The Plant Paradox

The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain
by Steven R. Gundry | 416 pages

The Plant Paradox. In a nutshell: The plants that nourish us can also hurt us. Dr. Steven Gundry is a renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon. He’s a former professor at Loma Linda University and has authored 300+ peer-reviewed articles on using diet and supplements to eliminate a bunch of diseases. And, to put it in perspective: He’s Tony Robbins’s doctor. Big Ideas we explore include Rule #1 of nutrition (and life) (hint: STOP eating/doing stuff that doesn’t work for you), the little edible enemies that are taking you down, the vagus nerve and it’s communication from your gut to your brain, how fruit might as well be candy and 90% new you in 90 days.


“I titled this book The Plant Paradox because while many plant foods are good for you—and form the bedrock of my eating plan—others that have been regarded as ‘health foods’ are actually to blame for making you sick and overweight. That’s right, most plants actually want to make you ill. Another paradox: small portions of some plants are good for you but large amounts are bad for you. …

As it stands, the Plant Paradox Program consists of a cornucopia of vegetables, limited amounts of high-quality protein sources, as well as certain fruits (but only in season), tree nuts, and certain dairy products and oils. Equally important are the foods I omit, at least initially—namely, grains and the flours made from them, pseudo-grains, lentils and other legumes (including all soy products), fruits that we call vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, and their kin), and refined oils. …

Follow the complete program and I promise you will banish most, if not all, of your health problems, achieve a healthy weight, reboot your energy level, and elevate your mood.”

~ Steven Gundry, MD from The Plant Paradox

The Plant Paradox.

In a nutshell: The plants that nourish us can also hurt us.

Dr. Steven Gundry is a renowned cardiologist and heart surgeon. He’s a former professor at Loma Linda University and has authored 300+ peer-reviewed articles on using diet and supplements to eliminate heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and a bunch of other diseases. These days he runs waitlist-only clinics in California.

And, to put it in perspective: He’s Tony Robbins’s doctor.

I got this book on Ben Greenfield’s recommendation after we had one of our coaching sessions checking out my blood work from WellnessFX. I had a super weird spike in inflammation and we had a feeling it was because I was eating too much of a “good thing”—in my case, I was going a little overboard on salads with sunflower sprouts. (Laughing. At myself.)

I immediately started experimenting with Dr. Gundry’s diet (eliminating lectins, including the sunflower sprouts—which we’ll talk about more in a moment—and reducing my fruit and animal protein intake while doing more intermittent fasting). It worked. The next blood tests came back with the lowest inflammation scores I’ve ever had (plus a bunch of other markers optimized).

Now, as we discussed in Nutrition 101, nutrition is a fascinating subject. Many of our Nutrition Notes contradict one another. And, I’m always blown away by how very smart people can hold nearly diametrically-opposed perspectives. For example, I recently had a little debate-scussion with my friend and mentor John Mackey who is a passionate advocate for low-fat (high grains/starch/carbs) veganism and strongly disagrees with other approaches.

My take? I agree with Michael Pollan that the nutritional science field is in its very early days. It’s too early to make absolute statements about much. I like to focus on what seems most apparent: We shouldn’t eat stuff that basically didn’t exist in any significant quantity 150 years ago, including the Big 3: Sugar + Flour + Veggie Oils. And, ultimately, I think we all need to EXPERIMENT and find what works for us.

With that, let’s jump in and chew on (hah!) some Big Ideas as we Optimize this body of ours!

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial

About the author

Authors

Steven R. Gundry

Cardiologist, heart surgeon, medical researcher, and author.