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

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  6,611 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Plants have an impressive array of defense tactics to protect themselves from predators of all shapes and sizes--including humans. Stephen Gundry believes 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.

Dr. Gundry outlines the health hazards posed
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Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Harper Wave
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Eric Farr
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 c
...more
Mischenko
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 ...more
Theresa Alan
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Plants are both our bane and our salvation.”

There is a lot of really interesting information in this book. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time, and I’m exactly the kind of vegetarian he describes in this book: I think I’m eating healthy because I eat fruits and vegetables and lots of beans and whole grains. Apparently, according to this, most of what I have in my freezer and cupboards is all wrong for making my gut bugs happy.

One of the many surprising things I learned was that because we
...more
Elyse  Walters
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
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Grace
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
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.
William Lawrence
Jan 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: health
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 pa ...more
She
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 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 rea ...more
Kasper Karup
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 b ...more
rivka
Nov 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: avoid
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...
...more
Laura
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
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
...more
Ken
Aug 14, 2017 added it


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). Chie
...more
Nancy Freund
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 harve ...more
Crescentm
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 ev ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
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.
Mehrsa
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 ou ...more
Robert
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Liaken
Nov 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, food, gluten-free
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 an
...more
Jathan Fink
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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,
...more
David
Oct 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
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 conf
...more
Kaley Ide
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
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 whil ...more
Heather Hollick
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Stefanie Sage
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!
Linden
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Craig Clemens
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
David
Mar 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst nutrition books ever published. It is is written by a doctor who sells dietary supplements. His advice is exactly the opposite of the truth.
Jennifer
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst diet/WOE (way of eating) books I have ever read. Food and eating DO NOT need to be as complicated as Gundry makes them out to be.

As far as the writing goes, I hated it. The author starts off in his preface by telling readers that we are not at fault for our health problems. 😒 How validating. It's just what every reader wants to hear. The blame rests with someone else, not him/herself.

The author then goes on to qualify his medical authority by listing many of his accompl
...more
Iona  Stewart
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author presents us with so many facts and ideas that I’m not really able to outline this book at all adequately. But his main point seems to be that what we generally regard as healthy foods, including fruit and vegetables, contain things called “lectins” that are harmful to us.

These lectins seem to be contained in practically everything healthy, and in practically everything I eat and live on, and my diet is extremely limited to begin with.

If we’re to believe Dr. Gundry, he has healed thous
...more
Ricki Treleaven
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read many health and diet-related books over the years, but never one like The Plant Paradox. Dr. Gundry combines history, chemistry, and biology to explain why and how certain plants were never meant for us to eat. However, don't let this dissuade you from reading the book because it does not read like a dry, academic journal piece. I also think it's important that his research has been peer reviewed, and his endnotes are extensive. Much of what he writes about he's known for years to be ...more
Just Commonly
The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven R. Gundry focuses on "The Hidden Dangers in 'Healthy' Foods that Cause Disease and Weight Gain." It is quite an interesting concept, and I do see the logic in many of Dr. Gundy's claims which are backed by scientific research, as noted in the notes section. I like the fact that it includes sample meal plans and recipes for those ready to try Dr. Gundy's plans. Since I have not tried it myself, nor am I an expert, I can't provide claims of it's relevance or success ...more
Leanna
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I started this book and have gone back to finish it several times and I just can't. I was, at first, very dismayed to learn that there are a bunch of grains, fruits and beans that have lectins in them and that lectins are supposedly bad for humans, so that made me quit reading it for a moment. I bought into the logic the author was using and I gave him some credibility for being a medical doctor, but then I decided to watch an ad of his and I immediately became perturbed. His advertisement is fo ...more
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“In addition to the potential to cause health problems, lectins can also stimulate weight gain. The reason that wheat became the grain of choice in northern climates is thanks to a uniquely small lectin in wheat, known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which is responsible for wheat’s weight-gaining propensity. You read that correctly. Wheat helped your ancestors gain or maintain weight in ancient times when food was often scarce; back then, a “wheat belly” was a great thing to possess! And guess what? That WGA in the “ancient” forms of wheat is just as present in modern wheat—hence the weight gain.” 2 likes
“SLEEP-AID ENEMIES: Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta, and Xanax. • Friendly substitutes: My favorite combination of sleep aids is in Schiff Melatonin Ultra, or buy time-release melatonin and take 3 to 6 mg before bed.” 1 likes
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