. It weakened the power of the work. However, if you can set aside your aversion to the writing style and examine the work itself, I think this book is well worth reading, and it may just be the solution to what ails you. I do hope so.
...more
1

Oct 07, 2017

As I started to read this book, it's formulaic approach made me immediately suspicious: an introduction claiming a solution to all your problems.

He then goes on to state "scientific" evidence for his case. The problem is, many of his sources are bogus: web sites, non-peer reviewed journals, etc. There is an entire pinterest site dedicated to researching his sources. Quite simply, the data isn't there.

As I continued to do research, I learned from reading in the Atlantic that he has a serious As I started to read this book, it's formulaic approach made me immediately suspicious: an introduction claiming a solution to all your problems.

He then goes on to state "scientific" evidence for his case. The problem is, many of his sources are bogus: web sites, non-peer reviewed journals, etc. There is an entire pinterest site dedicated to researching his sources. Quite simply, the data isn't there.

As I continued to do research, I learned from reading in the Atlantic that he has a serious conflict of interest: the book ends out touting his personal business of dietary supplements that are needed to support this way of eating. Isn't that suspicious?

As with most things that are too good to be true, it's too good to be true. In fact, in seems dangerous. It seems to me irresponsible.
...more
1

Nov 25, 2017

I had high hopes for this book, but my how they were dashed. The author is reckless with his use of research to the point that it was a crap shoot every time I followed up on any of his citations, whether they would actually support/relate to what he was saying, or not. (And he committed a cardinal sin of citing an abstract with incomplete data that was not accurately portrayed ... yeah, didn't even bother to go into the article to do proper research on that one ....)

Despite his hazy research I had high hopes for this book, but my how they were dashed. The author is reckless with his use of research to the point that it was a crap shoot every time I followed up on any of his citations, whether they would actually support/relate to what he was saying, or not. (And he committed a cardinal sin of citing an abstract with incomplete data that was not accurately portrayed ... yeah, didn't even bother to go into the article to do proper research on that one ....)

Despite his hazy research and his plummeting credibility, I read on, hoping to find some good information. There is a reason that I wanted to read this book. I am indeed very interested in lectins and wanted to learn how they work and see the science behind things. But instead of clear science and objective fact, I got inflammatory language that reached ridiculous levels again and again. He takes many of his points to extreme hyperbole, thus turning his claims and "proofs" into jokes.

For instance, he says that a bowl of fruit salad is equivalent to a bowl of Skittles candy. Yes, the same. On what planet? No, seriously ... how are they the same to the point of equivalency?

So, the one piece of research he offers to back up this Skittles=fruit claim is a rodent study were the rats were fed a diet of 60% fructose. That's right, 60%. This did result in a progression of kidney disease. HOWEVER, drawing the correlation that​ he does fails on several levels:

1. This is a rodent study, which is useful, to be sure. Rodent studies have taught us a lot, including the fact that they don't tell us everything, because (shocker) rodents are not the same as humans. So, once you go to human trials with various things, the rodent studies don't always transfer.

2. The rodents were fed an enormous amount of fructose (or, for the other group, dextrose). More than half of their diet came from isolated fructose. In his paragraph about Skittles and fruit, the author says, "eating the fructose in fruit causes your kidneys to swell and suffer injury, which can destroy them." This is NOT what was shown in the research he cites. Eating fruit is not what the rodents did. Fruit has fiber and water (and more) which causes satiety after a certain amount of eating. In order to eat this much fruit to get all that fructose, the rats would have expired from overconsumption by volume. The claim of "eating the fructose in fruit" is not what was shown in the study.

There is more I could say here, but I think I've made my point, which is that he is not grounded or ethical in the way he "cites research."

He makes another leap when he claims that a chicken breast "boasts the equivalent of one birth control pill's worth of estrogenic substances!" Yes, he really says that, and no, he doesn't offer a single shred of evidence, research, or reasoning to back this claim. The rest of the paragraph prior to this claim has several other extreme claims ("almost all American chicken or beef contains enough antibiotics to kill bacteria in a petri dish!") with, again, no research to back these excessive statements or the others like it. And it gets very tiring (also, can someone tell him less is more when it comes to exclamation points?). I started to shake my head more and more often as I read until I was turning pages without any hope of finding accurate or usable information (and being appalled when at times I followed up on his research footnotes to find mere websites, such as treehugger.com ... really).

Which is a pity. Because I think he actually did have something to say. He just either didn't trust his message enough to give it without a heavy dose of snake oil (what's with all his promoting of his supplement line, eh?), or he didn't want to put in the work to present his theories and findings properly.

Either way, this book just doesn't make it. Not at all. So, back to the library it goes ...

This is an intelligent and thorough review: http://nutritionstudies.org/the-plant... ...more
5

Apr 26, 2017

We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” But in the era of Genetically Modified Organisms, this maxim can produce a lot of anxiety. That’s why world-renowned heart surgeon Steven R. Gundry, MD has written The Plant Paradox. Here he helps us navigate the world of food so we can eat better and live longer.

Dr. Gundry enlightens us with new thoughts about food consumption so we don’t bloat minutes after eating. Like so many Americans, I try to make sure my family eats healthy. Tomatoes, We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” But in the era of Genetically Modified Organisms, this maxim can produce a lot of anxiety. That’s why world-renowned heart surgeon Steven R. Gundry, MD has written The Plant Paradox. Here he helps us navigate the world of food so we can eat better and live longer.

Dr. Gundry enlightens us with new thoughts about food consumption so we don’t bloat minutes after eating. Like so many Americans, I try to make sure my family eats healthy. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash are normal parts of our diet. Yet, when my husband eats them, he frequently feels bad afterward. I didn’t understand why until now. The answer is lectin.

“[Lectins] are large proteins found in plants and animals, and they are a crucial weapon in the arsenal of strategies that plants use to defend themselves in their ongoing battle with animals,” Gundry explains (pg. 14). Interesting little piece of information, right?

These proteins are considered “sticky” because they bind to the salic acid found in your gut and bodily fluids, which in turn interrupts the messages transmitted between cells causing inflammation. They can also bind very well with virus and bacteria, causing increased health problems and overall sickness. And last but not least, you gain weight from consuming them! Who knew? Certainly not me!

I couldn’t turn the pages of The Plant Paradox fast enough, eager to learn as much as I possibly could to gain a better understanding of how and why I need to change my eating habits. First, Gundry helps us fully understand the verbiage on various packaging labels, such as “gluten free,” “cage free,” and “all natural” (pg. 126-127).

Then he teaches us how to avoid lectins in the foods we already eat. Although the list is extensive, I am convinced that I can eliminate the foods that cause my husband the most trouble so he can lead a more fulfilling life, lose weight and ultimately feel good every day.

If you read one book to improve your health and well being this year, make it The Plant Paradox. Soon, you will discern the changes you can make to feel your very best.

This review was originally published at JathanandHeather.com. ...more
3

Jun 10, 2017

I enjoyed reading this book. I definitely learned a lot and have some great takeaways for myself, but I also remain skeptical about some of Dr. Gundry's recommendations. He shares very convicing scientific research and success stories, yet his program seems to be most successful for people suffering from serious health issues and autoimmune diseases. What I remain uncertain on is whether or not it's the best dietary approach for everyone. I would recommend reading the book with an open mind I enjoyed reading this book. I definitely learned a lot and have some great takeaways for myself, but I also remain skeptical about some of Dr. Gundry's recommendations. He shares very convicing scientific research and success stories, yet his program seems to be most successful for people suffering from serious health issues and autoimmune diseases. What I remain uncertain on is whether or not it's the best dietary approach for everyone. I would recommend reading the book with an open mind while also considering both sides of the coin on each topic he covers. ...more
3

Jun 07, 2017

While Dr Gundry is fully convinced his new way of eating is superior to all other nutritionists discoveries, I remain a bit skeptical. The book is quite repetitive and I found it to be more of an infomercial for him than I would've liked. Still his plant based recommendations shouldn't be totally ignored and I agree that the nightshade veggies do pose challenges for some. It really is just another diet book to add to the hundreds that have gone before!
5

Apr 05, 2017

Fascinating, I watch his videos and stopped eating a few of the foods he suggests (nuts, tomatoes and peppers) and am having better digestion and energy. Excited to read the rest of the book
5

May 09, 2017

I have been waiting for this book for a long time. For as long as I can remember, I have had an intuitive sense that the micro biome in and on our bodies is intricately related to our health. The Plant Paradox finally articulates that connection with clarity and conviction. I will begin changing my diet and my habits immediately. Stay tuned for progress.
3

Feb 09, 2017

Dr. Gundry discusses lectins, which are present in many foods and which he says are responsible for a plethora of health problems. I was surprised by his assessment of foods which we think of as "healthful," and believe the book would be especially interesting to people with autoimmune disorders.

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