Kelly Clarkson recently revealed that she lost 37 pounds — without exercise — thanks to The Plant Paradox, a book by cardiac surgeon Steven R. Gundry. She also claims the method helped her stabilize a thyroid issue she was dealing with.
“I literally read this book, and I did it for this autoimmune disease that I had and I had a thyroid issue, and now all my levels are back up. I’m not on medicine anymore because of this book," she told Extra. "It’s basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic."
Despite her weight loss and claims to improved health, some are calling the diet a fad. And part of critics' assessment may be based on misunderstanding: Many think the diet eliminates foods high in a protein called lectins, including starches, beans, grains, and most fruit, but that’s not exactly what it is.
The Feast turned to the source, Dr. Gundry himself, to explain the diet, which he’s been following himself for 17 years now. He even published a companion cookbook with 100 recipes for those curious about how he eats.
The basics of the Plant Paradox diet
“First, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle,” Dr. Gundry explains. “What it involves is trying to get plant proteins called lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) out of the diet, these are designed by plants as the defense system of the plant, and we have a pretty good defense system against them but because of changes in food and wide spread antibiotic use most of our microbiome has been destroyed. In the last five years we’ve become very vulnerable to attack by lectin — a cause of leaky gut, depression, arthritis, and other ailments.”
Dr. Gundry says people who follow the diet (and Kelly Clarkson herself) are either removing away major lectin containing foods from their diets, or pressure cooking the foods that contain lectin to remove the lectin. Foods that contain lectin are grains, beans, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, gogi berries, tomatoes, and most “nightshade” foods.
“We ry to get as many out of our diet as we can,” he says, adding if you do eat these foods, “a pressure cooker will destroy all lectin except gluten.”
To Plant Paradox critics, Gundry says:
Dr. Gundry says the results people get after following his book are real.
“A famous female author from Japan was on drugs for horrible rheumatoid arthritis, and had had a knee replacement," he said. "She flew to see me to tell me she followed the book and she’s off all meds and the arthritis is gone.”
We had to ask, who would you have the time to pressure cook most of their meals?
“The longer I have been at this the more I think that lectins are the cause of leaky gut and all diseases,” Dr. Gundry says, adding, that the Instant Pot is an amazing pressure-cooking device, “a one-touch thing so you can get dinner on the table in about 20 minutes, a miracle for working families” that will remove lectin from foods.
If you don’t have the time, he recommends foods from Eden Foods Inc., the “oldest natural and organic food company in North America,” which offers a variety of lectin-free foods.
Any health-related information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, or before embarking on any diet, exercise, or wellness program.
The Feast is Bravo’s digital destination serving culinary inspiration and essential food news. Like us on Facebook and visit daily for diet and wellness trends, kitchen hacks and tools — and the buzziest celebrity, chef, and restaurant happenings you need to know about right now.