Hey there, Kyra here!
I read this book a few months ago and it basically changed my ENTIRE perspective on eating. It’s called The Plant Paradox by Dr. Gundry (renowned cardiologist). Before I get into anything, I want to say how much I recommend this book. My mom found it, and even got multiple copies so she could share it with as many people as possible. At first, I was confused why she would get so many versions of the same book, but after reading it, I completely understand why she wanted to share this knowledge with as many people as she could. I am very glad she recommended this book to me.
I have been a very health conscious person since I was about 16/17. I was, and still am a very active person. I exercised probably 15 hours a week back in high school through all activities I was involved in. Despite being incredibly active, I never had an athletic body type. I was always carrying around a little extra weight between grades 10 and 12. I didn’t understand because I was SO active. But, about mid-way through grade 12 I recognized I was eating like complete crap. I didn’t realize how much a bad diet could affect your weight. I thought the exercise would counteract it.
I grew up eating very healthy and my mom rarely kept treats in the house. Pop was only for special occasions - we never had it lying around. As a kid, this is hard to understand why your parents would keep such delicious things away from you. I think once I got the freedom of high school, I decided to take advantage of it full force. There were fast food restaurants right across the street from our school and I definitely took advantage of that - kind of a rebellion from all of the ‘health’ food at home.
Since the age of 17 I have had a way better understanding of what it means to be healthy. I stopped “dieting” and decided to make a serious lifestyle change. I turned my eating habits into a lifestyle and not a diet that I would start on a Monday. I am so glad I made that change. I dropped a lot of excess weight and have been able keep it off. I am at the point now where if I eat junk food, I feel pretty sick and don’t have a craving for it for weeks after. I mean, I still have treats from time to time, but my body has learned to not crave it anymore like I used to.
So, as we all have been taught, fruits and veggies are good and carbs and fat are bad. My diet has been a combo of fruits, veggies, some meat (mostly chicken), eggs, nuts etc. I thought I was doing a pretty great job of eating well, but I have ALWAYS had stubborn fat I can never get rid of no matter how well I eat or exercise. It is beyond frustrating that my body does not respond to what I am feeding it.
Once I read The Plant Paradox by Dr. Gundry it all made sense. Some fruits, veggies and grains (like quinoa) are BAD FOR YOU. WHAT?! I’ve always known fruits have sugar and they shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts but he says you shouldn’t even be eating some fruits depending on time of year and where you live. There is SO much to learn in this book.
Here are a few of the main points I learned while reading through this completely scientifically-based book:
Lectins (a plant protein found in most foods) can hurt us A LOT. Some foods have high lectin content and some do not. High lectin content is not good for us humans. Evolutionary wise, we are not set up to process them through our bodies properly. I am not a scientist so I will leave the technical jargon to Dr. Gundry (which he explains very well in this book). Basically, high lectin content is bad for us and leads to health problems (because lectins attack and damage our gut). If your gut is unhealthy, you can consider your entire body as unhealthy. The gut plays a HUGE role in our health.
Dr. Gundry has helped cure hundreds of people by putting people on this plant paradox program and having it become their lifestyle. It seems crazy, but he has helped people go into remission from cancer, reverse their heart disease, cure their IBS, and so many other illnesses and diseases. - you have to read about it to believe it. This goes to show that the lectins in the foods we are eating are contributing to the rise in diseases we are seeing these days. As a society, we almost expect to live the last bit of their life in pain or suffering from an illness. Why is this? This book is all about how to die young at an old age. Food truly is medicine and he proves this in this book.
Foods like beans, most grains, the seeds in fruits, the seeds and skin of tomatoes, potatoes, certain dairy products (not all are bad) and much more, have high lectin content and should be avoided. This sounds difficult, but there are ways around these lectins.
The fruits we eat, especially here in Canada, are typically not in season for most of the year. We shouldn’t be eating them. Manufacturers typically spray or chemically change the food so that they look ripe when they really aren’t. Fruits have high lectin content before they are ripe. So, we are basically eating fruits that aren’t meant to be eaten yet. If you live in a tropical place and the food is ready to eat, that would be WAY better. But we have to be more careful up here in the North.
Evolutionary-wise, humans used to eat a lot of fruits and veggies in the summer to bulk up and get ready for the winter ahead, when food becomes more scarce. Your body stores more fat in the summer because it is expecting to not be eating as much all winter. But these days, we eat just as much and keep eating fruits that aren’t in season throughout the winter. So, your body just keeps storing fat, thinking it is getting prepped for the winter. We haven’t been eating the way we do long enough for our bodies to have caught up to us in an evolutionary perspective. This is a huge part of this program. We have changed our food intake in a bad way because it is convenient for us, but evolution has not caught up to us and what our bodies are able to process.
As we know, our society has pumped our food full of chemicals and that of course is not good for our bodies. For people who have gluten (BTW this is a lectin, just one of many) sensitivity; have you ever gone to Europe, eaten a bowl of pasta and felt great, but when you eat pasta in North America you feel horrible? I have and many of my friends have as well. There is a reason for that. We put nasty chemicals in our foods to make them store ready and it affects our bodies.
If you peel tomatoes and deseed them, you can eat them that way without them harming you. If you pressure cook your beans, you can kill the lectins and enjoy your beans. WHITE RICE is better for you than BROWN RICE. Is your mind blown or what?! White basmatti rice is the best rice to have if you are going to eat it. He suggests you limit the intake as much as possible but I mean you need some carbs somehow. Sweet potatoes are a big YES on his list. I love me some sweet potatoes.
A pleasant side effect of eating this way is that you will start to lose that excess weight you can never seem to get rid of. But this is not the reason to start this program and learn to eat this way. It is to better your health and prolong your life, and a life without pain at that.
I have IBS and I am so excited to start eating and cooking the way Dr. Gundry suggests. If my IBS disappears and the annoying excess weight starts to leave after trying this, I will be beyond ecstatic. I will be doing a review after I have been eating this way after about 2 months. Even if I didn’t have health issues such as IBS, I suggest anyone read this book and try eating this way. Don’t you want to live a long and healthy life with minimal sickness and disease? I know I do!
There is so much more to learn and I can only say so much - you will have to go out and read it yourself! I HIGHLY recommend it. Click here to check it out.
Here is a quick summary of the book I grabbed from the link above:
"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.”