Let me begin by disclosing that I do not suffer from a chronic disease that requires prescription medication to alleviate symptoms.
I am an self-employed male in my mid-sixties, with 3 children and 7 grandchildren, who understands the importance that a healthy diet plus exercise plays in enjoyment of life.
Until I was introduced to the teachings and books by Dr Gundry, I was very much into eating a high level of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein from nuts, fish, poultry, and red meat. Animal fats and sugar were avoided. This seemed to be the conventional wisdom for a healthy diet with a big emphasis on fruit, vegetables, and grains.
While I enjoyed this diet, I was over-weight, not in the obese category but could not see my feet when glancing down and wanted to lose the extra pounds. I figured it was in my genes and did not actively look for an answer.
But after my wife forwarded a video from Facebook of an American Doctor who spoke about the importance of gut health, our microbiome, lectins in tomatoes, I decided to investigate.
He spoke authoritatively and made sense. But as I would have to adopt a Dr Steven Gundry breakfast, rather than my usual cereal, fruit and yogurt. I needed to know more, so I read the books by Dr Gundry.
Surgical Residency and Medical Researcher at the University of Michigan.
Heart surgeon and the writer of more papers than any previous resident. He used his love of research plus intimate knowledge of heart surgery to create lasting innovations, pioneer transplant robotics and holds patents on numerous medical devices.
Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics plus Chairman and Head of Cardio-thoracic Surgery for 16 years at Loma Linda School of Medicine.
With a colleague performed more pediatric and infant heart transplants than anyone else in the world. Has performed operations in more than 30 countries including charitable missions.
During 2001 Doctor Gundry met "Big Ed."
“Big Ed" got his name for a reason. He was a burly motorcycle man…someone you definitely wouldn’t want to mess with! Ed's angiogram had one of the most severe heart blockages he’d ever seen something so bad, no other cardiologists in the country wanted to operate. He felt the same — the risks were too great and had to break the news to Ed.
Ed plopped a big bag of vitamins down on his desk, stated he had lost 45LBS from eating a range of exotic foods and was certain his heart scan would look different. While being impressed at the weight loss, he was still over-weight at 260 lbs.
He really didn’t want to disappoint Ed, but years of medical school had taught him that vitamins simply didn’t work. The Doc was an anti-supplement guy. (In fact, he always said they just made expensive urine.) Ed was very persuasive and convinced him to conduct an new angiogram.
Well he was blown away. In 6 months Ed's heart blockages had shrunk by 50%. He had never seen anything like it. His arteries had some room to work with. Later that week he was able to give Big Ed his quintuple bypass surgery.
Still not understanding how losing some weight plus taking supplements could make such a difference in 6 months, he put his medical researcher hat on and examined the supplements Ed had brought in.
Many were junk and not doing anything at all, but some of them contained powerful nutrients called phytochemicals and were similar to expensive drugs he used in heart surgery to keep heart cells from dying.
He discovered that Ed's turnaround was no fluke and some ingredients got life-changing results in real clinical trials. More importantly, they achieved results without the side-effects found in pharmaceutical drugs.
Within 6 months of Ed's lifesaving surgery, this break through discovery led him to abruptly leave his senior positions at Loma Linda and he founded his own practice at the International Heart & Lung Institute. He learned what various nutrients were deficient in the American Diet, and which of the widely regarded “staple” foods were in fact toxic to the human body.
He discovered one type of super-powerful nutrient that he now recommend ALL of his patients take on a daily basis. It became the cornerstone of his best-selling formula...Vital Reds.
He began to treat patients with this new dietary philosophy and started seeing trans-formative results. His work of reversing disease through nutrition, continues today and he has a 6 month waiting list at his practice in Palm Springs California.
There have been major medical research advances in the field of nutritional science. Essentially the way food and nutrients interact with our bodies. This includes food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, and even how certain diseases are affected by the food we consume.
He talks a lot about our gut microbiome and how within it we have a mixture of good and bad bacteria. These recent studies demonstrate that your diet can absolutely modify your intestinal microbiome resulting in a positive abundance of good or bad bacteria in your gut.
These studies suggest your microbiome does indeed play a role in modulating the risk of many health issues including: Obesity, Digestive Issues, Heart Health Issues, Blood Sugar Regulation. His own patient experiences bear this out, plus he presents numerous successful case studies.
Science demonstrates that with diet modification we can positively impact our health by feeding our good bacteria and starving the bad.
“What you remove from your diet has a far bigger impact on your health than what you add to it.”
It is not about calorie control.
It starts with education relating to the human evolution of eating and digesting vegetables, plants, and fruit. He sets about breaking down complicated nutritional science, making it simple and digestible.
Putting it bluntly, once educated, it is up to you to make an informed decision about your current diet relevant to your state of health. Then decide to ignore or embrace the science.
If you choose to embrace, he provides a step by step Plant Paradox meal plan to restore and maintain gut health.
A Three Day Kick-Start Cleanse - Starving your bad gut bacteria in a similar manner to fully weeding a garden before you re-plant.
(Your microbiome responds quickly to a change in diet, meaning that a short-term dietary shake-up is an effective way to immediately change the makeup of your gut’s bacterial population.)
Repair and Restore for Six Weeks – Retrain your eating habits so that you create a healthy digestive environment.
Like nurturing the soil and rebuilding the fences that keep unwelcome critters out of your crops.
In a couple of weeks your clothes will be loser and your energy will soar. But keep to the plan for six weeks.
Reap the Rewards – Patient feedback includes; Lost excess weight or gained if they were underweight. If they have been suffering from arthritis or an autoimmune condition, they marvel at how much the chronic pain has dissipated. Their digestion is improved, and any constipation or diarrhea has rectified itself.
They are a departure from traditional dietary wisdom that I certainly understood, and that most nutritionists plus health agencies promote.
The good news is that the YES list is way longer than the NO. Many on the NO can be adapted to be a YES plus there are alternatives, and it is compatible with vegetarian, vegan type diets.
What most find to be radical is his conclusion that lectins, which is a plant protein, causes harm to your gut and hence your health. They feature on the NO list. The most well-known lectin is gluten, and we all know someone who is gluten intolerant.
Not all lectins are toxic, but many are. When you have a lectin-intolerance, you do not want to ingest any because the consequences can be quite severe.
As the discovery of the role lectins can play in our ill-health is new and controversial, he has written a book series aptly titled Plant Paradox. The paradox being that lectins can be both good or bad for you, it all depends on dosage.
His diet is not all about what not to eat, but is balanced by promoting eating foods that are nutrient rich with powerful prebiotics, rich in polyphenol antioxidants, resveratrol quercetin, full of fiber and powerful vitamins and minerals.
Grass-fed, pastured-raised meat has more omega-3 and few omega-6 fats.
Red wines produced in cooler climates have a good concentration of resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol. (Consume with meals and limit to four to six ounces a day.)
Non A2 dairy products have a lectin like protein known as casein A1. Goat, sheep and buffalo milk is fine.
Wild-caught seafood is a great source of protein, provides vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Pasture raised poulty can be a great source of protein. Eat the yokes and limit the whites!
In-season fruit is good source of fiber, vitamins and polyphenols but they also contain a high level of sugar. So be careful of how much you eat, they are natures candy!
Nuts are a great source of health fats, polyphenols, and fiber and are okay to eat every day, but in limited amounts. (Legumes like peanuts and cashews should be avoided.)
Sorghum is an awesome lectin-free, gluten-free flour alternative and millet is packed with important minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
Green bananas, yams, sweet potatoes, yucca, green plantains, cassava, taro root, tapioca and jicama, are all resistant starches that are great sources of vitamins and minerals.
Going without food from time to time gives your body a chance to process and digest. It also naturally guides you to reduce your overall caloric intake.
Your body is designed to not only withstand periods without food, but to actually thrive because of them.
The best source of healthy fats are extra-virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, avocado oil, coconut milk, egg yolks from pastured chicken, walnut oil, MCT oil, perilla oil, macadamia oil, algea oil, fish oil or algae-based DHA.
Green leafy vegetables are so good for you it's nearly impossible to eat more than you need. However, nearly everyone's diet is lacking in greens.
Vegetables are excellent sources of prebiotic fiber, vitamins and polyphenols, and should comprise the majority of your meals. Cruciferous vegetables are especially nutritious and offer a multitude of health benefits.
Okay, why do we need supplements when following the nutritious Gundry diet?
Are we just making expensive urine?
Good question and one that he, historically, believed to be true. Then once again science proved to him that due to modern farming practices, such as the use of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers, soil has been depleted of necessary nutrients and friendly bacterial populations. The quality of our soil means we aren’t able to consume the quantities of nutrients and micro-nutrients in YES foods, to fulfill our daily requirements.
A good example is Vitamin D the sunshine vitamin. With the use of sunscreens, general sun avoidance and winter indoor living, we are deficient. Vitamin D is vital for our immune system, absorption of calcium for our bones, anti-inflammatory for our lungs, reducing blood pressure, positive mood boost, hunger suppressant and cognitive impairment in older men and women.
The Dr Gundry designed supplements and products are the result of his research into our bodies requirements and then sourcing the ingredients that are rich in the elements required. Mixing them together as a formula to provide the best solution to support specific requirements.
It is a science-based approach, and he sets out to explain, in mostly laymen’s terms, why he has come to his conclusions, then provides solutions in the form of The Plant Paradox program together with the Plant Paradox Cookbook.
There is strong focus on boosting the immune system by avoiding food that harm our anti-bodies and promoting those that strengthen.
He is research focused so when a new discovery is made that impacts what he has previously promoted, he shares it with you.
The program is adaptable depending on your current state of health, but if you are suffering from a chronic condition then stay away from the NO list foods. Your body will soon let you know if you have re-introduced a food that it cannot tolerate.
RANGE OF PLANT PARADOX COOKBOOKS
Besides providing the Plant Paradox program with the YES and NO food lists plus recipes, he has cookbooks in the quick and easy category plus family orientated.
They have been designed in conjunction with a chef so as to have ingredients that are readily available, nutritious, (obviously) and tasty.
LONGEVITY PARADOX FOOD LIST
Besides fine-tuning diets that were in the main, conforming, or correcting those causing chronic health issues, there is a strong focus on longevity. He has published The Longevity Paradox, that is dedicated to enjoying good health and dying young at a ripe old age.
There is a strong American focus which means if you live outside the USA some of the ingredients, medicines, government departments that are mentioned, are not known or relevant. Not a major, just apply a filter.
For me, Dr Steven Gundry MD provides a science based nutritional road map that I can easily follow.
These are the 4 steps I applied to lose those extra pounds, gain confidence in my ability to ward off viruses and diseases, plus have a firm belief that I will die young at a ripe old age.
Gained Science Based Nutritional Knowledge – The importance of Gut Health, the role of lectins.
Studied The Plant Paradox Program - All 3 Phases with YES & NO food lists and recipes.
Applied the diet as it fitted my current state of health.
Came to understand that I was still nutrient deficient and added diet supplements to our food budget.
"To follow the teachings of Dr Steven Gundry MD is for anyone who is interested in being as healthy as nature designed us to be."