Like many of you, I have chased the “perfect diet” for years. I’ve tried, low-card, no-carb, ketogenic, paleo… you name it. I don’t do it because I am trying to get skinny (although I can certainly stand to lose a couple dozen pounds.) I do it because the science fascinates me. These diets all seem to work for a little while and then I either fall off the wagon or the effects start to lessen.
I picked up the book The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain by Steven R. Gundry, MD. mainly because I find these books fascinating. As you can tell by the numerous ones I’ve reviewed:
BOOK REVIEW: WHOLE: RETHINKING THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION
BOOK REVIEW: HOW NOT TO DIE
BOOK REVIEW: GRAIN BRAIN
BOOK REVIEW: SALT SUGAR FAT
This is just a fraction of the ones I’ve read. So what do I think of the Plant Paradox? Well, at first (like every other one) it makes great sense. Gundry’s premise that the root of ALL disease is the ingestion of lectins is a bit much but I can totally get on board with them causing problems.
I can also get on board with him prescribing a whole food diet… albeit with some no-no’s excluded. It has to be better than the Standard American Diet (appropriately given the acronym SAD.) Tossing our things like whole rice in favor of white rice is one of the head-scratchers for me. That and the call to eliminate things like beans, tomatoes, nuts and potatoes requires a bit more than just his word for it. Yes, pretty much any food that has seeds in it or is a seed itself is off the “yes” list because it contains lectins.
If want a cheat sheet – here is a PDF of his Plant Paradox Shopping List.
There are some ways to allow those “no-no” foods into your diet – namely by cooking in a pressure cooker. This breaks down the lectins – not entirely, but according to Gundry, doing so makes them much healthier.
That said, I am going to give it a try.
by Chris Doelle